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Old 09-09-09, 10:16 AM   #1
DJFlowe
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Couldn't imagine a less forum appropriate topic...

But here goes nothing. Not really sure who to ask this, and since I assume most of you have jobs, I hope you'll bear with. (also I like you guys the best)

So I'm interviewing for a new position at a new firm. It's a great opportunity for many reasons, not least of which is the 12mi scenic commute. Here's the wrinkle... I have a great deal of tattoos (sleeve, full chest, etc) and work in a professional setting. My current employer is very relaxed about that sort of thing and as long as I cover my ink in front of clients, they don't care what I wear around the office.

I have one interview left, and up to this point I've covered everything every time I've met with them. However, their office is business casual as well... do I have any obligation to tell them I've got 75 hrs of tattoos? I'm concerned they'll be upset if I show up for work in a S/S shirt and shock everyone.

And to answer the inevitable question... this is the first job I've interviewed for in 10 years where I didn't already know the hiring manager, etc before going into the interview process. So for my last couple jobs, they've known about the tattoos before they ever called me in for an interview.

So should I tell in advance, or just show up for work like a big surprise?

Last edited by DJFlowe; 09-09-09 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:20 AM   #2
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I don't have tattoos but the way I work this kind of stuff is to slowly lower their standards for appropriate work attire to the point where I can wear pretty much anything I want. I start off in button down shirts, slacks, maybe even a tie and I slowly whittle away until I can sport a t-shirt and even shorts (though not both at once).

So I guess my answer is: How badly do you want the job?
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Old 09-09-09, 10:20 AM   #3
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cover 'em up until you see the culture of the office.....
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Old 09-09-09, 10:21 AM   #4
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Maybe continue to wear long sleeves if you get the job until you figure out the environment? If you want the job badly enough to do that. If it feels like it would be ok, go SS, if not continue with the long sleeves.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:22 AM   #5
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You'd be crazy to tell them in advance. All it takes is one nervous type to complain and prevent you from being hired. But if you have the job, it takes more than that to fire you.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:23 AM   #6
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I would keep them covered personally. Why introduce a possible issue at this point. Let them get to know you first.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:23 AM   #7
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mooving to foo.....
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Old 09-09-09, 10:31 AM   #8
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When I made the decision to start my sleeve I knew that I was always going to wear long sleeve shirts. It doesn't matter at my current job since I work for the Goverment. However, when it's time to get a real job, I will wear long sleeve shirts even if it is business casual.

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Old 09-09-09, 10:36 AM   #9
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Cover it up. If they find out, they find out, but they cannot fire every tattoed employee.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:37 AM   #10
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Cover it up. If they find out, they find out, but they cannot fire every tattoed employee.

you guys are terrible! What about the employer? Show the tattoos,....
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Old 09-09-09, 10:40 AM   #11
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what everyone said so far:

keep 'em covered. They're hiring you, not your tattoos. If, later on, you find they are okay with it, fine.

But - You may want to ask yourself if you are ok with working somewhere that is not cool with your tattoos.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:42 AM   #12
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what everyone said so far:

keep 'em covered. They're hiring you, not your tattoos. If, later on, you find they are okay with it, fine.

Note to self, strip search all applicants.....
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Old 09-09-09, 10:44 AM   #13
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Note to self, strip search all applicants.....
note to self, do not apply at Airwick Industries.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:52 AM   #14
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y'all are really funny. DJFlowe never said they didn't approve of tats or people who have them,
all he asked about is whether to reveal them during his hiring process.

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Old 09-09-09, 10:53 AM   #15
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y'all are really funny. DJFlowe never said they didn't approve of tats or people who have them,
all he asked about is whether to reveal them during his hiring process.

Marty
unless he's interviewing for a porn star position, he should probably stay covered up.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:54 AM   #16
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you guys are terrible! What about the employer? Show the tattoos,....
What about the employer? How does a tattoo affect anything? Should I tell them about my birthmark too?
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Old 09-09-09, 10:55 AM   #17
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unless he's interviewing for a porn star position, he should probably stay covered up.
so he is applying at Airwick Industries? I wasn't aware and I'm somewhat confused.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:57 AM   #18
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What about the employer? How does a tattoo affect anything? Should I tell them about my birthmark too?

If it wasn't an issue or factor, it wouldn't been posed by the OP. Not the same thing.

I do accept ankle tattoos on the ladies.
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Old 09-09-09, 10:57 AM   #19
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Note to self, strip search all applicants.....
I suppose everyone is entitled to their own here, but my logic has always been:

-I will never be in front of a client or prospect not in a suit
-Nothing is visible when I'm in a suit
-Hence, my tattoos never affect my work.

So it's not really a matter of something that could damage the company, etc... more just a matter of my liking the guy I'm going to be working for, and I don't want him to feel like I "put one over on him."

And L/S shirts in the office isn't a possibility at all times, unless I stop biking to work.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:00 AM   #20
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So it's not really a matter of something that could damage the company, etc... more just a matter of my liking the guy I'm going to be working for, and I don't want him to feel like I "put one over on him."
Great answer. He will appreciate the honesty. Better to have a honest employee with tattoos than a dishonest one without.

The job will be yours.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:02 AM   #21
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so he is applying at Airwick Industries? I wasn't aware and I'm somewhat confused.
I'm confused too....I thought I had that job, ummm, wrapped up.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:03 AM   #22
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I'm confused too....I thought I had that job, ummm, wrapped up.
What have you done for me lately?
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Old 09-09-09, 11:04 AM   #23
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What have you done for me lately?
kept the women away so you would have more time to concentrate on business matters.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:45 AM   #24
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I suppose everyone is entitled to their own here, but my logic has always been:

-I will never be in front of a client or prospect not in a suit
-Nothing is visible when I'm in a suit
-Hence, my tattoos never affect my work.

So it's not really a matter of something that could damage the company, etc... more just a matter of my liking the guy I'm going to be working for, and I don't want him to feel like I "put one over on him."

And L/S shirts in the office isn't a possibility at all times, unless I stop biking to work.
If your biggest worry is coming in with your bike attire (ie, shorts and short sleeves so that your tatts are visible), I think if the bike and/or bike clothes are ok, the tattoos will be too. You're not working in your jersey and lycra shorts, right? It's only temporary in and out of the building, so when you change into your office clothes, put on things that cover the tattoos. Again, if the corporate culture there reveals itself to be similar to what you have now, you'll be sitting pretty. If not, from your post above you clearly know how to dress appropriately for a professional environment, so no worries. Carry a lightweight LS jersey and tights and put them on outside the building if you have to.

My take on this is that you are not being dishonest by not volunteering info on something that will not need to be obvious in your daily work or affect the quality of your work. You may as well offer info about your religion, sexual preferences and political views - they're all irrelevant. If you had tattoos on your face and part of your job was to meet clients and your were interviewing over the phone, then, yes, you should be up front about it. In this case, unless you not being able to reveal your tattoos in the new office is a deal breaker, I wouldn't waste time worrying about this.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:47 AM   #25
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Couldn't imagine a less forum appropriate topic...
This is Foo. Inappropriate forum topics is what we thrive on!
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