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Body Modifications Still Hinder IT Professionals?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the placeholders-are-an-option dept.

Businesses 1461

thedeletekey writes "The Detroit News recently ran an article about body modifications in the workplace. This got me thinking; do body modifications such as tattoos and piercings still hinder IT professionals in the workplace? Or is this a thing of the past, as these types of personal changes have become more common in recent years. In my experience, I've found both stringent dress codes requiring business casual attire, and no visible body modifications, to no dress code at all. What has the rest of the IT world found to be common?"

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No biggie (3, Informative)

Kyrka (20144) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798456)

It's never hindered me - I have pierced ears and visible tats.

Re:No biggie (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798508)

I'm a trained professional body piercer (love the work, hate the pay), who works in IT these days. I have 1" streached earlobes, 60 hours of tattoo work (including my throat and ears), split tonge and facial piercings. A company with a any dress code usually wont hire me, however in more in casual atmosphere I tend to be extremely successful, moving quickly up the company ladder.

Re:No biggie (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798589)

True, but aren't you a stripper that does 'extra' for tips?

Re:No biggie (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798590)

In the place I work there is not a single person with a visible tattoo or a pierced ear (except for women of course). I find it pleasant to work in a homogeneous environment where everyone looks the same. I've known people who work for MS who were pierced from head to toe and I've always thought that to be unprofessional, distracting and quite honestly a bit repulsive. Clean yourself up and show up to work looking like a decent human being people.

"Decent human being" (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798646)

I've known people who work for MS who were pierced from head to toe and I've always thought that to be unprofessional, distracting and quite honestly a bit repulsive. Clean yourself up and show up to work looking like a decent human being people.

In some cultures of human beings, it's considered indecent if one is not pierced.

And now... (0, Offtopic)

kosh (4232) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798458)

A man with 3 buttocks

Not in academia.... (1)

z-kungfu (255628) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798460)

but I did run into it in the private sector. They didn't like the tattoos. Oh well I'm better off now.

Body Mod's (5, Funny)

WordNA (891279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798464)

The guy had several high speed fans attached to his body, something about overclocking and caffeine. They proved a real distraction to the other workers...

Re:Body Mod's (4, Funny)

youknowmewell (754551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798511)

Why didn't he just use water cooling? The only advantage I can see for using fans is the optional blue leds he would use to be spotted by cars at night while he rides his bicycle.

I'm an eunuch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798465)

you insensitive clod!

Ummm...this is 2005. (2, Insightful)

Agent Green (231202) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798467)

This is 2005...and if you aren't painfully aware...the dot.com boom has been long over...and if you want to be treated professionally, then you need to act AND look professionally. The do-whatever-you-want-club is almost closed at every location it popped up in.

Here is a simple guide:

* Hide the tats.
* Save the piercings for the goth club.
* Use a natural hair color. (man...I wish I could do green at work...)

I'm sure you can think of other examples.

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (5, Insightful)

fatwreckfan (322865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798490)

Or get the job first, then dye the hair or whatever. Once you're in the door and they value you as an employee they won't care if your hair is a different colour.

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (5, Funny)

kneecarrot (646291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798504)

So the leather tank top with the see-through nipple windows is an no-no?

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (3, Insightful)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798514)

What, you mean looking like an idiot isn't a great way to get a good paying job?

Amazing the things you can learn on slashdot.

The worst part is that the article submitter seems to frame the question as if he is part of some great repressed minority fighting to gain the right to look like an idiot.

Perhaps we should point out that wearing your pants around your ankles and farting loudly during interviews also have the potential to decrease your job prospects?

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798529)

The worst part is that the article submitter seems to frame the question as if he is part of some great repressed minority fighting to gain the right to look like an idiot.

Yes, I agree. The submitter shouldn't have to fight to look like an idiot, they should just take your example and do it the easy way.

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798541)

How about I just fart quietly, but make sure they smell real bad?

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798591)

So, for the people who got drunk in college and got a tattoo, you propose they get a job and do laser removal so they can get a job?

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (2, Funny)

HydroCarbon10 (40784) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798517)

Here is a simple guide:

* Entrench yourself in the company
* Make sure the customers never see you
* Push the limits while at the same time making sure that nobody else is capable of doing your job...try using lots of assembly and piercing your face shut.

