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slayer9019

Tattoos and the workplace

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I'm still young and have only been a member of the 9-5 workforce for 7-8 years, but the one thing I've learned is work is not the time or place for any type of self expression. You get paid to perform your specific job, not to express/advertise all your hobbies and beliefs. I do not want to be "the guy in finance with the tattoos". I want to be "that guy in finance who knows his shit and can help solve this problem."

Also when muscular guys wear tight polo shirts in an office environment they look like are personal trainers, or depending on the color work at Target, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.

About work... what they don't know can't be held against you. I would have probably been out of a job if I had my ink exposed all the time. "let's see.. who can we do without... yeah, get rid of the tattoo guy, he's different..".

Rob

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I'm still young and have only been a member of the 9-5 workforce for 7-8 years, but the one thing I've learned is work is not the time or place for any type of self expression. You get paid to perform your specific job, not to express/advertise all your hobbies and beliefs. I do not want to be "the guy in finance with the tattoos". I want to be "that guy in finance who knows his shit and can help solve this problem."

Also when muscular guys wear tight polo shirts in an office environment they look like are personal trainers, or depending on the color work at Target, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.

The way I phrased it to a business associate recently. Don't "pick" on tattoos because they are so easy. It is like picking on smokers, we stand out and "are bad". Think about it like this. I group tattoos with religion, politics, pro-choice, etc. They are non-value adds to work, so just skip them. What can be gained at work by showing up with all your tattoos showing or similarly wearing your "Obama 2012" shirt, or similarly your choice of faith pendant prominently displayed. Nothing. Yes, you may find like minded individuals, but realistically it causes fractures in the workplace. I've seen the topics I've mentioned tear up relationships in the office and paint various persons with a "bad" image. People at work should keep their opinions to themselves and not bring in their views unless related to work.

Example:

I overheard a crazy conversation based in religious beliefs that mentioned that gay people aren't real people. Seriously this happened in corporate America right out in the open. I also happened to know a person, who I know is gay happened to be sitting very very much in earshot of this whole discussion. Let's just say it didn't end well for the parties involved.

Example 2:

I was in a social conversation at work with coworkers and some directors that somehow creeped into politics. I removed myself quickly from the conversation but let them continue until it broke down pretty bad. Even though it was on a hot topic for me (guns), I didn't see how that could help my job or career at all. Again from what I saw as an outcome the director had opposing views from the employees and they were on the "shit list" well into when I left the job.

Tattoos are great, they are awesome, but as Brian said, "I dont want to be known as the tattooed guy from Finance", just the same as I don't want to be known as the "Gun nut from Pro Services" or the "Atheist from Sales".

I don't go to work to "express myself", I go there to get a paycheck....and of course spend that paycheck on new tattoos!

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What would our work names be? I'd probably be ShinyHeadDude.

Depending on my audience at work I'm either,

"COMMISSAR POWER-BOTTOM!!! Of the 13th Legion; Rob Halford Division" or

"HP HOVERCRAFT : Chaos-Master of the Necronomicon!!!!"

Yeah, I love my co-workers. :cool:

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Here's an article from Linkedin about tattoos and the workplace. I like the comments and found them to be more interesting than the article.

But You Asked Me to Stare At Your Tattoos But You Asked Me to Stare At Your Tattoos | LinkedIn

I've gotten sucked into the comments. I'm surprised and actually gladdened to see this on LinkedIn. But I'd like to smack the middle aged white guys stating

People get tattoos and piercing to get attention. They also have low self-esteem and body issues.

I think this guy has never seen or known anyone with a decent tattoo, or just immediately formed his negative opinion and climbed up on his high horse.

Next time I look up someone I might do business with, I'm going to check back and see if they commented on this thread. That should tell a lot about a person.

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Something postitive from my side...

I work at the national air traffic control center in Switzerland, as an Aeronautical Information Management Controller. Sounds pretty uptight, right?

I had some doubts if tattooing my arms would be a no-no. However when I learned that they hired a girl with neck tattoos, I went for it. Here's the exchange from a superior several management layers above me:

Her: New tattoo?

Me: Yes

Her: Ooooooh show me!

Me *shows outlines of Oldschool Pirate Girl and Ship Halfsleeve*

Her: Wow thats beautiful! But you get it colored in, right?

Me: Sure I do

Her: Cool you have to show me immediately then

End of story.

Also, several coworkers who have expressed prejudice against tattooed people actually admire mine. Work relationship has not changed in the slightest, but instead even improved. A lot of coworkers now come to me for recommendations. Nice talks ensue.

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So far, for the first 4 weeks at my new school I have kept covered up with long pants and long sleeve shirts...even on these 90-100 degree days. I do have working A/C in my classroom so it only gets hot outside. Well, I got some cropped pants yesterday that show the bottom of the monmon cat tail and I'm going to wear them tomorrow. Yeah! Livin' on the edge!

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How'd it go, @TrixieFaux? Haha.

So this weekend I finally put something on one of my arms, and then promptly went out and bought a couple of very light blazers/cardigans to cover my upper arms in warm weather. Our workplace has very inconsistent AC, so warmer months will definitely be tricky. It's funny how over the weekend half of my work tops suddenly became a problem... It also makes me laugh to think how all of my students always seem so proud to show off their tattoos, but I spend so much energy covering mine up! Ah, to be young again... :)

Anyway, I have a couple of male colleagues who wear suits every day, year round, which is something that I have always found baffling about male dress (how do you DO this and not melt?) So I figure I should survive needing to wear shirts that go down to my elbows.

