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Employment and loss of mods
Topic Rating: +7 (7 votes) 
September 6, 2012
7:20 pm
KristenAtkinson0
South Korea
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Currently I am applying to teach ESL in Korea. I really want to do this, as I think it would be a great opportunity and an amazing place to travel. As I was filling out the application, several questions about my lifestyle came in to question. I answered them all honestly, as I really don't want to be caught in a lie and lose the opportunity because of that. 

One of the questions was "Do you have any tattoos or piercings?" Of course, my answer was very long, as I detailed all of my tattoos and piercings: location, size, and content. My recruiter called me yesterday and said that I would have to take the answer off the application if I was even to be considered by the director. This surprised me, but I suppose I understand. I'm not sure how Korea is about body modification, but I assume they don't want modded people teaching their children?

She told me that I'd have to take out my nose ring and vertical labret, for sure. At least while I'm working. But anyone who has a vertical labret can attest that they close up pretty quickly. Retainers are not an option with the schools, so I'd have to let it go…..again. I did it once before for a job, and didn't think I'd have to do it again. I'd also have to have all my tattoos covered, which doesn't bother me too terribly much, though it is time consuming. 

So, here's my question:

I'm sure most everyone here has had to go through the same thing at least once. How did you deal? Did your employer allow retainers?

September 7, 2012
1:51 am
SasQuatch9585
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Though I've never been in a situation like this, I have lost opportunities because of my mods.  I was never given the chance to remove piercings.  People just didn't offer me the job in the first place.

That said, if you really want it I think you should go for it.  As much as it sucks to remove a piercing (I have to remove most of mine for safety reasons), and as much as it sucks even more to completely loose the mod, I think the experience would be amazing.

As long as you're not looking to stay there permanently, you'll have another opportunity to get the piercing back.  Having or not having a particular mod doesn't change who you are.  Just how you look.

I understand that looking the way one feels one should look is important, but I think the most important part of body mod is what we learn from the experiences, rather than the external appearance we create for ourselves.

This is, of course, only my own opinion.  It is up to you to decide what is best for you, but I feel that as long as you don't loose who you are or your spirituality, you'll be better off for the loss of one or two piercings.

And aside from the professional potential, think of the opportunity to learn the spirituality of the East directly from the East.  Something I've always wanted to do.

Either way, best of luck to you, Kristen.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
September 7, 2012
2:54 am
Oakbear
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When i have had similar before i have always tried to compromise and communicate. I found that people don't like challenging others and will settle for compromise and reassurance that an employee is willing to work with them. They may have unfounded concerns and just talking about it can make them realise it's ok.

I guess the problem you have is you're working through a third party, so can't directly communicate. You're being told that piercings would be a problem, but would they?

I think honestly what i'd do is agree to remove them for work, then wear retainers or tiny jewellery to the job and see what happens. You can always apologise and say you forgot that morning if it is raised, or reopen discussions directly about what any objections are, as well as your views.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
September 7, 2012
4:06 pm
Sommersett
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There is a certain illusion every society wants to live.  Sometimes we must create the illusion.  When I do it, I think of myself holding up a mask or putting layers on top of who I really am, and not subtracting from me.  I know it sucks, but keep your true self hidden and safe.  It is a good opportunity.

    I battle this on a pretty constant basis.  I make people look at the human form in a way they haven't ever seen… people want to stare, but have been taught it is rude, so they struggle and look away.  Sometimes it is easier to wear the mask- for me.  I have felt so censored in this life, and I still do.  Only you know what is best for you and I am sorry you must compromise your mods to reach your goals.  Seems so silly.   GRRRRR people!!

   

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
September 8, 2012
12:56 am
SasQuatch9585
USA
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I agree with Sommerset.

There was some song by some band recently…I only remember the chorus.  People=Shit.  Sometimes that really is true.

Not most times, but sometimes.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
September 8, 2012
12:51 pm
KristenAtkinson0
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Yeah, agreed. People = shit

September 9, 2012
2:49 am
Oakbear
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I think people are a wonderful part of all life, and in their own individual ways are a mix of thoughts and emotions as they struggle to understand it all. They make mistakes and that impacts on others, but there is a beauty in that, the potential to learn we are all part of the same life, and the frailty of trying to control or isolate oneself.