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798543)

No kidding. I'm all for individualism, but you still have to be presentable for the professional business environment. I don't feel sorry for people one bit if they stretch their ears down to their shoulders with various hoop guages or whatever, get insane amounts of tattoos all over, get very unconventional piercings that can't be covered up and so on and then whine about how they can't get a job anywhere but StarBucks and the record shop.

Look, you're an adult now. There are certain expectations put on you. If you don't want to adhere to the professional environment, start your own company or go work in a comic book shop.

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (2, Funny)

jolande (852630) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798598)

Or Hot Topic.

I'm not joking either. All the 'alternative' kids at my high school grudgingly took jobs at Hot Topic because it was the only place where they would look presentable. In fact, hot topic encourages that type of dress. It was most funny because hot topic stood for everything the alternative kids hated.

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (1)

dmuth (14143) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798594)

> Use a natural hair color. (man...I wish I could do green at work...)

I shave my head, you insensitive clod!

(But in all seriousness, I agree with the parent poster. The place where I work doesn't have a formal dress code, yet I dress at least business casual when I'm there, because I think it's important to look professional, as well as act professional.)

Re:Ummm...this is 2005. (1)

zebo_2001 (609483) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798632)

oh really i think so not reallt how dcome whats do you think of this how do you know what is a bucket how is a bucket what is a bucket what is a bucket if the bucket is a bucket bucket poop bucket full of a cramping bucket stick it in the bucket

stringent? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798468)

...stringent dress codes requiring business casual attire...

Hi Mr. Oxymoron, nice to meet you.

tattoos (2, Interesting)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798469)

The military has no problem with those. There's your new IT opportunity. Of course, it's the military.

Re:tattoos (4, Informative)

CamMac (140401) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798626)

Just to be nitpickin...

The military does require that its members be capable of presenting a professional apperance. Tats, while the traditional mark of someone about to kick your butt, are not allowed on skin that is visible while wearing a long-sleeved dress uniform. Peircings are limited to women (1 pair, in the ears. Conservative single stud or single pearl. No hoops or danglies), or off duty and far off post.

--Cam

it's unprofessional (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798470)

It's a sign of maturity. Barring religious reasons, one should not wear any form of *visible* modifications outside of those that are generally acceptable (e.g. lobe piercings in women). Anything else shows you're immature and trying to be "different" when really you're just another idiot.
Stand out of the crowd by what you do, not what you look like. Anything else is just juvenile.

Re:it's unprofessional (2, Interesting)

CmdrTaco Is Retarded (891327) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798503)

So basically, you're mocking anyone who dares shows any sign of individuality and dares to be themselves rather than just another follow the dotted lines drone.

Your post demonstrates this statement clearly:

Anyone who deviates from what society preceives to be "correct" is a danger to the order of society and threatens people's egos because someone else is trying to get ahead in life on a different path.

Re:it's unprofessional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798553)

Why in the world was the parent modded Flamebait?? S/he had a valid point...

That said, right now my current employers status is they're fine as long as they're not showing. I have one earing that's showing, and that's OK. My tats are covered, my other facial piercings are gone. Fair enough, I guess.

My previous employer was a bit more easy going. Tats, facial piercings, all A-OK, unless it's a client meeting. In that case, cover 'em up until you're confident that the client doesn't really care.

Re:it's unprofessional (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798575)

Or the GP may be protecting business. Most prospective clients don't want to see that in their contractors. They want to see relatively clean-cut people who know what they're doing. This means:
  • Neatly dressed
    If not business/business casual, then at least neat jeans and a shirt without any crass language or symbols. For men, close-toed shoes are highly suggested; Birkenstocks are not considered appropriate in most places.

  • Neatly groomed
    Long hair and even facial hair is fine, so long as it's trimmed and neatly kept.

  • No visible tattoos
    If you must have them, cover them up with long sleeves, and use a dark fabric color if necessary.

  • Minimal visible piercings
    Men and women can get away with up to two, maybe three per ear. Nose rings, eyebrow piercings, and the like should not be brought in, and if your tongue is pierced, it should have been done long enough in the past for you to learn to clearly speak with it in.

If the people are to be tucked in the back, without anyone seeing them (such as an ISP, or remote contracting), then go with whatever makes people comfortable and efficient. If it means getting in front of customers, then there's a high likelihood that they're going to need to conform to some degree.

