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Tattoos In The Workplace

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posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 04:04 PM
I have worked Fortune 500 previously but never with a public clientele; I do not think Tats are offensive at all unless they are so distracting to the actual person; this means the face, the hands, and the neck. When you find yourself talking to the Tats then you are never going to hear what the actual person is conveying to you. Equally piercings as well.

Personally, I am distracted by a big ole hairy mole on someone than a Tat. I almost want to reach into my desk drawer and trim that button bush if they cannot, but I don't want to even touch such a thing; god forbid if that hairy thing should touch me. Not to derail the OP, but come-on Moley People, if it looks like 'Quatro' from Arnold's movie "Total Recall" then get to a doctor!

As for a Tattoo of a Hairy Mole, I might just have to reevaluate my stance on Tats. LOL

I am a moley person so I am not being any more critical to anyone that I would not be to myself. I am fortunate in the body-hair aspect. I also have Tats, a wrist band, a bicep critter, and I tattooed my chest. If I wear a button down shirt with the first button undone the first chest Tat shows. It is a Tat but it is actually a mole, a big ole mole that has been looking everyone in the eye since I was born. I debated getting it cut out along with several others but instead decided that all the moles across my chest should be celebrated with their own tattoo. I took something incredibly ugly and I decorated it. I put a star around each one, not a geometric star but a representation of the glaring effect of stars; the radiant part we see in the sky. I love them, they are me as they always have been. I have seven stars I call my seven sisters and they have been very beneficial in my appreciation for myself. As my confidence and appreciation has grown towards myself my confidence with others has improved tremendously; I think we should all like how we look and if we do not then it is time to find a way to bring about a change.

As for whether or not this effects people on a business sense, I am very fortunate in that I no longer earn money so anyone that does not work with me likely has some real issues! LOL

If you ask me, in today's world I would not be shocked by our political leaders in Tats, our religious Leaders, or our school teachers; it is the attire that is most important. I now have hair down my back so I highly doubt I would make it through the interview process ever again, but I still think that is silly as well. Arm sleeve Tats require long-sleeved shirts; no biggie really, a long-sleeve is more appropriate anyways in a higher business model, but for a clerk in a store to show full arm decor, I do not see a problem.

Could you imagine if your coworker showed up in a full piece polyester number like Don Knotts in "Three's Company" LOL, now that is a "Deal Breaker" in the making.

You should post some pics so we can see the Tats! My wrist Tat does show through with my long-sleeve shirts but it is old so no one notices as a Tat. It is possible it appears as an accessory instead, like a wristband or watch.

My Chest Tats can appear as bullet holes in a windshield and with a bit of coloring I am sure someone might call 9-11. LOL I best not dribble the ketchup at lunchtime.

Sorry I wasn't much help! Hope I did not offend any hairy molers out there, but please, for the sake of Mankind shave that bad-boy and go get yourself a Tat to cover it!

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 04:11 PM
reply to post by open_eyeballs

Oh you hit a sore spot with me with this thread. It's one thing to have a generational fad during your high school years, but one that is permanent like tattoos, ear rings, and some piercings is extremely naive. I can understand a generational style of clothing, long or short hair, selective generational phrases, but when you start altering your physical appearances in a permanent manner, you're bound to affect future careers, promotions or employment. What young people don't understand is the work place is a conservative environment. Most employers who are business owners are from generations where the only people who got tattoos were biker gangs, and people who were always in trouble with the law. Granted, some soldiers in the military would get tattoos reflecting their branch of the service, but that was always accepted.
It may not be politically correct, but the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" is alive and well in every society. When you have that first important interview, you only have one chance to make a good impression. If the person interviewing you personally doesn't like tattoos, guess what, you're going to be put down on the lower part of the list of candidates. I would never hire a sales person with any kind of piercings or tattoos. It's a reflection on the companies image and it could easily be a turn-off for a potential client. You're always in contact with people in the work place and some things just are not widely acceptable.
As you mentioned in your thread, depending on the tattoo, sometimes it can tell a quick story about the individual. Good or bad, a picture is worth a thousand words.
When you're looking for a job, you're marketing yourself to a potential employer. How you present yourself, what you wear and say is always making a mental impression on the interviewer.
If you were scheduled to get brain surgery and had to decide on which two doctors you would have do the surgery, which one would you choose?

...One wearing tattoos down his arm with a piercing in his nose, or

...The doctor not having no tattoos or piercings?

