Recently, I was speaking to a group about Getting Standing Ovations from Every Customer and an attendee asked me, “…and don’t you hate how every second server today has a friggin’ tattoo?”
Now, this may be a controversial answer to some (and this blog may be as well) – but I replied, you know what I hate more than tattoos? Someone who is dis-interested in whether or not I, as their customer, walk away from their business with a smile on my face.
To go one step further, what’s on a person’s body is less important to me than how that person makes me feel (insert pun here) and someone having a tattoo, or many tattoos, in my opinion, has very little to do with my experience at their business.
Why I bring this up is I was in a drive-thru today and I noticed the server had a large gawdy looking white band-aid on, and I recalled that she had it on during my previous visit over a month ago – I thought to myself, wow, that is taking a long time to heal and then I realized her employer had her covering up a tattoo. I asked her to show me the tattoo and to be honest, in my opinion, the band-aid looked much worse than the TAT itself.
I next thought to myself, interesting how they’ll let staff members walk around with a frown on their face, dis-interest in their voice, and a poor attitude, but make the best server they have cover up a tattoo.
I’m not judging them or saying it’s wrong to have them cover it up, as that depends on the nature of their business, but perhaps at least a skin coloured band-aid at least.
My next stop was at a service station where the friendliest employee had a tattoo on her inside finger. I just noticed it barely and most wouldn’t have, but I asked her to show it to me as well. Anyway, coolest tattoo, super friendly employee – I’ll be back.
As you can tell, in my opinion, an employee having a tattoo has little to do with my experience as a customer, and in fact, often, the person with the tattoo has me leaving with a smile on my face more than ones without.
And besides, I think if you’re bothered by someone having a tattoo also having a job or career, you’re going to have to start staying at home more often – because it’s becoming much more accepted.
I stopped by a pharmacy the other day and the head pharmacist had a large tattoo right there on her wrist running into her forearm. My doctor has a tattoo on his ring finger.
As the picture for this post indicates, I now have tattoos on the tops of my feet (all in the name of getting the story).
And one of my fav. tattooed women (Kat Von D) has become a very successful (and respected) entrepreneur, and even gives talks to troubled youth and so on.
IMO, The bottom line isn’t whether or not an employee has a tattoo or not, it’s whether that tattoo impacts their level of service (not your perception of whether it does) and I have yet to see a case where the tattoo itself has negatively done that.
Besides, I think it’s difficult to argue that Tattooed business people have received standing ovations from their customers for many years.
Think Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, Spoken word artist and Punk Legend Henry Rollins, Pink, Lenny Kravitz…most of these performers (whether you’re a fan or not, or whether their off-stage antics are questionable or not) have been receiving Standing Ovations from “Their Customers” for years – tattoos or not.
So perhaps a good summary would be – maybe it’s time to start worrying more about the employees with the frowning faces and poor attitudes than the ones with tattoos.
And if you’re worried that having employees with tattoos with impact your business in a negative way, show your customers you care and ask their opinion?
I’m not saying to then let go of a good employee with a tattoo if your customer is bothered by it and if there is a solution (I don’t want to get the human rights orgs. after me), I’m just saying at least then you’ll know whether a solution is needed (like covering the tattoos with a gawdy band-aid!), and you can act accordingly.
But just make sure you also consider doing something about the dis-engaged employees who don’t want to be there in the first place at the same time (or before)!
Just one man’s opinion mind you,
Until Later, have a Rock N’ Roll Day…