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JoKno

Working and living with visible tattoos

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This has been discussed a little in some other threads, but I felt it could use one of it's own.

What are some of the experiences you've had with having tattoos that are open to the world?

Pros and Cons that you've had with them?

I knew before I got a full sleeve done that it would draw some attention to me. I didn't expect some reactions though. Complete strangers will sneak up on me and grab my arm to take a look. Kids are the greatest with it, some just don't know how to react and others love to touch and name everything that's on it.

I work full time as an EMT and get lots of reactions. Most of the time having my tattoos have helped. It's a great destraction for some people. They want to talk about their tattoos and feeling on them and for a few moments they forget that they are sick or hurt. Because most symptoms are worse when anxiety kicks in, this comes in real handy by keeping them relaxed. What's great too is that it doesn't seem to matter the age 1-100.

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its weird, when i first got visible tattoos it was just shortly before the big blow up on tv and stuff that like. i remember my friends with neck tattoos were just considered insane in the 90s in florida... when i started getting hands and neck stuff to me it meant "fuck you, im not approachable"... and now its like its the ultimate conversation starter with soccer moms at the park and preachers wives.... its a double edged sword. sometimes i wish i could just "turn it off" and have dinner with my family without some kook coming up to my table to show me their tramp stamp, or a doctor looking at me like i couldnt possibly know shit when im taking my toddler in for a check up... other times its the credibility for someone to listen to what im saying, or the tattooed arm out the window that lets traffic come to a halt and for me to switch lanes in gridlocked traffic... mainly its just me. i tattoo for a living and am lucky enough to do that. i can imagine its different for people that do other things and havent experienced it any other way. i do know im my apprenticeship i was heavily tattooed and also was a cook, and it was part of the territory. all the cooks were pretty tattooed, but don't know how limiting it can be otherwise..

cheers/

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I have full sleeves and have worked at Wells Fargo and now I work in a Federal Building. People def. treat you way differently in a office environment. Wells Fargo, some people were more uptight about it than others. I had a guy in a cubicle next to me that was OFFENDED by my tattoos. None of my tattoos are offensive. The government building, people just mostly stare. They think I am here for court.

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I was working with a visiting Kaizen (it's a method of continuous improvement started by Toyota) trainer from Japan, and he kept staring at my arms/hands/throat when we were trying to work. I was starting to get annoyed because the entire point of Kaizen is lean management. No wasted efforts, no straying off task, etc. Finally, he tried to roll up my sleeve without permission and I told his translator that he had crossed a line of politeness and that it wasn't acceptable. He was terribly embarrassed and excused himself.

Before he left, he asked to see me again, and showed me his AMAZING tattoos that he keeps hidden. The translator had a WTF moment since he didn't know his boss was tattooed and my crew kept razzing me that I managed to get a guy who gets paid 20K a week to train people to keep on task (which is an oversimplification of the kaizen process) to be distracted while working.

For the most part, I think I'm heavily tattooed (to untattooed people) enough that it's "safe" to approach me. That any stigmas or stereotypes of someone with tattoos ceases applying to me in the minds of the people I have to deal with- that I'm a "tattoo guy" not a "guy with tattoos". Does that make any sense? I've found when I'm with people with just a few visible tattoos, I'm the person that gets approached the most often. Could be a coincidence.

Personally, I find that it's rarely an issue. The places I'd work that would have too big of an issue with visible tattoos are places I'd likely not be working at. At my previous job my tattoos made senior corporate management more likely to remember me and gave them something to talk about to me (despite me hating talking about tattoos at work) that put me in their heads when it came to special projects et all.

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Great story, Shawn!

Knowing what I know about Japanese culture, I'm willing to guess that when you reprimanded him, he was far more embarrassed than you realize. I'll also add that it took serious courage for him to approach you a second time and reveal his tattoos.

Do you happen to remember who did his work? And was it traditional Japanese? I can guarantee you that his boss has never seen them!

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Oh, I was quite aware of the effect reprimanding him would have. At the time I was really unhappy at work so anyone who they paired me with became the enemy. It was a sure sign that I needed to move on when I thought that ruining someone's day was a small victory. Once I found out he was a nice guy, I felt terrible.

Since I've moved on from the megacorp I'm MUCH less of a prick.

It was older handpoked stuff, yeah, but he didn't tell me who did it.

I asked to take photos but there was a lot of no-no-no-no with sheepish grins. What he showed me was gorgeous. Aged really beautifully.

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i have multiple tattoos most arent visible on day to day

but my chest piece you can always see it.

i get a lot of nice comments from people. they always want me to pull back my shirt so they can see more.

but i find because i am a woman, a lot of men approach me and start ranting about how horrible of life decisions i am making.

i try to be nice at first, but i cant after a while. and im just straight up tell them to fuck off

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    • Would you let your child, of course being old enough to willingly decide, get a tattoo/piercing before the age of 18? 
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