Granted credentials mean a lot, but unless the doctor with the tattoos has a city wide reputation as being a magnificent surgeon, chances are he wouldn't be the surgeon for your operation.

It's kind of like having a Scooby Doo water tattoo transfer when you were 7 years old. Would you still want that same tattoo at age 30?

I've been to weddings and formal occasion where I see these beautiful women in fancy dresses and they have tattoos all down their arms. From a distance some of these tattoos look like dirt. You have a formal dress with an informal imprint down your arm. IMO it just doesn't look classy or attractive.

For the people who tattoo their faces, they must have some kind of confidence issues. I can't imagine too many employers that would want them as an employee representing their business.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 04:45 PM

Originally posted by open_eyeballs
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!

Also consider this:
I've met a lot of business people who all look neatly dressed in the workspace or on business meetings. BUT remember that everyone has a private life, in which they most likely don't act, dress, talk, walk, like you think they would.
I had lots of problems and almost an identity crisis over this when I first started the store but now I just keep the two seperated. In my work time I look like the neat, clean, well dressed sales manager girl, in my free time I listen to heavy metal and go to concerts whenever I can and hang with a croud that most of my clients would run away from.
(not to mention ats, if some of my clients would know my ideas about certain topics they would never come to my store again, lol)
Just to say, you can keep the two seperated and you can keep the tattoos for free time admiring

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 04:58 PM
reply to post by Greensage

lol...hairy mole tattoos...nice...

i knew a dude that had horrific acne on his back. scarred his entire back..big pits and gnarly scars that layered his entire back..

he got a moon to cover it up...with all the scars and holes representing craters...

hell of an idea

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 05:08 PM

Also consider this:
I've met a lot of business people who all look neatly dressed in the workspace or on business meetings. BUT remember that everyone has a private life, in which they most likely don't act, dress, talk, walk, like you think they would.
I had lots of problems and almost an identity crisis over this when I first started the store but now I just keep the two seperated. In my work time I look like the neat, clean, well dressed sales manager girl, in my free time I listen to heavy metal and go to concerts whenever I can and hang with a croud that most of my clients would run away from.
(not to mention ats, if some of my clients would know my ideas about certain topics they would never come to my store again, lol)
Just to say, you can keep the two seperated and you can keep the tattoos for free time admiring

Ya, you bring up another great point.

When Im talking about business and money Im all about business and money. my personal ideas, opinions and preferences take a back seat. Its about getting the job done and profiting or obtaining the desired goal.

tattoos dont define me by any means. In the business world I am concerned about others opinions and objections to them therefore i will be keeping them concealed. I don't want them having a negative affect.

On my own time, I can careless what people think of me. In fact I have never had one person tell me anything negative about my tattoos. Maybe people have thought something but just didnt want to say anything? I dont know. But never once has anyone said anything in a derogitory manner.

If you judge someone simply because they have tattoos, then I probably want nothing to do with you. Someone like that will use any reason to be closed minded. Tattoos or not.

Thats not to say I love my tattoos and show them off. Quite contrary for probably half of them. I would love to change them and believe eventually I will. Something that more fits me and a reflection of who I am. But Im not necessarily ashamed of the ones I have. Just I would have preferred to have put more thought into them and have an overall theme I was pursuing.

If I had done that I would have less reservations about them being seen.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 05:16 PM
reply to post by WeRpeons

I pretty much agree with everything you said there. the fact is we still live in an age where tattoos are percieved to come from the degenerate. A good reason why I chose to go into that industry in the first place. It was party years, and my life decisions (not only the tattoos) reflect that. lots of trouble and lots of wasted time and ruined relationships and blown money and all that.

Although I think its safe to say today, its equalled out quite a bit more. i would say more than half of all tattoos are indeed trendy and play into the "hey look at me and how cool I am"...but in reality they are no more a "bad ass" than britney Spears is...

Big money lies in conservative hands. A good reason why they are wealthy (and prob for the most part deserving). And when you don't mesh with their idea of the image of wealth and "conservativeness" then you probably will not be accepted. Anoyther road block into becoming successful.

thats my take anyway.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 05:23 PM
I love tattoos and have a couple of them myself. I plan on having many more...the unfortunate reality though is that many people are still ignorant about tattoos or harbour prejudiced opinions about them. There will always be people out there who think this that and the other thing, applying generalisations and blanket opinions about people who have ink, especially ink which is visible.

