Honestly, I was fearing the prospect of searching for restaurant jobs in conservative Ohio with my super-hippy dreads. But, long story short, I got a job and I am already employed, only a week after returning! The process was not without its bumps, however.
I went in for my first interview at this really classy French bistro/wine bar. I thought it went okay, not great, and wasn’t really expecting to get it. The next day, however, I get a call from them. And right away, as the owner is hemming and hawing and obviously uncomfortable about what he’s about to say, I knew it was about the dreads. He basically asked me if I was planning to keep them. Yes, of course, I said. He was totally apologetic about making it an issue and felt really bad about possibly offending me, but he was also really concerned about the restaurant’s conservative, rich, snotty-pants customers and what they would think. He asked me about different ways I could style my hair and was being all iffy. Then he asked me to come in for a “second interview”, which basically consisted of him looking at my hair again, going back and forth some more, and then asking me if I could “put a bow in it.” “I can put whatever you want in it!” I replied. Men are so funny when they’re trying to describe women’s hairstyles. “Okay,” he finally said, “it’ll be fine.”
So, I got the job, provided I put a black ribbon around my dread ponytail every night. Lol. As if that makes the dreadlocks disappear?
But, I am happy, because aside from that minor hiccup, it was the easiest job search I have ever had! Yay for people putting stereotypes aside and hiring the best qualified candidate no matter what they look like!