The GEM Debate:
Why Wouldn’t You Let A Co-Worker Do THIS?

There is a lot I would do for one Ms. Rene Syler, but as soon as I read this I realized there were some lines that clearly I would draw.

Jennifer Finley was hired for her ability to perform spa services.  Per the Huffington Post, the company that hired her, the European Wax Center, allegedly required further training in the field, during which she was allegedly asked to participate in sensitivity training, of sorts.  See, her job includes giving Brazilian waxes and as part of the training they wanted Finley and her classmates to receive a wax from one of their co-workers so that they’d be more sensitive to customers.  As someone who knows cosmetologists who have to endure haircuts by classmates, I understand.  As someone who loves that waiters have to taste the food and can give me an accurate referral for the best food there, I understand.  As someone who will only get her hair done by someone with a very similar hair style, I completely understand.  A Brazilian wax from a co-worker who I have to see everyday?  Um, yeah. I don’t think so.

For those who are unfamiliar, a Brazilian wax is oh, so special in that they remove hair from the top of where your bikini would sit to the last place that you’d might find hair. Use your imagination. Or your school biology knowledge.  But the upshot is it involves intimate positioning of the body and really, you don’t want to see your Brazilian wax technician out in the streets no matter how good she is. It’s just a very odd relationship.  So I completely understand why Finley would be upset and feel this was sexual harassment in the workplace to even be asked.  If you want to build sensitivity to waxing you need go no further than a leg or an eyebrow. It’s pulling your hair out by the root with hot wax.  You just multiply the leg experience times a thousand or so and bam! Now you know what a Brazilian wax feels like.

However, as one who has needed the services of a Brazilian wax technician, I do wonder how they get their knowledge of the body and the angles it takes to perform this task.  I’m not sure how many other daredevils are out there, but I’d be willing to critique a technician still in school or training if it meant I’d be able to pay less. I’m assuming the professor would be right there and a prior agreed-upon safe word would be in place.

Learning something new is tricky, but so is exposing yourself for the world to see.  Law aside (Finley was allegedly fired for not performing the required part of her training and is suing her former boss for “wrongful termination as well as gender discrimination, since Finley maintains that only women were ordered to take part” per the article), this is just a(nother) case of someone falling asleep at the wheel.  Where was the sensitivity to the students’ real needs emotionally and physically?

The courts will sort out the legalities, but I was hoping you guys would weigh in.  Do you think this is too far to ask your employee to go?  Did you have to have any type of training where you were the customer to find out how to better do your job?  Please weigh in and let us know.


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