because you never know where life will lead you

DSC00313.JPGFor the first time in thirteen years I have to concern myself with being able to cover my tattoos for a job. The employer has not told me to do so – in fact, they don’t even know about my tattoos – but rather, I’m thinking that to reveal an arm full of skulls and green flames (among other designs) may not be initially in my best interest. I could be way off-base in thinking this, but I’d rather play it safe and reveal the body art further down the road.

It was a conscious decision on how far down my arm my tattoos venture; I only get inked down to the middle of my upper arm, that way I can cover up in more conservative situations. Regarding the past six years (the majority of the arm work was done in that timeframe), I can only think of three occasions where I made the decision to hide my tattoos. I must add that these three occasions were all my idea and totally voluntary; no one has ever asked me to cover up. I am generally in open-minded company.

So here’s the tricky part: Since I’ve not worried about covering up tattoos in the past, I’ve not bothered to construct a wardrobe for that purpose. Most short sleeves reveal a couple of inches of ink beneath the cuff. I find myself in a tattoo-coverage material deficit. It’s no big deal to fix this situation with appropriate clothing purchases, but it’s very alien for me to think about whether my tattoos are showing or not. I’m proud of them, I love them, and I want more, but I find myself grateful that I planned ahead for the unpredictable path of life.

It’s funny, I love to look at Suicide Girls and other inked pin-up chicks, but have the heavily tattooed girls (most much younger than me) doomed their career prospects with their expressions or is society just too old fashioned and uptight? Could you take a girl (or guy) seriously in a meeting if you noticed they had ‘EVIL’ or ‘FUCK’ spelled in plain sight (like across the fingers) or had a hand of playing cards tattooed on her neck? I think we’re going to see a lot more heavily tattooed people in public facing jobs – and I mean non-minimum wage or behind-the-scenes type jobs – but I wouldn’t be surprised if removal procedures are skyrocketing in popularity either.

It seems society is becoming a bit more tolerant through exposure, but we’re still a long way off from not jumping to conclusions on the lifestyles people have based on their choice of body modification. Until that time comes, I’m going to have to wear long sleeves now and then. I prefer to believe I’m not caving to the pressures of a judgemental society, but rather, I know which battles are worth me fighting and this one doesn’t make the list. Keep your eyes peeled for my fashion prediction: long-sleeved shirts and turtlenecks are going to be so very ‘in’ over the next decade or so. πŸ˜‰

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7 thoughts on “because you never know where life will lead you”

  1. Hey Jen,

    Look at the sort of TV shows that are on channels like Adult Swim etc, filled with 80s references and humour – it says something interesting and very relevant for those of us in our early to mid 30s…

    There’s a lot of old people leaving the workforce, boomers are soon to retire, and a big labour shortage is in the making.

    Our generation (x and onwards) is the one moving into financial and authoritative ascendancy, and there is a fundamentally different attitude to what is “acceptable” in the workplace. Let’s face it, why should your appearance for 8 hours a day dictate or limit how you have to look for the other 16. And if you’re the type who wants to cover yourself in ink, well, you’re unlikely to find satisfaction in a job that would care about it.

    This is an attitude that is only getting stronger with each successive generation – work should fit in to life, not shape it.

    They’re paying you to do something that they’re incapable of doing themselves. And if they don’t like the tattooing, give them a good smack upside the head and tell them to go into the kitchen and fetch you some more pie. πŸ™‚

  2. Good points, but I’m not actually upset about having to cover my tattoos (like I said, my choice to be proactive about it since they don’t even know they’re there).

    Thing is, the part-time, low-paying job is one that makes me happy. I’m using it selfishly as much as they need warm bodies doing work. I could sit at my desk in my slippers all day doing freelance in the tattooed nude, but that won’t get me what I need out of the part-time job. I think of covering myself as avoidance of potential complication for now, but trust me, the tattoos will be known to my fellow employees and management team the first time I take off a cardigan in the break room. πŸ˜‰ I’ll gauge reactions and then play the game accordingly…

  3. It’s an interesting question and problem. Personally I view people with ink as more creative then the norm. Maybe that’s just me, but it’s the truth.

    Now if some had a “job buster” across their knuckles that would have to be something to be considered depending on what the job is. Sitting at a computer all day who cares. Interacting with new customers face to face every day? Have to think about that one since not everyone embraces them the way I do.

    I once heard someone give advice that I like. He said “don’t get a tattoo anywhere you can’t cover up in front of a judge.” I like that. πŸ™‚

  4. “but weβ€šΓ„ΓΆ?Γ‘?Β₯re still a long way off from not jumping to conclusions on the lifestyles people have based on their choice of body modification.”

    Tell me about it! You try finding a Dr that will give you a 3rd arm and a 2nd head it is impossible and totally discrimination to my mind, or two minds if they would let me. I had a nice blond haired one picked. πŸ™‚

    Although not personally into Tats yours are stunning.

  5. I happen to have 5 tattoos and love them all but as a teacher, I choose to not “promote” them at school. They’re all in spots that are covered with the exception of the ankle when weather is warm. It’s not that I’m embarrassed by them, ashamed of them, or find anything wrong with them but because I’m in a postion where I influence young kids, don’t really want to flaunt them.

    Sure, if they show throw my shirt or I flash one through movement, it’s not a big deal to me, but for me personally, I don’t want to cause a distraction to them.. (hard enough to focus on school stuff ya know!) For some kids, it’s no big deal, and their parents have them anyway, but for others, it would be just enough to lose them.

    So, for me, teachers’ room is fair game, as is “my time”. If was starting a new job, I would likely keep under wraps for a little bit, scope out the situation, then just go with my gut… which usually proves to be my best gauge of all that’s good for me. If I feel comfortable, I’m good.

    btw… good luck with the new job and loved the Madeira pictures. My husband has gone on vacation there the past two years in a row with his family.

  6. Kev- I think you can get that sort of mod done in Mexico… I’m sure I’ve seen it on a show on the Discovery Channel! πŸ˜‰

    And many thanks for your compliment! πŸ˜€

  7. Karen-
    Welcome to my blog! πŸ˜€

    I fully understand your choice to cover the tattoos in a teaching environment. I’d do the same. I did ask the person working with me today about tattoos (it came up because she noticed my tongue piercing; she has one too) and it’s pretty much left to the common sense of the employee. They encourage you to be conservative to avoid potential complaints by the public but if tattoos show a bit the company really isn’t going to get in a twist over it. I agree with the way they handle the situation and am sure that it won’t be long before my shoulder piece or lower back is noticed in the breakroom. That should be fun! πŸ˜›

    Thank you for the compliments on my Madeira photos! It was so lovely that we’re going back again this yearβ€šΓ„ΓΆ?Γ‘?Γ†Β¬Β¨β€šΓ„β€ this time prepared to conquer some levada walking!

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