Thursday, May 01, 2008

And then there was Thursday

I guess that I knew this day would come-just didn't really think it would be this fast. My boss received a "complaint" about the nose pierce that I currently sport. If you know me at all you know that I am pretty whimsical...I have purple hair, I have the occasional tattoo, and now a nose pierce. All of these serve to remind me that I am a broken human being in search of a fun and interesting way to live my life. They are not statements of rebellion (perceived or otherwise) and they are not meant to cause agitation.

However, I guess today the nose pierce crossed the line. A teacher at the place I am currently employed complained to her boss who then complained to my boss. So, my boss and I had the "talk" about the nose pierce and all the reasons why I was causing my "brother or sister" to have issues with me and my role at the place I am employed. So we discussed Paul's letter to Philippa in the 2nd chapter and I agreed with what my boss said - I could humble myself.

During the discussion, I was stunned, silent, cried a lot, tried to get my point across that I thought I worked for a place that was trying really hard to NOT be Pharisaical - but on this point they missed. I also wondered why my boss didn't stand up for me. Why he didn't mention that it wasn't written in the policy manual that employees are barred from any visible facial piercings (except ears) and that he really can't ask me to take it out - blah blah blah.

It was one of those moments when all of my witty banter, my intelligence and my arguments went out the window. I was faced with this complaint and possibly a person questioning my "witness" which in turn questions my spirituality. So, for all to hear...I say:

1. I believe in Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins
2. I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and my responsibility to act it out
3. I believe it is possible to love my neighbor and disagree with his/her doctrine
4. I believe that it is more important for Christians to live the gospels rather than worry about what is or isn't pierced.
5. I believe that perhaps it's my time to find another job.
6. I believe that while on one hand we say we want to do "kingdom work" we really prefer to cow tow to pharisees in order to "keep peace".
7. I believe that a nose pierce has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with my salvation.
8. I believe in the KINGDOM and not the EMPIRE, which is subtly disguised.

Anyway...I know there are strong opinions out there about my Christian witness and how I may be a role model or come in contact with folks who don't think it appropriate to have a nose piercing...and I will pray through that and pray for the one who complained. I certainly hope it's not worth quitting, but truth be told, that is how I feel right now. I'm sad, angry and don't want to show up tomorrow!

But, in the words of my very wise and loving mother (who I equate to the words of God himself) "If you believe what you say you believe you can't take the nose pierce out."

Well said mom. Well said.


***UPDATE****
I just went on the Green River CC website and there's a job opening for an academic advisor...starting salary: $46,900. Advice???

7 comments:

Diane said...

Ok. First off, lemme say this: You know that I'm about as conservative as they come. You and I disagree about certain political issues. (You won't EVER find me voting for Obama.) BUT, THIS INFURIATES me. Plain and simple. I agree with you 100% for all the reasons you listed and more. You and I have talked a lot about this already, so I won't regurgitate it here. But maybe now since you've composed yourself, and explained yourself so eloquently here, maybe you could go back in and have him hear it?
About the Green River job...I am not the one to offer advice. Because for selfish reasons, I don't want you to go. This place is a better, more fun, nicer place to work because you're in it. So I'll leave others to address that.
Keep the faith, my friend! I heart you.

Brad said...

Let me be perfectly clear. You are a personification of Christ. Your beliefs show his love, his understanding, his vision for mankind. You are "imputed with his righteousness". A nose piercing does not change that fact.

Brad said...

Shoot...wasn't finished.

I don't know what you are making right now, but $49K is close to $25 an hour....(which would be 50K a year....25 x 2000hrs...assuming 2 weeks vacation)

Would that get you closer to your previous salary?

I'm hesitant to get into a discussion of tolerance, because that's just asking for trouble. I'm so sorry that you are going through this at work, but it's a "conservative" school district. I've yet to see a school district like that that understands tolerance.

Your work does not define who you are, nor does it define your mission.

You have two options....lose the nose ring while at work, and continue to work there....or lose the job, and go somewhere else. I don't think that your situation will at change at work, because it doesn't sound like upper management has the b***s to defend you to a parent.

Might be time to go.

Love ya,

Brad

TheologyMom said...

I say at least apply for the job...it may be the answer to your prayers on many fronts.

I agree with your mother...and I love you no matter what...

holly said...

As a GRCC alum I say go for it. I loved the staff there, they were totally cool in all the right ways, and there are many students there who could really use your help. It is a ministry in many ways as alot of my classmates were single moms, unemployed guys seeking a new start, and confused teenagers. Just change your focus. It could be what you need right now. Loves!

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about the Scripture that says "all things are lawful but are not expedient". Maybe piercings and tattoos are not sinful and may not reflect a lack of spirituality, but I don't think that they increase your witness and spirituality either. just words for thought.
Also, if your employer is a private religious organization, they are most likely an "at will" employer, and they don't have to have the same written rules as a public agency, and can insist that you remove the piercing or face leaving. Stinks I know.

Red Letter girl said...

Anonymous...
Not sure that scripture applies as clearly not ALL THINGS are lawful. I will hold up the things I DO as reflection of my spirituality and have no problem with that...I think it'll stand up for itself no matter what I look like.

It's difficult to dispute that this is a private religious organization and certainly we are an "at will" state - however, they do have policy and if this were important enough it would have been in there. They can't fire me for this...and I'm not sure they can find someone with a MA that is willing to work for this salary and do this job.

Also, I don't mind leaving one bit. In fact...I welcome it.

About Me

I work at a Christian School district only 4 miles from my home. The people there are full of grace and love and I am glad to be a part of this ministry. I have a neice and nephew whom I love dearly. They are 12 and almost 15 respectively. I have two amazing sisters and two amazing brothers-in-law. Of course, I would not be here if it were not for my mother agreeing to marry my dad. Good going mom! My parents are my life and I would literally be NOTHING without their unconditional love, support and care. You rock mom and dad. Then there's Will & Lora...their giggles are like sunshine and their parents crack me up too.

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