Re:it's unprofessional (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798592)

But the one thing you have to remember: If you want to go to the trouble of not following the path of society, you only have yourself to blame when society chooses not to follow yours.

That is to say - you have the choice not to accept society and the conformity it represents, but people are free to do the same to you. The street goes both ways.

Re:it's unprofessional (5, Insightful)

boredman (169127) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798642)

No, he appears to be saying that individuality comes from within. Anything else is just fashion.

Differentiate yourself from the other "dotted lines drones" with things that are really important: your character and actions.

Re:it's unprofessional (1)

Trollstoi (888703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798522)

Although you're a bit harsh in your comment, I mostly agree. I know that everyone has his own motivations,but I could never understand the tatoo and piercing thing. Gues I'm an eighty-years-old at heart.

Re:it's unprofessional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798550)

It's just a sign of conformity. I suppose an aspect of maturity is the ability to recognise the essential areas where you must conform (wear a suit) vs the areas where you can have some individuality (wear a funky tie).

That's the start and the finish of it. The managers want to know they can manage you (ie tell you to do stuff and have you do it). To tell the manager this, you conform to his world view. The end.

Sure it sucks if you have an individualist streak, but the pointy haired people are in charge in today's economy.

PS This antiscriptbot stuff is BUGGER HARD TO READ!

Re:it's unprofessional (1)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798578)

Sure it sucks if you have an individualist streak, but the pointy haired people are in charge in today's economy.

No, they're not. That's the point! Pointy hair could get you fired . . .

Re:it's unprofessional (4, Insightful)

Tri0de (182282) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798572)

I see your point. And keep my tat covered up at work, but any corporation that ACTUALLY wants the only kind of diversity that really matters (in the survival sense), which is diversity of viewpoint, should expect that people who think in 'different' modes might have a different appearance. If I was hiring coders, designers or marketers I think that piercings and outrageous tats would be s sign of 'out of the box' thinking (well, more of a indicator if the possibility that the modified one was an original thinker, they might just be a following sheep, but at least they are following something besides Bschool clonishness.)

Just my .02 worth.

Re:it's unprofessional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798576)

Anything else shows you're immature and trying to be "different" when really you're just another idiot.

And anyone judging you based upon whether you have an earring or not is a stuck up a pig.

Re:it's unprofessional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798611)

>> Stand out of the crowd by what you do, not what you look like.

I agree. I really, really try not to judge people by how they look, but it's tough. And this is the first thing I think when I see someome with tats, body modification, a stupid slogan t-shirt, or bumpersitickers on their car.

Re:it's unprofessional (2, Interesting)

Bobbysmith007 (717813) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798619)

I'ld like to agree, but I think its more about not really giving a fuck than being juvenile or "non conformist". I personally tend to wear my hair in fairly unconventional ways. ITs not even a fashion statement on my part, I just really dont care if I fit someone elses expectations. I tend to do what is easiest, works best at the time, or I like. If you laugh at me then all the better because I brought some humor into your life. On the otherhand Im also sequestered in a dark office where customers rarly tread so MMV I suppose.

Required Body Modifications (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798471)

Some IT jobs require body modifications like FireWire ports in the base of the skull.

Re:Required Body Modifications (1)

Feneric (765069) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798513)

Ouch. Just be sure to remember the typical FireWire static safety tips [macintouch.com]

.

Professional appearance for a professional job (2, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798475)

For me, if you want to hold a professional job, you need to look professional. That means not covered in tattoos, have 14 different body piercing through various body parts, etc. If you are insistent that you HAVE to have such body decorations, either cover them up with clothes (tattoos), or remove them (piercing). Ladies can have a pair, maybe two pairs of ear rings. Guys...unless you are gay, leave the ear rings at home. And if you have such desire to put those stupid rings in your ears [infinitebody.com] that increase the size of your ear lobe, don't even bother to apply.

Re:Professional appearance for a professional job (2, Insightful)

itcomesinwaves (890751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798566)

Guys...unless you are gay, leave the ear rings at home.

Sounds like discrimination to me.

Re:Professional appearance for a professional job (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798573)

So, let me get this right... If you're gay you can let them know and then you *can* wear the earrings? What about lesbians, can they wear four or none? Way to perpetuate ignorant and offensive stereotypes.