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interesting topic

my no go spot is my forearms

solely for occupational reasons

i wear short sleeves and now have work on both upper arms

would love to throw caution to the wind and get lower arm work

but fear it would come back to bite me working in education myself

but...never say never :)

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How'd it go, @TrixieFaux? Haha.

So this weekend I finally put something on one of my arms, and then promptly went out and bought a couple of very light blazers/cardigans to cover my upper arms in warm weather. Our workplace has very inconsistent AC, so warmer months will definitely be tricky. It's funny how over the weekend half of my work tops suddenly became a problem... It also makes me laugh to think how all of my students always seem so proud to show off their tattoos, but I spend so much energy covering mine up! Ah, to be young again... :)

Anyway, I have a couple of male colleagues who wear suits every day, year round, which is something that I have always found baffling about male dress (how do you DO this and not melt?) So I figure I should survive needing to wear shirts that go down to my elbows.

I don't know how they do that either with the suits.

It was rather anti-climactic for me... either nobody noticed or nobody said anything. I'm surprised the kiddos didn't say anything because they tend to notice everything, my students last year would get very excited any time a tattoo peeked out. I spend part of the day sitting in a chair right in front of them while they sit on the rug, eye level with where my tattoo was showing! Maybe they are just so used to tattoos it doesn't faze them.

The parent population at my new school is different. I'd say about half are tattooed, either lightly or heavily. But the other half are much more conservative looking and seem like they would be judgy.

I can't even wear 3/4 length sleeves any more, just long sleeves. It's worth it though!

Wait--so, have you posted your new arm tattoo and I missed it?

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Yeah ever since I got my Valkyrie, which takes up almost the entire upper half of my arm, I've had to change my wardrobe a bit for work. I don't have to search out all long sleeves but I now have to wear longer sleeves than before, and I didn't realize how many of my work shirts just had those shoulder cap sleeves. Oh well. It's worth it.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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@TrixieFaux - glad it went well! I feel like you should start a thread of cute things your students have said about your tattoos, because kids' reactions to tattoos is one of my very favourite things. :) And re: my own tatjam, check instagram!

Glad I am not the only one who is anal about strategic shirt sleeve lengths.

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I've been putting off getting any tattoos on my arms for this very reason - ALL of my warm-weather clothes are either sleeveless or short sleeved, and I really have no desire to be worrying about wearing something to cover it all up during the workday or replacing my work clothes. My boss knows I have tattoos at this point, but I don't even want to go there to have it be a possible workplace issue.

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I'm a recruiter and have been working on a sleeve that seems to be growing in length by each sitting. I am usually able to wear a short sleeve shirt dress shirt to work on days that I don't meet with either candidates or clients. On those days, I usually either wear a long sleeve dress shirt or suit (depends on the audience).

I think attitudes are changing because I see more and more hints of ink on people. Most do a good job of covering up when they come in for a meeting. I still see a lot of professionally dressed women with small neck (nape of the neck not front), ankles, wrist, etc. ink. I place engineers and they are usually more relaxed than other professionals. With that said, I don't think that a lot of visible ink is going to fly in an interview. For that matter, in my marketplace, piercings, for some reason, have more of a negative stigma than tattoos for a professional position.

Just my $.02

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The office manager at my school is an older Russian lady--super nice, motherly woman with a thick accent. I feel really comfortable with her so told her I wear long sleeves every day because I have tattoos. She didn't blink an eye and just said, "Why cover them? What is this the 1940s?" I love her. One of these days I'll tell my principal too and see if his reaction is anywhere close to that...

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You'll find you will be judged on your professionalism @TrixieFaux rather than your tattoos. I completely understand the testing of waters though.

I had a Nurse Unit Manager say to me the other day....the staff love it when you come on to the Wards Mick. Now they know you and have attended your training, they're no longer scared, they think it's cool when you bounce the Wards, talk and laugh with them and just be yourself.

On the flip but, I pick my kids up from the extra curricular activities from school rockin jeans and singlets, all the parents avoid me like I'm the plague. Until recently, a couple of them started striking conversations and shit. One mother asked me last week...so Mick, what is it you do for work. I said...oh, I work for the Qld Govt, look after mandatory compliance to assist in National accreditation reviews for 5 major Metro Hospitals. The look on their dials were like pure shock. I love that shit. Yeah, not just some no hoping, tattooed Harley riding thug you envisioned hey. I love educating the straights that we might have a brain too.

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@Mick Weder - two great stories! You sound like a pretty cool dude (and of course being a cider-lover gets you lots of extra points). I'm liking breaking people's assumptions, but in the opposite way. I have no visible tattoos. The few times I've shown my back or shown a picture. "I never thought you'd be the type of person to do something like that!" I've a lot of schooling and am an engineer working in a somewhat visible federal position, so I'm pretty much the opposite of "thug looking," so I think I'm educating the other half as well.

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I was at pain management a few weeks ago, on my off day and I run into a lady I work with as she came in. So she gets to see me in a t-shirt and shorts... she had no idea. She has some tattoos I've seen, but never talked to her about them. She was thrilled to see that I had so much ink on me. So we talked for a bit, I gave her a card to a shop I use. But again, she's in the minority that knows I have any tattoos on me.

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