How are tattoo's percived in the work place

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, Feb 16, 2005.


    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Please share your expirence with us about how tattoo's are percived in the work place IE were you ever told you had to cover up a visible tattoo whille at work?.Do we have any proffesionals here that have sleeves?, i would like to get them but thier is no way i can in the work i am currently in. Thanks
  2. While I do not have any tatoos....most of my friends do and multiple ex coworkers from previous jobs did. Since they cannot relay their experience personally, I'll paraphrase.: Keep it covered.

    Until you have any idea how your current employer feels about this, don't advertise. There is a stigma (I know it ain't fair) attached to tatoos. Other things to consider: where do you plan on working in the future?

    If your current job is not a concern, then consider what posible "codes" may lie in your future. What line of work are you in? If you are not settled in a line of work, I'd definitely wait on anything too visible. You have no clue what dress code may be in your future and you don't wanna lose the one job you need because of a decision you made 2 years before.

    My brother does financing with an oil company in Texas. He has 3 tatoos with more on the way. Not one person at work is aware of this. He took "ability to conceal" into each one he has gotten...I'd recommend the same.


    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I work for the Catholic Church , i have 5 tattoos that can be concelled whering pants and a short sleeve shirt buttoned up.I just wanted to know how it was looked at in other places.
  4. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'm an accounting analyst and I've got two tattoos on my legs. In the summer, I wear shorts and sandels to work. I've also grown my hair back out (approaching shoulder length).

    On November 3rd, I even wore my "I Still Hate George Bush" tshirt to work. :D

    No one said anything about it. As long as I do the job they pay me to do, they couldn't care less. I can, of course, see the catholic church feeling a little bit different about it, though.

    While my current job doesn't care, if I decide on more tats, I will probably stick with either leg tats, or perhaps one on my upper arm. The ability to cover them up is never a bad idea.
  5. Sorry...I assumed you were seeking advise. My job frowns upon it very much (I'm an executive with a non-profit) ...unless its a frat-too (go figure). Most jobs I've had did not have a policy on the books, but a manager usually enforced a personal rule.

  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA

    Interesting question. Well, my take is, there's the "professional" view, and then there's the "personal" view. Sometimes those two are aligned, and sometimes they aren't.

    From a professional standpoint, "visible" tattoos are often frowned upon. I work in an engineering profession though, which is kinda off-the-wall to begin with. There's a whole amazing mix of viewpoints in there. But at the end of the day, it often seems to be a "conformist" kind of thing. The "powers that be" look askance at anything outrageous (and tattoos seem to qualify, in that regard, at least as far as "their" perception is concerned).

    On the other hand, from a "personal" viewpoint, I could tell you lots of stories. The chics with the tattoos on their backsides, get all the guys. No doubt about it. There's something very intriguing about that kind of thing. And, while I can't speak for the chic's perspective, I've noticed the same kind of phenomenon from that point of view. Women are attracted to tattoos, and it doesn't much matter what they are, as long as they're obvious and colorful. Very interesting stuff.

    Good question. :)
  7. iam 19 now i got my frist tattoo when i was 17 on my right wrist , its my birth sign. i was working at bk at the time and whne i frist came in they were giving me problems . they were like u need to wear long sleeve shirts . i was a dish washer, out back no one sees me .they wanted me to not roll my sleeves up when i was washing dishes i just lol at them. with in about 2 mounts i got my second tatto. it takes up the whole in side of my arm. its a dali tree with a metling clock. when i went to work after getting that they were piss of at me and tried to make me wear long sleeve shirts. they were telling me my tattoos will offend peopel every one whos sees my tattoos allways says they like them. i started working up front and every one who came in allways said some thing nice about my tattoos. i dont get how a tree with a clock melting over it or my birth sing can offend. i had a 90 year old lady wantting to get tattooed after seeing mine. about 2 weeks befor my 18 b day i got my 3rd tattoo, its the dali rose. i have it on my left elbow. when i went back to wrok same thing they kinda freaked out.

    then like 2 mounths lateri got another dali tatoo(iam making a dali sleeve) its the burning gerifrert(cant spell it). same thing the next time i went back to work at bk(buger king) they gave me problems.

    i went to school foir sheet metal and welding when ever i went for job intviews my teacher was liek cover ur tattoos. when i went for my frist interview i had them coved i noticed the perosn intviewing me was coved in tats. it looked liek i wasnt going to get the job i took my coat off and once he say my tats he was liek u got the job . depending on the job they can make it so u wount get it or if ur in a trade liek mine it can help shows ur one of the guys or soem thing.

    sorry i ramble

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    It sounds like sleeves in the longrun would cause more problmes then they are worth in a " conformist" profession.
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA

    Agreed. A little outrageous, is sometimes a good thing. Push the envelope a little, and challenge the establishment. At the end of the day, if you're doing your job well, you'll get a lot of respect for that. Plus, you'll open people's minds, which is always a good thing. :)
  10. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    My oldest brother, who is an IT tech for Worldcom has two large tattoos, one on each arm. He got them both while in the Army. When interviewing for his W-Com position, and even after he worked there a while I know he had to wear long sleeves. His tats cover from the top of the bicep, to almost the elbow. Obviously, short sleeves leave them partially visible. Now I think he can wear short sleeves, but I know he's moved up the company ladder.