The idea of a "professional appearance" has been declining for quite some time not because dot-commers got to do whatever they wanted because some work environments clued into the fact that comfortable employees = productive employees. Stop dictating how people should look and start focusing on what they can *do*. (I work in at a professional IT job and while I don't have earrings, many of my fellow straight male co-workers do and no one hassles them.)

How... illegal (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798584)

Ladies can have a pair, maybe two pairs of ear rings. Guys...unless you are gay, leave the ear rings at home.

Discrimination based on sex and sexual orientation.

Re:Professional appearance for a professional job (1)

Anonymous Luddite (808273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798588)

Ah, diversity.

I work in the private sector for a company the that "fosters diversity" and "empowers" employees. Here you can look however you like and no one in management will ever say a word about it, but radical hair or body mods will most definitely stop your career dead.

Most of the IT staff here express their individuality by wearing the same lame-ass goatee, (edgy, but not threatening, lol)

Oh, and it goes without saying, you need to look corporate as hell during the hiring and probationary process...

Re:Professional appearance for a professional job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798624)

This so called "professional appearance" is just a measure of conformity. Managers desire conformity and hence will impose it on their subordinates. You seem to have absorbed it into your soul, but that is entirely optional.

PS "Slashdot requires you to wait 2 minutes between each successful posting..."
"It's been 7 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment"
WTF? 7 is greater than 2 in my world!

Re:Professional appearance for a professional job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798648)

Ladies can have a pair, maybe two pairs of ear rings. Guys...unless you are gay, leave the ear rings at home.

Man I'd need to shove a victorian stick way up my ass before I even saw the same colours as you do.

And what if I am gay? Shithead.

It can (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798483)

I think it still can. In things like development work and maybe the arts like graphical design, I think it's becoming almost expected. In general Corporate America, yes you see it more but I think you limit yourself with body pearcings and visible tattoos. That's not to say I don't like them, find them interesting and cool, all of that. I'm saying realistically speaking, they are a hinderance.

In the long term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798484)

Generally speaking uglyness of any form is hinderence in society

No prob! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798486)

I have both ears pierced as well as my industrial and labret and I've gone to my interviews this way. Haven't been turned down yet! *knocks on wood*

Re:No prob! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798507)

You have your industrial pierced? Ouch...I think...

Definitely (5, Funny)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798487)

My secretary had a problem with my Prince Albert, I fired her.

Re:Definitely (1)

graikor (127470) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798526)

Chipped her tooth, right?

Case by case basis (1)

banz23 (737504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798488)

It always depends on the company. If its a big corporation that has an IT department as a small part of a bigger picture, then there is generally a stricter dress code. I now work at an insurance company that is business casual. My previous job was also at a conservative insurance company that is suit and tie dress code, which ultimately made me look for a new job.

I would say... (2, Insightful)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798489)

...lots of metallic parts sticking out of you on a job that requires working near live electrical appliances of which some are equipped with high speed moving parts is a bad idea.

Not to mention turning yourself into two minute spot on That's Incredible by way of using your body as a canvas doesn't exactly scream "able to deal with standards and normality" which are good things to be able to convince interviewers of.

I don't even want to get into genital piercings and tattoos inside of lips.

Accepted in IT? More often adopted by geeks who are hoping to convince someone they're tough. I see very few genuine stereotypical tough body modders with any nerd cred. And a snake fighting an eagle taking up your whole chest is a lot more normal on a biker than let's say a penguin bending over and mooning Bill Gates on a support tech wearing coke bottle glasses, but either one doesn't exactly say "mentally stable and totally dependent" to me.

Grouse about superficial judgements all you like. The world doesn't work according to idealism.

Re:I would say... (5, Insightful)

minkie (814488) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798567)

I don't even want to get into genital piercings and tattoos inside of lips.
If genital piercings are keeping you from getting a job, you're showing up for interviews WAY underdressed.

I'm not really into facial hardware, but I figure it's your face, you can do what you want with it. On the other hand, keep in mind that I'm the one who's got to look at it. "Be liberal in what you accept and conservative in what you produce" has been a good concept for a long time. It's probably applicable here too.

dress for success!, or run the risk... (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798492)

Do whatever you will to or for your body, your appearance, but do so at your own risk. Since tattoos are essentially permanent, think about long term goals, ramifications, etc., and what some "permanent" might mean for those goals.

