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slayer9019

Tattoos and the workplace

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I am new to tattoos, in management and sales of a professional company. My tattoos are on my legs and upper arms. I wear long sleeve shirts for work. Debating whether or not to tattoo my forearms since I frequently roll up my sleeves in the summer because it is hot.

Workplace concerns are different for everyone. Being in sales, I meet all kinds. I have to be aware that many people still have a negative view on tattoos.

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I work at the corporate office of the company I am employed by. Both of my arms are covered--minus my shoulders--and I've recently started on my legs. For the most part it's a pretty laid-back environment, given that you do what you're getting paid to do and follow the employee handbook...with that said, aside from casual Fridays, I wear long-sleeve button downs and dress pants everyday. I will on occasion role my sleeves up a bit during the end of the day, but for the most part I keep my tattoos covered...not because I have to, I just like to look professional. Some people I work with are stuck in time warp and have a negative view on tattoos...others are pretty liberal and don't give a shit, I just prefer to keep a low profile whenever possible.

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I work as an engineer, basically with just other engineers in an cubicle type office setting. Not many other engineers are visibly tattooed or tattooed at all. I find that to be weird because I've always thought tattoos were just so normal and a lot of my friends growing up got tatoos. Everyone I work with is really cool and like or don't care I have tattoos. I just finished my back and I would hide in cubicles to show it off, even my 57 year old woman coworker and 55 year old boss got to see it. Still have a job. For visible tattoos, I have a forearm tattoo and plan to start my full sleeve started this Saturday. I plan to wear long sleeves at work but I'm not to worried about not wearing long sleeves at work. When I was young, and still now, I was very curious about tattoos. I'm kind of that way with everything, the past 2 months I went without hot water because I just wanted to see what it was like. Haha, I learned a few things. Anyway, I think I always new I was going to be heavily tattooed some day and now I'm finally in a position where I feel completely comfortable doing that.

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There has been a lot of discussion about tattoos and the workplace and I know most agree to cover up when in a professional setting, but how do you walk the fine line between work and everything else? Do you ever feel like you're being untrue to your commitment to being "a tattooed person" by hiding them sometimes? I don't know why but I keep coming back to these conversations and this conundrum... Just seeking a small discussion on the matter.

Maybe I'm weird, but I wish more people kept their tattoos covered. Tattoos are better when there's a bit of secrecy to them.

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Then don't get tattooed."

.

Um, because you can have the best of both worlds, and all you need is the right shirt. Hiding tattoo's are not the only way people accommodate those around them. We all adjust the way we even speak depending on the situation. Why is this so hard for people to understand when it comes to tattoo's. I know that some of my patients would feel uncomfortable if I had visible tattoos. And yes I care about their comfort level with me. It is part of my job to care. My work is a large part of my life. Will I decide then that, "Oh well, I just won't be able to have tattoos" Why should I have to choose between the two, when I can very easily just cover them?

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Um, because you can have the best of both worlds, and all you need is the right shirt. Hiding tattoo's are not the only way people accommodate those around them. We all adjust the way we even speak depending on the situation. Why is this so hard for people to understand when it comes to tattoo's. I know that some of my patients would feel uncomfortable if I had visible tattoos. And yes I care about their comfort level with me. It is part of my job to care. My work is a large part of my life. Will I decide then that, "Oh well, I just won't be able to have tattoos" Why should I have to choose between the two, when I can very easily just cover them?

I totally agree.

I have a good job/career. It does not define me as a person, but I make a comfortable living. Tattoos are a luxury. If I didn't have a good paying job, I would not be able afford tattoos.

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I think the more professional people who have tattoos, the better... um.."face"(?) it puts on tattoos in general. I've had people seem completely dumbstruck that I have tattoos. I "don't seem the type", they've said. I feel like if there are professional people with tattoos, and the work is covered, and they have dealings with people who don't like/understand/appreciate etc, tattoos, finding out later on that that person has tattoos could then be a light bulb moment that tattooed people aren't crazy/bikers/weird/deadbeats/trashy/scary/whatever else others think. I've had people when they do finally see mine, have that initial "oh, you have tattoos?" reaction, the uncertainty on their faces, and usually it ends up in some sort of conversation.

Most of my coworkers think I'm crazy for purposely enduring pain, and that's fine, so long as my work and ability w/the kids isn't called into question. The other teachers will wear sleeveless shirts during the super hot/humid days, and I'm not sure I will, just b/c I don't want them to be a distraction to the kids, or the parents. (tho one of the boys used them to count last year) I have short almost cap sleeved shirts that they poke out of. The kids don't pay the slightest bit of attention, they like to touch and ask about them. The kids accepted them immediately, it's just part of Miss Missi, just like my Dr. Seuss shirts. Most of the parents don't pay attention...the ones that did kind of give an eyebrow raise see how much I adore their kids and it becomes a non-issue.

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@BrianH you're 27???? I did not realize!

@iowagirl - I do like challenging people's expectation of "who" tattooed people are. Although I am still very conservative about this myself, and non of my colleagues nor my students know that I am tattooed (at least not to my knowledge). I remember making small talk with a colleague last year about one of her grad students, and she went on a whole schpiel about how bright this young woman was, but you wouldn't believe it to look at her - she was all tattooed and weird-looking! Who knew that someone like that could complete a worthwhile dissertation? I had to try really hard to keep a straight face.

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Question for people who actually have tattoos: Is long sleeve shirts the only option for coverage? Has anyone tried makeup, like this?

