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Tattoos In The Workplace

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posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:26 PM
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I have a vested interest in this thread and am very interested in the opinions here. I am going into a new industry where I will be working with potential clients on a day to day basis where a lot of money is at stake potentially with each new client. And of course I made poor decisions when I was younger about my tattoo selection and didn't take into consideration how they reflected on me as I would get older. Not that they are bad tattoos. Technically they are good. Decent to good quality at least. I wouldn't get them again by any means, but I would like to know how would you react if you noticed them and we were engaging in a client/ agent basis?

edit to add: None of my tattoos are offensive or have any discriminatory messages at all. I just simply do not like them and what they represent (my own personal issues), but most other people who have any interest in tattoos usually say they look good. Just to help give an idea about what they are. Someone who didnt know what they are looking at might look at my left arms sleeve and think oh that might have been done in prison (because it is black and gray). It wasn't but thats the style.

Would you take that into consideration if we were dealing with a lot of money in business? Lets say I was just as professional as the next guy and even had a good reputation, but you saw my tattoos one day randomly or something. Would it concern you? Create hesitations? Cast a doubt on my abilities to perform as expected?

As someone who has been in the tattooing industry (as an owner, not an artists). I have seen pretty much everything in terms of quality, bad ideas, pure stupidity, racism, gang symbols, coverups and so on. And even body sleeves and large pieces that are worth more than the best contemporary art for sale today (thats subjective, but many would agree).

Heres what I think.

1. Tattoos in America and what they mean today are stupid. A vast majority of them. (I have many stupid tattoos myself)
2. You can absolutely get an idea of the kind of person they are by there tattoos (not a complete picture, but an idea)

What does that mean in the workplace? Well, I think it depends on what is viewable and its quality. With the sheer amount of bad tattoos out there I would say a good majority of them should be covered. But if you had the reasoning, patience, money and put enough thought into a good sleeve or large piece somewhere that is possibly exposed then it should absolutely be allowed.

But if your dumb enough to put your last name on your forearm with wannabe gangster writing or you want your cool flash tribal arm piece to come halfway down your forearm past your elbow that was done in your buddies garage, then cover that crap up...

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Have a nice day...
Happy New Year!


edit on 31-12-2010 by open_eyeballs because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:37 PM
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I am the Regional Sales Manager for a tobacco manufacturer, and I have a dragon on my forearm (8"-12", somewhere around there, covers basically my whole forearm). No one has ever said anything about it. I get more questions about the large scar above it (motorcycle accident, guardrail, 70+mph, ripped my leather gloves right off). Rightly so though, it looks like my wrist is made of ground beef, lol.
edit on 31-12-2010 by KnoxMSP because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:40 PM
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reply to post by KnoxMSP
 


Interesting. What kind of clients do you interact with? Like large scale purchasing? B2B? More interested in the kinds of people you deal with.

Thanks for your reply!



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:44 PM
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I am inked up....so obviously I have no issues with tattoos. I do not believe you can judge a person based on their tattoos. If I am a client/customer of someone with tattoos....I would never judge them but more than likely talk to them about their ink.

With that said.....Not everyone feels the same as I do. Fact is, people judge outward appearance way before they judge one's inner self (personality, morals, etc)

And when working in a professional environment dealing with clients, not only is your work ethic and personality important, but how you physically present yourself is too. (see the "cleavage" thread for further info on this)

I actually have a list of more ink I will be getting....but at the same time I have to remember that I cannot limit my employment opportunities for the sake of "being myself". So, I have to be careful what I get and where it is placed. I think anyone with ink needs to ask their employer and/or future employer whether or not it would be proper for that business to expose or cover the ink (if possible).



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:48 PM
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There are some people in the world that, unfortunately will judge a person, based on if they have even one. It's silly, but so are people. The only ones judging, of course, are only going to be the people that don't have any tattoos.

My husband is a truck driver, and has a few. It's almost expected in that industry. Silly thing though, he was working in a tire shop for a while, changing tires, and his boss made him wear his sleeves down to keep them covered. In a tire shop!!!

On the other hand, I worked in a factory for a while, and we were friends with one of the bigwigs there, very respectable looking guy, no one at work ever saw him without shirt sleeves down. He had some nice tatts.

Best thing if working, is to cover them, if possible, because you never know when someone is going to think you're a "bad" person. But, if you see someone coming who has some nice artwork, roll up your sleeves, it's good conversation. Silly, but we need to make sacrifices sometimes for work.
Unless you're the boss.



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:48 PM
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I work with many, some have tat's some down. I think if they are done right and look good and have meaning it shouldnt be something to think twice about.
I have to agree , many get tat's that are just stupid. No meaning just cause they were 'cool' at the time.