The OP talks about some places being "cool" with tattoos, piercings, etc. That may be true, but that is only a snapshot of today's standards. During the dotcom heyday, with IT "specialists" (most really weren't, n'est-ce pas?) the standard for acceptable appearance was "anything goes". We need you, and we still love you even though your hair is filthy and goes to your waist, and you have tattoos.

But, I worked for a large corporation for 21 years... when I started, the dress code was un-stated, but tacitly enforced... you had to wear dress pants (absolutely no jeans), dress shirt, and at least a sports coat (yes, the tie was optional). Over time, as IT became the place to work and demand for workers was high I saw this dress code disappear and the office soon looked like the stretch pants, khaki cutoff shorts, flip-flops and sandals capital of the United States!

Fast forward to the dotcom crash... new management, and new dress codes, this time actually formally enforced. Yeah, things change.

So, think about it... tattoos go a long way... and regardless of right or wrong, some people react negatively to them, and regardless of whether you like that or not, it's there! (I know of a very close friend who lost out to a med-school... she found out later it was influenced by her tattoos.) (Also, I think this has even passed muster in court of law -- I think Starbucks actually has a dress code and appearance code that was challenged by someone who had a pierced something, and Starbucks prevailed.)

For those who need further prodding and convincing, read John Malloy's Dress for Success [twbookmark.com] . Whether personally you like or don't like people's reactions to how you look at least Malloy will give you some empirical perspective to work with...

Re:dress for success!, or run the risk... (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798628)

So, think about it... tattoos go a long way... and regardless of right or wrong, some people react negatively to them, and regardless of whether you like that or not, it's there! (I know of a very close friend who lost out to a med-school... she found out later it was influenced by her tattoos.) (Also, I think this has even passed muster in court of law -- I think Starbucks actually has a dress code and appearance code that was challenged by someone who had a pierced something, and Starbucks prevailed.)

That's the whole thing right there. Employers don't want the potential for people you interact with (customers, clients, vendors, etc) to be offended or put off by your "art". As long as a significant number of people don't care for them, then you'll be stuck with that.

Besides, as they said on The Man Show - if you make more than $35,000, you can't get a tattoo (it had a little more bite to it than that, but I can't remember).

IT a little more lax (1)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798495)

from what i've seen, no matter what the policy in a workplace, it tends to be a little more lax in the server room/data center. i don't know if it's the understanding that we tend to work long/late hours and have to crawl under desks or whether they just think geeks can't dress nice. working in edu, it's even more lax. a lot of students thing i'm also a student.

Re:IT a little more lax (1)

The Nine (320384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798531)

You certainly got the edu thing right. I have an algebra tutor who, I assure you, doesn't wear shoes, at all, ever, and also has dreadlocks (sp?) that are approaching waist-length.

Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798497)

Ear-rings, tattoos, nope, that wouldn't go down well. However, I don't think the boss would argue if you came in with a mechanical exoskeleton.

What? (3, Funny)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798500)

There's nothing wrong with looking like this guy [flatrock.org.nz] or even this guy [flatrock.org.nz]

Re:What? (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798596)

Yah, those guys will go far in IT. Expect to see them on the cover of Fortune any day now.

Attention Whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798512)

Did you not get enough attention as a child so that you have to crave people staring at you by self-mutilating?

Boy, you're SOOOO orginal. Just like the other body-mod sheep.

Just like hip-hop wear, you project your IQ and decision making skills even before you open your mouth.

Think: Context (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798518)

If you want to launch a startup in silicon valley (assuming any VC will still touch that) then piercings and tatoos are probably a bonus.

On the other hand, if you want a gig with one of the big banks, then you better be prepared to look like another corporate clone.

You can pretty much extrapolate linearly between those two. Just bear in mind that the jobs aren't distrinuted linearly along the curve.

Depends (1)

eingram (633624) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798519)

It just depends on the company. I've worked IT in a few places that had waaaay different dress codes. One of them didn't care--I walked around barefoot most of the day, and I could get away with it because I never interacted with customers face to face.

