The Corporate Ladder

I worked at a call centre for travel insurance in the UK. I was there for a few years and went beyond my duties. Not only did I do the job I was paid for, but I also did my supervisor’s job when she wasn’t in, trained new employees, monitored colleagues’ calls to see if they were saying the proper things, organized things in the office to lift morale, such as “for every five insurances you sell, you get a raffle ticket for a new iPod” and so on. I also went in on my non-scheduled days to attend training courses to get more things under my belt. I did all of this without getting paid extra.

My annual review was always perfect and I received a pay raise each year because of it. So when a new supervisor’s assistant position came up I knew that I was more then qualified for it. I put in my application for it and sold myself pretty well on why I should get the job. There was only a handful of people who applied, because the supervisor had to approve you before you could do it. So I was almost certain I was going to get it since I was more qualified then anyone else who applied. I waited…and waited…and waited, but heard nothing and didn’t even get an interview.

I came to find out that someone else (who had way less expierence then me and often left early because she had hip problems) got the job. When I asked why I was over looked for this position, I found out the reason was because I am tattooed. Mind you, this is a call centre, so there was no face-to-face interaction with customers. And at the time I worked there, I didnt have any tattoos on my hands or neck. But because the higher ups didnt like tattoos on females, my application was tossed away. I left a couple months later and I now work in a tattoo shop as a body piercer. And yes, now my hands and neck are tattooed.

Comments (50)

TedOctober 4th, 2010 at 7:51 am

Let this be a lesson to all you apple-polishers out there… no one gives a crap when you martyr yourself for your job… NO ONE.

zomboidOctober 4th, 2010 at 7:57 am

you’re right there ted

KitOctober 4th, 2010 at 8:22 am

Let that be a lesson to the rest of you youngsters. Tatoos are for losers.

tronnerOctober 4th, 2010 at 8:26 am

No tats on face or hands? Did you have a full-arm sleeve or something? I’m all about proper appearance at work, but I don’t quite understand the management’s rational there.

tronnerOctober 4th, 2010 at 8:28 am

Full-arm tattoo sleeve (I’m sure you had long sleeves :) )

MMMichelleOctober 4th, 2010 at 9:56 am

Tell them whippersnappers Kit! I pity the fool that does drugs! Don’t forget to floss!

jade lynnOctober 4th, 2010 at 11:12 am

Thankfully not all work places are like this and have managers who happily look past the surface to see the skills to get the job done the best. Its managments fault if they don’t want to reward their best players, they’re the ones who lose out. One of the first guys to get promoted into a new senior role at my work is covered in tattoos (no face or hands though), full sleeves and chest but he wears suits everyday. No way was management going to overlook one of their best players because of something so superficial!
I’m proudly tatted too but in less visiable spots. :)

TMSOctober 4th, 2010 at 11:52 am

That seems to be a common thread in a lot of jobs. “We’re going to pick someone less qualified than you, who doesn’t do half the work you did because there’s one thing we don’t like about you, despite the fact that you could do this job blindfolded with one arm tied behind your back.”
The usual response to that is to go home at the end of the day and update your resume.

shelbyOctober 4th, 2010 at 11:55 am

tronner – it was awhile ago when it happened,but if i remember right, at the time, i only had my arm done,my hips done,and my lower legs done.

TanekOctober 4th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Lol great story here:

1. Don’t get tattoos, they hold you back in life
2. Don’t suck up unless you know it’s being appreciated

TedOctober 4th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

.No, no no, it’s:

1. Get Tattoos if you want, and keep in mind that your life decisions are your own and accept the consquences, should any arise.
2. Don’t suck up.

Frau BlucherOctober 4th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

It’s nice that they tell you about this one fatal flaw AFTER you’ve been their indentured slave. Basically you were exploited and they don’t give a rat’s ass about all the work that you did. You really hit the jackpot with those idiots.

tronnerOctober 4th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

@Shelby. You’d think they would just tell you to wear long sleeve shirts or the like if they were that offended. But, then again, it doesn’t sound like they were that put together. I wonder if the tattoo thing was just an excuse. You were doing the job of a manager, but were paid the job of a not-a-manager. They wanted to continue their winning streak!