 

Kind of annoying when it stops you getting a job though! But you're a part of that learning, and we can learn from each other.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
September 9, 2012
8:00 am
Sommersett
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Oh goodness… I'm not down on all people as a blanket statement!!  I think MOST people react from a fear based platform which their religion and family and community teaches them.  Has anyone read the book The Mastery of Love by Miguel Ruiz?  He also wrote The Four Agreements which is very popular.  Anyway, in that book he tells a story about a child in the park chasing a beautiful butterfly.  The butterfly flies and floats, the child giggles and chases, until the butterfly floats into the street and the child is jerked up by a parent and scolded for going too close to the road.  Situations like this explain where some of our first wounds/lessons about how we are suppose to act/react in this life.  We are taught to stop our loving beautiful innocent emotions and actions because industrialism and "progress" must continue.  IDK if this makes a difference, but I feel your pain.  My instinct is to chase the butterfly into the the street, but I stop before I get hit.  My instinct is to sit down and play my drum in the middle of the night, but I pick up my classical guitar.  My instinct is to say, "fuck them" if they want you to remove jewelry, but money is necessary and I'd compromise. 

    I have a goal to purchase 500 acres in Vermont, and when I do, you can chase all the beautiful butterflies anyway anytime and as far as you want!!Wink

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
September 9, 2012
2:27 pm
KristenAtkinson0
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Ooo, a commune, you say? I like chasing fireflies!

I don't like blanket statements, but it's difficult to not believe that statement sometimes. I want to have faith in humanity, but it takes some serious work most of the time. Alas, not all people = shit, but the people I've been running into lately definitely qualify.

Back to original topic, money is needed, unfortunately, to do anything. That means that sometimes we have to do things we never though we would, or want to. 

September 15, 2012
5:31 pm
faithlessfate
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It's only slightly off-topic, but I thought the information might be invaluable. I just began work for a company called Smartech, repairing computer hardware. It's a sub-contract from Unisys, which is sub-contracted from DELL computers. Smartech has a 100% tolerance policy on body modifications(my dispatch wants me to pierce her haha). do a craigslist search in your city for SMARTECH if you're interested. 

September 16, 2012
12:54 am
Oakbear
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It's nice to hear the positive stories about companies rather than just the negative thanks!

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
September 16, 2012
2:49 pm
KristenAtkinson0
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I'm currently waiting for an answer on if clear or flesh-colored jewelry is acceptable so I don't have to lose everything.  My piercer is most upset with me about this job, actually.  She is hatching a campaign to save my vertical labret.

September 20, 2012
4:35 pm
Mufasa
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I am also waiting on a reply from my employer for clear spacers, facial jewelry is against policy, but this policy was made a good many years ago and has not been updated for today's people where piercings and tatts are more commonplace than when the policy was written. I'm hoping for a positive outcome…..:)

September 20, 2012
7:19 pm
ChrisBigunDouglass
Corpus Christi TX
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I am at a loss. I have been in the tattoo industry as a professional for close to ten years. I have been put in a position of needing to move several times over the years to work with friends or stay inside of a shop network that I somewhat know who Im working with etc.. I have had dificult times recovering but always have recovered before now. At this point I sit in a shop thats been here going on three years hoping for walkins because I dont have clientelle. The shop is almost un heard of because they are strictly word of mouth with next to no advertising. I have passed out cards fliers and even cift certificates. I have adds on craigslist . I have given tattoos away. I do good quality tattoos. The other artists here have regular clientelle and work steady. I have been her over 3mo and I havent done a tattoo in a week. This is not the first week like this. Its getting bad. At first I got a few. Enough to get by. Now Im sinking. My family needs me to be able to support them.