One of the other places, however, had people coming in all the time. Doctors and future resellers. Even though I rarely talked with these people, they did see me at my little cubicle, so I had to wear business casual.

Wrong, wrong wrong. (1)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798521)

If you're good at what you do and you live in a place that isn't utterly lame, it is still (and always will be) exceedingly easy to find exhorbitant salaries in gainful employment.

I make what even in New York City is considered a high salary, and I have tattoos that are impossible to cover.

That said, please don't move to New York City looking for jobs. We don't have any. Nothing to see here. Move along.

just got a memo on friday (1)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798524)


that "hinted" at people to make sure the tats were covered, and went so far as to talk (towards women) about not wearing shirts that might reveal hidden tats if they were "reaching up for things" or "bending down for things"....

I don't have tats...but this seemed really strange considering 98% of us never are in a position to where we interact with the outside world....(Since this was a memo to IT and from IT and not sales and marketing or anything).

It doesn't affect me much in the office. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798537)

I wear my giant moth suit to work everyday.
I just with people would stop referring to it as a giant bunny suit!

painful! (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798538)

I didnt even know people stretched peircings like the guy in TFA. Ouch!

Its whats inside that counts (1)

maddogsplace (891590) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798539)

:)

I personally think that what you look / dress like can't possibly affect the way you work. Allowing people to dress more freely makes people feel less like robots.

No speaking out of turn (0, Flamebait)

Urusai (865560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798640)

If your opinion is desired, you will be sent a memo from management via flying monkey courier. Until then, STFU and keep your pie-in-the-sky fantasies to yourself. And put a tie on, FFS.

Personal expression = dressing like a loser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798542)

Earings are fairly common on men now but those big fucking earings on that guy in the article are just stupid looking. I can't understand why he would want to wear the label of "fucking loser" on his head everywhere he goes. In society dressing like a freak puts you at a disatvantage to everyone else because you will be judged by your looks first. You are setting yourself up to be a loser.

Stay away from head and neck tats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798545)

And if they ask about the tattooed tears, tell them it was a teambuilding exercise after a troublesome Exchange rollout.

Decorate your mind (2, Insightful)

ewg (158266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798546)

Decorate your mind, not your body.

Hey! Helped Me! (5, Funny)

skazatmebaby (110364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798549)

Hey, it's helped me in the past!

One Friday, I had gotten my tongue pierced, by Monday, my tongue had swelled up so much, I could barely talk.

We were in a meeting that day, I received my assignments for the day with a slight mumble grumble - I guess my boss thought I was overtly stressed or just not happy with what I had to do.

He called me into the conference room and gave me a 150% raise, telling me how good he thought I was to the company and that he was so glad I was with them. I don't think he knew about the tongue ring for weeks...

The next month, I dyed my hair green...

hehehe....never! (1)

jusdisgi (617863) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798555)

Well, there was some talk a year or two ago about perhaps requiring that we keep our shoes on in the office.....but most of us thought that was pretty draconian. Definitely no issues with hair/piercing/etc.

It was generally agreed upon that I shouldn't wear the "I read your email" shirt to work, but that's the only restriction I know about.

prudes (4, Insightful)

cooley (261024) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798557)

I can't believe the number of posts on this site talking about how "unprofessional" even an earring on a male looks. Are we really still that wrapped up in gender identity that even a gold stud on a guy is a threat?

The arguement could be made that clients or managers could have the sort of archaic, narrow-minded ideas which would necessitate very conservative attire at the workplace; however, I don't expect so much of that attitude itself on a site where the majority of the posters are geeks. I thought we were a more open-minded lot than that.

This is the same attitude which used to force men to wear ties and women to wear dresses. It's the same attitude which made people be angry with the "long" bowl-cuts the Beatles sported when they came to the USA.

I'm not saying the attitude doesn't exist, or that you can currently do what you want and get away with it. All I'm saying is that there's no reason smart people like all of us should help it persist.

Maybe if you are in the IT field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798559)

I remember many years ago on Cnet TV a fellow there had blue hair or was it green? Maybe movies like Hackers gave the impression that young counter culture types are the way to go.

Body Modification?!? (2, Funny)

nicktripp (717517) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798570)

Does "body modification" include taking a shower? Because some of the people I've worked with could really stand to have some serious work done.

