It doesn’t matter where you go in the world – chances are, you’ll find a Claire’s Accessories store there. And if you grew up in a city that had a Claire’s Accessories, then chances are that is exactly where you got your ears pierced… potentially even whether you wanted them pierced or not.
Well folks, reports have now emerged about a former Claire’s employee who is taking a stand after she claims she saw a flaw in the companies policy when it came down to piercing the ears of underaged children. This employee’s name is Raylene Marks and she hails from Edmonton, Canada and after spotting this policy flaw, she wrote an open letter to her former employers and condemned the company for making its employees pierce the ears of children – even if the child does not want to be pierced at all.
She revealed to all that the management of the store she worked in and allegedly other locations around the world agreed that employees must go through with the piercings even if it means they have to physically restrain the child to get the job done… which just sounds absolutely INSANE. And pretty freakin’ terrible. Marks is now taking a stand against the company with an open letter that has since gone viral online.
Marks said her job at Claire’s started to bother her the more she saw children resisting getting their ears pierced.
As she explained in an open letter to her former employer on Facebook on April 7, Marks used to work at the Edmonton, Alberta, location of a Claire’s accessory store. The chain is somewhat known for doing on-site piercings, and to some, it is a rite of passage to get your ears pierced at the kid-friendly locations. However, as an employee, Marks revealed that the reality of piercing children is seriously different than one might imagine.
She wrote that she never minded piercing kids who were excited to get their first pair of earrings and would just try her best to put them at ease, but it was the kids who clearly didn’t want to be there that struck a chord with her.
“I had a couple ‘gray area’ piercings, though; piercings where the children resisted heavily, were pressured and intimidated by the parents into settling down, and the children weren’t happy with what had happened even after the earrings were in place and the standard lollipop had been dispensed. I didn’t feel good about those, and I started to wonder at what point the piercer and the parent are actually violating a child’s personal boundaries.”
You can find the full original Facebook post here.
The girl and her mother had come to Claire’s to get a “double” — which means that two piercers would be piercing at the same time… I think I actually had the same done many many moons ago! Anyway – “It’s reserved for nervous kids who might change their mind after the first earring goes in,” she wrote.
But to the girl, it simply didn’t matter. She very obviously did not want to get her ears pierced. “The girl pleaded and sobbed for thirty minutes not to be pierced,” Marks wrote. “Despite Mom saying, ‘Honey, we can go home whenever you want,’ she was not letting her daughter go home.”
She also added that the mom was definitely putting a great deal of pressure on her daughter to go through with the procedure and that the poor child was showing very clear signs that she was incredibly uncomfortable.
“This child was articulate, smart, and well aware of herself and her body. She expressed that she didn’t want us touching her, that we were standing too close, that she was feeling uncomfortable. She made it clear she no longer wanted to get her ears pierced. She begged, over and over again, for Mom to please, just take her home.
That child’s message was loud and clear to me: Do not touch my body, do not pierce my ears, I do not want to be here.”
Marks eventually told the other piercer on duty with her that she could not go through with it at all, and luckily the girl’s mother eventually agreed that it was indeed best that they go home. However – that wasn’t the end of Mark’s story.
The next day she claimed that she was then approached by a store manager who was upset that she had refused to pierce the child… because, let’s be honest, there is always that one manager, am I right?
Marks then tried to explain to her manager that there was no way she could have pierced the girl, even if her mother had insisted that she do it, but she was met with alleged disapproval. “I was firmly told, ‘You would have had no choice but to do it.'”
“So if a mother is physically restraining her daughter, holding her down and saying, ‘DO IT,’ while that little girl cries and asks me not to, do I do the piercing?'” Marks asked her manager. “My manager did not hesitate to respond, ‘Yes, you do the piercing.'”
It’s a “company policy” that understandably really truly rubbed Marks the wrong way.
Marks said her manager also claimed that other managers in the district agreed with her about Claire’s piercing policy and even reached out to the district sales manager, who said that this policy was correct.
“Children can be held down and pierced. Children do not have a voice in the piercing process. The associate doing the piercing has no right to refuse to shoot metal through the ears of a child who begs not to be touched,” Marks wrote.
That made her decision about what to do next all the more clear. “I gave my notice that day.”