Oh, that’s much more appealing…

Dan writes me, saying, “I’ve run into some what I feel is an unfair treatment in my work place recently,” with the following picture attached:


I couldn’t agree more, and he explains,

I work at a grocery store as a cashier and have been working there for almost two years. I was hired with my lip pierced, and up until recently has never been a problem. We recently received two new managers and a lot of things have started to change — one of these things is the enforcement of a “NO FACIAL PIERCINGS” policy. We are forced to take them out or cover them up while at work. Taking them out is not a convenient solution since I have seamless rings, and as anyone who has used them in the past, they are a bitch to remove. I am forced to cover my rings with a disgusting band-aid or medical tape. This draws even more attention to them than not covering them at all. The band aid barely even covers anything and irritates my skin terribly. I feel that they are trying to humiliate us into taking our piercings out. I talked to the union and human resources about the issue and apparently the piercing rule was in the employee handbook that we signed when we were hired, though I have yet to see one of these handbooks.

You know, outside of “right and wrong” issues, and in my view of the world, the store is very much in the wrong here, there’s a real aura of idiocy that embraces this policy. As Dan points out, a couple piercings with an obnoxious bandage placed over them is far more upsetting looking to customers (whether they like or dislike piercings) because it sends the message that there’s something wrong with the piercing. And, as he also points out, being forced to do this daily endangers his health, so it’s ridiculous, offensive, and counter-productive on every level… but, sadly, in most States, it’s a fact of life for all-too-many people.

Finally, Dan asks,

I just wanted to know if anyone else has had similar problems in the workplace with their mods, and if anyone else has any more ideas that I could try to sway their policies?

This entry was posted in ModBlog and tagged , by Shannon Larratt. Bookmark the permalink.

About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

218 thoughts on “Oh, that’s much more appealing…

  1. i worked at mcds for a long time and they made me cover up my ear piercings with bandaids…. and i am allergic to them… finally i said fuck them and put in the least noticble earings… and they still gave me shit… most annoying thing ever

  2. I have. I used to work as an assistant manager at a bagel bakery. I had to have my snake bites pierced with a labret stud instead of a ring so I could cover the metal ball with a square of band-aid that I cut myself. It was terrible, but I wasn’t ready to take them out. Many of the customers just asked what was wrong with my lip, and I told them exactly what I had to do. They thought it was silly.

    When they healed, I was able to keep them out the few hours the bosses were there, but when they left the store for me to tend to for the rest of the day, I took off the adhesive and/or put my studs back in.

    It was a hassle, but my down time outside of work was much more important to me than not having my jewelry in during working hours.

    However, I had to take out all my piercings because I became a Surgical Technologist, and the “no facial piercings” policy there makes sense.

  3. I’ve had the same issue.

    I work in a hospital, in the clean room as an IV Pharmacy Tech to be precise, and I was hired 3 years ago with my nose pierced as well my nape (which is less visible, I know). Just recently I was told that I would have to remove my nostril piercing in order to work, which is way harder than it sounds. I don’t know if anyone else has the same issue with nostril screws, but it hurts like hell to take out and since it is such a small gauge, it hurts even worse trying to put it back in.

    I was told by my boss, who is somewhat understanding, that I would have to wear a mask at all times when I work, not for sanity reasons, but just so the “administration” doesn’t see it and get her in trouble.

    I kind of understand where they are coming from, since I am working in an environment in which sterility is necessary for the safety of the patients, but it is completely healed. Taking it in and out would actually make it worse.

    I’ve always wanted more facial piercings, but I’m limited because of my job. I know if i showed up with an eyebrow or lip piercing, I’d be sent home, even though there is nothing in our “handbook” about piercings. I guess they say that “professional dress” doesn’t include piercings, and the idea of that fundamentally pisses me off even more.

  4. I have to wear silicon plugs to work because my hairs up constantly and i see people the whole time.
    i think its dumb, either way people notice this weird circle on my ear.
    I used to have to put band aids over them but it cause too much problems.

    im slowly gettin my boss to not care about it, i proved to her that many places in the mall have that. so i guess prove to your managers no one cares if you have them, and the band-aid idea is so dumb

  5. I work at a pharmacy that is ridiculously understaffed. Recently, a well qualified tech was overlooked because he had facial piercings even though he had taken out all of his piercings.

  6. I went to VOLUNTEER at our local animal shelter and after 7 hours of training I was told I couldn’t because my piercings weren’t professional. Ugh.

  7. I worked @ McD’s for 5 years and had my ears pierced when they hired me. I after 1 year streched them to 5/8. The owner of the store would hassle me everytime he would see me…by hassle I mean “Take them out or I will fire you.” All I had to do was prove that I was a good worker, regardles of my piercings. Since then I have had my labret pierced and became the store managers assistant. Just keep on fighting, as long as your a good worker they should keep you around. Also keep in mind if they can’t give you a copy of the handbook you signed thier isn’t anything they can do about it anyway.

  8. I was going job hunting recently and my friend who works at Disneyland (happiest place in the world… allegedly…) said that they paid fairly well for starting and had good hours. I looked at their “requirements” (or something like that, i forget what they called it) and one was that you could not have any “non traditional piercings”. This rule applied to both men and women. Men could not have any piercings at all, and had to have hair that wouldn’t touch the collar and a bunch of other crap. Screw them, I am looking elsewhere.

  9. how about some sort of petition from customers saying they dont care about your lip rings or facial piercings in general. If you can prove that the people dont care about it- it might sway the higher ups to give a little. You could also get regular customers to come forward and say something on your behalf- you’ve been there 2 years you must be doing something right – lip rings and all !!

  10. I work for panera bread who has the same policy. I’m suppose to cover my tattoos and facial piercings. I worked very hard to learn everything and become a very important asset to my store. So now I cover nothing and they say nothing while they still bother others about there mods. I happen to be naturally be a very hard worker but I find it very unfair that I have no choice but to be the best of the best or my home life would have to suffer. Nothing I do hurts others. In fact all I ever get from customers is compliments and friendly inquiry so clearly it isn’t bother to many people. Who gets to choose what looks professional and what doesn’t?

  11. I refuse to work anywhere that dictates how my modifications should appear.
    Though i work in a tattoo and piercing shop now, so it would be ridiculous if they limited anything.

    Though, last year i work for a low key body jewellery manufacturer in the Okanagan, and was in sales for them at a mall kiosk, and theY asked if i could keep my piercings to a minimum.


  12. I’ve applied for numerous jobs, non customer facing work too.
    I couldn’t even get a job stacking shelves in a dew local supermarkets during the night when there are NO customers around because of my piercings.
    I removed all my piercings for the interviews except my forehead microdermal.
    Thats rejected now, but a friend who I have who is deputy manager at another local store said even if I took my piercings out I still wouldn’t get a job because I have bleached blonde hair thats very short.
    Apparently I don’t look liek a girl and it’s not a suitable hairstyle either!

    I did have a job for a year that I took all my piercings out for the interview for.
    First day I went in with all my piercings back in and blue hair, they were a bit shocked but I worked well so they didn’t mind.
    Though they did tell me if I had had piercings at the interview they wouldn’t have hired me even though I was the most qualified and non of the other applicants came close -_-
    It was working making curtains nowhere near people, no uniform or anything.
    It’s rediculous tbh.

  13. I am a hairstylist/makeup artist…and go figure but i have to cover all my tattoos for work and can only have 1 visible piercing which they say includes more than 1 earring per ear…:/ lame

  14. I haven’t had many retail jobs, but last summer I did. My boss didn’t mention my facial piercings at all, which I realized two months later was because she didn’t notice that they were there. I came into work one day and she looked at my face and started questioning me about my new piercings and I informed her that they were there when she hired me. She never mentioned them again after that.

  15. On an interesting note, I had the same problem with two nostril piercings and I contacted the corporate office via e-mail about it after local management mentioned that I had to take it out. As it turns out, the “piercing policy” was a store to store issue meaning that each store made it’s own dress code policies. I mentioned that to the local assistant manager and never heard about it again. I would tell you to contact the corporate office. In my experience, most retail stores, restaurants, etc. have such a high turn over rate, that as long as the corporate office or owner knows that you are doing a good job, they should not have a problem with piercings…I would tell you to write the corporate office if you can…..

  16. a couple of my strategies over the years

    - I always and I mean ALWAYS ask to speak to the manager in establishments that employ visibly modified people and I tell them how important it is to me as a customer that they aren’t losing quality workers over something as silly as piercings and tattoos.

    - I have many times applied for, interviewed and been offered jobs where they won’t tell me that my piercings (stretched 3/4 lobes, two vertical labrets) are against policy until I’m filling out my tax forms and stuff. I always tell them that taking them out or covering them is not an option. A few have shrugged and still hired me. Several have watched an employee they wanted walk out the door.

    - As an employee, when customers ask about or comment on my piercings positively, I encourage them to pass the word onto the management.

    My mods are important enough to me, I’ve always been willing to walk away from a job for them. I’d like to think I’m a good enough worker that its their loss, not mine.

  17. i’ve had this problem in a few of my jobs, first when i worked at wendy’s. at that time i didn’t have any facial piercings, just about 6 in each ear and about 00g lobes. i was told to put bandaids over them or take them out… you can just imagine how difficult that was and how ridiculous i looked to customers. what made it worse was the fact that two other employees had piercings. one girl had a bunch in her ears and the other had her lip and nostril pierced. neither of them were forced to wear bandaids, although they came into contact with customers just as much as i did. i talked to my managers a lot about it but the only result was that the other girls were told to wear bandaids, which only made them angry with me. eventually i told them i was not taking them out and not wearing a bandaid and they could fire me if they so chose. i was fired, but supposedly for a different reason. :(
    then recently i started a new job as a detailer where i see no customers. i was hired with 5 facial piercings, 7 in each ear and 5/8 in. lobes. when i started they didn’t say a word about it. but several weeks later it suddenly became a problem. i’m still fighting them about it, as i believe that i should have been warned when i began. plus, i don’t ever see customers!! and really, i work hard and don’t cause problems so i’m sort of offended that they’d rather have a “normal” looking employee over one who works hard. they’re currently threatening to fire me and i do not know what to do.
    i did however work at target with 2 facial piercings, stretched lobes and a mohawk that constantly changed colors… they had no problem with it, but asked that i did not get any more visible piercings.

  18. I worked for Lowe’s for three years with a vertical industrial and a nostril piercing. I was hired with both. The handbook is very vague on body mods; many people in my store had lots of piercings and tattoos, including one girl with gorgeous full sleeves. I transferred stores, and the second store tried to tell me to take them out because they were a “safety hazard.” I almost would have bought this BS excuse with the industrial if other people didn’t wear dangly fishhook earrings all the time. When I took it up with the HR manager, it was okay and I was never bothered again.

  19. I can’t say that i agree with the opinion that this policy is wrong.

    I’m a manager of a warehouse at a upscale furniture store, and I visit the sales floor daily. My boss requires that I wear retainers in all 8 of my facial piercings and I completely understand why. It’s all about appearance when it comes to customer service. Can you really say that wearing a uniform at work is wrong? It’s the same concept. Uniforms have been shown(and i remember seeing this somewhere but i can’t reference it) to increase sales. The professional look is what sells, and unfortunately piercings and tattoos are not accepted as part of the professional appearance.

  20. My idea….
    National Association for the Advancement of Modified People.

    It would be nice to have an organized forum for this…

    Piercing is NOT a crime.
    Nor are tattoos or any other form of mods…

  21. I’ve run into this problem before when I worked at Bennigan’s (restaurant) and I thought it was extremely unfair for me to have to take out my monroe and my eyebrow ring, which I ended up having to take out completely while wokring there, and had to wear a retainer for my monroe. But at the same time I understand why they do have a no facial piercing policy, which is made known typically in the hand book or the manager speaks to you about it while interviewing. I finally got fed up with hiding everything though and quit. I now work at Hot Topic so I don’t run into this problem anymore obviously. All I can really say is that if it’s causing you health issues and what not either take them out or quit, it’s not worth being constantly unhappy over a job.

  22. When I was 18, I got hired at Wal-Mart, and I wore my 3/4″ tunnels which I was sporting at the time to the interview and was hired. When I got to my orientation after quitting my former job, I was told by the produce manager that I couldn’t work here because of them. I angrily told him that I already quit my last job, and I wore them to my interview, and that he had no right to talk to me like that (rudely). Apparently the woman who hired me got in trouble and I had to wear my long hair down every single day at work, even though it was balls hot and extremely uncomfortable. Now I work at an all natural grocery store, and most of the customers live somewhat of an alternative lifestyle I would say, and I still have to take out my 2″ plugs anf flip them over my ears. I feel like I don’t look like me without plugs.

  23. I work at Gamestop, and my boss is very relaxed about visible modifications. He actually gets excited when I wear jewelry that shows off my stretched lobes and so on. Even when I worked in an ER my mods weren’t a problem. Hell, a nurse got her nose pierced after I explained the process to her and recommended her to a shop. I’ve been *really* lucky as far as mod-friendly jobs go.

    I can understand why some workplaces are not mod friendly. I just don’t know why they think that bandaids solve “problems” like that. :\ It is humiliating and uncalled for.