Mediocrity means you can only be mediocre. (1)

rahlquist (558509) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798574)

.com may be dead. IT people walking into a building and writing their own ticket may be too. But if you stand out in ability (not all them pretty letters on paper) and you have the skill set an employer wants they will overlook most appearance items. If your just average IT dude with a devry degree, then no you will no be accepted with the 32 bit color image tattoed over your adams apple.

It's up to the clients, really (4, Interesting)

MrLogic17 (233498) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798577)

Dress code at a company I worked at was "business casual", with no reference to ink at all.

Then one day one of our desk-side techs (who really was a nice guy, by the way), got a complaint reported by a user. It was a little old lady who litterally was scared of the tech because of the ink on his arms. (a guitar, if memory serves) Instantly a new dress code went into place stating no visible tatoos. He was banished to long sleeves for the rest of his time at the company.

The moral: In a consulting company it ain't the boss who sets dress code. The client does.

-MrLogic

Double Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798582)

I love how the companies and media are worried about tats and piercings, but don't seem to give a crap about employees that are grossly overweight.

I think if they stopped hiring these fat slobs that would help people clean up their acts.

get real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798583)

I cannot believe this was even posted here. In a world, where it's cheaper to send your job to India, you want to mess with standing out like a teenager.

There are very few IT jobs that cannot be replaced abroad.

Don't mess around with this.

My tuppence (says Mary Poppins) (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798585)

A lot of companies put a lot of stock in image, I can certainly understand this (especially in certain industries, for example, the defense industry)

These sorts of things should definately be taken on a 'as it becomes a problem' basis. Tattoos, not a big deal, ear rings, not a big deal...

There is just an unprofessional feel (IMHO) than other piercings (tongue, nose, eyebrow, the visible ones, whatever is hidden is YOUR business)... in my opinion... it may fit some industries or companies just fine, but in others it will not be taken well.

I, personally, enjoyed dressing up even when I didn't have to. It helped me to feel professional and psychologically helped me perform better, I think.

Once again, just my point of view.

Dress codes in work (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798587)

Yeah, I've run into the curse of the dress code. Even working in a small office environment with no face-to-face contact with the general public, I was forced to shoehorn myself into suit trousers and a formal shirt.

To all of the idiots pointing out the necessity of appearing 'professional'; these garments are simply cloth wrappings on an ape. Suits are an invention of the last 150 years -- before that, European male fashion was far more interesting, allowing much greater room for self-expression and individuality. The perception that everyone has to dress identically to succeed is a relatively new development, and one that in all probability won't last. In short, I have no desire to pander to the predjudices and expectations of the ignorant in my private or working life, which is why I now pursue those avenues of employment and study that enforce no such strictures.

NB: I'm still employed.

Depends on Industry/Company (1)

etzel (861288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798601)

I have found that dress code/body mod. policies are more related to each Industry/Company than to IT professionals. Financial Intitutions and big Consulting Firms are typical examples of industries that still demand stringent dress codes. Even within a particular industry, different companies will have different policies. In most cases, it is not exclusive to IT professional but applies to all departments.

good choices vs bad choices (5, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798616)

A wise person once told me that the difference between a good choice and a bad choice is that a good choice gives you more choices.

Considering how many types of (strech) pierchings and tatoos are difficult to reverse, why would someone want to get one? What kind of long term plan/goal does it promote?

wtf? (1)

Internet_Communist (592634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798617)

I don't know any nerdy people who would want tattoos. Aren't we supposed to be the ones who don't care about body image and/or attention getting?

oh well.

My piercings (1)

LinuxBSDNotSCO (738941) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798620)

on my scrotum and nipples have never been an issue.

Uber-Parent High (1, Flamebait)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798625)

If you have heavy body modification, you're saying to anyone else that you don't care about yourself, and you certainly won't care about your work. Hiring circus freaks outside of the circus just isn't done.

I'm employeed in a professional role (2, Interesting)

Famanoran (568910) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798627)

As a network security consultant, I'm frequently onsite at large institutions, including telcos, financial organisations, govermental, etc...

But I've ever had any trouble with my tongue ring, and two ear pirecings.. And ner do I /ever/ wear a tie, though I do where dress pants and a "formal" shirt - my formal shirts are never plain white, blue, etc... I wear designer clothes that express myself, but also look good..

