Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Everyone wants to work for an airline.

Until, in some cases, they work for an airline.

Beyond the glamorous facade lies a troubling blend of tawdriness, sorrow and nights in less than salubrious hotels.

Still, you'd think you'd last more than a couple of weeks once you got the job, wouldn't you?

This wasn't the lot of Sid Ouared.

He says he was fired from his job as a check-in agent after just a fortnight because his employer, British Airways, didn't like his hair.

No, he didn't leave it flopping about his shoulders like Christophe Lambert in Greystoke.

Ouared is a thoroughly modern 26-year-old who sports a man-bun.

You might have imagined that British Airways would have noticed Ouared's top-knot during the interview process.

He surely didn't grow that much hair in his two weeks with British Airways. From what I've heard more of the airline's employees tear their hair out, rather than grow some more.

In any case, wouldn't you want your check-in agent to look just a little like Harry Styles or Leonardo DiCaprio?

It's so much easier to tell passengers their luggage is four ounces overweight and that'll be another $100, thank you.

Yet Ouarem told the Daily Mail that a BA manager had said: "Your hair is like a girl's hair."

Some might deem this sexist piggery. Ouared does.

"Thousands of women who work for BA and who worked alongside me had their hair exactly like mine. Yet I'm discriminated against for it," he said.

Worse, he claimed he was told: "Cut it, put it in a turban like a Sikh, or turn it into dreadlocks like a Rastafarian."

To which, as many a Brit has said in their time, one answer might be: "Get (top-)knotted."

Naturally, I contacted British Airways to ask why it had taken such apparently hare-brained action. The airline told me it doesn't "comment on employment matters relating to individuals."

Of course I understand that airlines have uniform policies. But to suggest a man can't have a top-knot when a woman can seems a touch numbskullish.

It's not a good look. Especially for an airline that's had its fair -- and perhaps even unfair -- share of image problems over the last year or two.

Published on: Aug 7, 2018