  24. A good deal of the story of my first ever piercing – my well-beloved labret – is work trouble. I have to admit that at the time of getting it, I was so sick and tired of my workplace – Tesco, a British supermarket ‘giant’ – that I didn’t particularly care if I had to leave my job or not. Well, it’s a good job I didn’t, because that’s exactly what happened. I caused a furore turning up to work a few days after I had had it pierced, where there was a lot of running around (mostly on my part) trying to figure out exactly what they were supposed to do about me. At first they told me it would be fine to simply cover it with a plaster, as above. Then, while I and the cafeteria staff were hunting about for plasters, I was called away to be told by a duo of managers that a plaster would not do and it was either take it out or lose my job.

    I told them what remains true to this day: my piercing was very important to me, and I wouldn’t take it out even for the sake of my job. (Apparently I signed something. I signed nothing but tax declarations. My contract was posted to me a month after joining the company; I never signed it, never sent it back, and never heard another word about it.) They then gave me the choice of resignation, with an unworked week’s pay; or being fired, with no extra pay, including that day. I chose the money. And, being a teenager at the time, I was blindingly relieved to be out of the lonely, soulless place.

    As a side note, I’ve since seen other employees with facial piercings working unmolested.

  25. It hits all areas … I was an IT Director at a company and was hired with my pierced ears as visible piercings – standard one per lobe – though I didn’t wear earings at the interview or during work … I remember my dismay when at a management meeting several of the other managers were commenting on one employee negatively as he had a lip piercing … laughing as they did not know I had 8Ga + nipple piercings, a 4Ga Septum, and a 00G PA … after I had been there 9 months I decided to repierce my tongue – well … shortly thereafter my manager started critiquing my performance and ultimately I ended up leaving … oh … and I was 44 years old at the time … so it happens at all levels of employment … the sad part is they have every right to not hire or fire someone for whatever reason suits them … it is up to us to decide how much we want a specific job and what we will do to get it or keep it.

  26. I’ve had lots of friends with similar problems. I’ve been lucky enough to never run into it though. I have multiple facial piercings and a few visible tattoos (chest and arms) and it’s never been an issue. I work with juvenile offenders, so it actually makes me more approachable for a lot of them. I think it’s ridiculous, personally. Hopefully, once our generation is the one in the primary roles in the workforce policies will begin to change.

  27. The baby boomers thought they were so radical and changing the world. Now they’ve become the establishment against which they were fighting.

  28. I’ve never had any huge problems. I worked at Barnes and Noble, where they told me my stretched ears weren’t a problem as long as they got no bigger. They went from a 0g to 9/16″ over the course of my employment and nobody said anything.

    I am, however, looking forward to being employed exclusively by small companies and by individuals– no more deferring to management, corporate policy, and bullshit like that. I just refuse to be subjected to things like that.

    I will begin making a point of telling the management anywhere I go that I appreciate seeing modded people free to express themselves at work. I think they probably get much more negative feedback about modded employees than they do positive. Time to change it.

  29. I work for FedEx. They don’t seem to mind my 1.5 inch ears. But I am just a dumb truck driver. Not to be harsh, but stand up for yourself. Tell them you are the way you are and if they don’t accept you then fuck off. No job is important enough to let yourself get run over.

  30. My job has a very strict policy on piercing and tattoos. (i run a car wash) The only piercings allowed are on women, and only our ears, and only one hole/earring per ear. No men may have piercings. Absolutely no visible tattoos allowed.

    In the winter that policy isn’t so bad, because we’re all bundled to the teeth anyway, but in the summer time it’s a pain to wear long sleeves. (for the two of us with visible tats on our arms) I deal with it, and really don’t care. What gets me is that my customers are great, and most have mods! It’s not even about the customers for us anymore, it’s about keeping the old fart owners happy. (you know the type of old geezer, “Kids and their damned rock and roll music!”)

    Soon enough a better job with more money and more open-minded bosses will come along. In the meantime I wait and just keep adding ink under the clothes… lol! I’d suggest the same, but as a lot of your problem is with piercings… and not ones easily covered with clothing. Good luck…

  31. Back in college I was doing shop work for a water filter company that sold and install filters and softeners. After working there for six months, I asked about moving into one of the tech positions and was told that I needed to take out my piercings and cut my hair- I had two 12g piercings in each lobe, a helix on my left ear and an ear head on my right. My hair was to the middle of my back, naturally straight, undyed, unbleached, and I always wore it in a tight tail.
    Between myself and the tech manager we did 80% of the work in that company; repeat customers specifically came to talk to me, even though I was theoretically just a tech; nobody had a problem except for the owner.
    Now I get paid twice that much for a full-time job in an office. My ears are now up to an 8 and 10 on both sides, with 2 inch spirals and nobody says a word.

  32. when i first started at my job i had to take out ‘some’ piercings. but one day i forgot to and have just been wearing them ever since (3 years later). i’m not allowed to show my branding on my chest, but the cutting on my leg is ok. they claim its because of the placement of my branding. which is a load of crap becuase there are a few people at my work with chest tattoos and that doesn’t seem to matter. recently a girl i work with got her cheeks pierced (the only other facial piercing she has is a tiny little septum) and my bosses told her that when they’re healed she has to take them out for work becuase they’re ‘too extreme’.. meanwhile, i’m a manager and i have 3 lip rings (6g center) a 6g septum, both nostrils and my scrumper.. go figure? haha.

  33. I had that with my job too. All 3 of my managers were pierced and/or tattooed, but it was the company’s mandates so even though no one at our location was horrible oppressive, we still couldn’t have FACIAL piercings. so I got another tattoo and microdermals in my chest. take that stupid policy-makers!

  34. “Not to be harsh, but stand up for yourself. Tell them you are the way you are and if they don’t accept you then fuck off. No job is important enough to let yourself get run over.”
    -#37 trucker4lyfe.

    i had something harsh ready to be typed… but you summed it up well.

  35. wow this is eerily similar to what is happening with me we too just got two new managers im not getting as much greif about the facial piercings but i am about the 2 inch lobes i also work at a grocery store

  36. i currently work for Target. im on the sales floor everyday, with guests constantly. when i went in for my interview, i had taken out my lebret and wore different jewelry in my ears. the lady that did my second interview actually told me i could put my jewelry back in, that it wasnt a problem. in orientation, the fact that Target is a very “diverse” company to work for was pretty much the only thing that was repeated. there are a lot of visibly modified people working there. the job i had before i moved to texas, i worked in a call center, as a customer service rep, answering phones. never once did i see a customer face to face. only fellow employees. but, i was told i “should try to keep the piercings to a minimum, so as to not upset the other employees” by one of my supervisors, after i was hired. weird.

  37. Seriously, grow up. I love my mods, but I am not so naive as to think that they do not affect the way other people see me. I completely understand and agree with the store- if customers come in and get grossed out or offended (rightly or wrongly) by pierced or tattooed employees, that store has every right to ask that the employee remove the piercing or cover up the tattoo, or not even hire you in the first place. It comes down to the simple fact that we CHOOSE to stick foreign objects in our body and proudly display them, and any employer can CHOOSE not to hire us because of the way we look. That isn’t discrimination- I wasn’t born with a septum ring, so I can’t demand to be hired in spite of it. I am heavily modified, but, as I work in a very professional environment, everything I have can be removed or covered up when necessary. I don’t get angry about it. I smile because while other people are bouncing from one minimum wage job to another because they couldn’t be bothered to actually commit to any particular one, I am making lots of cash that can put towards other mods.

  38. If you like your piercings more than your job, quit.
    If you like your job more than youre piercings, take em out.

  39. i work as a waitress at a sports bar and am forced to take out my eyebrow ring and tongue barbell, as well as turn my septum ring up inside my nose and use dermablend to cover up the small ankh on my neck. i also cannot wear flesh tunnels in my 2g lobes but am allowed to ear solid plugs..

    and somehow all the girls with tiny nose studs are free to wear those..

  40. I work at Coles as a cashier. I have my labret, a surface piercing on my finger, two microdermals on my arms and occasionally my nape visible and they haven’t been much of a problem for me there. I just get the occasional harassment from customers and colleagues that i report to the store manager and he has my back 100%.

  41. Like # 27 I work at Gamestop and even though the company policy says “no facial piercings” Noone has ever said anything to me and I have even met managers with lip rings and such. My old roommate has 3 facial piercings she worked at Sears and they dont have a problem with mods, the manager actually said that more people are offeided by being asked to take out or cover their mods than customers are offended by workers having them.

  42. I had the same thing working in a supermarket – only I had to wear a bright blue band-aid to cover the ring I had through my eyebrow.

    I never had a problem, but one person told my manager that because I was working the fruit and vegetables section, it wasn’t very hygenic (as if I fucking wait for the crust to build up, then rub my face into the grapes).

    I don’t have a good ending for Dan though, because when my manager gave me the “what’s more important to you, your piercings or this job?” I literally told him to go fuck himself.

  43. When I was 16, I had a summer job with a provincial government office. Along with several ear piercings, I had my nostril pierced and at the time, I was wearing a ring in it. I also had a tattoo on my forearm and one on the back of my neck and being that it was summer, I wore short-sleeved shirts or tank tops to stay cool so my tattoos were visible at all times. I’m sure several co-workers were put off at first, but I made it clear that my piercings and tattoos did NOT make me a lazy asshole and that they did NOT stop me from doing my job effectively and efficiently.

    I later worked at a corporate bookstore where I sported a plethora of ear piercings, double nostrils, septum and labret. (I had several more visible tattoos on my forearms, but I chose to keep them hidden because I was sick of people asking about them.) I was wearing jewelry in all my piercings when I introduced myself to the manager and gave her my resume and I wore them to my interview, as well. After I was hired, I read in the employee handbook that employees were only allowed two piercings per ear, one “tasteful” facial piercing, and visible tattoos could not be “crude” or “offensive” (and this part made me laugh the most: employees could not sport mohawks or other “extreme” hairstyles). After three months of working there, I was promoted to supervisor and regularly met with the regional and provincial managers. Being that it was a bookstore, I got to deal with all kinds of personalities and I can’t think of a single person who seemed so put off by my mods that it stopped me from doing my job. In fact, I had several customers (many of them old ladies) who would seek me out personally for assistance.

    I’m back to working in a professional office, I’m more modified now than ever and no one has said a word. It can be hard and frustrating to do, but you just have to try to prove that body modification doesn’t stop you from being a professional, capable, hard-working individual. And if your employer can’t seem to see that, then it’s in everyone’s best interest that you find yourself a job that doesn’t require you to make personal sacrifices that you’re not willing to make.

    Anyway. Long comment short: there is hope. Good luck to those fighting such jackassery as mentioned in previous comments.

  44. I used to work for the Olive Garden, waitressing for 3 years at 2 different stores, the first store wasnt that big of an issue only 3 piercings per ear, my septum had to be flipped up and the tongue ring had to come out, when i transfered to a different store, i took a week off and got both wrists tattooed, i had to wear an ace bandage around both wrists which made me look like a gimp, irritated my skin and most customers knew i was hiding tattoos, i usually had at least one table a day that would ask to see them. However, whenever the district manager came by i was promptly sent home. He had fired at least two bartenders and even line cooks, who have no contact with the customers for tattoos.

    but, when i told my general manager i was gonna gauge up my ears he said thats fine, even after my direct manager told me “hell no!” the only rule towards earings in the handbook is “no jewelry bigger then a quarter” so that left me alot of room to increase.

  45. It’s all just a matter of it being safer for the employer to try enforce a no piercing / tattoos code on its imployees rather than risk driving customers away who consider mods that offensive.

  46. i actually asked my managers what would be ok to get before i got anything pierced and everything i asked them they said was extreme, and their main thing was that customers would think it would be extreme, so i went and got what i didnt ask them, and when they commented on it i just acted like i didnt know what they were talking about and walked away, them: “whats that in your nose?” me: “what do i have a booger?”. i havent heard anything from them sense about it, but they hate me and are trying to find ways to fire me, but the feeling is mutual. overall i think the problem most customer jobs have with mods are that they think that customers will think its offensive but from what everyone is saying, i think we can all agree that even though a customers might think you’re ugly and you’re going to hell for doing something like that to your body it doesnt effect them in any way from getting their herpys medication, so they get over it and still shop there. Unless you actually say something offensive to the customer or trip an old lady in the aisle for fun, i think we all agree there shouldnt be a problem with mods.

  47. this sounds similiar to a story i have though not piercing related. i worked at a restaurant, a slow boring family restaurant with very little business. i was 17 and decided to get dreads. i worked one day, went home and my friend and i started the dreads for hours that night. i went to sleep, school, than to work with my new dreads. when i showed up at work i was told by the old mean general manager who was there like once a week, usually not while i was even working, that i had to go to the near by beauty store and purchase hairnets if i wanted to continue working there. i point out that bonita, an older lady from ghana had dreads and didnt wear a hairnet. She repeated that I had to either go buy a hairnet or go home. I immediately quit. One day my hair is fine and clean when it’s straight and the next day it must be dirty because its dreaded right? wtf?

  48. When I was hired for my current job [sales clerk at a high-end luxury department store], I was told I’d have to remove my labret and flip my septum, plus wear solid plugs in my ears.

