Etiquette School is in session! > "So kind of you to take an interest."

respect is a two way street

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Deleted:
I have skin condition called dermographism. If I have the slightest need to scratch my nose or face (and do so), then I end up getting a nasty welt that will stay for a noticeable amount of time... this just from the tiny amount of pressure from a fingernail. For this condition, I take antihistamines quite often, just to keep the itching down. I used to wear makeup years ago, but found that if I went au naturel then I wouldn't feel then need rub my skin off by the end of the day. These days, I will occasionally wear some form of lip gloss, rarely put on foundation or powder, but I never wear eye makeup.

To be honest, it turned out to be quite liberating. I now feel comfortable with the way I look without makeup. I started thinking I look pretty even without makeup. So doing my best at preventative measures to keep my skin from being irritated (antihistamines, lack of makeup, etc), I'm quite happy.

Then K started working at my company. K is also a representative for a home based business that sells cosmetics. This is something she does on the side, but she regularly recruits customers at our place of work.

Just this afternoon, she told me:


--- Quote ---People who slack on their appearance get less respect.
--- End quote ---

Now, there were two other women standing in the break-room when then was mentioned, but from the way that she was looking in my direction I knew that her comment was intended for my benefit. She has approached me before about getting a makeover, but I while I have repeatedly thanked her for the offer, I have always said I wasn't interested.

When this happened, I bean dipped and mentioned that there was cake for the July birthdays on another floor... then I left the group feigning work that needed to get done. I don't want to go into the details of my skin condition with my co-workers.

Is there a better response than "so kind of you to take an interest" because, at the same time, I don't want others thinking that I don't care about my appearance in a professional setting.

Should I just go with that? After all, my clothes are dry-cleaned and well kept, my hair is clean and ironed, and these put together I think this means there is no "slacking" on my appearance.

Yvaine:
There's a name for that welt thing?  :o Bless you, I've been wondering about that all my life; though for me it's kind of off-and-on for some reason. I'll have to look that up.

There are differing schools of thought on whether people "should" wear makeup in the workplace, and there are careers where it's helpful, but IMO there is nothing unprofessional or "slacking" about not wearing makeup as long as the rest of your appearance is neat and professional. I mean, men don't have to wear makeup to be taken seriously, so why should women have to?

As for this woman in particular, she's just trying to tweak you until you purchase some product from her. It has squat to do with your professionalism. These MLM companies are extremely high pressure and the salespeople are often taught rude sales techniques. She tried to hook you with a polite invitation, that didn't work, so now she's bringing out the big guns. Ignore her. And don't buy the makeup--if it's the company I'm thinking of, a LOT of people have allergy issues with the product.

Edited to add: I think your bean-dip response was fine.

Raina:
Next time she approaches you about a makeover, you may also try "That won't be possible" or "I'm taking care of it" :)

I don't think, though others may disagree, that there is anything wrong with not wearing makeup.  I personally don't and try my best not to judge people who do or don't either but I don't think it's required for a professional environment.  I recognize that in some instances, I look more "dressed up" if I wear a little eyeliner or eye shadow or something, but by no means is this ever a normal part of my regular routine (just for major performances or events).

It is sad though, that for men to look "well put together", generally that just means throw on a polo, khakis, and nice shoes.  It seems unfair that society tends to lean towards women must put on makeup to look more polished, in addition to the clothing, accessories, and hair.  It's too much for me.

I'm sure you look fine :) If you are dressed professionally and look tidy, you shouldn't have to put on a ton of makeup to satisfy this woman's side business.  Plus, that seems...wrong...that she tries to recruit people from the workplace.  What if something went wrong with an order? You'd still have to work with her and see her every day.  You could potentially use that as your out too if you wanted.  Maybe: I prefer to keep my work and personal lives separate so thank you for your concern but please refrain from asking in the future.

I will note however, that if you are in a face-to-face sales oriented position where you're dealing with clients in person often, it may be more socially expected to have a minimum of makeup? I don't really know how to explain it other than probably a large majority of women wear some kind of makeup so customers may just expect to see it? I actually have very similar skin to what you have so I completely understand :) I don't put anything on my face except some facial lotion, but I do also carry some oil sheets in case I gather a little extra "shine".

Erich L-ster:
i understand not wanting to go into your reasons in depth, would it be too uncomfortable to just say you get a bad reaction or some other reason that doesn't really need a lot of explanation? i realize you don't owe anybody an explanation but even a little one might just end it so you don't have to continually deal with the subject.

Yvaine:

--- Quote from: Erich L-ster on July 08, 2011, 06:37:27 PM ---i understand not wanting to go into your reasons in depth, would it be too uncomfortable to just say you get a bad reaction or some other reason that doesn't really need a lot of explanation? i realize you don't owe anybody an explanation but even a little one might just end it so you don't have to continually deal with the subject.

--- End quote ---

Sadly, every MLM thinks their products won't cause an allergic reaction.  ::) The OP needs to not give her anything to "refute"--it'll just be used as a sales pitch. The saleswoman is just sniping PAly and not even technically addressing the OP; the OP need not dignify that with a defense.

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