The questions and comments I have been getting so far on THHG vary between, “So what’s the deal with this hard hat thing?” or “Is it just a blog?” or “I don’t get it.” All very valid questions, and please keep them coming. I love questions!
I wear my hats for a few reasons-
- It is a conversation starter. You never know who you don’t know! And I really enjoy meeting people. And curious people (those who ask about my hat) are my kind of people!
- I feel empowered when I wear it. Glass ceiling? SMASH IT. Gender roles? WATCH ME. If you’re curious to see how I am going to rise up and stand for such things, make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram, and of course, check back to the blog next Monday!
- It presented itself as an awesome and interesting opportunity to perform a few social experiments. I am CURIOUS about how and why people perceive things the way they do.
The blog associated with THHG is how I choose to publish and communicate my experiences and my thoughts on the various social experiments opened by wearing a hard hat in public. So although I do have a blog, THHG is much more than your typical blog!
Rewind to the social experiment part- I have some very interesting observations so far, primarily about how people’s perceptions and reactions to wearing a hard hat vary based on my outfit.
Consider me traveling on two different occasions– same airport, same hat, same luggage. Once in sweats and once in a suit. Totally different reactions. While wearing the suit- “Good afternoon Ma’am, may I take your bag for you?” *at Starbucks* “What can I get started for you, ma’am?” *referring to luggage* “Let me get that for you,” and commentary about me including:
“I like your hat.”
“So what year did you graduate from…?”
“What is your degree?”
“Where are you working?”
“Flying for business?”
While wearing sweats- “Bag check is on the far right,” *Starbucks* “What would you like?” and other commentary including:
“Wow cool hat, where did you get it?”
“Another day out on the job huh?”
“Worried about this flight?”
While I cannot draw strict conclusions from these interactions because there were several variables in each scenario, such as the employee working and/or the other travelers in the airport, what I can tell you is that the overall tone was very different. In the suit, people called me ma’am and offered their assistance, but people were overall less talkative. Did they think I was a busy executive for a company that requires hard hats on site and wearing it is how I chose to transport it? Is that why people seemed almost intimidated by me, but also called me ma’am and offered to take my bag? Versus wearing sweats, I perhaps seemed more approachable and laid back, and not needing help with my bags? Would any of these people have talked to me if I wasn’t wearing my hard hat?
Possibly most interesting, was how the jacket seemed to make people think I was much older than I am. I suppose it is unconventional for a 19-year-old to wear a suit in the airport, but I wouldn’t have thought it would have caused at least 3 people to think I was 5+ years older with a college degree and working at a real job. Interesting to note, for sure.
This scenario is just one of my observations and experiments I have done. I have a plethora of ideas, but if you have a theory, idea, or experiment you want to see tested, TELL ME! I’d love to hear it or do it.
It’s curiosity that fills the hat!