Harrods sales assistant Melanie Stark was left with no choice but to quit her job after the luxury department store demanded that she wear makeup on the job, the Guardian reports.
The shop's dress code includes the following rule: "Full makeup at all time: base, blusher, full eyes (not too heavy), lipstick, lip liner and gloss are worn at all time and maintained discreetly (please take into account the store display lighting which has a 'washing out' effect)."
Stark, 24, said she was sent home twice and once forced to work in the stockroom after opting for an all-natural look. She was also offered a beauty tutorial.
Stark told the newspaper, "I was appalled. It was insulting. Basically, it was implying it would be an improvement. I don't understand how they think it is OK to say that. I know what I look like with makeup. I have used it, though never at work. But I just could not see how, in this day and age, Harrods could take away my right to choose whether to wear it or not."
She added, "I just could not go through with it all again. I wasn't going to compromise, but neither were they. And I felt it was time to move on."
The Daily Mail weighed in on the issue in a perfectly-British-titled article, "If you're too bolshy to put on some lippy, why should any firm give you a job?" Writer Liz Jones is in a tizzy over an apparently deeper issue at hand. Quoth Jones:
A recent survey of employers found the reason so many jobs are given to immigrant workers is simple: British workers don't want to make an effort.
They think the world owes them a living, and that their 'rights' as an individual are all that matters.
They have such enlarged egos, so much 'sense of self', that they cannot subjugate themselves to any one else any more. Not even the boss.
Why does a young woman think her desire to show us her open pores and ruddy complexion outweighs the wishes of her employer to present a polished face to the customer?
Yikes -- a little harsh, no? We're kind of thinking that Stark's refusal to wear makeup means she probably has great pores and an excellent complexion. Oh, and knows how to stand her ground.
For more bemoaning of the modern British workplace by the Mail, head over to DailyMail.co.uk.