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Tattoo's in the Workplace

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Old 03-26-2010, 10:13 PM   #1
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Arrow Tattoo's in the Workplace

Hello ladies and gents, I was just wondering what your opinions/thoughts are on tattoo's in the workplace? Do you think it affects hiring, are they unprofessional? Do you have any? Like em, hate em? Let me know!
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:19 PM   #2
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It depends on the type of work you are doing!! I think they are definitely unprofessional for an office setting of any kind. I mean you wouldn't want to go into a place and see a receptionist with a spiderweb tattoo like Abby has on NCIS! If you are in a place where you deal with clients and the public in general, I'd have to say nope! But if you are out landscaping or building houses or working in a factory, It doesn't really matter. Does that make sense at all?
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:28 PM   #3
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It depends on the job. But in most cases, I feel it is better to err on the side of conservative dress and keep the tatts covered.

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Old 03-26-2010, 11:03 PM   #4
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I think it definitely can affect both getting hired, and how you're viewed and treated. There are a lot of jobs a person might lose because of visible tattoos. My husband's best friend recently won a $50 gift certificate from a tattoo shop and he was just discussing it at work, and his boss overheard. He works in a shoe store (with a very casual atmosphere and dress code, so I wouldn't expect a tattoo to be shocking or out of place), bt the boss pulled hubby's friend aside and reminded him of the no-visible-tattoo policy in the employee manual.

Hubby's friend did get a bicep tatoo high enough on the arm to be covered by even a short sleeve shirt. When he went in to work afterward, about half an inch of the bandage covering the tattoo could be seen, and his boss reminded him again that he'd be fired if any part of the tatoo could be seen. He wasn't really satisfied until the bandage was removed and he had proof that the tatoo couldn't be seen.

I like tattoos, but don't have any (I don't want to get any until I've been at a stable weight for a while, I don't want losing weight to distort the image), but they can make an impression that isn't always positive. Hubby and I have friends in professional jobs with tattoos, but most keep them covered at work, or have had problems at work because of the tattoos, even being told that they were turned down for a promotion because of the tat (because the promotion would require more interaction with international clients).

I think women have it easier, because even a face tatoo can be covered fairly easily with a thick makeup like Dermablend (awesome stuff, I used it to cover patches of very dark red rosacea, but it's very thick and can aggravate oily skin).

It's very obviously makeup though (on the face), so it looks strange on a man's face (though one of my husband's male friend uses it to cover a lower arm tattoo for job interviews).
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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I don't have any...yet so I'm not adverse to them. But definitely it is just a fact of life that they do matter in a professional workplace, or the service industry. It might not be fair - hey, aren't pierced ears a form of body mutilation? - but it is the way it is.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:36 PM   #6
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I work in a medical facility, and the rule here is no visible tattoos (men or women) and no piercings other than ears. We have a large retired population, and some older people associate tattoos with ****'s Angels or other scary (real or imagined) people. So....no visible tattoos.

My son used to work at Costco, and they had a similar rule even for the guys who throw freight or gather the carts in the parking lot. So guys with tattoos there are required to cover them with long pants or with an elastic sleeve that's worn over the tattoo.

I think they're find in the artistic community. My hair stylist has a lot of large colorful tattoos and a facial piercing. She's an awesome person, gentle and kind, but she wouldn't be able to work at my office because of the tattoos.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:48 PM   #7
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I have a tattoo on my hip, and on my foot. I can hide them if needed. I think that should be taken in consideration when getting a tattoo, unless you know you have a job, or always be able to get a job that doesn't care. I plan on being in the health care field, so I do not plan on ever getting a tattoo that can't be hidden easily.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:56 PM   #8
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I think it depends. I don't have any, but even if I did I would make sure they could be covered up. My job brings me in to contact with everyone from graphic designers to CEOs of large multinational corporations. I would be hesitant to have any visible tattoos for fear that I might offend a client. While not all my clients are conservative, many are and I don't want to risk loosing a client over a tattoo.

An ex bf, had several tattoos. You'd never know from looking at him. He appeared the most straight laced guy every. He always made sure they didn't show under his suits at the office. Then we'd go out after work and the long sleeve shirt and suit jacket would come off....... all I can say is WOWZA. But he knew that having the tattoos would adversely affect his career at a large oil company. So he kept them hidden.

On the other hand, I have a friend who's a graphic designer and she proudly displays her tattoos. I think it depends on the industry.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:08 AM   #9
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I think it depends on the job but also on what/where the tattoos are. I have 4, 3 of which are very easily covered. (foot, back, hip). The 4th is on my forearm. It is a breast cancer ribbon, and although i have worked at places that say they have a no visible tattoo policy, there has never been an issue about it. In fact my nose stud has caused more issues. lol... Now I work in the medical field in a dermatology clinic that specializes in skin cancer surgery and alot of our patients are older/retired. and I get compliments/questions about it all the time. Just my two cents.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:15 AM   #10
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I have tattoos but what I wear professionally conceals them. However, there are a few outfits where they may show but I don't mind. Tattoos are a part of who you are and in no way are negative. I dress according to the assignment in which I am contracted to do. I'm also my own boss so I have no one to answer to. It's 2010 and we all need to realize they are a part of our culture.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:19 AM   #11
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I love tattoos and think they can be beautiful, as long as they're meaningful. (I hate the tribal armbands, etc.) I have one and am planning a bigger one for my 100-pound-loss celebration.

I agree with shantroy about it being a matter of what industry you're in. I personally would not want a job I couldn't get with my tattoos. I wouldn't tattoo my face or anything, but I think some visible tattoos are fine. I never hide mine, and even before I had mine I never thought negatively about people with tattoos.

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Old 03-27-2010, 04:42 AM   #12
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Yay SunshineCA! I feel the same way!!

I have three tattoos - a forearm, an ankle, and a very large chestpiece! But, like you, all of my tattoos are very special to me - they all serve as visual reminders of times when I had to make a choice, whether the result was good or bad, and the lesson I learned from it.

For the most part, they can be covered by a blouse conservatively buttoned, but I am totally proud to show them off!

I'm the editor-in-chief of my university's newspaper and people treat me like a professional because I behave like one and work hard, even if I do have birds hanging out on my boobs!

So they can take me or leave me...

EDIT: Sorry for the extreme boob close-up, did I do this right? LOL!

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Old 03-27-2010, 05:54 AM   #13
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I have several visible tattoos and I've never had a job that required me to keep them covered. I never plan on having an office job, either. Even now, neither my boss nor my students have a problem with my tattoos -- in fact, I get a lot of compliments on them, even from the kids.
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:01 AM   #14
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I've also never had a job that required me to cover my ink, and only one that required me to remove my facial piercings for my shift. Unfortunately, though, we are judged by these things anyway. Everyone wants their employees to look professional, but professional is really in the eye of the beholder. I didn't fuss about it when I had to remove my piercings for my job, but I was really, really unhappy about it. I personally feel that a person's speech and actions and CLEAN appearance carry more weight with me when I decided if someone is a trustworthy professional or not, but that's not the world we live in. It's kinda of a touchy subject for me. But one the whole, I love tattoos!
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:50 AM   #15
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I have a tattoo on my hand--impossible to cover-up, except with a band-aid. I've never bothered trying to hide it, and it's never been an issue, including a job I had working in a professional capacity for a government (i.e., military) contractor. I work hard, am good at my job, dress professionally, and let people form their own opinions. Like many posters said, tattoos are part of our culture. How people behave (speak, interact, work) is more indicative of what type of employee/person they are than what they look like.
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