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Unfortunately, at Starbucks, any normally visible tattoo a person has must be covered by some means. I have no problem covering up the first two - the wrist stars can be covered with a wristband or a wristcuff, and the dayanflowers sit far enough on the left of my collarbone that most collared shirts will cover up most of it. The last one is the chinese character between my thumb and index, which I'm having a hard time covering up (I've used makeup, chalk markers, and can't use bandages or medical tape). Any suggestions?

This is in the issues forum because the censoring of tattoos is extremely debatable. The only decent reason I really got from the company was that there's nowhere to draw the line. While you would have a hard time calling any of my tattoos offensive, if someone had a naked woman or a penis or something that typically offended people were they to see it every day, you can't have someone say 'Katii can keep hers uncovered, but so and so with the offensive tattoo can't' - that, and what is offensive varies from person to person. Is there an argument against that logic? My main peeve with it is that one of the companies mottos is to embrace diversity, and I feel like being told that I can't dye my hair certain (unnatural) shades and I can't have visible tattoos is sort of encroaching on that. Otherwise, I love the job.
"Katii can keep hers uncovered, but so and so with the offensive tattoo can't"

I don't see why they can't do that. *shrug* Private companies do discriminate when they hire, and there's no federal law against whose tattoos can show and whose can't. Of course what is offensive varies from person to person, but employers themselves vary in their policies... I feel like I'm missing something here, that there's something big I'm not taking into account, but there's my gut reaction!
Sir Psycho Sexy
I have a similar thing with my job, I mean I don't have a problem, the only way my tattoo would be on show would be if I walked around topless which would be wildly inappropriate and no doubt off putting to shoppers. They do have a thing against facial peircings too, kind of is an issue, what with a hole in my lip. My direct superior doesn't mind and neither do the customers, but should a higher ranking manager visit, it has to come out. Fair enough, in some jobs I can understand. But for a company that prides itself on being founded by two 'surfer-bums', so they wouldn't have to get jobs they didn't want (and if you've been in one of the shops, you should know which one I'm talking about just from that) and claims to be keeping true to those roots, it seems a little contradictory that they should effectively ban their staff from wearing facial peircings, having 'extreme' hairstyles or visible tattoos.

Anywho, were you in the UK you'd be pretty safe as there are laws against you losing your job for something like that (I think), I mean they could fire you and claim it were for another reason I guess, but then they'd have a constructed/unfair dismissal case on their hands. Not sure what the case is in the US, maybe get a tattoo saying you love Jesus? You'd probably be okay with that...
I really do not understand the tattoo policies. I find facial piercings slightly more understandable as there are people that take it to "extremes" (I honestly could care less, but for the general population *shrug*) and I honestly see piercings a little more . . . I guess intimidating to potential customers? The way I see it, tattoos are becoming more and more mainstream and it buggers me that companies won't hire because of them. I think the only correlations I can see customers making is felons, but really... Come on... I mean... huh.gif

Another good example of a company is this : Disney won't hire you if you have a tattoo, doesn't even matter if it's visible, if you have one you can't even fill out an application. Same goes with "too many" piercings. Really, I think it's bullocks in general.

I can understand where companies are coming from, honestly, but I think the policies could be changed to be somewhat more lenient.

As for covering your tattoo : Go to a costume store (or something) and pick up some flesh colored grease paint (I guess stage makeup if you prefer). That should cover it up well enough. Pat some talc on that so it isn't all sticky and smudgy, and that should keep it from coming off too much. Hollywood freakin' magic.
For starters, I think it's absolute BS that companies would discriminate on the basis of art you put on your body.


Any tattoo or piercing you get is something you consiously choose to do. It's painful, it takes some time, and you pay a lot of money to do it. It's not like your gender or skin color - and therefore, by its elective nature, it is perfectly legal and ethical for companies to be able to tell you to cover it up or quit. I have five tattoos and you can't see any of them as long as I wear a shirt that covers the top of my breasts and up to the back of my neck, and it's because I knew that in some professions you will not be hired if you have tattoos - for the same reasons, I have only my ears and tongue pierced.

It's archaic that companies would discriminate, but they have every right to do it, just like you have every right to put art on your body. Sure, they do it because it "might offend" certain members of their clientel, and they have every right to.