    After a while, as my performance went up and my mistakes went down, I started wearing visible jewelry in my labret instead of retainers. No one noticed. I changed my septum pincher to a segment ring. No one noticed. I wore Kaos earskins in my ears and my [ex]supervisor said there’d been complaints, so I switched back to solid plugs. Now that my supervisor is no longer my supervisor, I occasionally wear tunnels or earskins or whatnot – and I get the feeling that while my performance and attendance are perfect, I will be given a little wiggle room regarding what metal I put in my face.

    There is nothing, incidentally, in either our employee guidelines or the hiring contract I signed about mods. A coworker downstairs in the cosmetics section has full sleeves and a full throat piece; after I saw him walking around, I felt a lot more secure about my job.

  49. interesting.

    first off, I was under the impression that in the US if an employer hires you with pre-existing visible (uncovered) body modifications that if they changed their mind about the acceptability of it that it was not a valid reason for termination. Is that true or have I been misled?

    My most recent skirmish with visible piercings was working a flyer job. In Japan one of the options for visibly modified people is to hand out flyers and tissues as the station for companies, however due to my foreigner status it was seen as unacceptable that I be treated the same. When they asked me if my facial piercings could be removed and my neck and hand tattoos could be covered I told them there was no way I would do it for $10 an hour.

    At my last fulltime job, that screwed thousands of employees over by failing to pay them and monumentally going bankrupt (google NOVA) I wore a wig, retainers and make-up to hide my modifications every day. As it got me a visa in Japan and paid the bills, while it was soul crushing you have to balance the bad with the good. Sometimes covering up is worth it and sometimes it’s bullshit.

  50. I work at osco drug and have been for about 2 years now. I got hired before I began stretching my ears. When I got to 1/2 inch I had a manager tell me she would force me to take them out but she was removed from the store shortly after I informed my new boss(he got transferred in august) about her comments about my ears. I could not be happier and a handful of employees actually encourage me to keep my septum out instead of flipped up but I live in a suburb of chicago so I deal with many close minded, older than middle aged customers, I just dont feel like hearing it. Anyways I have been very fourtinate to have a boss that is all for body modification of any kind. The thing I find most funny about some of the situations is “no traditional body piercings” even though people have been doing facial piercings for hundreds of years…not traditional? hmmm. Well what can you do, in the long run lets face it, if a job wont hire you because you have the credentials but you also have mods…is that really a place you want to work anyways? I certianly wouldnt want a boss with an attitude like that.

  51. In the US, unless you’re working for the government, any reason they fire you is a good enough reason legally as long as it doesn’t violate the Civil Rights, which individual rights are not a part of.

  52. #53- psyentific
    I heard the same thing. If you are hired with a certain physical appearance, you can’t get fired for that appearance. However, if a handbook is signed that requires facial piercing to be removed or covered, that handbook has to be followed I believe.
    Unfortunately cashiers at grocery stores are a dime a dozen, and especially because it is a retail job, they can put restrictions on that sort of thing.
    I’ve been in retail or customer service all my life and I have never been bothered because places want to keep me around. If you are a hard worker and your skills are in demand, places seem to be more lenient on body modifications.

  53. I worked secuirty and had a few issues with my boss – but never the client I was working with. Now I do tech support at a call center and the office is wonderful. About three times a year we have business casual day where you can’t wear jeans and t-shirts to work and you have to be more polished. I told my boss I don’t own anything but jeans and leathers – she challenged me to wear the leathers. So I wore leather pants, boots, and a nice crisp white tuxedo shirt accented by a leather vest to work – other than being a tad warm, it went well. We have so many modified and alt people at work I almost couldn’t imagine working elsewhere. HR is pretty good about standing up for anything, even when Gordon was slightly harassed for his pretty long red nails (by a co-worker) our HR smoothed it out. The larger the company is, generally, the better the benefits are from what I’ve seen here.

  54. I’ve had the same problem.
    Just today when I told my manager that I wanted to get my lip pierced she told me that she didn’t “get mods” and that she doesn’t understand how it’s an expression. However the assistant manager has her tongue pierced and had the piercing when hired the company manual says nothing about modifications, it just simply states the basics that workers must appear tidy and presentable. I work in an “adult store” and my manager told me although it isn’t mentioned in the manual it would be frowned upon, look unprofessional and most likely ultimately get me fired. I’m in Canada btw and I asked my boss about using a retainer and that idea was shot down. I guess I should be glad my tattoos aren’t visable or I might be out of a job. Last but not least I don’t think Dan should be forced to hide his piercing at all, he was hired with it and in my opinion…that’s that.

  55. I work part-time at a budget supermarket to help me through University. When they employed me, I was wearing 8mm tunnels in both ears and a nostril retainer.
    I’ve since got a corset, microdermals and some more ear piercings. Whilst only the latter is above my neckline, my managers are always interested (and by interested I mean ‘Ewww let me see. URRGHH hahaha”, which I guess is preferable to ‘what the hell, you’re fired’) in my piercings.
    I know not to push it though, and anything facial is off limits. They notice if I leave my regular nosescrew in by accident.

    Our deputy manager is halfway through two Japanese themed sleeves. He’s meant to wear long sleeved shirts but so far hasn’t.
    I get some shit from customers. Often bitchy little teenage girls and middle aged people asking me if I’m trying to look ‘like one of those African natives’. If only they knew about my corset and collarbones, they would probably crap in a sock.
    But funnily enough, a lot of the crap I get is from geezers with prison-style tattoos that have faded to crap all over their hands and neck.

    The company handbook states that no facial piercings are allowed ‘including any worn in the mouth’ and that earrings must be kept to one small pair of hoops/studs. Tattoos must not be offensive and must be covered by long sleeves or the rest of the uniform.

    I’m good at my job though, even if it compromises my ethics a bit. I think that if I was crap at it, they would hassle me more about my mods. As someone else said, keep fighting and prove you are as good as anyone else at your job.

    Oops. I rambled.

  56. I say boycott. Where do you work? I’d be glad to start a letter writing campaign explaining why I do not spend my money at stores or businesses that discriminate against people who look like me.

  57. I am so glad my job doesn’t have a problem with it. I’ve worked at Gap (of all places!) for about eight weeks, and was hired with a vertical labret, tongue piercing and a bunch of ear piercings that made it hard for me to find a job. I’m the most heavily modded person there, but there are a couple of other workers with one or two “non-standard” piercings or tattoos. My management seem to be pretty cool with it, although I usually wear my hair down to cover my ear piercings. In fact, one of the managers has a few lobe piercings and he wears rather large rings in them! He also changes his hair colour regularly, haha.

    A friend of mine has a tattoo on the inside of her wrist, and her job is incredibly strict about mods. She’s forced to cover her arms with plasters. It really does look as if she’s done some serious damage to herself!

  58. I would definitely say that unless they can show you the contract you signed, with your signature on it, they have no case for firing you, especially since you were hired with them. When I worked in a grocery store I asked during the interview if they had a problem with it, and they said that their official store policy was no visible piercings, they didn’t enforce it. I’m lucky enough to have a manager who doesn’t care and dragged his wife over to look at my septum and 0ga helix, and is intensely curious about my microdermals.

  59. I work at maccas, and they require me to put retainers in all my piercings (verticle labret and medusa). but its so silly, i don’t think the clear retainers are any less visible and they have even more chance falling in the food.

  60. mate i had the same problem…i don’t know if there are solutions for this, but i think that we have to create our own job…like open a shop or something like this, and working only with modified peoples^^

  61. Here in England its the same, I have a similar problem with all of my piercings, including my 22mm stretch in the end it came to me standing up and saying “fire me or let it go” I still work there today:)

  62. at my last job, the company got taken over and my assistant manager went on a trip about my tattoos and even my hair!! apparently i had to wear long sleeves every day, even in the summer, and i had to have my hair tied up because it was “too long”.. yet my hair wasn’t long enough to sucessfully tie up without half of it falling down. and if i tied my hair up it would expose my 38mm lobes, which surely is more offensive than sholder length hair!! i spent a good 15 minutes arguing with her about why it was so stupid and she finally gave in and just let me keep my hair down. i wore long sleeves for 2 days then “forgot” to bring my cardigan to work and never wore long sleeves again haha.

    i took out all but 1 of my facial piercings when looking for a new job and wore a jumper to all my interviews. got a job at a game store and turned up on the first day with my wrk shirt on, and sleeve on display. they were a but “uhhh” about it at first but after half an hour on the till, i already had 3 customers compliment me on it so they just decided it didnt matter. now i get at least 3 compliments on it per week, and am yet to meet a customer with a negative view after nearly 6 months of working there.

  63. I worked at a grocery store once upon a time- night stock so I wasn’t directly in contact with many, if any customers. I have a septum ring and I wore it to my interview the interview went really well(it was my first ever interview for my first ever job) until the last moment when the manager who was talking to me made a “Oh, and one last thing…you’ve got to take that “thing”*points* out of your nose.” I needed the job right then so I said sure I would but instead I took the bead out of the CBR each night and flipped it up into my nose it just didn’t feel right being completely without it. One night I was running late and completely forgot to flip it up, walked in, punched in everything as usual until 30 minutes into working when a manager walks up to me and points to his nose with a very pissed off expression then just huffs away. I was horrified so I quickly popped the bead out stuck it in my pocket and flipped my ring up. Apparently one of the oh-so-friendly co-workers that had previously been so nice to me snitched and pretty soon the boss came back to ask me about my piercing and where it went. He knew it was up my nose and told me that was completely unacceptable blah blah they expected me to let it close I can’t even have the piercing working there but I denied it – what was he going to do look up my nose? I’d have sued! So he stops me working just to hassel me about something he has no right to say I CAN’T have at all and he can’t even see which the customers also can’t see and therefore in no way interfers with anything to do with the company or job.

    How is socially and publicly humiliating employees in a supposedly “Employee Owned Company” acceptable? How is acceptable on a basic, human level?

    I never went back after that night…and I’ll never accept the “charity” of people who think they are so much better than me because they sign the paychecks that they have the right to actually tell me what to do with my body and self. Where’s the line? What else are they going to try to control next? I agree that presenting a certain “image” especially in a food oriented place is needed, but the band-aid look is even worse than the piercing!

    I thought people in the USA were promised freedom of speech and expression and the persuit of happiness by our constition? I guess our bodies, the most important thing we have to send messages to others, express ourselves, and make us happy – just don’t count. I’m shocked when I shouldn’t be at all the disrespect employers treat their employees with over such a silly issue, I guess they’re a dime a dozen tho to big corperations.

    I did get a bit of revenge, every night for the next two weeks I called in at various times complaining of being very sick(didn’t say of what). Some nights I didn’t call in until well after work had started when the night before I’d told them I’d be in so they basically had no one to replace me that night and the manager had to work my job! After two weeks I got a call during the day from the guy who hired me and he was actually willing to give me another two weeks off to get well! I finally formally quit during that phone call and told him exactly why and it felt great! I was one of the hardest workers they had it was definitly their loss.

    People have to stand up and I definitly agree with #39.

  64. I worked at a mechanics for a year or so, and ther was one guy who had tattoo’s ALL OVER his body, im talkin like he had a bald head and he had a spiders web on the top of it etc etc, yet when i wore a ring in my lip i got told that ‘if the regonal manager were to walk in now, youd get the sack, take that thing out’ wich to me is very confusing, especially as all i was doing was changing toddin air filters allday!!!
    now i work for my dad at his IT company, and he was cool with ma ears when they where like 16mm but now ther at 22mm hes allways telling to ware plugs not ma flesh tunnels, and hes gunna flip when i get ma sleave done on saterday!!! arr well, im in a band, he should no it comes with the teratory.
    so all in all, i havent been that lucky, even with family!

  65. Here in Austin, TX I’m not sure you can get hired at any job -without- having several visible piercings…

    Then again… lip rings often equate to incorrect change; everyone knows that.

  66. if youve got a lot of tattoos and piercings and you work at mcdonalds, methinks you may have mismanaged your funds a little.

    honestly, the lowest tolerance for modifications is always at the lowest level of the employment ladder. when you have something to offer your potential employer besides a warm body, you have a bit more leverage when it comes to your appearance.

  67. ive come across the same problems, with a telemarketing company of all places.. ive had my nose and labret pierced for over 4 years and everyone tells me they look nice on my face. but when i worked for a place in my home town they told us that we had to cover them up with bandaids.. and 90% of the ppl there had either facial piercings or tounge studs, which they were required to take out. i also worked for a gas station and the airconditioning went ou tfor about a week, so we all wore shorts, and i have a large tattoo on my leg that many of my customers(most were modified)really liked it, but when the shorts came out the manager who was tattooed herself told me i had to cover it up, and handed me a box of SHEER banaids, to cover an 8 inch tattoo. i looked like a fucking douche bag with the tattoo showing thru the plastic,and sweating them off, so i started wearing an ace bandage wrap on it, and everyone asked me what i had done, if i hurt myself so i had to explain it to them and they all agreed that is was retarded. i now work at a mc ds and actually had a customer complain to my asst manager about my small stud in my nose and stud in my lip, the manager laughed at her and said yes there is a policy of no facial piercings and limited ear piercings there, but i was a great worker and she would tell teh head manager that very day that i was violating the policy. then a week later she rememberd and told me about it, the head amnager laughed her ass off about it. i dont see what exactly a piercing can do to make a person a shitty worker, and when u talk on the fone, how does a piercing or tattoo keep u from making a sale?
    i also have tattoos on my hands that i was sure id be yelled at for getting, but everyone thats seen them compliments me. some time i get shitty comments from customers who think they are being smarter than i am saying”can i have that big mac with out metal in it” and i just smile at them and ask if they wanted extra metal or was it no metal.. they usually just joke with me or ask about them.
    i agree with #23 we really do need a union for National Association for the Advancement of Modified People.

