If you were a bearded British civil servant and members of the public complained that dealing with bearded public officials was "unpleasant", you'd just laugh and fondly stroke the impugned item.
But it's not so simple in Isesaki in Japan, where male officials have been told to shave off all facial hair, including beards, moustaches and designer stubble, to avoid offending the public.
They've been told that "public servants should look like public servants" and the measure will "improve decorum".
One wonders what other "unpleasant" features might be next for the chop. Earrings? Over-long hair? Orange ties? Sunglasses? The good citizens of Isesaki must be a sensitive bunch. Maybe they see the beards as germ-infested. Or they're convinced beard equals terrorist.
I hope it doesn't catch on here. I mean, I rather like a clean-shaven guy myself, but I wouldn't give a bearded official the evil eye. I'm sure he has his reasons for encouraging follicular lushness. It may hide that alarming scar or signal his anarchist sympathies.
And suppose the partner of the depilated official was quite fond of the beard or the moustache? Suppose they even found it erotic? Would a false beard do the job instead?
If I were one of the wayward functionaries, I would be tempted to come in next day immaculately clean-shaven, but with scarlet lipstick and magenta eye shadow. And hoop earrings the size of saucers.
Now what could be more pleasant?