I imagine you like where you’re at now a lot better?

shelbyOctober 4th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Sad part is the person they did give it to is addicted to pain killers and they had to buy her a specially made chair for her fat ass.
But did I do any “extra work” my last couple months there? Did I F*CK!
I did the job I was paid for and went home. When they asked me “Could you do this for me?” My answer was “Nope”. When new employees came up to me to ask me for help,my response was “ask your supervisor”, No way in hell was I going to bend over backwards so I can get fu*ked in the a** more by corporate.

shelbyOctober 4th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Tronner- . HAHA! funny you asked that.., I remember this one time, I came into work and was wearing a long sleeve top that came at waist level, but when I reached up to get something, you could see the tattoos on my hips, and I actually had a random supervisor ask me to put on a coat! Of course I told her no!

TanekOctober 4th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I also enjoyed that OP’s response to not getting a promotion due to the management knowing that she had tattoos was to go out and get completely covered in more tattoos. Hope you enjoy working at that tattoo shop, because now you’ve made yourself even more unemployable!

ClaireOctober 4th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Uh-oh, Tanek wouldn’t hire you if he worked in HR! Luckily for us, Tanek spends his days in the internet trying to get a rise out of people, and you’re probably not looking to become an underemployed internet loser. If you were, Shelby, you might just have to worry!

shelbyOctober 4th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

actually tanek, I didnt get more tattooed just because i didnt get the promotion…thats a bit silly now isnt it?

now go back into your mothers basement you sad little man!

tronnerOctober 4th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

She probably does enjoy being employed at the tattoo parlor – I imagine she doesn’t have to put up with snarky people telling her to put on a fucking coat just because a little ink peaked out from under her clothes.

LisaOctober 4th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Shelby– were your tattoos visible when you initially interviewed for the job? I assume not, given the fact that they hired you despite the stated prejudice (?). (If they weren’t visible, it could have just been incidental to whatever you were wearing, or an intentional decision that they be hidden from sight.)

I’m wondering whether those with tattoos (on body parts that would plausibly be bared in workday attire– arms, legs) actually make a conscious effort to hide them during job interviews. If so– why?

BriOctober 4th, 2010 at 7:53 pm

You’re better off at the tattoo parlor. In a few years your old job will be outsourced, but your current job can’t be.

TanekOctober 4th, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I thought I had clearly stated in previous comments that if you were going to spend time insulting me to please make it above a 5th grade level. I clearly recall in 5th grade one of my friends joking with me that I would end up living in my parents basement as a calculator manufacturer. Now I know that you more tattoos than brains, but surely you can do better.

Oh, and you’re right, I would never hire someone that is covered in tattoos for any job (except a tattoo artist). It’s a sign open and clear that the individual makes choices without thinking about the consequences (mainly that tons of companies don’t hire people with visible tattoos, so they already made a decision they would rather have tattoos than job options).

AND just to finish things off: You quit because you didn’t get the promotion, you needed a new job so you got one as a tattoo artist, as a tattoo artist you chose to get your hands and neck tattooed. Therefore, you got the tatttoos because you did not get the promotion. You’re too stupid to even know why YOU do things.

CharlieOctober 4th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Kudos to you for quitting, OP. If you’re capable of the job, your appearance should mean nothing.
Tattoos are no longer only for biker gangs; even my Bible study leader has one (and is planning more). If you’re offended by someone else’s choices, it’s time to quit clutching your pearls and get a life. You’ll find that enjoying your own is much more fun than judging someone else’s.

LBOctober 4th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

@Tanek: What a sad, lonely little man you seem! I like to read the My Very Worst sites and comments after work for a few laughs. There’s always some reliably funny commentators, and then there’s always you, chiming in, with some nonsensical, unfunny criticism. You do this without fail, or encouragement from any other commentators, and see to get a certain amount of enjoyment from it. Is tearing these posters down the highlight of your day? May I humbly suggest a new hobby, like tearing the wings off a fly?

In my social circle, my tattooed friends have such jobs as preschool teacher, college admissions counselor, youth pastor, nursery manager, Navy SEAL, pastry chef, CPA, RN, and paralegal. They all have visible tattoos, which did not prevent them from interviewing successfully for their jobs. So I respectfully disagree that getting tattooed is a sign of making choices without thinking about the consequences. Obviously, lots of companies DO hire people with visible tattoos.

A lot of people do not like tattoos or body piercings, which I respect, even though I may disagree. You want to work for someone, you gotta play by their rules. I have had jobs that require all tattoos and body piercings to be covered up, but that was always stated up front in an employee handbook, and consistently upheld. The rule wasn’t backhandedly used to justify not giving a deserving employee a promotion, when the real reason is that it’s cheaper just to let that employ do extra work at their current job/pay rate. That’s why I would consider this a suck-ass job.

