Would this be irritating to you?

Yesterday, two of my coworkers kept patting me on the head as I sat at my table, busily working.

I finally asked for an explanation from one of them.

“It’s good luck!”

Before he said that, I thought the head-patting was just merely strange, if not just a little annoying. But when he said it was for good luck, I got irritated. I didn’t say anything and I’m sure my irritation didn’t show in my behavior, but I’m thinking I probably would have snapped if someone had touched my head again. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

If you had been me, how would you have felt?

I’d have been really really annoyed, just like you. They’re imposing their quaint beliefs onto others, which I find obnoxious.

Lighten up. Yeesh.

It would annoy me to the point that I would see if Brylcream is still manufactured.

Why is your head, specifically, good luck?

And, yeah, I would’ve been pissed – and doubt I would have bothered to hide my irritation.

I think my response would have been to demand to know why they had done it the first them, then say crossly, “Don’t do that. It’s distracting.”

Walking up to someone and touching them on their head at work, and not during an idle moment, but while they are trying to get work done? Rude as hell. Either they have no sense of propriety and didn’t realize how obnoxiously over-familiar they were being, or they were just trying to see how far they could push you.

I would have spoken up the first time, too. My personal space is my OWN, and I thank you to stay out of it.

“Good Lord, keep your hands off me!”

Or something like that.

Scarlett, glad she works at home, where the only distractions are dogs licking her toes

Next time someone does that, grab their hand and snap their fingers back and tell them, “Hey, where I’m from, that’s good luck!”

This is usually done to people with short hair or no hair, but maybe there’s another reason?

I’ve had it done to me by friends a couple of times, but if somebody at work did it repeatedly I’d get pissed off.

It would be beyond irritating to me. I would have swatted their hands away.

Do not touch me!

Punch them in the gut.
When they ask “What was that for?”
tell them “good luck!”

Monstro, are you black?

I’ve heard of this practice, where idiots think that rubbing a black person’s head is ‘good luck’. It’s racist and insulting and you shouldn’t tolerate it even as a ‘joke.’

I just googled “head rubbing good luck”, and I came up with this.

So I guess I have a right to be irritated. If it happens again, I’ll politely tell the offender to stop.

If they then do it again, I’ll break their hand.

Yes, I am.

I’ve heard of it before but I was hoping maybe it wasn’t a racial thing this time. Like, maybe rubbing people’s heads in general is considered “good luck”, and it just happens that I’m black.

The folks I work with are young and have not shown themselves to be racist before, so I’m leaning towards giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Good god, I’d need a new keyboard tray after the second or third time that happened…

Well, you learn something every day. Rub a black guy’s head for luck, eh? I’ll have to try that. :smiley:

Like you say, if they are young and not demonstrably racist, they might not know how the head-rubbing is taken by the black person being rubbed. When I was a teenager, I called a Chinese friend a “chink”, not knowing that it was an insult (I still cringe a little to think of it now).

I can see how the head-rubbing would not be taken well - it is dangerously close to a pat on the head, which I think we all agree is demeaning. Not to mention, keep your hands off other people’s heads.

Do they pat everyone on the head for good luck?

Rubbing a black person’s head is good luck?

I live in such a narrow world.

I have heard that rubbing a Buddha’s belly is good luck, but rubbing an adult, professional’s head is a new one on me.
Ever get the feeling that we have entered into a strange world where nothing makes sense anymore?

Me too.

If only black people get this treatment and its a racial thing, then I retract my earlier statement about lightening up. But if I, as a white dude in a corporate office environment, had my head rubbed by someone claiming it was good luck, I’d probably brush it off or assume they were being friendy and joking around. Life it too short to be personally offended or annoyed by a little bit of personal contact… a little lightening of the mood during a boring work day.

It’s just like if someone came up to my cube and interrupted me to invite me to lunch or tell me a joke or ask my opinion on something. I don’t think I’d ever get offended. I’d just be happy something was breaking up my day instead of relying on the SDMB.