To ink or not to ink

2009

Man, there are some really judgmental people out there on planet earth. I came across a fascinating article and subsequent discussion this morning on tattoos in the workplace.

Being a "live and let live" kind of guy, I can't see an issue with having ink in the workplace. After all, I wouldn't refuse to see a doctor, dentist, banker, or any other professional because he or she chose to sport a visible tattoo. Apparently, however, this line of thinking puts me very much in the minority.

While the article itself is in no way negative with regards to wearing a tattoo at work, it does strike me as odd that it provokes such a strong reaction from people.

What amazes me is that in 2009, people still associates tattoos with some sort of deviant, criminal lifestyle. Grow up. How is a professionally done, well drawn tattoo a sign of immaturity or lack of professionalism?

At the end of the day, this is simply not something that dictates how one does their job. Really, how is it more offensive than the colleague who puts on too much makeup, perfume, etc? How is this different from the colleague who dresses inappropriately?

Perhaps it's time to focus a little less on appearance and a bit more time on producing quality work in a collaborative environment.

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Older Comments

I appreciate your stance on this matter. While I have no tattoos on me, I certainly have no problem with people who do. However, my coworker has gotten four new tattoos just this year, and they are extremely distasteful (they suit her whole demeanor quite well actually). People higher up at my workplace are not happy about this, but because of the touchy nature of the subject and their not wanting to discriminate, they have decided that the whole office must start wearing uniforms JUST TO ENSURE that enough of HER skin is covered while she represents our company.

I was hoping to god that my company would just enforce a 'no visible tattoo' policy, so I wouldn't have to start wearing the dreaded uniform, but I was informed that a policy like that would be discrimination and was not legal. (was researching this online and came across your blog.)

In conclusion, I think it all comes down to the fact that some people are ridiculous and they can ruin a good thing for everybody. If all people who got tattoos were of the same mindset and had the same standards (meaning they got tattoos that were tasteful and artfully done), I don't think it would be much of a problem at all for employers. Unfortunately, some people are IDIOTS, and rules have to be set with them in mind.

Sam