      Tattooing isnt doing that anymore. I have my face head and hands tattooed. I have skills as a bouncer but cannot get jobs in clubs here because of club dress codes. They dont allow customers with face/head tattoos so they cant have employees with them. I have a great phone voice but the several call centers I have contacted have said that my tattoos violate their dress code as well. I am not physicaly fit enough to work labor jobs. I have spinabiffida and diabetes both effecting my back and legs. I am not disabled enough to qualify for assistance , but not able to do physical labor. My tattoos permanantly stop me from getting a "normal" job. Its bad enouh to have to step away from my career as an artist and not be able to give it my full attention. Its even worse to try to make a living in normal jobs and get turned away. As it stands now It seems like everything is going to crash down on me and i dont know what to do. I appologize if this isnt the right place or way to post this. As I said i am at a loss.

      

September 21, 2012
5:44 pm
KendrahLi
Los Angeles, CA -818
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It is a very sad situation for you for sure. I can only really say that there are makeups out there that will cover tattoos (sold through bloodmary or the sister company). I've used it during some of the film shoots that didn't like my tattoos and I know people who used it at a job I had that didn't allow any tattoos or jewelry period. That may help. :\ I do wish you all the best in finding something to support your family.

-= www.khaotyk-artwerx.com =- Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras
September 22, 2012
1:18 pm
Oakbear
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ChrisBigunDouglass – That's a really tough situation and i feel for you. When we make these calls we tend to think of ourselves in the future, and are prepared to take negative consequences, but when you are then supporting a family it's hard how that effects them.

On a practical note, you've only been with studio for 3 months, and it can take a long time to build a client base. Maybe another studio with more walk ins might have a slot, or you could split your time? Moving outside your comfort zone can sometimes be what is needed to grow.

KashakuTatsu makes a great point about makeup. I feel sure that'd be an uncomfortable thing to do or consider, but maybe it's the way forward, for now at least.

If not bear in mind your family support you and want you to be happy and express yourself.  The great thing about a family unit is you're in it together.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
September 24, 2012
3:55 pm
Mufasa
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ChrisBigunDouglass I agree with Oakbear, all that was said is very true and the holding together as a family to support and encourage each other in all the times; good and bad.

My family has supported me through my injury, all the doctors visits, laid up for two years because I couldn't physically stand and walk for more than an hour or so at a time, and now they support me when the company I work for; after 4+ years decide to enforce a policy about piercings. Stay strong and lean on your family when you are down, because you know if it were one of them, you would stand strong for them as long as it took.

I hope one day that employers will look past the outward appearance and see people for the person inside instead. I know that here I have not seen one person to harshly judge another about any modification. Modifications on the face, neck, and hands are the most visible to potential employers and with some of them; they turn you away without even thinking of your qualifications and if you can contribute to their company's success.

September 24, 2012
6:49 pm
ChrisBigunDouglass
Corpus Christi TX
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Thanks for all the great advise. I would try the makeup thing but I am pretty doubtfull. Most of my face and head are tattooed I would be makeup from my neck up Is this stuff that good to stay on in south texas heat covering that much area?

@Oakbear The thought of going to another tattoo shop just kills me. The guy who owns this shop is a VERY old friend. 20 yrs. He has treated me more like family than my blood family has. He put a roof over me and my families heads for the first month we were here just to help out of the kindness of his heart.  For me to do that it would be a slap in the face of the one person outside of my household that I call family. I could never do that unless he suggested it. Im too oldschool for my own good sometimes. Im thinking I am just going to have to struggle on and hope things improve. Keep looking for a square job to keep me going or try to push for disability. Just untill tattooing picks up for me.

September 25, 2012
3:18 am
KristenAtkinson0
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That is an awful situation!

I know I've been trying to live off my art for a couple months, and it's just not happening. So, I'm back in a kitchen for now. I'm sure some day things will pick up and I'll start producing some work that people actually want.

September 25, 2012
9:29 am
Oakbear
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The thought of going to another tattoo shop just kills me. The guy who owns this shop is a VERY old friend. 20 yrs. He has treated me more like family than my blood family has. He put a roof over me and my families heads for the first month we were here just to help out of the kindness of his heart.  For me to do that it would be a slap in the face of the one person outside of my household that I call family. I could never do that unless he suggested it.

 

If he has done so much, and is a close friend, the last thing he'll want is for you and your family to suffer because you are worried about offending him. Just talk about it and be open and honest. That's what friends do.

Whatever you choose, all the best though. Sometimes we need to go through the tough times to get somewhere better.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
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