  68. I am a mining Engineering tech, and I have to take my “visible” piercings out anytime I have to go underground, but this is also a safety factor, I think that in certain environments objects protruding from your body might cause safety issues, but for the most part, jobs like retail, food jobs, ect should allow “most” body mods, we as a society promote tolerance, and equality, yet anyone who isn’t part of the “Aryan” race of normality are persecuted for such.

  69. I have 4gauge tunnels, a labret, nose ring and a small cutting on my right hand. My hair is usually two toned in crazy colours. I work in TV (behind the scenes) and have never had a problem. I have spoken to my managers about getting visible tattoos and they see no problem with it. They have warned me that not everyone would be as accepting should I decide to leave the company but I am prepared to deal with that should it arise. I’m a hard worker and have made myself indispensible so that does help with the acceptance levels of my mods.

    Previous to this job I worked in retail at a music store. To begin with they were ok with my mods but over time they decided to refocus their demographic to people over 30 and all of the sudden we had to wear all black (no colours at all), weird hair colours were frowned upon and I was told not to get anymore piercings. They did offer me a full time job but since I was still casual at that point I just quit and moved to another city. I only gave them 2 days notice as well. It made me quite happy to have them scrambling to fill in for me. Revenge is sweet.

  70. I have worked at a small, non-profit, family-oriented museum for almost 3 years. From the start I was not allowed to wear my little 14g septum ring, but nostril studs (not rings) were ok. Last summer our dress code policy was revamped, so now piercings and [non-offensive] tattoos are considered ok, except for staff who have consistent face-to-face interaction with the public, in which case it is up to their manager to decide. I still can’t wear my septum ring, and lately have recieved comments about my slowly growing lobe size possibly becoming an issue, but nostril and lip/labret studs are ok as long as they are tiny. It does not make any sense to me and I find it a little offensive personally that they would continue to perpetuate the idea that one type of piercing is acceptable because it is more “common” and another isn’t. So I guess when some high-profile celebrity starts sporting a septum ring and it becomes that much more mainstream, it’ll be ok, right? Grr. /angst!

  71. I also work as a cashier in a grocery store, and I have my lip pierced twice, and nobody gives me any shit about it. however, the store I work in is small and locally owned & operated, it’s not like Kroger’s or Meijer’s or whatever else. Another one of our employees has double nostril piercings and her eyebrow pierced, and still another employee has tattoos all over the place. We just happen to live/work in an accepting community…

    good luck to you! my only advice would be to maybe put in labret studs so they aren’t as glaringly obvious as the rings? I dunno…

  72. Just as an afterthought… I know for sure that Target allows facial piercings, because I worked there for a couple weeks on the sales floor. :)

  73. I work at the ups store and we too have the no facial piercings rule. However, i do get away with an 8g tongue bar and my septum is pierced. I do deliberately wear a horse shoe in my septum so i can just flip it up while at work. I also have 5/8 lobes, upper flats and my tragus pierced. I definitely get away with more than what i am supposed to have, and my manager is very understanding on the subject.

  74. check this– I’m a graphic designer. I work in a cubicle. Some days I never see the SUN, much less an actual customer. But I am still not allowed to have visible mods. They even outlawed tongue piercings, but I have kept mine because nobody has noticed except for another coworker who also has a tongue piercing. LOL. I just don’t understand why they care about how I look when I am not even in a customer-service-oriented job. Furthermore I don’t see what is inherently “unprofessional” about some metal in my face. ugh.

  75. I worked briefly at a McD’s (until i left for school) and they were very letter of the law strict. I had to take out my labret to work. Later I went and had my ears punched at 2g (6mm) [now 20mm] and so i went to talk to the store manager before work about to see if they were going to make me do something silly like cover them with bandaids, like several of my co-workers did with their eyebrow rings. The response was that it was fine if i took out the upper conch ring i wore, because the employee hand book say one piercing per ear is acceptable – making no provisions for size. So in McD’s land it is bad to have a tiny bit of metal in my lip but ok to have relatively large holes in my ears…..go figure.

  76. I work at a grocery store and I have facial piercings. I got hired with a tongue ring and 1″ lobes. I knew the dresscode when I took the job. Although I was hired with piercings, I knew and prepared myself that one day it may not fly any further. Eventually someone will ask me to follow the dresscode and I didn’t and don’t feel there is anything wrong with that. Why do I get to break the dresscode in that area and others don’t get to break other dresscode rules?

    I got my tongue split and added an monroe piercing over the next few months of being hired. I have also been promoted to an assistant manager at work. I think of my year and a half of my employment I was asked once to remove my piercing. That was when corporate came in town. I forgot to take it out and spoke one on one with the district manager with no issues.

    I know that I have it made because I am allowed to break the rules and others are not. I’m not going to bitch when or if they ask me to “cover up” or remove. Like I said before, why do people with piercing get to break a dresscode rule and other can’t choose which rule they want to ignore?

  77. I worked in a bank that had that kind of rule. At the time I had my eyebrow pierced and a few ear piercings (rook, helix, industrial, tragus and a few standard size lobes). To get around taking things out, I’d wear a retainer in my eyebrow and just keep my hair down to cover my ears, but I was finding that changing my eyebrow bar so often was irritating it, and I have thin hair, so leaving it down all day was meaning it would be pretty straggly-looking by the end of the day, so I just gradually brought everything in. I forgot to change my eyebrow bar one morning, and found no-one said anything, so I tried that a couple of times until I eventually started just wearing my normal bar. After that, I started wearing my hair tied up more often until people were used to it, without even realising they were. Then I started stretching my first holes in my lobes, and would even talk with my manager about other piercings I was getting and no-one minded.

  78. I got my lip pierced in my last year of high school. I was the first person ever on my school that had a facial piercing.. I tried to hide it behind my long hair but eventually my teachers noticed it. I had to cover it with a band aid.. it was horrible since it hadn’t healed yet and the stud poked into the band aid.. All of the teachers were annoying about it. But a couple of kids also got pierced a couple of weeks later. haha

  79. Ughh, i don’t see what the point is in covering them/taking them out in places like that.

    A few weeks ago i was faced with ‘take out your snakebites by tomorrow or stay home’ in school.
    Wtf? I’ve had them for 2 years and nothing was said to me during that time. Then suddenly i get told that. I was pissed off to say the least. I had no explanation why so after a few phone calls to the school my mother finally found out why i’d been told to take them out. The guy is ‘trying to improve the standards of the schoool’.
    I’m sorry but my school will never get any better. It’s a shit hole.

    I think i’m the only person who’s been told to take my facial piercings out. No-one else i know of has been told to.

    People need to realise that most people will be more offended/disgusted/whatever by a big plaster on someone than they will be if it’s just the jewelry.

  80. wow guys, thanks for so many replies!
    alittle more explaining for the people who dont think this is wrong.
    i understand that business’s have the right to enforce whatever rules they want, but i am working in an enviroment that piercing do not effect the job in the least. i scan food, im not doing anything that could make the piercings a health issue. they have long been healed and theres is nothing that could be hooked on them or anything.
    wearing the band aid of my lip makes me have to answer the same questions all day:
    Q: new piercings?
    A: no ive had these for 2 years

    Q: got infected?
    A: no they are perfectly fine

    Q: someone tear ur lip ring out?
    A: no they are fine

    then when i explain that we are being made to cover our piercings out, 95% of the customers think its the stupidest thing ever, and they tell me that the bandaid just makes it so much worse. ive gotten more attention to my lip rings in the first 2 hours of having them covered the first day, then i had in the whole time ive been working there. ive actually had regular customers and other employees asking me when i got my lip pierced.
    everything time i get the response from customers who think its stupid, i tell them to say something to the general manager. i know one lady has actually written a letter. im gonna try talking to the general manager face to face. he is a really cool guy and he has never been the one to cover my piercings, its always the shitty new managers trying to make a name for themselves.
    if this is a business run to keep the customers happy, it seems that they didnt mind the piercings. hopefully the negative attention to the covered piercings could sway their decision.

    thanks alot

  81. I worked at Denny’s and was allowed one earring per ear, and they were strict about it.. I showed up with an orbital, and was told, one earring per ear. I kept my venoms in. I also have a split tongue.

    I was hanging out back with everyone one day and I was wearing long sleeves because I had to cover my tattoos and implants and someone mentioned how hot it was and I said “Yea, it is hot..” and my supervisor was like “Well, you’re the one who made the bad choice to get tattooed” and my jaw just dropped.

    Because of the one earring per ear rule, I took my 1/2″ lobes out and put labret studs in my tragus’s. This grossed out my supervisor and they told me to come in with something in my earlobes because they didn’t want to be looking through them.. so I had to take my tragus piercings out, which sucked.

    I eventually quit one day because I was fed up with the way they were treating me, so I walked out.

  82. i am an RN and i am sleeved, the back of my neck is tattooed, my knuckles are inked, i have 2 industrials, each ear lobe, septum and tongue done. only very rarely has anyone said anything to me.

    most people seem to like the tattoos. i put a retainer in my septum just because i don’t want to give a crazy patient something to grab. all the handbooks state that you cant have visible piercings including oral cavity piercings and all tattoos must be covered.

    i have been told by a few people to wear long sleeves and wear band-aids over my fingers. i just remind them that it is not hygienic for me to have long sleeves that can dip into things that i cant wash off and band-aids would harbor infection and i couldn’t properly wash my hands like i need to. i remind people that none of these things effects my ability to my job properly and professionally. that if they are going to discriminate about about make up, earrings, rings, jewelery, nails, etc…
    after going through all of that i am usually left alone. i think thats the benefit about being an ICU nurse though – they need us too badly to fire us over trivial things. if they hired me with it, than it shouldn’t be a problem now. :)

  83. By and large I can guarantee you that the ratio of outward mods is directly proportional to how much you will be offered in salary and therefore how much you will have in the bank (that is for those of us who actually have to work for a living . . . *you know who you are * ).
    The choice is yours. But for me I’d much prefer be a 9-5 clean cut idiot and then go home and be as freaky as I wanna be. At least I got something in the bank for a rainy day, health issues and MUCH more importantly cash for vacations.
    I’m just sayin.

  84. I’m a typist for a law firm, and I work in a cubicle. The only social interaction I have is with other secretaries – I only communicate with the lawyers via email, and my floor isn’t accessible to the public, so I definitely don’t deal with clients. I have multiple steel tunnels in my lobes, as well as industrials, helixes, a sideburn and so on, two nose studs, a third eye microdermal and a tongue stud. When I was interviewed for the job I was advised to change the tongue stud to a retainer, which I did, until it broke and I put my normal one back in. No one’s said anything. I leave my hair out all the time to cover my ears, and I hairspray my bangs into place to cover the third eye. My nose studs are minuscule. I otherwise dress sensibly, cover my tattoos with long sleeves, work hard and volunteer for overtime, so I remain un-harassed.

    However, I dyed my hair blue and black over the holiday break, and failed to ‘normalise’ it before I returned to work. I imagine at some point I’m going to run into a partner with the authority to demand I change it, but until then I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. :-)

  85. There are a few things one has to consider here. What is the nature of your work? If you are working at a food place (ie.restaurant) then you may be required to remove your jewelry or at the very least wear retainers because of the idiot who worked there before you who lost his/her nostril screw in something a customer ate. Also, you have to consider your safety, if you are in danger of getting your piercing yanked out by a falling object or what have you. I think that rule is silly because you should be able to decide for youself if it is a risk you are willing to take.

    Last year I worked at a Catholic elementary school with special needs kids, and not only were the staff there cool with me, but I was allowed to have my piercings and get more piercings (facially) because I told my supervisor just how important they were to me.

    Also, I cannot stress enough how important it is that you are a good employee. If you do your job well and are a good employee then your boss will have nothing to say.

    As it stands though your employer has the right to set his own standards for dress code, so you may have to look for another job. Sorry :(

  86. When I was working at McDonalds I was told I needed to either take out my 3rd eye microdermal, bridge and labret piercing or put gross band aids over them… And since taking them out wasn’t an option I had to put band aids over them… Even though most of the customers told me I looked crazy with band-aids all over my face and on top of that the adhesive was starting to make my 3rd eye infected no matter what way I put the band-aids on….
    I had also noticed that there was a girl who I’d been working with for 3 months with four eyebrow rings, and a pair of snakebites… So I brought it up to the head manager on several occasions and they said they’d speak with her but she insisted that she was “bringing her own from home” even though I had every kind of band-aid known to mankind in my pocket and I know that McDonalds had tons… So… I went and tried to pull the same thing “I’m bringing my own from home”
    “You NEED to cover up those piercings…”

    It’s not like I was in the kitchen… or touched any food, so there was no risk of any balls falling into any food… But I started getting fed up of being asked every 10 seconds to cover them up… Although I had covered them up for a year… So… One of the managers pulled me into her office and told me that I could keep them showing as long as I put them back on in a half hour when she left..
    So… I ripped off my uniform and threw it at them and quit right on the spot…. Their loss really..