    I work for myself, and while I have no tattoos, I don't think I would mind me having one at work :D
  11. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Yeah, but you would probably have to kiss your own a$$ to keep from getting in trouble.

    Of course, you could always just sleep with the boss....

  12. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    I work in "public service", and although not forbidden, I get the distinct impression that they are frowned upon. However, I've been at my current job for 20 yrs, so I don't much care. I have 5 tats currently, with more on the way.
    However, only part of one, on my right upper arm, shows when I have a standard short sleeved uniform on. I DID get a few comments about the large snake on my leg when I was working bicycle patrol and wore shorts, but again, because of my longevity, I didn't care. If I were just starting out, I'd probably be more careful about making sure they were covered while in uniform.
  13. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    I was just waiting for someone to say that :D
  14. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA

    Didn't take too long, did it? :D
  15. buddahbass


    Dec 22, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    i think that the older generations still have the notion that the only people with tats are bikers and jail birds, they connect it with a "bad" lifestyle and not as art, which i think alot of younger people do. i have half sleeves, which i can cover if needed. some jobs it was a problem some it wasn't. thats why i stopped at my elbows, because as dumb as it sounds people still judge you bassed on looks. but i do see body art in general becoming more accepted. the more people that have them, the more comon it will be and people will not even think twice about it. just look at guys with earing. in the 80's it ment you were gay if you had more than one hole in your left lobe. now it looks strange to see only one ear pierced. i say start off in places that you can cover, then if you get a cool job, go for it. remember you are still young and have alot of skin you could get covered before you move to your lower arms, take your time.
  16. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    It helps me at my current job.

    I work at a Guitar Center and probably 30% of the staff has ink including regional managers. None of the younger customers let it bother them, and several show me theirs which helps us find a common ground and communicate on a friendly level. Few older customers show any signs of discomfort when dealing with me, but I have several that come up to me and ask me for help with comments like "You look like you know about this stuff." They ask if it hurt and joke with me and its all good.

    It has helped people connect with me as a cool person and not as a tight @#$ sales snake.
  17. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    I want to get my bald head inked...
  18. i've got knee-to-ankle on both legs (pretty full on both sides), shoulder to elbow on both arms and the majority of my right forearm. I'm luckily a desk-jockey so i don't really have to deal with outside customers or anything. if i do, then it's pants and long-sleeves.. no biggie. my boss kinda likes it when i get new stuff.. likes to see it...
  19. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yuk yuk. Great post! :D

    Good point. But, "significance, shmignificance". I get a much more gut-level perception of that kind of thing. A little lower than the gut, maybe. :D I'm 100% certain I'm not alone in that perception. It's just an observation, that "guys" (in general) seem to be attracted to that kind of thing. Can't speak for "individual" guys, but i can sure tell you what the girls are doing. :)

    Excellent point. Disney, for example, is notorious for making their employees "conform". I'm not even sure if tattoos are allowable, if you work at Disney World or something. If you're in IT, things might be different, assuming you wear long sleeves. :)

    See, that's the whole thing. There's a "cultural" perception attached to tattoos, that's still going strong, and won't let go away anytime soon. But, the wearing of a tattoo is, in a way, a "non-conformist statement". Some people get off on the symbolism of that kind of thing, and others get a much more gut-level reaction (that would be the case for me). But yeah, that's pretty much why I quit the banking industry and Wall Street and all that. I just don't dig the idea of being a blue suit. From my perspective, it's just too darn uncomfortable, not to mention a pain in the neck. :D There's plenty of ways to make a living. One of my buddies is a tattoo artist, and he's done some pretty amazing work, with women and men both. Some of the women's art is pretty amazing. I won't go into the details, but suffiice it to say, that they're covered from "head to toe", and all parts in between. :)

    They're not working on Wall Street, but some of them are making a pretty good living anyway. :D
  20. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    I have some that don't often get aired, not really through any conscious decision to hide them, but rather that it's usually not appropriate to go bare chested at my work. And its usually too cold.

    I did, however, remove all my piercings about eight years ago for work reasons. They set up prejudices in people who may have lead sheltered lives and who can't help it, people who it may be beneficial to interact with.