I would think that in any 'professional' situation it would be a good idea to try to cover up as much as you can. I personally think its outrageous that we would even have to consider doing that, but it is the unfortunate reality that many people are going to look down on you, regardless of what your tattoos are of.

This is the US I am talking about, I'm not sure about places in europe though..and as with everything it depends on where you are and what ob you're at. I am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to look however I want, and quite contrary to a hinderance it actually helps me. Unfortunately most people cannot say that, and tattoos are very expensive to remove. If you've made a mistake, like getting tats on your hands or even your face, well I'm not sure what to tell you, other that you ARE going to be judged.

That's the sad truth.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 05:27 PM
reply to post by KnoxMSP

ya, see this is a good example of the kind of tattoo that is probably more acceptable. I dont know what it looks like, but I think you described a single tattoo on your arm...

in other words, its not like your entire arm is covered with it (or is it?) and if its done well it should get the respect it deserves as a nice piece of art that maybe reflects something about yourself...all cool. Most people can relate to something like that. Which is great, and I see nothing wrong with that. Who knows, mayb eit even helps in some ways? Like be more down to earth or something and therefore a bit more approachable which can help in sales.

But when you get into tattoos that may be percieved a little but different (like mine, again not that they are like evil or bad or discriminatory) I would (and do) have major reservations about broadcasting that image. Its like verbally saying "hey lets be friends and have a good time" but being in a stance ready to fight...

But Im happy to hear that your tattoos dont hinder you in any way
..and I think most of the time in most circumstances they wont. But certain situations call for a more conservative approach. I think thats what I am in...
edit on 31-12-2010 by open_eyeballs because: edit to clarity

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 05:35 PM
reply to post by Xavialune

true that. I do have tattoos that are visible and nothing I can do about it. and in most cases people are like,,,jeeeze..did that hurt? and thats about it. or ask me what they mean or something along those lines...

I have worked as server before and people inevitably notice them. It sucks because I cant help but to get embarrassed, but no one ever complained or said anything derogatory, but the pos manager if they found out probably would have fired me over it...

lame-O but I guess it is what it is

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 05:40 PM
reply to post by Xavialune

but its funny how the customer rarely cares and its the management that makes a stink about something of that nature.

I fully understand they dont want "negative" images to represent their company, but it needs to be on a case by case scenario.

if someone is constantly making a spectacle about themselves, i wouldnt want that in my office/ restaurant/ business either.

but if there are no complaints and you are doing your job to the best of your abilities and getting results I see no reason to punish someone over something that doesnt create an issue.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 05:51 PM
reply to post by DeadJester

hhmm... thats interesting...teaching with tattoos...seems sketchy (sarcasm) lol..I could see that posing as a hinderance, but happy to hear its not.

but then again, teaching is so about the material you are teaching and not the person that is teaching, so the impact of the person doing the said teaching would probably not be as important.

Where as if you are in sales, your appearance becomes almost as important as your message. In many ways it boils down to selling yourself and making a connection with the client as opposed to making some random transaction where you never see the people you are dealing with. You therefore have to make an impression and a good one at that. I want to give myself the best possible chance of making a good impression. No tattoos will have no impression. tattoos will have an impression. depending on who it is I am dealing with that could be good or bad.

See what Im saying?

i think the difference here is atmosphere and type of business. im sure there are plenty of hippy style teachers (long hair, shaggy pants,etc.), your just throwing another layer into the mix...a cool lone at least..haha

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 06:12 PM
To me it is not important what other people think, whether they be high paying clients or just somebody in the shops. If they are the type of people to judge you for that then they can go somewhere else or maybe your not in the right business. I have a few tattoo's ranging from small and innocuous to large and artistic with more to come. With a long sleeve shirt and pants they can be covered up but I never would for any reason, but then again I don't dress show I can show them off, infact I rarely ever do. Some people may think less of you for them but I think less of those who may be offended or ask you to cover up. It's nearly a kind of racism in itself.
I don't think it should matter what type of tatt's you have, really if a person is that embarrassed by them get them covered up professionally or removed. It may be more rewarding that way.

Anyway, you make a good point in the OP by saying "American Tattoo's", as there does seem to be a hang up on gang related/prison tattoo's, which may be getting closer to your point (I don't know). Quality shouldn't really come in to it though, poor quality doesn't necessarily equate to a prison tatt.
It is unfortunate that these kind of prejudices can still cause doubt in the minds of those with tattoo's.