    I’ve also run into problems being interviewed… I have 1 1/4 lobes and I was at burger king of all places… asking for a job… with no facial piercings and I got told that unless I had surgery done to “fix” them she couldn’t imagine me dealinfg with HER costomers like that…But she told me.. And I quote…

    “Your disgusting holes are the only thing holding me back from hiring you, you have tons of experience and everything but that’s just gross…. come talk to me when u get them fixed”

    Hello human rights violation:|

  87. WORK FOR TARGET….I have worked there for 4.5 years including as a supervisor, with 2″ stretched lobes, many many facial piercings/microdermals over the years including 4g nostrils, brandings on my hands, one full sleeve and one in progress, a neck tattoo, split tongue ETC ETC…..I work in the backroom normally but sometimes work on the salesfloor/electronics and customers are always saying how much they like my tattoos or how insane I am for “doing that” to my ears haha. I have worked at 3 targets and they have all been fine with my mods. The key is to prove you are a valuable employee – be better than “normal” people

  88. i have not read any previous comments, so i do not know if i will just be repeating information.

    as terrible as it sounds, he’s stuck in a rut. i worked at a grocery store and was fairly involved with the job, even becoming a Customer Service Manager, and came across these kinds of problems. Infact, everytime the store changed managers, people would ‘remember’ the no piercings policy.

    The point is, he probably did sign something that said, “I have read the manual and comply with all rule and regulations of the company as stated in the handbook.” or something like that. Infact, he probably didn’t realize he signed something like that. his union wouldn’t be much help to him either, unions are a joke, an in the 21st century unions screw over employees more than it helps them.

    The only facial piercing one can get away with at these jobs (no matter what you’re race or religion), is a nostril piercing, because you can state for religious reasons, and claim you are a hindu. that is the only thing the union would back you on, and there are even laws written protecting a hindu woman’s rights to wear nostril piercings in the work place. I’m not a woman, but I did get away with that one.

    do what everyone did at my grocery store: keep “forgetting” to put the bandaid on when you come in as a civil protest. If someone reminds you to put one on, just put one on, but someday, it’ll be too busy when you come in, and your manager won’t notice. eventually everyone will stop noticing you forgot your bandaid until you get a new manager.

  89. Everyone keeps mentioning target or fast food…

    Thats not enough money to live as comfortable as we all want to.

    We all want 10,11, 12 or more an hour jobs.

    And let’s say you are making that.. thats after working there for three/four years.

    This post should be more about getting a career then a job.

  90. This week I was told that McDonalds won’t hire me even though I’m perfect for the job because I have a monore. I clearly explained all the hygienic details behind leaving it in vs. taking it in and out. They said it was a uniform stanard, and I then questioned why people are aloud to have funky hair, oh and nose rings? they couldn’t give me a coheartant answer so I’m taking them to the labour board for discrimination. I know its not really worth it for a Mcjob BUT it is Thunder Bay onatrio, where there arent that many jobs, ive been out of work for 4 months and it was my frist good sounding interview in a long time. I talked to my piercer aswell and she says that shes even pierced many monroes, noses, lips and eyebrows even for people with mcjobs.

  91. james #95….I make $12.50/hr at target with amazing health insurance, sick time, vacation time, 401k etc. Store managers start off at $40-$45k/yr, and can increase to like $65k over the years, the main store manager makes over $100,000/yr. Anyone with a 4yr degree (in anything) can become a store manager.

  92. I had a job in an optician’s while I was at school, when all I had was a scaffold bar and a tragus piercing. There, you were officially only allowed to have up to 2 studs in each lobe, and a nostril piercing if it was for cultural/religious reasons (Hindu women, for example).

    Last summer I worked as a cleaner in a youth hostel association hostel. My manager was lovely and had no problem with my mods, including a vertical labret, and she had a couple of small tattoos herself. She did, however, tell me that if the head honcho ever came in I would probably have to hide, because she disapproved of visible mods. I certainly understand that there are some places where visible mods are not accepted, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who would have an issue with the fact that the woman cleaning their toilet has a facial piercing.

  93. it makes me sad.
    i have snakebites and a Medusa and a nose ring and i fear that jobs wont hire me because of them.:[

  94. I recently quit a dirt bag company in Cleveland. Long story short, one day they decided to employ new policies regarding employees to remove all piercings on males and all but ears on females. Seeing as I already hated working there and I was in charge of ALL their IT (computer) stuff, I told them if they don’t like my gauges (00ga) then kiss my ass, I’m done.

    Yeah, I totally had them whipped. I got away with way too much :)

    PS- What happened to logging in to post comments?

  95. I don`t have any BodyMods yet,because I only got interested in that kind of stuff recently and I can`t afford any right now, but as a possible solution, how about growing your beard a little more? It won`t cover the piercings completely, but it will at least hide them just as good as the stupid patch anyway…

  96. a friend of mine had this problem. she would put flourescent bandaids over her nose stud every day just to make a statement.

    i have been very lucky and never had a job where it wasn’t allowed. good lucky at your job!!

  97. I work in a supermarket here where i live in England. Despite there being a policy for no piercings or tattoos to be shown, people still do, people with nose piercings get away with wearing them without any mentions. I had to take out my beloved side vertical labret and it closed over. They would’nt even let me wear a plaster over it or wear a retainer and yet people are wearing eyebrow bars and not getting much negative feedback from employers. I’d love to get more piercings but they might fire me if i do. I hate it and know how u feel. I dont even work with food, i work on a checkout, which makes even less sense. good luck, and its good u have a union u can talk to, i have to pay to get in touch with mine or be a part of it. :( xx

  98. damn thats harsh….

    i work at kohls and they are really cool….i had my lip ring in for awhile and they were fine with it but when i had my cheeks pierced, i switched to a labret stud so it would be less metal…still no complaints.

    they are pretty libral and i love working there. i would pick my my mods over a job any day…i don’t know if tats good or bad but i just think a place needs to take me as i am…thats why i like kohls, they accept employees for who they are…they really don’t try to change you too much as long as you are sensable to some degree about your image as well. i keep my septum in and wear a sold pulg at work…hey, they adjust for me, i adjust for them.

    thats just crazy though…i wouldn’t wear a bandaid if they paid me double what i get now….NEVER. hang in there and keep fighting for your rights…thats just not cool.

  99. I’m not sure where I stand on the hiring modded people or not issue…as someone above me has already said, some jobs want you to look a certain way, and if every employee has to follow that look, that means you too, or no job. I don’t like the narrowmindedness of it but I think I can see some fairness atleast in the application of a rule that’s there. You can choose to bend, or look on for something else.

    What pisses me off is the randomness though. This guy has worked for that store for years fine already, n one manager change, and it’s suddenly a problem. That’s NOT fair. I’m not sure what else one could do…maybe find out what other same stores’ policies in the area are, so you can tell them they’re the only ones being assholes.

    Then again, that may be construed as a hint you’d rather work there :( Good luck with it, anyways.

    As everyone seems to be dropping their work experiences, heres two from the Netherlands:

    Up till a few months ago, I worked at a (branch?) second hand/antique books store. It has 20 stores throughout the country, and therefore there is a booklet with rules for it’s employees to follow. It literally says no piercings allowed. I didn’t have any when I got hired five years ago, so when I started thinking about getting wrist surface bars two years ago, I asked my direct boss about it. He nearly laughed at me for even asking, so I got those bars, and a madison as well, and displayed them openly. I worked at a counter, interacting with customers all day. In fact, I most often worked at the counter people coming in to see the antique books n maps had to report to. Now, as I said, the company policy was rather strict. I got lucky. The people at my store got lucky. But the stores in other cities…in some of them, people aren’t even allowed to wear band shirts. And what if my great boss had resigned? I never got any permission in writing. I might have been in Opening Post Guys’ shoes then. Mods or job. The job would’ve been gone then…because I’d have felt cheated.

    I quit the bookstore job to have time to properly do an internship (?) assisting a teacher at a high school for 4 weeks n give a few lessons myself to see if I liked the career path. I was assigned to an upper class ish school, and bearing in mind the pretty negative reactions I’d gotten to my first tattoo at my quite similar high school, I kept my wrists n throat hidden at first. I needn’t have. For one, the teacher I was assisting dismissed my piercings as just another part of me, and the children were mostly curious – grossed out, too, but lolz, can’t have ‘m all at once :) For two, they employed a woman with four cartilage piercings and a medusa in a full time teaching job as well :)

  100. Seamless rings eh? Possibly a mistake worth rectifying for the future.

    Have them completely (and professionally) removed and wear acrylic (near invisible) labret retainers for work.

    Getting company policy changed will be very difficult unless the company can prove that by forcing you to change it risks losing financially. Sadly this will probably not be the case.

    Is it a job you truly want? If so then like most people sacrifices may have to be made, otherwise quit and find somewhere more tolerant.

  101. i work in the meat department of a grocery store. they hired me with my piercings(i have both sides of my lip done and 5/8 plugs in my ears) and they have never given me shit about it. it even states in the handbook that we are not allowed to have them. i dont know how i’ve gotten away with this for 2 years now, even though when i dyed my hair pink they had something to say about that. if my boss where to come up to me with some stupid shit like that i would fight it and probably get fired. honestly you should contact the better business bureau about this (www.bbb.org). in the mean time, get fired and collect unemployment from those fuckers.

  102. When I worked at Toys R Us in 2006, I had my nostril pierced. They gave me the option on taking it out or covering it with a bandaid. Since the piercing had been getting irritated I didn’t want to take it out so I covered it with a tiny bandaid for a few days. It was funny listening to the kids come up with weird stories as to why I had a random bandaid across my face. Eventually I bought a clear retainer thing and kept that in my nose, which worked fine for the rest of the job.
    My last job was one where my boss never saw me so she never knew what piercings I had, and at this time I had my nose, eyebrow and two tattoos. Although I didn’t like the idea of having to hide my mods, I understand that a job is a place of professionalism, and whether or not you like it, if you want the paycheck you have to answer to them. My mods mean something to me, but if it’s between them or a paycheck, I’m taking the paycheck. They don’t mean THAT much to me. You have to think realisitcally.

  103. I always wonder, maybe if more buisnuesses (yes I cant spell) allowed thier employees to wear piercings, then maybe people would become accepting of them?
    I only have a nose stud, and my part time work is fine with it. I dont really know about thier policies on other piercings though, no-one else has anything other than ears as far as I can tell (although a few have tattoos). One guy has steched ears as well, and they dont seem to mind. (I work in Homebase btw, a DIY store in the UK)

  104. I had the same thing happen to me. I worked at a Shoprite for a few years as a cashier, and I got a labret piercing. Since I couldn’t take it for for a few weeks after the initial piercing, I had to wear a bandaid over it, which just attracted more attention. Regular customers started asking me why I always had a bandaid on.

    When I started wearing a clear plug at work, I didn’t get any trouble. Towards the end of my stint, though, a manager noticed it and told me I had to take it out. I told him that if he didn’t notice it for a year and a half, then how would it bother the customers?

  105. A job telling you to cover up tattoo’s or take out piercings is discrimination and I don’t think they can technically tell you to do so.

  106. Ashe # 108 : Weird, I work at toys r us and they have no problems with my mods… Actually a lady complained about my lobes the other day to management and they backed me up 100% saying that my apearance did not affect my work ethic :-s

  107. I seem to have been very lucky with the places I’ve worked at.I’ve never worked anywhere where they have asked me to take out or cover up piercings, although I used to have to for school!

    I currently work in a clothes shop and have 17 visible piercings, including sternum and neck microderms(i used to have surface piercing on my collar bones but sadly they rejected), septum piercing and stretched lobes.I also have a few visible tattoos. Although my manager (and area menager) have never had a problem with it company rules do state that you can’t have more than 2 piercings in each ear, which both of them see as a very outdated rule (fortunately).

  108. I have a similar policy at my workplace (an electronics retail chain) and one of the cashiers has been made to take out 14mm plugs from his lobes. We definitely had a lot more customers notice the gaping holes in his ears than the plugs when he wore them – seems to defeat the “purpose” of enforcing such a policy. I just have to take out my labrets and wear a septum retainer.

  109. I’ve always thought that employers have a right to require a certain standard of dress and behavior for their employees, just as we have a right to put whatever the hell we want in or on our bodies. When you get a body mod, your understanding that that mod might affect your life in negative ways is always at least implicit. On the other hand, I also think that most employers who forbid body mods are behind the times and are missing out on some excellent employees. And, of course, any policies on mods should always, always, ALWAYS be evenly enforced across the board.

