How to Handle Coworker Questions About Your Summer Protective Style
After months of scrolling the gram and peepin' the best travel pics of people smoking cigars and posing for pictures with sculptures of Che Guevara--you’ve had enough. You got you some crochet hair, copped some bejeweled sandals, then caught one of those bomb travel deals you hear people rave about and now you're counting down the days to take off. There’s just one problem-- before you go, your protective style has sparked the interest of your co-workers. Before you can make it to sandy beaches and cold cocktails you’ve got to get past Patricia in Purchasing.
“Omg your hair grew overnight!”
“Does it hurt?”
“ How much does it cost!”
“How do you keep it clean?”
The questions and comments can fly like daggers when you show up in a corporate setting after switching up your style. We’ve rounded up a few suggestions for dealing with them gracefully because let's face it, a classy clapback keeps HR away.
Take a Breather
Rude (and occasionally borderline racist) comments are super overwhelming and annoying but they don’t have to be consuming. It is perfectly acceptable to take a pause before replying or even to say to your co-worker “I’m really not comfortable with answering your question, but thanks for asking.” Or you could take this as an opportunity to teach--sometimes people just don't know.
Keep It Short
In the event that you’re down to answer questions for your curious coworkers keep your replies short. “Yes” and “no” are actually complete sentences. It is SO not your job to break down the etymology of the phrase tender headed to Philip in accounting. Your box braids, your business. But also consider that your break isn't that long and do you really want to spend it on why crochet braids are better than sitting for 10+ hours for individual braids--prolly not!
As every ex-boyfriend we’ve ever had well knows, when you can’t defend yourself distraction is your best bet. If you find yourself cornered, don’t be afraid to fire off some work appropriate water cooler questions of your own. You’d be surprised how quickly people can end a conversation when you start questioning their grooming routine--or lack thereof.
Seek Outside Assistance
You have every right to a workspace where you feel respected and safe. If someone is asking questions or making comments that are upsetting you or causing you to feel uncomfortable, it’s okay to speak up. Avoid a direct confrontation by inviting a cool coworker into the conversation or asking to confer with your supervisor or human resources.
Continue to Slay
Despite inappropriate displayed curiosities and not so thinly veiled insults, you (better) know you’re everything so continue to flaunt your beauty on the inside and out like the Queen you are!
We can't wait to see how you rock your #vacationhair summer!
Photo Credits: Ebony, Stripped by HD, Hype Hair, Madame Noire