To add, I do understand the predicament your in, i think, it's tricky. I probably just wouldn't of got myself in that situation for it to be an issue.
edit on 31-12-2010 by pazcat because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 06:15 PM
Tattoos, piercings, ear rings is like taking up smoking in high school. If you had a chance to do it all over again would you? Most would probably say no. I get these images of old people in their 80's with these wrinkled up and stretched out tattoos. The people that work at homes for the elderly will probably have days joking and laughing about some of the tattoos they see while tending to these old ladies and old men.

I think we need another thread on guys who sag their pants.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 06:30 PM
reply to post by pazcat

ya quality has nothing to do with prison work. the best tattoos I have ever seen have com efrom the penn.

but quality does have an impact. especially within the industry. u can tell when a scratcher has thoroughly messed you up.

people thik they can just do it, and most of the time it be willing to say every time. it doesnt need to be done in a shop, but when someone without experience does tattoos id say 99.9999 percent of the time they turn out like crap..

in turn, to me, that says all sorts of things about the person that is willing to let someone tattoo them without experience, and its not good.

u wouldnt imagine the things i have seen covered up by a professional...just hideous.

as most things go, you get what you pay for.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 06:33 PM
reply to post by WeRpeons

ive seen 70 year olds in fresh body sleeves

you can laugh all you want, but your mocking a tradition that is thousands of years old...

edit to add: i agree about the thread with saggy pants dudes...

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

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 06:48 PM
I think that it very much depends on a case by case basis.

I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of tattoos - I think, by and large, they are crass and lacking in class - however, some can be quite artistic and unobtrusive.

If you look at the common places that people have tattoos, such as the back, upper arms, ankles, stomach etc., then all of these places can be adequately covered up in a work environment.

If you have tattoos on your neck, then I'm not doing business with you ! Similarly, if you have obtrusive tattoos on your arms, and you make no attempt to cover them up in a professional capacity, then your potential working acquaintance with me will also be short-lived.

As for people who have the name of their beau or belle tattooed anywhere on their person: No. Just no !

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 06:51 PM

Originally posted by schuyler

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

You're talking about fat people? Yeah, I know what you mean.

Back on topic.

Brother, so you want to handle large sums of my money but you're worried about your ink?

Well, you know, I have ink too -- so perhaps I might be inclined to trust you more. (Yes, trust you more than "Mr. Clean Cut" in the expensive suit, because...those guys...always turn out to be the ethically questionable ones.)

You're sporting a good, solid sleeve -- I pretty well know where you stand.

edit on 31-12-2010 by univac500 because: Ooops. Spelling.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 08:48 PM

Originally posted by univac500

You're talking about fat people? Yeah, I know what you mean.

Yup. It's all about self restraint and discipline, unless it's "genetic," of course.

You're sporting a good, solid sleeve -- I pretty well know where you stand.

Yup. And it's not with my money. You can fix my motorcycle, maybe. If you wear your politics on your sleeve
then you're giving me way TMI. When you indulge in a fad, normally it can be changed. You can cut your hair, change your clothes, and pull your jeans above your crack, but tattoos and piercings are permanent (more or less). You are advertising your tribe. A decade or two later you might not want to advertise yourself so loudly.

What I don't want to hear is some sad, fat, waif decrying that she can't get a job becaise of all the dumbbells sticking out of her eyebrows, cheeks, nose, lips, etc. because "this is who I AM!" You weren't born with that hardware setting off alarms, were you? If you want to present yourself as a sickly EMO, hey! Go ahead! But don't expect everyone else to consider you enlightened. It's all a numbers game of who considers you enlightened; and basically, you lose.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:11 PM
Like the "cleavage thread", keep your tattoos under wraps, especially when dealing with clients/customers and lots of money. You want to maintain an image of professionalism. In my "culture", anyone who sports a tattoo is considered to be a "kalaboso" or someone from the "jail".

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:29 PM
reply to post by open_eyeballs

To be perfectly honest it would not affect my decision on whether to deal with you or not. It would probably make me like you more.
Seriously though I am biased.

I am 33.A female. A mother... and I have several. Like you, I started much younger. It took me a decade atleast after my first to make the jump and get one that could not be covered without gloves. In the "real" world I know this affects how tons of people first see me. And I am perfectly ok with that.

Yhe fact is, there will probably be one or two folks who will not like it. Just make sure you never give them a good reason to say "I knew it" and let your personality speak louder than your ink! You will do well.

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