    Looking back, it’s always the crappy retail/food service jobs that have given me a hard time over mods. I have 5/8″ lobes, two nostrils, and visible tattoos, and for some reason the movie theatre and jewelry kiosk screamed to high heaven, but my current supervisors have never said a word other than “Oooh, did those hurt?”

    I’m a teacher. Go figure.

  110. I’ve had that happen many times before. I had to get my labret re-pierced 3 different times because of jobs making me take them out during the day and having my lip close up by the time i leave work (i heal fast and my labret stud wouldn’t fit back in by the end of the day). I even tried using “invisible” piercing stud holders but they gave me crap about those too. And where was i working? IN A CALL CENTER! I worked with customers on the phone! They couldn’t see my face! It was ridiculous. I think the stigma against piercings/tattoos in ANY job environment is ridiculous.

  111. I have had trouble in the past with people accepting my one and only facial piercing. I have my nostril pierced, sometimes I wear a stud, sometimes I wear a ring. I have been refused from a couple of job interviews based on my ‘unprofessional’ facial piercing. I now have a pretty good job. They knew I had my nose pierced when I started. However, when I wore a small ring I was told that I shouldn’t make my piercings “so ‘in-your-face’ while at work”…I just said I don’t complain about things other people wear that offend me, and asked if anyone had complained. Of course they hadn’t. I work in an office where we have no contact with the customers, and where the employees are very accepting. It is just the manager who is anally retentive. Anyway, I checked out all the policies and there was nothing ANYWHERE about piercings. Just that no visible tattoo are allowed…which I think is fascist to the max and soooo yesterday! People need to accept what others find beautiful. Someone may like bright pink lipstick, or drawn-on eyebrows while others may detest them…it is all personal taste. I can understand that some tattoos COULD be construed as being offensive…however they are beautiful to the person who wears them…as are all piercings. This era and our society needs to be nudged into a more accepting state of mind!

  112. I work at a Sainsbury’s supermarket, and shortly after starting I was told I had to take my plugs out because they were ‘disgusting’, but my supervisor decided that empty flappy earlobes looked more disgusting and hasn’t mentioned it since…
    Another thing I notice at my work place is that if you show up on time, are friendly and polite to the customers etc, you get a lot less hassle that the guy who’s always late and rude.

  113. I used to be a cook when I starting piercing. They let it slide until we got a new manager. We didn’t see eye to eye on my piercings so I quit, and now I work at a tattoo studio.

  114. I have 2 neck tattoos as well as many other piercings and at work I am forced to hide my septum ring, and on “Main Events” put a scarf around my neck. I find this really discriminating and wrong. There is nothing wrong with modifications, it is a personal choice that should be your rite. In the “public eye” it is looked apon as somthing taboo because people don’t take the time to learn about what is seemingly “odd” or “strange” to them, when infact there ancestors before them were puting holes and various adornments through there body. There should be a law passed that does not discriminate against body modification, if people would take the time to pass knowledge instead of hate wat a world this would be huh?

  115. I didnt read all the replies, but it seems that the majority of the readers of this blog are McD’s employees, or Target employees. That in itself could say a few things…

    Anyway, a place of employment is allowed to tell you to look however they want, as its THEIR company. If you dont like, no one is forcing you to work there. As many others have said, go find a job that either allows piercings, or prove yourself valuable enough that they dont mind over looking. But bitching and whining about it on Mod Blog is not going to fix anything. Get off your ass and make something of yourself.

  116. I work in Hewlett Packard as a Sales Specialist, I have my both arms tattoed (one of them full and the other almost) and my tongue piercied too, I always wear shirts that covers my tattoos so once somebody asked me why I cover my tattoos and my answer was: I love tattoos but I dont like giving explanations and I preferd to be “Leopoldo the guy who works good or bad” and not “Leopoldo… the tattoed kid” the world isn t ready yet…

  117. I don’t know why none of my posts ever go through. Seriously, if they fire you, contact the Better Business Bureaus, because that’s not right as it is.

  118. I had viable mods and got a job making $15 an hour answering phones for an insurance company.. All I did was redirect calls!

    I have a mohawk, pointed ears, a chest piece, septum ring, and 2 out of 4 microdermals were visable! The said that if anyone harassed me because of my ears to call HR directly since it was a permanent physical mod haha. And some older lady did and she was reprimanded and it’s on her FILE.

    Score one for health insurance.. Now I am an esthetician and it’s still not a big deal..

  119. After 9 months working for a UK chain chocolate shop, today I was asked to take me labret out… because of HEALTH AND SAFETY issues. I was told I am allowed to wear my nose stud, but not my labret. Nothing at all was said about the 13 bars and rings and things I wear in my ears. I honestly don’t mind taking it out because it’s so well-healed, and I wouldn’t complain if I was told that I couldn’t wear it because of the company’s appearance policies, but I would REALLY love to know what’s so different, H&S-wise, between a labret and a nose stud.

  120. I’m a practicing chartered accountant. Not only do I have restrictions on my piercings (as in my contract says none at all for men) but I’m also contractually obliged to wear a suit. It sucks beyond belief. I told them today I’m leaving. Interestingly though, when I go on training courses I keep my tongue in, and apparently there was a sweep stake amongst the trainers as to whether I had my tongue pierced or not. Yeah, I know, that’s not interesting at all. Sigh.

  121. i made a comment earlier (#81) about my past experience at a McJob but didn’t think to mention my current situation until i read #95 which mentions careers versus jobs. I think that is a very good point, in a job you are expendable just one person out of a pool of many so employers can be self-glorifying twats about silly rules because they can replace you anytime they like. However, as you become more of a professional more money becomes attached to the job and the pool of candidates rapidly decreases so employers become less superficial and more focused on actual ability. Case in point, when i had my ignoble McJob i made a whopping 5.40 USD an hour and had to comply with the standard facial piercings are bad mentality currently I am a PhD student so i often do some casual teaching making 30.30 AUD an hour in a job that is about as much “interacting with customers” as you can get and no one says a word about my 20mm ears, my labret, tongue, nape piercing or my massive black work sleeve. Many students ask about the mods and i’m always frank and honest with them. I am, however, very careful if they ever if they should get something, stressing the point that its there decision an my opinion is irrelevant, since i am in a position of influence and abusing that would be very bad. I’ve discussed my mods and their effects on future prospects if i continue on in the field of academia. The general consensus is that anything short of being truly objectionable should have very little effect on my career, it might affect face to face interviews but in the grand scheme of things academia and the research world are so concerned about what you have done and can do that looks become completely moot. So ultimately if you want to succeed as a modded individual in the world you need to either find a mod friendly employer or make yourself an asset that clearly stands out, one they HAVE to hire.

  122. A list of companies who employ visibly modified people would be usefull especially for those of us looking for jobs that don’t involve a qualification. Could bme host one?

  123. I have to agree with skolomyjec regarding the job / career distinction.
    With regard to jobs in the service industry, most managers have this ridiculously outdated idea that customers are repulsed by facial piercings and tattoos whereas, in my experience working in the service industry for over six years, most customers have a very inquisitive and interested attitude towards body modifications. The reality is that the more piercings and tattoos you have, the more you are menacing to the majority of the population. Unfortunately, in the service industry, very rarely will employers yield to employee demands because cashiers and salespersons are highly expendable assets to a company. Once you gain some leverage, i.e., years of loyalty and good service, then you can negotiate with your employer.

    As soon as you gain marketable skills, i.e., higher education, “serious” work experience (e.g., a job in one of those dreaded offices), employers are much less likely to haggle over body mod issues. Those issues become trivial once they realize that you have the skills they want. But you still have to show that you are at least somewhat worthy of taking the “risk” to expose other employees and clients to your disruptive appearance.

    Understand that companies want to maintain their reputation by focusing on a “clean” and “appropriate” appearance in their retail outlets and vis-a-vis their clients. Instead of focusing on proper customer service, they get caught up on appearance and feed you bullshit stories about why you can’t have piercings. This is very much in line with the zeitgeist: people are mostly preoccupied with ‘appearance of’ but not what actually is. Get used to it.

    The prevalent mentality is that tattooed people are jailbreaks and those who get piercings are insane for wanting to expose themselves to such intense pain (I’m being sarcastic here). Society believes that most modified people are insane. Once you show them that you aren’t, that is if you are able to retain your composure when the nth person asks you “Did that hurt?”, then you gain their confidence and they realize that you’re just like them.

    This seems very clichéd to say, but I’ll say it anyway. Unless you actually conform to a certain extent to the whole of society’s expectations of you, i.e., “real” job, higher education, professionnal attitude (and appearance), you will pretty much be stuck in a service industry job with poor salary and no leverage to get what you want from that job. You’ll have to put that ridiculous-looking band-aid on your lip and shut up. Or…

    I was told once, while working as a cashier in a golf store (lots of uppity rich bastards over there…), that I could not keep my labret piercing and that I should hide my full sleeve tattoo. I told them to fuck off, did not remove my labret, let my tattoo show in all its inky glory, and guess what? They didn’t fire me. They gave me a promotion. I guess it depends on the boss…

    Dan, unless you really care about your job, be ready to openly defy those bastards and threaten to sue them for discrimination, and risk losing your job…

  124. Call centers, call centers, call centers.
    Decent money, and they don’t care, at all.
    It rules.

  125. I work in a RETIREMENT HOME. 7\16″ Lobes, both nostrils, septum [hidden] and venoms, etc., etc.

    The residents love my piercings, and always ask to see them. I think that because they didnt see it in thier generation as much, they approach it with an attitude of curiosity rather then disgust and i fucking love it.

    my boss used to tell me to take out my nose rings, but i told them they were nose bones and would have to be cut out of my face. I explained to him and my other managers how important those small pierces of metal really are to me, and he decided they werent bad and told me i could keep them. and now nobody notices, and nobody cares!

  126. I work in a government office, and I know there’s at least one employee with a labret. She works at the front desk of one of the floors too. Cute as pie. I’ve got a ring in one nipple and a barbell through the other, and with a dress shirt on they’re rather … obvious. No troubles so far. One guy in the IT services team with me dyed his hair cobalt blue.

    Of course, I live in Vancouver, quite possibly the most liberal city in Canada, a nation that’s rather liberal to begin with. And given the current skilled-labor shortage, employers don’t have the luxury of ANY kind of intolerance whatsoever.

  127. Should have mentioned this in my other comment, but even if I hated piercings, as a customer I’d rather see lip piercings than think that a band-aid might be covering up an oozing, gaping sore on someone who’s handling my food.

  128. I’m thankful that I work in the library, which is funny because you’d expect the library to be stricter than a grocery store.When I was 15 a girl I worked with had to cover up her eyebrow piercing which confused most people because no customers had ever complained about it, hell, most people hadn’t even noticed she had a piercing until the bandaid drew attention to it.

    I think many employers in those sistuations are stupid.If you have this big ass bandage on your face people are going to wonder more about that than a healed piercing:/

  129. Case in point of a piercing being gross: I went to a subway today and the girl making my sammich had either a fresh or a very irritated wrist piercing…and there were visible crusties. She wasnt wearing a glove over her piercing and Im 100% sure that a crustie fell into my food. I said “no thanks” and left without paying. Thats just nasty for reals…

  130. That bandaid looks rediculous and doesnt even cover anything o.O … You’d look better with a freakin balaclava man, see what the bos says to that ;)

    I recently got my first tat done on my arm just above the elbow, it will be interesting to see if it effects any job chances, it’s actually not a highly visable piece, so I figure that particularly with a mid length shirt should be easily hidden … Tis a shame though. I can understand jobs not wanting crude tattoos (I mean cmon, being a check out chick in woolies or wherever and a little kid spots your vagina, cock or bewbs tattoo and starts asking questions? JUst a little bit hmmm) but aside from that, and particularly if you’re not even in the public’s eye … who cares? Bandaids draw more attention to them anyway. If it’s not a health risk (to yourself most of all – getting piercings caught in machinery etc) who cares?

    I got my tat in Japan as a souvineer of my time here (as an exchange student) and going back to University and showing people … their reactions have been interesting … most interesting being a lot of people have commented on the fact I’m not allowed to enter public baths anymore. In Japan tattoos are often viewed as a criminal thing due to the history behind them that exists through to this day … it’s kinda sad to see how shocked people are to see a tattoo and it’ll be good to get back back to Aus and know 3/4 of people wont give 5 tosses towards it.

  131. i don’t know if i can add anything fresh to this discussion after the previous 137 posts, but i’d like ask whether anyone thinks the mentality of piercings offending the general public is a) entirely regressive and/or b) condescending to the public, especially considering the sheer volume of people with visible modifications in North America, many of which i’m willing to bet are barely even given a second glance.

  132. Its so nice to have modblog back as it should be. 138 comments of interesting discussion. Its a beautiful thing.

  133. I got a job in a cannery As far as I knew, there were no rules about body piercings when I was hired. My job included standing next to a machine that would slowly pop out can lids, one by one, along a track. Once the lids got so far down the line I was supposed to slide the lids into a paper sleeve and put them in a stack. Nine hours, five days a week. Big fun. After I got my lip pierced, they told me I couldn’t have it because it might somehow mysteriously “fall out and end up in someone’s food”. How they expected this to happen I don’t know, especially with the swelling of a new piercing. But they made me take it out at work and refused to let me wear a retainer, a Band-aid, or even a piece of fishing line. It was a brand new piercing and it closed up FAST. I had to go into the restroom every break and repierce it with the jewelry to keep it from scabbing over during my shift. Hellish. Quit soon after for unrelated reasons.

