work, headcovering and social awkwardness

So, I had my little confrontation at work on Thursday, and then I was off for a long weekend, Friday through Sunday, where I went to the STL. Before I left I called work to see where I was scheduled to work on Monday. As my boss and I were talking, she asked me what religion I was. I said “Christian” and didn’t bother expounding. She didn’t ask. She did however go on to ask what I was planning on wearing, and then went on to say something about infection control and the headband/bandana thing I wore a couple of weeks ago. I was noncommittal because I honestly wasn’t sure. I had a general idea, but also didn’t have a good way to explain it.

On the Sunday, my friend (Elle) helped me fashion a small white headcovering that I could wear to work. It was based mostly on Garlands of Grace’s “Pricilla” which I think is darling (minus the whole “1 Corinthians 11 embroidery) and she called “frumpy” It totally isn’t the best sewing job EVA, but it gets the job done. It’s a combo of hideous/fumpy/cute.

Needless to say, I was kinda terrified to actually wear it to work on Monday. My DON pulled me in to her office and asked me if I had found something that would work. “Uh, I guess” (Well, there is something there, silly!) What exactly do you say to that? I’m not a hundred percent thrilled with what I’ve got, but it was kind of short notice. She also asked if I was covering outside of work, which really confused me. I was covering for probably two weeks outside of work before I worked up the determination to cover while at work.

What shocked me most was that only one person asked me about it, another CMT that works both days and evenings with me. We are kinda close as far as coworkers go and so I explained myself, once I figured out what she wanted to know. She seemed generally cool with it. No one else said ANYTHING. Which is odd, isn’t it?

Going back to my discussion with my boss, she asked me what religion I was. I answered with “Christian” because to me, that is my religion. She didn’t ask denomination or for an explanation on why I was covering. Legally as an employer I doubt she could. I didn’t go on to say anything else because my assumption was that she wanted to know if I was going to show up on Monday in hijab. “Christian” to me, meant “No, I am not a Muslim” more than it meant “Christian.”

I also am bad at reading nonverbal cues. Like when my coworker asked me what religion I was, she had to ask several times before I realized that she wanted more information than “Christian” I don’t have problems with giving more information, but unless more information is requested, I really don’t know how much people want. Which leaves me at an awkward situation because I want to tell my DON that hey, I won’t be offended if you want to know more, but I don’t really want to bring it up. Plus, there’s the whole employer/employee discrimination things that get complicated.


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