And if you read carefully, she is actually working as a body piercer, not a tattoo artist. Reading comprehension FAIL! And I’m sure that you are so intimately in sync with her mind as to know the motivations behind her actions better than she does. Walk me through your logic. She got (1) a job as a piercer, and (2) she got her hands and neck tattooed. Has anyone ever told you that correlation does not imply causation? Correlation between two variable is not automatic proof that that (1) causes (2). That’s like saying that with increased numbers of gray wolves recorded in the America wilderness, there has also been an increase in the number of times Lindsay Lohan has been in jail. Therefore, Lindsay Lohan being in jail is caused by an excess of gray wolves. Sorry, a bit of a tangent I know, but I hate to see logic so misused.

OP- you couldn’t happen to be in the PNW, would you? I’m looking to get my eyebrow pierced, and corporation where I work as an office manager couldn’t care less what their employees do to their own bodies as long as we do our damn jobs well :-) .

BettyOctober 5th, 2010 at 5:04 am

I have never understood the insane prejudice against tattoos! In my work, I’m forced to deal with coworker’s strong perfumes, bad dye jobs, and truly unfortunate fashion choices. I do so with grace and tact, and refrain from commenting on their personal style. However, a few of them think I’m interested in their opinions about a little bit of ink on my person. I’ve heard so many snarky comments, I could write a book on the subject.
Oddly, none of my patients have said anything negative; apparently, they’re just so grateful for the care I give them, my appearance isn’t that important. One dear lady with Alzheimer’s used to love looking at the designs on my arms while I bathed her and dressed her, and used to ask me if I’d draw some flowers on her, too!

shelbyOctober 5th, 2010 at 6:31 am

tanek.. Apparently you are unable to read. If you read it properly, you would see that I am not a tattooist, I am a body piercer in a tattoo shop. dumbass

NurseDreaOctober 5th, 2010 at 6:50 am

Shelby don’t bother with him, trying to win a fight with that turd is like teaching a hamster physics.

TanekOctober 5th, 2010 at 7:12 am

What about those 3d hamsters? Or was it gerbils? Badass…For the record, I just posted a pretty innocent comment, and for sure didn’t start up this ridiculous flame war. Personally, I think that you guys are pretty mean, good thing the Interwebz is there. People are so mean because of it :(

Piercer or Tattooer in a Tattoo Shop, does it really make a difference?

Anyway, I personally love everyone and apologize on behalf of all the rude people that attacked little innocent me.

zomboidOctober 5th, 2010 at 7:24 am

more of a tame war than a flame war, anyway, you’ve been trying to get a reaction on every comment thread – this is your day, enjoy it.

JeffOctober 5th, 2010 at 8:08 am

Did you have an HR department you could complain to? I’m not sure I would have given up so easily. If the tattoo thing was a prejudice held by one supervisor and not some kind of company policy, you probably could have made enough of a stink that you woulod have been in line for the next spot that opened up. But you’re probably happier in your new job anyway.

Jade LynnOctober 5th, 2010 at 8:18 am

The employers lose if they can’t look past the surface to the incredible employee and contributor underneath. Thats like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

If the employee makes the effort to cover up tattoos while working I dont see why that should reflect badly on them. Like I said, I work for a rather large organization and we’ve had tattoo’d people promoted. More and more organizations are relaxing the antiquated anti-tattoo stand provided you can cover them up.

tronnerOctober 5th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

@LB – You mean to say that your friend that is in the Navy has tattoos? A SAILOR with TATTOOS?!?!?! I’ve never heard of such thing! :) (I did very much enjoy your post, though :) )

BaileyOctober 5th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Well said LB and zomboid :-)

Good for you for leaving OP!

zomboidOctober 5th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

@tronner i met a sailor who despised bad language, so they can surpass stereotypes (he did have tattoos though)

LBOctober 5th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

@Tanek- You made some pretty inflammatory statements, and asked to be insulted at more than a 5th grade level. There ya go. Here’s the thing about free speech/posting whatever you think: other people are allowed to do it too. I don’t see you your rebuttal for any of the point I made about how tattoos do not equal no future/unemployability/lack of regard for consequences. I don’t see you firing back about anything I said, like you usually do. I guess you don’t have anything to say back to disprove me and you can’t figure out a way to insult me.

