One of the most visible cultural trends in the second decade of the 21st century has been an increasing sensitivity in all aspects of life. While this is progress in areas such as tackling racism or sexism, some kinds of hypersensitivity can reach a level that it unintentionally becomes satirical.
The story of Alison Birch, who runs a hair salon in the UK is one of those examples. A job center refused to post Birch’s advertisement looking for happy stylists. The reason? Because they believe that condition is discriminatory towards the unhappy people.
The advert was as normal and inoffensive as adverts come in – other than citing the necessary skills and job experience, Birch said she wanted happy stylists because her salon was a small but very friendly and lively at all times.
Birch recalled how confounded she was when she got a call from the job center not an hour after she posted the advert. Birch said when the man on the other side of the call told her to get rid of the ‘happy’ condition, she honestly believed that someone was making a joke out of her.
She said when she realized that the man was being serious, she told the job center that she will not go ahead with her advert. Birch jokingly implied that she used some not so kind language to accentuate her feeling at the time.
Moreover, the 54 year old stylist said all she wanted the advert to convey was the general workplace atmosphere. She remembers previous employees who would show up to work all frustrated by something from their private lives that completely ruined the atmosphere in the salon.
Birch told a local reporter that they had placed the advert after the previous stylist tragically passed away due to her cancer. Saying that she and her younger colleague wanted the new stylist to bring some energy back and cheer everyone up, Birch still finds no issues with her advert.
When Birch shared this story with her Facebook friends, many agreed with her that this was an example of political correctness going too far.
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