Following on from the idea of yesterday's post, I was wondering how many of you guys had ever found a fellow Goth, alternative fashion or body mod enthusiast where you really didn't expect one. No, I don't mean in your back garden at three a.m., stop being ridiculous.
For example, you may remember when I worked in the arts office for my local council I was mildly surprised (although not that surprised, it was the ARTS department after all) to find out that I had a closet Goth, an ex-Goth and one full-blooded, clove-smoking, wearing-New-Rocks-under-my-suit Goth as fellow employees.
|Frank the Baptist|
Does your dentist, doctor or bus driver have spooky tendencies? Does your child's primary school teacher have purple hair and tattoos on her arms under her smart blouses? Do you or have you had a punk or Lolita as a boss?
Oh! That reminds me! Whilst we're pointing out that people with unusual fashion choices, strange hair and, yes, even tattoos and piercings can hold down a job as well as the rest of us, I'd like to draw everyone's attention to the following petition (yes, another one). This petition was created by Patrick Hogan and is possibly an issue dear to many of your hearts.
I think by now most of us are resigned to the fact that covering up tattoos, dyeing our hair back to natural colours and taking out piercings is a part of life for many alternative lifestylers when they reach the job market. But unless your body mods or manner of dress pose potential dangers or hazards in your chosen field of work (bustle skirts and agriculture do not, generally, mix), they don't actually affect your ability to do your job. It's not like in school where drawing pictures on your arms could be a 'distraction' to the kid next to you - the tattoos are permanent now and the guy in the next office chair is probably not too freaked out by your half-sleeve to carry on with his own work.
There is a common sense element involved - if you want to work with small children, huge gauges in your ears might not be the brightest idea and if you have offensive tattoos (e.g. sexual imagery) I don't recommend you take up a positon doctoring old ladies unless you're willing to cover your tatts. But astonishingly enough most of the alternative community can understand such issues and would be more than likely to take steps to avoid causing any harm or offense.
Having pink hair, nose rings and a tattoo of Jack Skellington is not hurting anyone and I personally don't feel it should be an issue when employing someone. No, not even in a customer-facing role. Waitrose, for example, do not employ people with facial piercings, which frankly I feel is highly unneccessary and discriminatory as even the clientele of Marks and Spencers are unlikely to require the application of smelling-salts at the sight of an eyebrow ring.
So! Please sign the petition for including body modification in equal opportunity employment, and share your tales of either a) body modification discrimination or b) unexpected encounters of the Goth kind.