Theater paint ought to do the trick. They also make liquid bandage stuff that might work, but I don't know if you can get it in flesh color...
That's exactly it - I understand that I could be fired now if I got a new tattoo on, say, my neck or jawline, palms, forearms, et-cetera. When I was hired I had two tattoos, all four of the facial piercings I had, as well as pink hair. My boss said one thing - remove the facial piercings. Now, it seems like the longer I'm with the company, the more they change. I was able to keep the pink hair for about six months before being told to change that, I was able to cover the wrist tattoo with ace wrap and leave the chinese character exposed, et-cetera. Then about a year in, ace wrap is no longer an acceptable way to cover one up (which I understand), so use wrist bands. Our district manager decided he didn't like wrist bands either and told me/us to find a different way without being able to produce a suggestion. Then, finally, a year and a half in, that was when he started telling me to cover up the chinese symbol.

I understand all of this is completely within their rights (although slightly hypocritical, based on mission statements et-cetera) and that I'm being promoted, which has a lot to do on the crackdown on all aspects of my professional appearence, but it would be nice if it didn't keep shifting. Had they said 'cover every tattoo without use of wrist bands or ace wrap' right off the bat, there wouldn't be much confusion.

It just feels like they're saying,

-Tattoos are fine. Cover the big ones up however.
-Cover them up a different way.
-No, not that way, another one, I don't know which way.
-Now cover up the tiny one
-Not that way either

Sorry for the ramblefest - thought organization isn't my forte today. Also, does theater paint easily wash off? I have to wash my hands about every five minutes.
Yeah, that's why I suggested the liquid bandage. Theater paint doesn't, like, EASILY wash off, but it will if you're continuously getting it wet and rubbing on it.

... hee hee hee...

UM. Check your contract, yo. Because if the contract doesn't say anything about what you consent to (dress code, etc) then you can possibly say something about it.
Go to a fancy dress shop, Hire a mummy costume. Wear it to work and ask if you're covered up enough?

Or maybe wear a Burka? That should do it too.

EDIT: Also *tackle hugs Hyperion* Long time no see! Aww, the gang's all coming back! Yay!
Awh. *blush, hug*

That would be a lovely statement to make. Though it MIGHT get you fired - but for what? Witty sarcasm?

A cosmetics line called Dermablend is the market leader in make-up designed to cover everything from tattoos to scars, birthmarks and spider veins. There are various consistencies available - from the original Compact Cover Crème (in 10 shades to match the palest to the darkest of skins) to the Leg and Body cover (in 9 shades, this is slightly less thick but will cover larger areas).

Again, though - washy-offness? If you gotta wash your hands so much, why don't ya'll just wear gloves? Sanitary AND concealing.
Having worked in Starbucks too, many a year back, I know how useless and hypocritical they can be when it comes down to those policies they make and those they enforce. Like most major/big companies they'll soon tell you when your breaking the ones they conveniently decide that they don't like you breaking. The term diversity in their minds does not cover individuality.

From a big public retail companies perspective they need to be as neutral as possible and cannot cause offense or ill-rumour to anyone. One disgruntled customer put off by an individual's individuality 'could' (and I use the term loosely) bring annihilation and utter destruction to the very foundations of the core of their hugely precarious profit margins

It's an odd one this, I hate to go square but it is almost a matter of just complying where compliance makes life easier in the long run. I don't have any tats or piercings so haven't personally come across this exact situation but have been in the lines on similar (clothing, hair, jewelry etc) and have been around those in this same argument since I was about 12.

- I used to be in the Sea Cadets (a Royal Navy endorsed/based cadet force) and our instructors were all ex-navy or naval reserve. These guys were all burley, stereotypical hard-man sailors and were tatooed on virtually every available skin surface above the elbow and below the neck. The areas of the body that would not be on display in uniform. I've kind of taken that as a rule and worked by it when advising staff under my supervision in previous jobs.-

At the end of the day if you can justify that you are performing and providing a good service it shouldn't matter what is visible... within reason. Provided it will not obviously cause offense to the majority of potential customers you should be okay (we're talking penis tat vs flower tat); if you know your doing a damn good job you should hopefully be cool, if not challenge their own beliefs at higher levels and see them squirm.

or maybe that's optimistic.

Saying all that, I've found that non-customer facing roles are more relaxed, might be worth a look in to?
I don't know much about American law but unless you got the tattoo that you can't cover up after they employed you, they shouldn't be able to say anything to you about it. They saw the tattoo at your interview, they interviewed you pink hair and all and still offered you the job. Unless there has been new legislation within the company since you joined about tattoos etc they really shouldn't have a leg to stand on. Speak to your boss and ask them why they are changing their minds about this NOW. They knew what you were like when they employed you, you seem to have made it fairly clear what with turning up to the interview with pink hair and visible tattoos.

P.S This is faerieryn as Smiler didn't log off- silly boyfriend!!!! smile.gif
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