So now it’s a flame war now that people are calling you on your (lack of) logic and general douchebaggery? Funny how no one called it that when you were trying to rip apart the OP. It’s no flame war/angry mob crucifying you. It’s just some people with common sense who are tired of you always baiting everyone. Here’s something I learned at elementary school: If you throw dog shit at someone, they will most likely throw more dog shit right back at you.

@Tronner- hahah, you’re right! The sailor with tattoos didn’t really prove my point. Whoops, didn’t even think about that! I guess my thought was that being a SEAL takes years of extremely hard work and commitment, and to succeed at a job where there’s a 70-90% failure rate takes an exceptional individual, which sort of contraindicates the whole “tattoos are for loser failures who don’t think about the consequences of their actions” theory. PS- I frequently enjoy your comments, keep it up!

JChiefOctober 6th, 2010 at 5:46 am

When I got a tattoo of a snake on my face, I had no choice but to run a porn shop.

shelbyOctober 6th, 2010 at 7:17 am

I never understood the concept behind labelling someone as a bad person because they have tattoos.

As a heavily tattooed female,people judge me more then they would a heavily tattooed man.
In their eyes,I’m a female so I must only have a little butterfly somewhere hidden.

Just because I’m heavily tattooed,did that mean I couldn’t get paid extra for the same job I was already doing?

And yes I am very happy with the job I’m doing now Tanek,because not only can I be myself and enjoy what I do.but also when assholes like you come in the shop, I can throw your ass out

LisaOctober 6th, 2010 at 8:07 am

Presumably, those with tattoos were aware of the various preconceptions about tattoos when they made their decision to get them.

I’d even venture to say that societal disapproval of tattoos has always been one of THE strongest enticements for most people getting them– it was certainly the case back in the ’90′s, when everyone between thirteen and thirty rebelled, by conforming. (Or, maybe they were just conforming by rebelling?)

Since getting a tattoo has always been considered a gesture of thumbing one’s nose at convention, it seems a bit hypocritical to cry foul when conventional employers take note of tattoos, then react conventionally.

Glamorous nonconformism doesn’t come without a price— surprise!

TanekOctober 6th, 2010 at 11:44 am

LB you seem to have a weird facination with me. Even after I completely ignore you’re ridiculous statement you come back for seconds. I never said anyone didn’t have a right to post, but allow me to break down your two messages.

Message one is essentially: Tanek you’re so mean and cruel and such a jackass, stop posting asshole.

Message two then becomes: Tanek Tanek why aren’t you replying to me…I NEED your attention…pllleeasssee..I mean you’re basically begging for a reaction: “I guess you don’t have anything to say back to disprove me and you can’t figure out a way to insult me.” And my guess is that you want the reaction, so that you can then rebuttal with: look at what a jackass Tanek is!

I don’t think in any of my comments here I “ripped apart the OP” like you seem to suggest. I said that I found it amusing that OP was not promoted due to tattoos, quit, then got more tattoos. Which, by logic, makes OP less employable since not everyone likes tattoos. In fact, you even agree with me!

“A lot of people do not like tattoos or body piercings, which I respect, even though I may disagree. You want to work for someone, you gotta play by their rules.”

Also, I think it’s very interesting that you think there is no correlation between working at a tattoo shop and getting tattoos. In fact, I might even argue that people that work in tattoo shops have a higher percentage of number of tattoos than the general public. Thereby, working in a tattoo shop does, in fact, correlate DIRECTLY with having an increased number of tattoos.

Alright, well I think I have now satisfied your wishes by both disproving what you had to say and insulting you. Are there any more requests you’d like to make? Enjoy your dog shit LB. Mmm I love the interwebz

LBOctober 6th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

“You quit because you didn’t get the promotion, you needed a new job so you got one as a tattoo artist, as a tattoo artist you chose to get your hands and neck tattooed. Therefore, you got the tatttoos because you did not get the promotion. You’re too stupid to even know why YOU do things.”

Right, calling someone so stupid that they can’t even figure out why they act isn’t ripping them apart or being unnecessarily cruel or anything…

You missed my point entirely, which was and still is: correlation does not imply CAUSATION. Of course there is a correlation between having tattoos and working in a tattoo shop. You have to be a total dummy jar not to realize this. When I say correlation does not imply causation, that means that there’s obviously correlation! Go figure! But there is no proof of that the OP quitting/getting a job in a tattoo shop caused her to get more tattoos on her hands and neck. You have to prove that, otherwise it cannot be assumed true. Which I figured anyone who could read at a 5th grade level could understand means your hypothesis ” Therefore, you got the tatttoos because you did not get the promotion,” was unprovable. So OP, rest easy, you are actually not too stupid to know why you DO things!