I've personaly got 2, both i would not trade for anything , they have meaning. One is of a cowboy hat, which is a replica of the one a friend use to wear all the time, he died of cancer 2 years ago. The other is my lil man's hand when he was a year old.
I want more, but each of them have meaning and are something that i will be glad i have them when i'm 90 as i am now.



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:50 PM
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We actually have this issue going around at my workplace currently. I think its stupid to be honest, and I have no tattoo or piercings and don't plan on getting any. If somebody wants to get something stupid on them, well, that's them. Who are we to judge what someone else does with their body? Especially if it doesn't affect their performance in the workplace. Then it just becomes an issue of "well I just don't like them" or "I think they are bad for the workplace(wtf?)".

Yesterday a boy got fired because he wouldn't take out his ear piercing. He said that if the females could, then he could. They argued back and forth and finally the manager fired him. It made me so angry because he was a great worker. They let all these kids get away with calling out and coming in late but they will fire a perfect worker because he had a stud in his ear. So stupid. Who makes up these rules?



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:54 PM
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Personally, it wouldn't bother me a bit unless it was an offensive tatoo. If it is a tribal, design, nature, etc type tatoo, I would not think twice about doing business with the person, regardless of whether it is large like a sleeve or small. There are some very nice tatoos and I've gone out of my way to compliment a stranger on their tatoo if it is really nice. There are also some really stupid ones out there, and those probably do affect my impression to some extent in a "what were you thinking?" kind of way. I may not be the norm though. I told the kids to be smart about it and if they ever get a tatoo to make it one they can hide for work, at least if they plan to work a white collar job. There are still a lot of people out there who don't believe body art belongs in the workplace. If a tatoo is offensive, then I do form a negative opinion of the person because they are obviously making a negative statement.



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:56 PM
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I think which generation you have grown up with/in makes a big difference to how they perceive tattoos and the mindsets of those that have them.
In my day, those that had tattoos were either punks and the like or ex prisoners. It was about making a statement. The majority of people would steer clear of those that had them because they were seen as the trouble making type.
Today however, they are nothing more than fashion. If everyone else has them then they are seen as quite normal and acceptable. If you are over 35 years of age people may question what type of individual your are/were, and may go against you. Under that and you are trendy



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:59 PM
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I am inked up....so obviously I have no issues with tattoos. I do not believe you can judge a person based on their tattoos.


I agree you cant and shouldnt judge them. Id be a hypocrite if I did, thats for sure! HA! But you can get an idea of what kind of person they are in terms of social life. I try not to judge people in any superficial way. That wasn't what I was referring to.



If I am a client/customer of someone with tattoos....I would never judge them but more than likely talk to them about their ink.


Thats good to know! Depending on what it was, I would hesitate to use someones services with crappy tattoos all over there arms, neck, face. I wouldnt necessarily rule them out, but I would spend a little extra time investigating who it is I am dealing with.



And when working in a professional environment dealing with clients, not only is your work ethic and personality important, but how you physically present yourself is too. (see the "cleavage" thread for further info on this)


Couldnt agree more.



I actually have a list of more ink I will be getting....but at the same time I have to remember that I cannot limit my employment opportunities for the sake of "being myself". So, I have to be careful what I get and where it is placed. I think anyone with ink needs to ask their employer and/or future employer whether or not it would be proper for that business to expose or cover the ink (if possible).


Right and thats the thing. The conotations that the tattoos give off may be misleading. I feel that way a lot about some of my tattoos. especially if I am around a more conservative or older crowd. There might not be the understanding there is within your normal social class circle.



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:59 PM
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I have an electronics store, together with my husband.
We have a no-show tattoo policy in the workspace that goes for everyone, including me and I have a tattoo.
Clients do judge based on appearance.

I rather wear the cloths I feel comfy in for work, show my tattoo, have an eyebrow piercing,... but, believe it or not, it will reflect on sales.
We tested that a few years ago and the results where that if you are dressed nicely (as a model citizen so to speak) you sell more and sell easier.
I sell more if my hair is nicely tight together then when I wear it loose.... strange but true
My husband will sell less if he wears a t shirt and worn out jeans.

People do judge your appearance and uncounsciously it interacts with their shopping behaviour.



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 02:59 PM
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Oh, yes you CAN judge people who have tattoos! You may not like it. You may not think it is "fair," but it certainly can be done. A person covered with tattoos in a business environment would be a big red flag to me. (BTW I have a single, usually hidden, tattoo myself.) What a gaudy tattoo in a perpetually visible place says to me is that this person, for whatever reason, finds it necessary to make a big statement about themselves. If it's "messy" and looking like a prison tattoo, that would put me further off.