  134. I’ve always found that it depends where you go.

    In my previous position I worked in the IT department of a very conservative financial services company and I had no issue having my labret and septum jewelery in during work. Interestingly enough we used to have executives and departmental heads buzzing around from time to time and senior management had absolutely no issue with me at all, whereas it was my line manager that used to make comments and give me shit although he couldn’t do anything as he knew senior management had no beef with my.

    My current job is again IT support in a huge broadcasting company and as i’m contracting, I am effectively hired “at will” and don’t really have any choice but to play the game. I keep my labret jewelery in but take the septum ring out, usually before I enter the building but occasionally at my desk and when I go home at night it sometimes goes back in before I leave the building.

    It’s known by my co-workers and management that it’s pierced and they know I have pierced nipples and what not but I don’t flaunt it – they are more concearned that I do my job well and look vaguely professional. I don’t think it would be an issue for me to wear my septum ring whilst i’m actually at my desk working but since they can fire me for any reason whatsoever, i’d much rather spent the 2 minutes a day I take to pop it in and out than to not be able to pay my rent and bills.

  135. bme doesn’t have to host it. here’s a link for you guys, if you want, you can post anonymously (invent a name if you like) and let us know what your employer thinks, who and where they are.

    Post up any mod-friendly businesses you know of, too- I’ll organize the list. I have time to log in and update every other day.


  136. Its sadly a fact of life for anyone with visible mods. When i worked with Marks and Spencers (big ass dept store in the UK) I had to take my lipring out ever shift. Was fine at first as I had a retainer, but I broke three of them and decided just to risk not wearing one for the shift. It wasn’t the best plan, as one day [when we happened to get a new manager] I got my seamless ring stuck and I couldn’t get it out. Had to work with it in after sobbing in the bathroom. My Boss told me to get it taken out permanently. Still never did. Left 2 months later and Now with the Scotmid. My New Boss laughs at how different I look from work to ‘normal’. I still take out the lip ring and while it isn’t the best thing at least it will do till I get a more Mod friendly job. Plus point is the boss says if it gets stuck this time I can just work with it. I’m too hard a worker for him to Fire. No ones noticed the plug yet.

  137. Just read the comments of Jobs versus Careers. Too True. Can’t wait to work in Labs as a Bio Tech. I would be worried, if My Advisor at university didn’t have full sleeves, a bridge piercing and plugs. *laughs*

  138. When I can, I go as far as boycotting stores that maintain anti-mod policies that I find particularly offensive. Whole Foods is a perfect example…a large percentage of their customers are visibly pierced, tattooed, and like shopping organic. Their employee policy is no visible facial piercings (barring the occasional exception for small nostril studs) and absolutely no hairdye. I think this is absurd, so I take my business down the street to Trader Joe’s.

    This is from a customer perspective, of course…I have been lucky enough to land jobs that have had no problems with piercings.

  139. >>A job telling you to cover up tattoo’s or take out piercings is discrimination and I don’t think they can technically tell you to do so.

    Yes they can. Tattoos and piercings are choices that we make, allowing them in the workplace is a choice they are making. It is a prejudice certainly, the judgement being often that the public are less likely to want to be served by someone with visible tattoos and piercings. In some cases they are right, albeit ethically they are wrong.

  140. As a sidenote I have just been to Woolworths in Kings Heath Birmingham (kind of like a smaller Walmart) and most of the staff have visible tattoos and piercings.

  141. Most would find this amusing, my husband works for an architect and is also self employed, he was a powerlifter, has giant muscles, a full body tribal tattoo, at the time, septum piercing, 3 lip piercings and eyebrow piercing as well as blue hair.
    (i hope this link shows) http://b2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/01161/29/04/1161884092_l.jpg
    (it’s an image of him), but since he designs a lot of buildings, with a lot of situations he meets with big business clients, senators, architecture awards and of course important meetings with important names wearing important business suites. He goes with all his piercings, his blue hair and often shows off his tribal at inappropriate times. If it’s a big event at a local town then the camera’s usually rush to him and snap as many pics as possible. (Since the events are based on a building that he designed)

    FYI, he doesn’t wear a business suite but usually an appropriate enough top, black pants, studded belt and combat boots lol.

  142. here is a suggestion: GET OVER IT!!! I’m sorry the world is’nt a perfect place and having two lip piercings is’nt accepted by everyone but for gods sake if you don’t like your jobs policy than find a new one or take them out. Your bitching about seamless rings so get ones that are’nt seamless and deal with it. If they are fully healed they should be fine coming in and out if you are gentle with them.

  143. My work has a dress code that doesn’t embrace my love of band shirts and lip piercings, but, for the first two years at my work, it was never enforced.
    About a year ago, a manager tried to get those rules enforced upon me and I went to our regional manager regarding this. I argued that it wasn’t fair or right to enforce this rule as I was hired (and promoted) with these aspects of me and that, if they tried to punish me regarding this, it would be a clear cut case of unfair dismissal/punishment.

  144. Joe – Please note that the word isn’t has a hyphen between the ‘n’ and the ‘t’ to denote a missing letter. The same goes for the word ‘aren’t’.

    Uber Pedant G

  145. This is definitely an issue of service jobs vs professional careers. But most teenagers don’t really have many options except for service jobs/retail and other minimum wage jobs, in which you are a dime a dozen. The only ridiculous thing about jewelry policies in that kind of job is when they try to cite “potential health hazards” (i.e. the jewelry can fall out and end up in the food) as a reason not to allow them, since most employees can get away with dangling/fishhook earrings.

    So cross your fingers and hope that more celebrities and professionals get more visibly modified (Inked Inc!!!). When it comes down to it though, if you love your job enough sacrificing a piercing or two won’t be an issue.

    My personal solution: lab research! I’m sure my supervisor has seen my tattoos and scars and my 0 ga lobes are pretty obvious, but it hasn’t been an issue at all. It’s one of those careers that really requires skill over appearance. Although I am still hesitant to start sleeves–after all, getting a modification is *your* decision and therefore, you have to accept responsibility for whatever that entails.

  146. While the policy does suck, i really don’t see how your surprised. At least in the US i think most people go into getting piercings with the realization that keeping them in may inhibit you from certain oppurtunities and jobs. and i’m sure you signed the paper and just didn’t read it. which is also a very american thing to do. it sucks… but its hard to find a job (especially with any form of food involved) that isn’t going to ask the same of you.

    but, alas, i know what you mean… those are a bitch to take out.

  147. oh, and when i worked at outback i was allowed a max of two earrings per an ear (company policiy)… luckly the manager that cared left soon after that. but he did actually give me shit one time cause i had two lobe piercings in each ear and a tragus (it was still healing so i couldnt take it out)

  148. i work at disneyland, and no visible mods are allowed– the argument is that it doesn’t promote a “family” environment. of course, cultural piercings/clothing is not allowed either. for example, no headscarves for muslim women, or no nostril piercings for other middle eastern girls. we all have to blend in. it’s always great when one of my guests notices my septum ring, tucked up inside my nose, and asks me, “do THEY make you put it up there?” yup!

    tattoos are also prohibited. lots of folks have wrist tattoos, and cover them up either with a bandaid or a “wrist brace” for an “injury”.

  149. I would definitely pull the discrimination card on this one. It’s completely legit. You got hired with the piercings and now all of the sudden you’re being wrongly treated.

    This could actually be a legal matter.

  150. At my last job, I was hired with two sets of stretched lobes. One set at 7/16 and the second at 6 gauge. I’d worked there for about 8 months and then all of a sudden my supervisor said my jewelry was against company policy and I need to talk to HR if wanted to keep my job.

    In our handbook, it said that ladies could have two sets of ear lobe piercings. Jewelry had to be no bigger than a US quarter. Obviously at 7/16 and 6 gauge I met both of those requirements, but they hassled me because it was “unnatural”. I also had a labret piercing, but I removed it every day before work.

    I eventually had to go to the person above the person in HR and bring in every pair of plugs I wanted to wear on the job to be approved. All of them solid and non offensive I assure you. He looked at them, and I told him the rules and he said it was a completely ridiculous matter. Of course I was right within it.

    I don’t know what to say about yours if it’s stated in your company’s handbook. Definitely tell them you don’t have a copy of it and you need to receive one immediately. Good luck!

  151. Oh! Forgot to mention that they made me take out my rook piercing! Two per ear was the rule. It was really irritated and not healing well anyway, so I just went with it. :/

  152. Trying not to sound closed minded, but with mods it happens. I’m 100% pro body mods (1/2 sleeve started, chest work, many retired piercings, 1.5 inch ears), but unless you’re 12 (no offense to younger kids), you should have been around the block enough understand certain situations mods aren’t going to be accepted. At a lot of schools, jobs, and all that piercings aren’t allowed. It’s a matter of switch jobs or deal, i usually took the balls off of my jewelry and just wore the posts which went unnoticed. Taking a piercing in and out all day is freaking sadistic. I now work in a native american owned casino. AWESOME people, great rules, great pay, great environment. Seriously, 90% of the workers have visible tattoos, nose rings, lip rings, the works. Some of the food employees can’t have certain things to prevent stuff from falling out in food and choking a patron, but for the most part they are very accepting. I walk around with obnoxious bright white 1.5 inch earrings and no one says anything, except the nice old people in the casino who ask me about them!. Though i will admit it’s totally stupid for retail jobs where mods have no hazards to ban them, but if you’re going to be in an operating room no one wants a labret stud falling in their chest during open heart surgery.

  153. I haven’t had alot of issues with my piercings and work.
    I started stretching my ears back in 2005, and at the time I was working the front desk at a gym. No one really made an issue of them at all really. I was only at 00g then so most people thought they were just regular earrings with a flat front.

    After that I was working at a call center with bigger ears, snake bites and a sepum piercing.

    I do tech suppport now and my visible piercings are my snakebites, septum, 1.5″ lobes and 9/16″ conches. I did take my plugs out when I interviewed for the job but I put them back in when training started.
    I’ve never been asked to remove my piercings at all. So I guess I’m lucky with that,
    I usually do take out my plugs and conceal my lip rings when I go to a job interview because I want the person interviewing me to see me and not my piercings. I also ask them what their policy is and give them a description of what I have. So far the answer has been “let’s see what it looks like and we’ll go from there”

    That being said for alot of companies they’re still consisdered unprofessional.
    What it comes down to though is you’ve got to work twice as hard because of your mods and prove that you are a valuable employee, since you’ve already got the stereotype people pin on modified workers stacked against you.

    What you have to decide though if the job you want is worth putting that extra effort in to show your bosses that modified people can be valuable employees.

    Some min wage job isn’t really the place to do it, pick a job where you can at least advance and make a decent wage.

  154. Heh. I work at a large grocery store, and when I began work there, I had visibly stretched ears (meaning with tapers and stuff) and even though I signed NOTHING that said I couldnt have visible facial piercings, when I requested permission from the manager to get a facial piercing he said no, it was against their dress code. After this 3 other people got lip piercings in my store, and nothing was said, and my supervisor even has a nose piercing. Wtf?
    And then I was told that I could only have one piercing per ear, or I would be fired. I kept them in anyway though. -shrugs- Most of my customers are more interested in my mods than disgusted.

  155. I work in a clothing store as a deputy manager that tries to go for a ’boutique’ look. I have 12 piercings all together (all in my ears) and 4 tattoos, 2 that are visible majority of the time and the other 2 depending on what I’m wearing. Our hand book says no tattoo’s or facial piercings.

    A guy in another store is asked to cover his tattoo on his arm, so I think with me it depends on my manager (he also has tattoo’s, though not visible).

    I used to have a monroe and was told that it was probably better suited to nights out, but I was never asked to remove it. Same with my ears. None of my metal would never be considered hardcore here, but where I work (or even about my town!) I have never seen anyone with something similar. My tattoo on my wrist is actually a good selling tool because people comment on it and leads to conversation!

    Suppose I’m lucky with where I work, though I am good at what I do so maybe depending on your skills employers are willing to over look things?

  156. I commented on this entry the day it was put up, i’m so blown away by how many people had so many stories, advice etc to contribute to it.
    I’ve read almost everyones entries and it’s helped give me ideas, wording and very relevant points on the subject.
    I’ve thus passed them on to friends and clients coming in the shop with the same problems.

    I hope this means i’ll start to see more of the modified community in my town with the jobs they want.


    Employers are missing out by viewing modification as a deformity, rather than a symbol of being an open minded, commited person.

  157. I’m surprised less people haven’t used retainers instead of bandaids! I have to wear a retainer in my vertical labret at my old job and since they don’t really make any for vertical labrets it was an eyebrow retainer cut in half, and I had to pray it wouldn’t fall out.

    Of course I lost it, and I went into work without it one day, apologizing but refusing to go on the floor with nothing in my piercing, and they would not let me go out. It was one of the busiest days of the year, there was a street festival going on right outside, and they would not let me work because of my piercing. I quit on the spot.

