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Tattoos in the Corporate World

Tattooed BikerYou don’t see too many people in main stream corporate businesses with tattoos on their necks and hands. Or anywhere else easily seen by the general public.

Tattoos are certainly becoming much more mainstream than they were just a few years ago. You see more people with ink now than ever before. No longer just the military, bikers, bands, and the uncorporate crowd. They are everywhere. Some keep it small, with an ankle, bicep or shoulder. Others go all out with some serious time under the gun.

More often than not though, that artwork goes covered up from 9-5.

Corporate Coverup

Most offices will have an employee dress code that requires you to wear a certain type of clothing. The dress codes do not always cover body art, but more modern ones will. Simply put, they will almost always tell you to cover up, especially if you deal with the public.

You may love that art so much you want to show it off to everyone everywhere, but not everyone shares that same love for art. More people are accepting of it now, especially the younger crowd, but there is still a larger percentage of the population who do not want to see your full sleeves.

Not just customers either. Co-workers will often prefer not to see a lot of ink in the office. They may be fully aware of the tattoos, but rather than see them all the time they prefer to see them privately. Your more likely to see co-workers showing off tattoos on a one-one basis while socializing in the office, as opposed to seeing them all the time.

What you see if not always what you get

Full Sleeve TattooJust because you don’t see a lot of ink in the corporate work place, does not mean it is not there. Corporate policy often dictates it should be covered, but even when that policy does not exist, many will still cover up.

Just like you cannot tell if a person has a tattoo, they cannot tell if you would be okay with their tattoo’s. So they cover them up. Just in case. It is better for business that way, and most people need the business to keep making money.

I have worked in many different places in many different positions, from manual labour out back to front office staff. The rule, written or not, has always been to keep it covered unless in private.

I have had a few co-workers with full sleeves of amazing art, and used to think it was crazy to cover it up. But as I moved around in companies I came to understand that even though tattoos are a lot more mainstream now, they are still very much a personal thing.

Unless of course you work in a tattoo studio. Then it is probably good for business to have 1 or 2 showing at all times 😀

By: Myles O’Reilly – Tattoo Winnipeg
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