Now, it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks about my attitude. I am the customer. It's my money. As a businessperson you have to enlist my trust in order for me to part with my money. I get to choose whether to be your customer. There is no law preventing me from discriminating against tattooed people. It's not a 'protected class.' 1,000 ATS posters can tell me I'm "wrong," but that's not the point.

So in answer to your question, yes, it makes a difference--maybe not to everyone, but to some people, definitely. For the record, piercings are worse. And that may be the margin for error between success and failure. You have to judge whether that has any meaning for you.

You may be able to have the worse (prison looking) ones removed.

Totally anyone's choice, of course. Mutilate your body as much as you want to, but do so visibly and there are consequences.



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 03:03 PM
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I agree with GEL in this. It wouldn't cause me to have a second thought. I might engage the person in conversation about their tattoos. I love tattoos but have never had one.

But many people are bothered by it. The good thing is that the more people show their ink
the more mainstream it will be and the less people will be judged for it.



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 03:07 PM
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I think tattoos these days are like a fad, everyone has them, and to me, too many are really trashy and ugly, like Fantasia, she looks like trash to me. I think quality tattoos are fine, but I think too many people seem to get them, not for themselves but to make a certain image to others, like they are a thug or a gangmember, like Lil' Wayne, does anyone really think that looks good? I don't know, but ex-con tattoos look bad to me too. I have two tattoos, but I made it a point to get them for myself, and not to impress others or make myself a freak, so I got them on my shoulders, and no one even knows unless I show them off.



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Exactly. I agree. It doesnt matter what everyone else thinks. It matters how you are percieved with the person you are dealing with.

And in a business environment it simply better to have anything that stands out to be concealed. In my opinion, even if they have tattoos (maybe unless they are actually in the industry itself).

thanks for your input.


I need to stock up on long sleeve shirts...



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


Right, image is big when it comes to business.

Good stuff. Thanks for the input.


Happy to get these opinions.

My boss does not know I have as many tattoos as I do, and I think I will keep it that way as long as I can. But I have no idea the policy of the office yet. Even if it is "tattoo friendly" I think I will keep em to myself which I like to do anyway unless we are at the beach!
lol



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 03:47 PM
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For blue collar jobs tattoos are o.k..
For white collar jobs or jobs in medicine.. Keep them covered doesnt show professionalism or instill confidence when people in these areas have tattoos..



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 03:49 PM
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Well, as a man who works in the educational system AND as a man with quite a goodly amount of tattoos I must first say that any assumption that a person can be judged due to their appearance or tattoos is rather silly and a smidge insulting.

*climbs on soap box*

Let me relate a somewhat brief anecdote for the dubious enjoyment of everyone else. Back in the second year of my program, first day of a new semester I catch up with one of my prof's in the parking lot outside in order to receive the reading list early and get a quick start. I feel it is necessary at this point to specify that I went to university on a full academic scholarship by the way, so in my own admittedly less than humble opinion, I'm rather smart. I call out to said prof saying "Sir!". Turning to look at me, he sneers and says "No I don't have any change". This left me somewhat taken aback, irritated even. The next day I walked to his desk before lecture and asked if he remembered me now. Said prof had the good graces to at least look ashamed.

So, in a slightly rambling manner, the point I was trying to make was... He looked at me, saw the long hair, tattoos, beat up jeans, and biker jacket and saw a bum. In reality, I was in his class, and university in general, due to what my previous teacher had considered a somewhat impressive intellect. Now, several years later I'm in line for tenure. The students I teach, and my colleagues on the staff think nothing of the hair, nor the ink.

*soap box is now vacant much to the gratitude of the masses*

On another note, if you are unhappy with any ink you have, get it removed. Another thing to bear in mind is that if you planning on mixing ink and a somewhat more conservative work place, is that you should avoid getting anything that can't be hidden by a long sleeved shirt. That way, at least at the interview, any potential employer need not know of any such thing that is honestly none of their damned business anyhow.

And that was my rather meandering two cents on the matter...



posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 03:53 PM
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I tend to believe that for most people the ink on money is going to matter much more than the ink on your skin.




posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by open_eyeballs
reply to post by KnoxMSP
 


Interesting. What kind of clients do you interact with? Like large scale purchasing? B2B? More interested in the kinds of people you deal with.

Thanks for your reply!


I work with mostly tobacco wholesale companies, and retail store owners. Besides being the Sales Manager I also do a lot of work on the street, at stores, picking up new business, putting up P.O.S., doing promotions, visiting with current customers, wine'ing (?) and dining, etc.

Most of the people I deal with are around their 30's to 50's, and they all seem to be fine with me. I am one of the most respected guys in the business because of my honesty, and loyalty (at least that's what I'm told by my customers), and I really think they judge me based on that more than anything. Keep in mind though, this is East Tennessee and not a "big city" per say.
edit on 31-12-2010 by KnoxMSP because: (no reason given)



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