It must be annoying to put makeup all over your arms every time you go to work, but I'm just wondering if this stuff actually works.

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Um, because you can have the best of both worlds, and all you need is the right shirt. Hiding tattoo's are not the only way people accommodate those around them. We all adjust the way we even speak depending on the situation. Why is this so hard for people to understand when it comes to tattoo's. I know that some of my patients would feel uncomfortable if I had visible tattoos. And yes I care about their comfort level with me. It is part of my job to care. My work is a large part of my life. Will I decide then that, "Oh well, I just won't be able to have tattoos" Why should I have to choose between the two, when I can very easily just cover them?

As a fellow nurse, I have to agree with @KegRN, I also have a concern for my patient's comfort. Most of the patients I see are in their 50's to 80's and if I came walking in with 2 full sleeves, they aren't going to feel comfortable around me, which means I can't do my job effectively. I would rather sweat my ass off wearing long sleeves at work (which I never ever do by the way) than offend my patients. I feel if I told my patients to deal with it and came of as a dick, I'd probably be further feeding into their presumptions about tattooed people. I don't see any problem covering my tattoos out of respect for others as an impedance on my rights. It's called being considerate. And I also agree with @Graeme as far as keeping my tattoos a secret. The tattoos I get are for me, no one else.

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Question for people who actually have tattoos: Is long sleeve shirts the only option for coverage? Has anyone tried makeup, like this? [videoyoutube;9mIBKifOOQQ]
It must be annoying to put makeup all over your arms every time you go to work, but I'm just wondering if this stuff actually works.

Maybe it's just me, but I think that product is more geared towards the small hand tattoo that was put on while someone was a teen, rather than the fully covered individual. Or maybe towards movie and television productions. I think that foresight into your chosen career should be first priority. It looks as if the product is effective, though, should someone be interested in trying it.

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Video

Ugh, he is so ridiculously good-looking.

And that video was amazing. But speaking as someone who puts make-up on on a daily basis just on the face, I don't think it's really viable to plan to do that over a large area. It's not easy to get coverage that full, even with a heavy product, and keeping it 'set,' especially in humid weather, would be pretty much a nightmare. It's a neat option for smaller things, but even then...anywhere that clothing makes contact you'd get a lot of transfer.

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I agree with Sophistre.

I looked into covering my tattoo with make up as I am into costuming and sometimes will wear costumes that reveal my tattoos if they're not covered in make up.

So far, I've only tried it once, but I gotta say the result was good, but at the end of the day the make up was all blurry and sticky due to excessive sweating and movement.

Nevertheless, I saw the video before and it was a really cool thing to see him transform like that.

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Long sleeve shirts are pretty great for covering tattoos at work. I imagine that makeup would get all over the place and be nothing but a pita.

I bought some solid black sleeves to wear under 3/4 or shorter sleeved shirts but they turned out to be lame (pic below). The smallest size was too loose on my arms, so they would fall down from the top. They looked weird, too. They might do the trick for some, though.

Regular shirts are fine. In the hotter months, light weight ls shirts are perfect, they protect your tattoos from the sun and cover them at work. Once I'm in my classroom, I sometimes pull up my sleeves if it's hot, but my boss has never seen my tattoos.

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I work as an engineer, basically with just other engineers in an cubicle type office setting. Not many other engineers are visibly tattooed or tattooed at all. I find that to be weird because I've always thought tattoos were just so normal and a lot of my friends growing up got tatoos. Everyone I work with is really cool and like or don't care I have tattoos. I just finished my back and I would hide in cubicles to show it off, even my 57 year old woman coworker and 55 year old boss got to see it. Still have a job. For visible tattoos, I have a forearm tattoo and plan to start my full sleeve started this Saturday. I plan to wear long sleeves at work but I'm not to worried about not wearing long sleeves at work. When I was young, and still now, I was very curious about tattoos. I'm kind of that way with everything, the past 2 months I went without hot water because I just wanted to see what it was like. Haha, I learned a few things. Anyway, I think I always new I was going to be heavily tattooed some day and now I'm finally in a position where I feel completely comfortable doing that.

I'm an engineer too and I cover up at work. Some people know about them from the gym or beach and its less of a big deal than I'd ever imagined. Someone saw my left arm sleeve peeking out when I was at work on a Saturday, turned out to be a totally positive thing.

Rob

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I got tattoos on my hands before I gave any thought to them keeping me from getting certain jobs. For a long time, I was more worried about my record keeping me from getting a job than tattoos. Recently I've begun to think that my tattoos may have something to do with not getting some of the jobs I have applied for. But since I'm already screwed with tattoos on my hands, screw it, might as well get more. As far as actually being on the job, no one has ever said a bad word to me about having any tattoos, though I did notice one woman having a negative attitude towards someone else because they were tattooed. But, she was balding so I didn't really care.

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I really don't understand how my post in this thread was disrespectful to anyone here or anyone with tattoos, so I don't really get where you're coming from. I'll avoid speaking to you in the future if you're going to be disrespectful to me. Good day, sir.

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I had requested last Friday off for a tattoo appointment, didn't really specify what type of appointment in my request. I was given the day off, and the next day my boss is telling me how busy we were, how I had to change the schedule around "JUST TO GET A TATTOO!" I'm not sure how he heard, but it lead to a pretty funny conversation about the terrible tattoo reality shows. I'm not the only person in the company with tattoos but I was apprehensive before about letting people know I had them, now I'm much less worried.

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