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Charity volunteer told to leave store because of her tattoos


Turquoise Cherry
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Do they not brief volunteers prior to them starting work there? How did she get through 3 hours of work before someone noticed?

Probably because she wasn't employed by M&S. She was a volunteer for a charity and using the M&S entry to raise money for a separate entity, and her employers wouldn't have been on-site. As much as everyone agrees that employers have the right to dictate appearance of their staff, the fact that she wasn't their employee seems to make no difference. M&S has the right to dictate the behaviour of anyone on their property, but they should brief charities about their appearance policy. I imagine they will now.

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I've spent my life in a pretty mixed-bag, socially. Greasers, scooter-trash, mercs, machinists, salesmen, shop-owners, and scientists. The only time I ever got a negative remark about my tattoos was when a D.P. just over from Warsaw looked at my arms and said, "da-kriminal"! Ah well...

I imagine that where you are has a lot to do with reactions. In the States, most places it seems like it's almost mandatory to have some ink someplace, while in Europe, at least in Germany where I often am, it seems to attract a bit more attention.

My right arm is sleeved, my left is pretty well covered, and I have a small jailhouse heart-n-ribbon on the back of one hand. I can't handle wearing my shirts buttoned at the wrist, and always have them cuffed back to the elbow unless I'm in a suitcoat. I've given lectures to a group of engineers and scientists at a defense-establishment, worked side-by-side with many a straitlaced D.o.D. type on various projects, and attended think-tanks at G.M., Boeing, and many other pretty conservative places. I can only think of one or two instances where my ink was even commented on, the actual work I was doing being the preferred subject of convo.

On the other hand, a guy I know recently lost a job at freakin Burger King of all places because of "visible tattooing above the neckline", so the prejudices are still alive and well.

I think the volunteer should have told them to sod-off and split. End of story. My only hook in it was the "freak" remark. An old saying in my social circle..."never trust anyone with a naked face and no tattoos."

Just sayin'.

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Reminds me of something that happened to me last year. I'd been to the London Tattoo Convention and on our way back to the train station thought I'd pop into a pub for a couple of pints. Anyway my wife walked in before me and as I went to walk in a doorman stepped in front of me and said I couldn't come in. I called out my wife and said I'm not allowed in. My wife then said to the doorman that she has a long sleeved shirt I could put on. Realising I was with a female partner the doorman then said "Its ok pal you can go in".

The doorman had me down as an undesirable due to my appearance and the fact I was a single male. Did I make a big fuss. No.

This was mainly down to the fact that this gorilla was twice my size, half my age and would have kicked the shit out of me.

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...As much as everyone agrees that employers have the right to dictate appearance of their staff, the fact that she wasn't their employee seems to make no difference...but they should brief charities about their appearance policy. I imagine they will now.

I appreciate the difference between an employee and someone working for an outside entity and I agree. The company should've laid out this info -- dress code, rules of conduct, etc -- beforehand for the charity to relay to its volunteers. It would've been better to tell her to cover up or opt out beforehand than to send her home. I'm not saying they went about it right, just that they get to make their rules and knowing the choices we make, we can only be so upset about it after the fact. Like I said, ideally they'd accept all kinds of people.

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It wouldn't bother me if a charity organization asked me to leave. I got plenty of better things I could be doing like getting more tattoos and drinking beer. I can understand being a little surprised to be asked to leave, but being upset and distraught just seems silly. If they are in a position to turn away volunteers, they obviously must be doing pretty well for themselves and don't really need help. There are plenty of organizations who don't have time to worry about volunteers appearance. I make it easy when I volunteer, I usually just donate goods and services or write a check so no one has to even see me, I am not rich, but time is the one resource I seem to have the least amount of free these days.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I guess they were flush with FREE labor to do the volunteer work. Pretty sad...

I work for a big Fortune 300 company and cover my tattoos up. A few people I work with from around town and the gym may know, but its not general knowledege. My one son has to cover his up for work, he waits tables in a popular restaurant and thet's their policy.

CG

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