Raylene Marks, a former employee at a Claire’s branch in Alberta, Canada, claims the store’s ear piercing policy makes some children feel “pressured”.
She handed in her notice after her manager told her she should have pierced a seven-year-old’s ears, despite the child’s evident distress at the process.
Marks shared an open letter on Facebook detailing what happened. The letter, which has been shared thousands of times, sparked a flurry of support.
It described how she was asked to assist on a “double”. Marks describes a double as “both ears at the same time. It’s reserved for nervous kids who might change their mind after the first earring goes in.”
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She continues to explain how the girl’s mum was “putting a great deal of pressure on her daughter.” Marks told the other piercer she wouldn’t be a part of the ear piercing on the girl after she “pleaded and sobbed for 30 minutes not to be pierced.”
The following day, though, her boss questioned her refusal, telling Marks: “Yes, you do the piercing” even if the little girl cries and asks her not to.
That was enough to encourage her to hand in her notice.
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Marks read the store’s policy thoroughly and realised that it was “deeply flawed”. There was no mention of the use of physical restraint by a parent or the employee’s right to refuse an ear piercing.
Her message gathered thousands of responses. One Facebook user wrote: “Good for you, no means NO, no matter what the age.”
She finished the open letter by imploring Claire’s to “be better. Be accountable. Know what’s going on in your stores, and do something about it.”