Learn to read comprehensively, that way you can pwn us n00bs better with your sweet intellect.

TanekOctober 6th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

You’re argument is absurd. That’s like saying that stepping in dog shit doesn’t necsesarily mean that your shoe smells bad because of dog shit. Of course it does.

Having tattoos makes it harder to get a job (you admitted to this). OP left from job 1 because of tattoos (preventing the promotion). OP got hired by a tattoo shop. People who work in tattoo shops get more tattoos then the average person. OP got more tattoos. OP is now less employable due to tattoos.

That’s my entire analysis broken down to the simplest level.

Your counter argument was that: Lindsey Lohan goes to jail more. Wolves are a declining population in America. Therefore, Lohan going to jail means Wolves decline in population.

Since you are now trying to argue that there is a difference between correlation and casuation, please tell me where the correlation is in your original argument? Do you now admit that you were entirely incorrect in how you analyzed my argument or do you adhere to the fact that there is no correlation OR causation in my argument?

The OP would not have gotten the tattoos on her hands and neck if she had gotten the promotion (especially so since it was frowned on by her managers). Would you agree to that statement? And if so, then the CAUSE of her getting more tattoos was the fact that she did not get promoted, because with the promotion she would not have received more tattoos.

I have now explained the argument in about 4 different ways, and in every way it seems very clear to me. Spewing forth a bunch of random jibberish about causation and correlation when you don’t even know what they mean and then topping it off with a mindless insult does not an argument make.

AristoOctober 6th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

LB, you’re really better off ignoring Tanek like the rest of us do.

tronnerOctober 6th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

OP – please let me know if you had any medical impairments arising from the face and hand tattooing. It appears that using learned counsel Tanek’s Rube Goldberg version of proximate cause, we can sue your former employer for creating a disability.

shelbyOctober 7th, 2010 at 4:52 am

right to sum it up…….. I got my neck and hands tattooed because I am able to now. Its accepted where I work. People arent shocked when they come into the shop and see me.

I do not have any tattoos on my face, and I would never have a tattoo on my face.

This whole cause/affect thing that Tanek keeps going on about, is just crap. I am 28 years old. I can make my own decisions. I didnt just go out and get more tattoos because I didnt get the promotion. I got more tattoos because when I quit, I had more freedom to. And didnt have to worry about hiding them. Ive been getting tattooed for 12 years. So Im pretty sure I know the reasons why I get them.. you dumbass

TanekOctober 7th, 2010 at 7:35 am

We’re arguing the same thing. You didn’t get the promotion, quit, had more freedom, got more tattoos.


ShannonOctober 7th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Lisa, you are such a Meg.

oiOctober 7th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

What is Meg?

HelloOctober 11th, 2010 at 4:21 am

@LB I love that you have a paragraph dedicated to “correlation does not mean causation”. You win 57 internets :) :) It’s something new reporters could do with learning…

HelloOctober 11th, 2010 at 4:26 am

@Tanek Hahaaa, someone doesn’t understand statistics. Correlation/causation means that some things AREN’T proved by correlation. The example with the dog shit does not disprove the argument, since this can quite clearly be tested empirically! It’s with things that can’t be tested empirically that you need to be wary.

Also, typo on my last post, meant to be news reporters*

hellcatOctober 14th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

“The OP would not have gotten the tattoos on her hands and neck if she had gotten the promotion (especially so since it was frowned on by her managers). Would you agree to that statement? And if so, then the CAUSE of her getting more tattoos was the fact that she did not get promoted, because with the promotion she would not have received more tattoos.”

Well, ACTUALLY, if she had gotten the promotion, then that would most likely mean that her employers DIDN’T have a problem with her tattoos (because the reason she didn’t get the promotion is because they did, so reverse that, and…see what I did there?) So if in fact she had gotten the promotion, she probably WOULD have gotten more tattoos, because either the managers wouldn’t have cared or they would have but she wouldn’t have known about it, so she wouldn’t have had any reason not to…and clearly she likes tattoos, so…that was kind of a logic fail.

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