In my country (New Zealand) it doesn't really matter what you're wearing, so long as you look well-dressed and look like you know what you're doing..

Some applies from my experience in Australia, but I can't comment for any other countries..

At my work (1)

dangerz (540904) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798629)

I work at a government contractor, and I know a bunch of the guys have tats. I had a pierced lip, but I let it close up when I got the job to look professional.

It might be tolerated, but it doesn't mean you should still do it. People might not care, but I'd imagine if you're going to meet with someone important that your boss would rather you not have a ring sticking out of your lip.

All you need to know (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798630)

Just observe any film of late 60's NASA engineers and you have all the style tips you need for success. Buzz cut, white shirt, pocket protector.

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

Microsoft doesn't care (2, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798631)

I've seen some people in weird clothing, with piercings and blue hair and stuff. For as long as you do a good job, no one cares or even notices.

There still is some rudimentary dress code, though. You can't come to work wearing nothing but underwear for example. There's a legend, and I don't know if it's true or not, that once upon a time there was a guy at MSFT who was too cheap to rent an appartment. So he lived in his office. One Sunday someone caught him in his underwear watching TV in a conference room. The guy got fired. So there you go. Start the party, bash Microsoft for its oppression of nudity in the workplace. :0)

my god what is up your asses? (1)

maryjanecapri (597594) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798634)

it shocks me how narrow minded people can be. you really think the way someone dresses displays a sense of professionalism and trust? i know a lot of men in suits that'll steal your wife, your job, and your good name before you can say armani.

it's just sad that America is still stuck in that dreadful time where men can only be taken seriously in suits or khakis and women only in dreses or skirts.

oh and you - idiot with the "unless you're gay" line. grow the fuck up. if you still think that only gay men wear earrings you might want to crawl out of your basement, stop coding for a second, and realize that everyone is different and that, my dear friend, makes the world interesting.

so unless you guys and gals want to live in a world where everyone is identical i'd suggest you broaden your horizons and accept people who look, dress, and act a little differently than you.

just because a guy has tipped hair, a tatoo or two, and a piercing doesn't mean he isn't professional - it just means he might, just might, have a personality.

Yes (1)

jjeffrey (558890) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798636)

A new colleague of mine was offered the job only on the condition that he remove his lip piercing.

To be fair, in general as managed service providers we *are* a service industry, one which costs a lot of money.

It's not unreasonable for us to be asked to be smart and presentable. If your lawyer had piercings, how would you feel?

It's not a problem.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798637)

I changed sex and no one noticed

It hinders, period..... (1)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 9 years ago | (#12798638)

There are always exceptions, sure some people hold jobs with tattoos, piercings, brandings or whatever. But frankly if you want to be employable the best thing to do is to look as normal as possible. Call me a sell out or say I am wrong, but if you go into an interview looking weird it is a mark against you. Humans are a very visual species and anything that looks different is perceived as different.

As for my experiance, I have worked at companies that required suit and tie (they changed this requirement about 6 years ago) to places that I could go to work in shorts and flip-flops. Reguardless of this when I interview I shave my beard, style my hair and put on a suit and tie. It ALWAYS pays to look good and make a good first impression.

what the devil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12798641)

Here's my arm with a twiddler.
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y295/intelno001/o nehandedkb.jpg [photobucket.com]

I'm impressed by the number of posts from people on here decrying tattoos and piercings as some sort of legitimate metric for competency. I'm a Sr. unix admin team lead who has worked at NASA and some pretty amazing institutions with some famous collegues, and I've noticed that the opposite effect is true: the only people who will really judge me for having ink are the incompetent blahbedy-blah managers. Thats the way its always been in my 10 years of experience as a computer scientist.

I keep reading posts frm people who simply say "you need to look professional" but theres no real reason why you have to look like whatever "professional" means at the moment. You just "have" to. I'm guessing you are the people that grab onto corporate jargon that the VP spews out like a starving coyote and can't wait to deliver the news of someone else's project being completed as your own.

My experience has been that when some a@@hat comes in wearing a suit and tie I already know that he's gonna spout about 'synergy' and 'mindshare' and give the blank stare when asked about 'binary trees' and 'cfengine'.

I love my tattoos because they really filter out the brown-nosing corporate whore talk-a-thons like you people.

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