While out Pacering about, I stopped into a 'new to me' tattoo parlor in St Paul. Really nice little shop. As I sat down to browse through the portfolios I heard a woman waiting next to me mention how she thought businesses needed to allow employees to have tattoos. I looked up and realized she was talking to me. The look in her eyes told me she was expecting me to respond with some sort of fist bump and 'fuck yeah sister' battle cry. This was confirmed when I responded with "I disagree" and her brow twisted with confusion.
Her face twitched with the unexpected result as she leaned in and continued to plead her case. "People have the right to express themselves. It's like they are discriminating against people."
Now my face is twitching.
It is not a right. I don't believe the constitution covers employees forcing their decision to be tattooed onto their employers. Discrimination is for people without choice. People who can't choose to, and shouldn't have to, cover up their sex, color, age, religion, orientation.
She tries again. "It's 2014. They need to get over it."
I am wishing it was 1914 so I could head butt her and walk out of the parlor with a smoke and a whiskey as I ride off into the sunset.
A business owner should have the ability to choose how they want their business to be viewed by the public. Are you opposed to uniforms too? Should uniforms be outlawed because it's 2014 and people just need to let others be free to dress how they "feel" that day instead of suiting up for their day of work? You want tattoos and piercings? Go get them. No one is stopping you. You want that job with banker hours and pay but it requires no visible tattoos? Then cover them up. Buy a sweater for cripes sake. Figure out a way to cover up that ridiculous sense of entitlement while you are at it.
Time to leave now.
Seriously though. Just because I have a few tattoos does not mean I believe everyone should like them and accept my decision into their world view. I have worked in very lucrative corporate positions and in order to work those particular jobs I had to cover up. I chose where to place my ink based on how uncomfortable I was willing to be for the times I would need to work on hot show sites in long sleeves etc. This was my choice. My employer should not be required to bend the branding of their company or the creative view of their company, their dream, just to allow me to make decisions about how I look. Tattoos and piercings are a luxury. They are not required to live. If you choose to have them you also choose to live with the consequences.
plural noun: consequences
1. a result or effect of an action or condition.
I figured some may need help with that word as it doesn't seem to be used or instituted much these days.
I am a fan of body modification. I have been for many years. I will be the most colorful, sparkly bag of wrinkles if I make it to old age and I look forward to it. I understand I work in an environment where I don't have to cover up these particular personal choices. That wasn't always the case. I made decisions, hard decisions, that brought me here. I couldn't be happier. I would not have been as happy had I been able to some how force past employers to allow me to wear and expose whatever I wanted to. I am sure of that.
These are some people I work with/around. I walked around like a stalker and stole their souls.
All of them have exposed ink. All of them as productive and intelligent as they would be without the ink.
What a luxury for them to be able to expose this. Luxury. Not right.