My Tattoo at Work Dilemma

Today was supposed to be a great day, and it was, for a short time. I woke up happy, because today, I was going to be comfortable at work, finally able to wear short sleeves rather than the long sleeved button downs I wear on a daily basis that leave me drenched in sweat by the end of the day. Yesterday my supervisor told me that I could wear short sleeves but would just need to put bandages over my tattoos, because although we are living in the twenty-first century, a lot of people find those with tattoos untrustworthy, so a tattooed banker is apparently a big no-no. I have two tattoos on each of my arms that are visible when wearing short sleeves, so I was pretty skeptical about putting enough bandages on to cover up that amount of my arm, but before leaving work yesterday, I checked the first aid kit and saw that they were big enough to only put two on each arm, and as they appeared, through the wrapping to be the tan color, I figured it wouldn’t be that noticeable on my somewhat tan arms.

I had several options to choose from this morning as my new life began, but settled on my short sleeved black button down, the shirt that is primarily reserved for funerals and nice dinners. I put it on with my black pants, going full funeral mode because every day at work I die a little bit, and left my apartment with a spring in my step, ready to take on the day. When I got to the bank I retrieved the bandages and began ripping them open, determined to cover the degenerate markings on my arms before someone saw and called for my immediate termination, but I quickly realized that there was a problem. The big bandages that I thought were tan colored, weren’t actually bandages at all, but squares of gauze with no adhesive, and they weren’t actually tan at all, but were bright white. Seeing as how there would be no way to make these invisible on my arm, I returned to the first aid kit in search of something more suitable, and I found some tan bandages, but they were a lot smaller than I needed, and ended up using all four that we had on just one of my arms. I called out to my coworkers to be extra careful as we wouldn’t be able to stop the blood flow should a workplace accident happen today.

So with no other options of concealing the tattoos on my right arm, I placed a piece of gauze on each of my two tattoos, then secured it in place with three bandaids going across it. I looked like an idiot. It was so apparent that I didn’t need anyone else to point it out, though my coworkers did so happily, laughing at my expense. It was in this moment that I realized how ridiculous all of this was. Why would I be allowed to wear distracting bandages that cover my arms that would surely prompt many questions from the customers but not be allowed to show tattoos that aren’t offensive and most people wouldn’t even comment on in the first place? I wasn’t wearing the bandages and I couldn’t have my tattoos exposed so I did the only thing I could think to do; I got my polo zip-up hooded sweatshirt from my car and wore it the entire day, pretending to be cold when the customers inevitably commented on it. Today was not the cool day that I had hoped for.


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