2 Comments

  1. dave

    We live in the times of legal Marijuana, gay marriage, and so forth. Yet we still have a hard time with people who like to express themselves artistically? tat it up, it isnt for some but that doesnt change the person they are or the service they are providing.

  2. Frannie

    I am a CEO of a small company. I hired a mid-level manager who had tattoo “sleeves” (his arms were completely inked all the way down to his wrists). The office setting is professional, but with a fairly relaxed dress code. I lead by example. My staff knows to dress appropriately for certain meetings with clients, and can dress more casually for days in the office that do not include external meetings. I took my inked employee to a national trade meeting with me, and told him beforehand that the environment would be more conservative and that long sleeve dress shirts and dress pants would be expected. He complied. And, while well dressed and displaying competence in his role, if he rolled up his sleeves and his ink showed, it didn’t seem to matter. A few people commented on it to me (mostly southerners), but because he was always professional, it didn’t matter. After about a year and a half however, he began dressing very casual all the time – shorts, chain mail, t-shirts, flip flops, tattoos completely exposed – even to meetings. He explained to me that he thought it was okay since most of our external colleagues knew he had tattoos by that point. I explained back to him that it wasn’t the tattoos that were the issue, it was more of a respectful dress code issue. Dressing like a beach bum as a mid-level management professional was not appropriate. Tattoos are a form of personal expression, sure, as is clothing. But what is appropriate to wear to a Saturday night beach party with friends may not be appropriate office attire. I would not show up at my office in a bikini top exposing a navel piercing to meet with shareholders. Common sense.

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