Have you guys noticed The Karcher Group office looking particularly … manly this month?
We have. The TKG men folk have sprouted 'staches for the month of November, known to the participants as Movember, to raise awareness of men’s health issues (yep, just like Don Guisinger is doing).
Some TKG Movember participants started the month off with baby faces and plan to grow in a mustache by the end of the month. The rest have opted to keep their current beards and sculpt a sweet 'stache in time for the office judging and chili cook-off Dec. 1.
We stopped by the office at 5590 Lauby Road Suite 8 this week to catch a glimpse of all the facial hair and talk to Nate Closser, web marketing specialist and the lucky guy chosen as competition chairman.
“I’m the second-newest guy here, so whenever they have stuff they need done, they stick it on me. But, I like to think of myself as Oprah.”
“Because she likes people and takes care of things.”
Closser said the mustaches typically work as a conversation starter in which clients or others wonder what is going on on their faces, and then the Movemberparticipants get to explain the mustache. They even have a poster at the front desk warning those who walk in: “Pardon our nastiness.”
Closser said there are some perks that come with being the head of theMovember competition. He got to buy the gifts for the contest winner and loser, plus he’s able to decorate the office with posters — wherever he wants them.
“Which means putting them on toilet seats, the back of toilet stalls, with manly sayings and manly mustache pictures. So I’m hoping to inspire some manliness around here.”
He’ll do that partly to rub it in that those participating in Movember are more manly than those who aren’t. The office actually has a decent turnout of participants with more than half donning more facial hair than normal this month.
The TKG guys also have online Movember profiles to raise money for men’s health, but they said they’re mainly in it to compete against their colleagues.
Ben Young, an application developer, competed last year but didn’t do so well.
“I was runner-up for worst mustache,” he said, adding his chance of winning hasn’t really gone up this year.
Nic Lubbers, also an application developer, typically has a full-blown mustacheand beard (still does) and said his kids might be a little weirded out upon the big shave in which he loses the beard.
Sam Sweitzer, application developer, didn't shave his face until a couple weeks ago, when he decided he’d also take part.
“I was a little lazy in getting lazy,” he said.
Sweitzer said he enjoys Movember because of the competitiveness among co-workers.
“It’s fun,” he said. “Plus, you can’t pass up the opportunity to look a little homeless.”
Last year’s winner, David Zingery, a new media art director, chose not to participate this year.
“The competition is so light I would dominate,” Zingery said. “So I decided to give someone else a chance this year.”
OK, the real reason: He didn’t want to go to an important meeting with the 'stache. But, if he had participated, he would have colored his red facial hair to mimic a rainbow. Last year, he died it black and wore chaps to the judging, where the female employees pick the winner and loser and cook chili for the cook-off.
On a serious note, Closser said the Movember competition gives their clients and the community a chance to see who works behind the scenes at TKG as they post updates and photos through social media.
“So they’re able to see our faces, and see what we’re up to and see who we have here on staff,” he said.
“And see how well we can grow hair — which is important.”
You didn't expect that serious part to last for too long, did you?
Editor's note: TKG sells Movember shirts through their website here, just in case you're interested in a facial hair-inspired TKG keepsake.