DEAR JERKASS: I have an attractive friend who was bypassed for a front-office promotion. "Miranda" is pleasant, clean, efficient, energetic and had the same qualifications as the individual who was promoted. A management team member confided that the reason for Miranda's lack of advancement "might" be due to the numerous tattoos -- difficult to cover -- on her arms and wrists, which the manager said isn't the image the business wants to convey.
Is this discrimination? I think it's unfair because Miranda is a good worker. She keeps asking me if I have any ideas why she was bypassed. Should I tell her? I don't want to violate the manager's faith in my confidentiality, even though I will be retiring soon. -- LOYAL FRIEND IN MASSACHUSETTS
It isn't just positives that contribute to a career, there are negatives that hold them back. Tattoos? Meh. I don't care either way, anymore. I will say that if you don't want people judging you by the way you look, then you have to do one of two things; change the way you look, or stop caring.
While we may think it's wrong to not hire someone based on tattoos, we also need to take a look at what tattoos are; they are a personal self expression designed to draw the attention of others (when exposed), to who we think we are.
I'll use Rotten Ronnies as a poor example. They have uniforms to look....uniform. The company isn't interested in individual expression, they are interested in presenting an image that will make them money. If that image scares off customers, then the company will not make money. They don't care about their employees methods of self expression or anything else. If they hired a person with a big swastika on their forehead, that might give the idea that Ronnies supported the KKK. Even if that person was really nice, and had given up that whole lifestyle and was trying to be a better person, that tattoo would still be there, and the vast majority of people would still make an immediate opinion of them.
So tell your friend all about what happened. Also tell her that she did things in life that, regardless of how she would like the universe to work, other people are free to dislike.
If she's so fucking tough, this will slide right off her tramp stamp.