    At my newest job, I went and got both my nostrils pierced between when I got hired, and my first day, and all I got was compliments. Really, I think it may be living in a big city, but a lot of places seem to be alright with mods in Toronto… even the mac store has guys with sleeves.

  158. Do any of these managers/supervisors with a stick up their ass about tattoos and piercings ever consider that it might offend customers WITH tattoos & piercings to see employees having to put band-aids over piercings and cover up their tattoos?

    I have actually complained to managers when I see a retail employee with a band-aid over a piercing, telling them how as a tattooed & pierced person I was offend by them forcing employees to cover up their mods, and if they wanted me and people i know to shop there that it needed to stop. I think more of us modified folks did this management would change it’s tune. There has to be mor of us than there are the one uptight person who complains about the employees being tattooed and pierced.

  159. I actualy have a problem quite like this but its actualy with SCHOOL I’m not allowed to wear my piercings in lab because its not “professional” enough… drives me wacky it does (in my labs we need to dress professional and such too -pharmacy school blows)

  160. I had the same problem at my work with both my eyebrows. So instead of using the skin-coloured band-aids they wanted me to, I used flouro one. Bright yellow and pink.

    Eventually they decided that they really were a bad idea and I no longer have to wear them!

  161. Target is a surprisingly good retail company to work for, whether as a ‘job’ or a ‘career’.

    I try to keep my clothing conservative at my other job anyway (which happens to cover my tattoos) because of the nature of my career, but in addition to Target I’m currently a massage therapist in a spa owned by one of the more powerful spa industry women in the area. My manager went to school with me and knew about my tattoos and stretched ears, but also knew my touch so it didn’t matter to her. I’ve heard that other people with tattoos have had trouble with ‘policies’, but I haven’t heard a peep.

  162. Urg, I worked in a resturant a few years ago, I have wrist tattoos, and they made me wear bandages, which to me drew more attention to me as it looked like I had slashed my wrists :(

  163. I have actually had two encounters with unfair treatment in my place of work.

    Last year I worked at a local grocery store and this was when I first started gauging my ears. After they started becoming more noticable, my manager was questioning me about my reasoning for “doing this to myself”. After explaining this to him, the next day he called me into his office and explained to me that I wasn’t a people person. The whole time he was humiliating me about how I was supposidly “socially retarded” he continued to stare at my ears.

    After that job, I started working at a local deli were it was understood that we could have piercings. I was estatic because I already had my gauges and also was planning on getting more facial piercings. Afew days after getting my lip pierced in July, my manager pulled me asside and told me that I either had to take out my piercing or change it to a stud. I explained to them that I could do neither since it was a fresh piercing, which led to them taking away my hours and scheduling me for later hours in the day when more families weren’t around. The next day one of my co-workers changed her lip stud to a ring. I asked her if any of our managers said anything, and she told me that they never discussed it with her. I ended up having to go to a parlor and getting my ring changed long before it was healed.

  164. re: 145 and boycotting Whole Foods
    I’d be interested to know where you live, as I worked for WFM between 2001 and 2006, and have just gone back to them (difficult to go back for a master’s degree while travelling to work as an archaeologist). The overall company dresscode simply specifies that there be no “shocking or offensive hairstyles”, and no “visible offensive tattoos”, but piercings and other regulations are determined on a regional basis. Where I am that means you can get away with a nostril pirecing and an eyebrow piercing, but nothing else on the face. They say no septums, but if it’s flipped up? One of the Assistant Team Leaders in my store has arm bands midway up his foreams, and half inch plugs. The regions vary, but I’m planning on getting my half sleeve done; no one’s complained about it, and I don’t think they will.

  165. i had the exact same pb, im a cashier as well, i finally removed my lip piercing, but they can go fuck themselves as for my plugs!
    my former manager even wanted me to shave my side burns…
    i guess you just strive to keep all the rest super clean (be always shaved and shit) and just keep wearing them, you’ll see
    but also its not that absurd i think when you have to face ppl

  166. I didn’t take the time to read through all these comments, so this might have been said before. I don’t know about the law in most states but the ones I have lived in have said that if they hire you with it they can’t ask you to change it. So basically it’s against the law to require you to cover up a tattoo or piercing if they hired you when it was plainly visible. I was working for a restaurant in Chicago and 6 months into my emplyment there they told me that I had to cover up my neck tattoo. So I did some checking into Illinois law and discovered that if it was visible when I went throught the interview process and was hired anyway that it was against the law for them to require me to cover it up and or fire me. The smartedt thing you could do is talk to a lawyer and find out what the law is where you live and find out if this is the case there. If it is bring a copy of the law to your employer, and shove it up their ass (just kidding), and inform them that they hired an individual and they cannot suppress that individualism cause it’s against the law…

  167. I’ve been ridiculously lucky in the fact that i work for a company that encourages individuality, which includes all sorts of body modification, including heavier modification such as visible implants and facial tattooing. ive worked for the Hard Rock Cafe for almost 4 years, and its a really comfortable environment..a lot of management is modified, and ive worked with 2 managers who were very visibly tattooed and pierced.

    Seriously. if your modified, and have any experience cooking, serving, or hawking retail, its a good place to work.

  168. First, look into what Eyeball_Kid wrote. If you aren’t in one of those states, we then fall to…

    Second: You signed the form saying that you had read the employee handbook. Without having read it. Which is a mistake you should avoid making when you start your next job. I say this was a mistake because… if you start making noise about never having been given one, they could take the position that you lied when you signed the form — and maybe fire you for that. You never know.


    >>I would definitely pull the discrimination card on this one. It’s completely legit. You got hired with the piercings and now all of the sudden you’re being wrongly treated.
    >>This could actually be a legal matter.

    It’s discrimination in the general sense of the word but is it discrimination in the LEGAL sense? Laws exist saying that you cannot discriminate on the basis of certain criteria, gender and race being two of them, but do any of them include bodymods in the list? If no law exists saying that it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of bodymods, employers are free to do just that.

    Even if this is the case, you MIGHT have recourse if a labor relations board exists in your jurisdiction. But if bodymods are not among the things explicitly written into the relevant discrimination laws, the board might find against you as easily as for you.

    Your best shot is if you’re in one of the states, such as Illinois, that Eyeball_Kid described. Otherwise you’ve got a crapshoot. Signing that paper loaded one of the dice, and not in your favor, IMO.

  169. My story is a little different…
    I work in a call centre in the UK for an employer on behalf BT technical support. I had bright red hair before starting my job there and dyed it white blonde to get the job. After working there two years I asked the operations manager if I could dye my hair red again, he said that he couldn’t see it being a problem. I checked my contract it said that I could be tattooed and pierced as long any facial piercings didn’t affect my speech, nothing about hair. I have lip piercings, stretched lobes and a large visable tattoo and a there are people I work with with more coverage than me. So I went ahead with it and two months later the new Ops manager told me to get get rid of my red hair so I toned it down, it must be more socially acceptable or something now.
    Meanwhile, I had been working with the BT PR department and they had taken photos of me with my red hair and a BT t-shirt which, in the past few weeks have been used as advertisments in all the major newspapers and magazines to promote the service.

    Suck on that employers ;P

  170. hye it used to happen to me all the time, i simply fuct them off all of the employers that behaved with such disgarce i kicked up a massive fuss with and left. I understand now that living in the uk with a degree and many many qualifications i wont realsie my potential as easy as someone without mods but it has made/forced mte into a more ethical sector who DONT CARE about mods. i mean if i was acheif big wig of the company i work for now maybe. but really id rather work for good people then recieve the pay packet and lose my identity sometiems the forced things in life (those over your mods etc) can be the best of your trust your instinct and stick to your guns

  171. I’ve been extremely lucky with my jobs. When I was in college (six years ago) the aquarium store I worked in didn’t care at all. I now work in a well known, expensive veterinary office for a very nice, very understanding woman. I took out almost all of my facial piercings years ago for other reasons. I still have my septum in, but usually wear a retainer. I forgot to put it up for work once and my boss thought it was the coolest thing ever. However, she did ask me to not wear any completely circular jewelery because of the high risk of it getting snagged by a flailing cat and ripped out of my face. I had never thought about that issue of it before, but it makes damn good sense. Some of my friends thought I should be upset about the restriction but I’m really not…I totally understand. My boss cares nothing about the solid plugs in my ears or tons of visible tattoos. I really feel lucky.

  172. I’ve waited tables and worked customer service at many popular chains restaurant and retail stores and they have only ever asked that I keep my tattoos covered and conservative jewelry in my lobes which I am happy to comply with. I currently work at a popular chain restaurant in America with an “Austrailian” theme. During my interview, I wore conservative plugs in my 0g lobes thinking it wouldn’t be an issue since I’ve never encountered problems prior. Turns out that the restaurant has a policy on stretched lobes and my jewelry must be removed while in uniform. I even asked if I would be allowed to wear flesh colored plugs and they said no. I found this strange since visible tattooing is allowed. I didn’t feel like pursuing this battle only because I make good money at the restaurant, but I really think that having jewelry in my ears is less “offensive” than little buttholes for lobes.

  173. Well, I’ve mostly skimmed through these comments, and I don’t know if anyone will read mine, but I thought I’d share my story anyway. :D

    I work as a 911 Dispatcher for my town. The only way I come in contact with the general public is on the phone. My piercings in no way hinder me from doing my job. Our town isn’t a very large one, infact, it’s a pretty small town, therefore we only have one dispatcher working at a time. The main people we come in contact with are the EMTs, Fire Department, and our Police Officers. I’ve never had any problem from any of these people about my piercings or tattoos. However, I still have to remove my piercings for work. I don’t understand why I would have to. haha.

    Either way, the main boss saw me come in with my piercings, and I started taking them out, but he told me that I didn’t need to…Which confuses me because the chief dispatcher that hired me said that I could only have my piercings in when I work the midnight to 8am shift…All other shifts I have to take them out. I’m considering asking him about it, and mentioning to him about what the boss said.

    I mean, it’s not like it matters when I’m working, say, a 4pm to midnight shift because the boss, nor the chief dispatcher ever come in to the office. So if I forget to take them out it doesn’t make much of a difference.

    I don’t know where I was going with this, but I wanted to share anyway.

    As for Dan’s situation…I really don’t have much to say about it…I mean, it sucks, and it’s a crappy situation, and I don’t agree with it, but it does happen. Whether you call it discrimination, or not, it’s still horrible that just because of the new managers. you’re forced to do something like that when it’s never mattered before. I don’t know what kind of town you live in, but if it’s as small as mine, and jobs aren’t as easy to come by, good luck.

  174. essentially you’re having to pick between a seamless ring and your job. gee what a tough decision.

  175. I had the same problem when I worked at a grocery store. At the time I had a tongue piercing, septum ring, and ears stretched to a 0g. My hair was a dark deep red, and I worked the overnight shift. I hated my job and stuck around for 2 years. Every day they told me I needed to remove my tongue ring and I had to have a retainer in my septum. My ears were okay because I had very basic hanging carved wood jewelry in them which made them look like they could be normal size. I never agreed to taking out my tongue ring with out the extra $50 pay per shift to get it repierced and begrudgingly wore the septum retainer.

    I ended up losing the retainer in my sleep without realized in for weeks and subsequently lost my septum piercing. When I had to switch to a day shift cuz I was starting college, I was told I would have to change the color of my hair or I would be fired. I went on vacation for a week, came in with every piercing clearly visible, plus 2 new ones I got while away and bright pink hair. I walked over to my boss, tapped her on the shoulder, and before she could say anything I told her I quit and would like my pay for the last week I worked.

    I never felt better in my life than I did walking out of that place. The minimum wage pay is not worth the harassment over body mods.

  176. i cant get a job at all iv only got 30mm lobes and my septum done etc my ears i can hide with my hair take my sepum out put bk in later lolz but still cant stupid idoits >.

  177. Having experienced this problem as well, I fought it tooth and nail. I was almost fired for my piercings (at the time, I had cheek piercings, double nostril piercings, a labret,a bridge piercing and 0g stretched ears). I retained my employee’s handbook, and I was glad that I did. Because there was no mention of this rule in the handbook, and the fact that my employee ID tag showed that many of these piercings were indeed very visible. A quick call to the media and the Better Business Bureau will remedy these kinds of situations.

  178. fuk em, id tell them to stick it up there ass, the silly cunts… look personaly i recon they must like you i live in aussie and i have mates that have the same peicings neva herd a word from the boss, chuck it in and be a profesh peirce i have been now for 5 years neva short of a worker lolz ..::CHEERS::..

  179. I live in Alabama so theres rely no where I can work with my facial piercings in. love the state cant stand all the hate here

  180. I had to do the same thing at my job. I was a cashier at a local grocery store and they hired me with stretched lobes, a nostril piercing, and an eyebrow piercing. I had gotten my labret pierced and the manager said it was unacceptable. My two choices were to remove the piercing, cover it with a bandaid, or go home. I put a bandaid over it that night, which obviously drew a lot of attention from the customers. I explained to them the situation and every one of them agreed that it’s absurd. I was off work the next day, so I went to get a clear retainer. This was an acceptable middle ground that allowed me to keep my piercing, my job, and my pride.

  181. I’ve always thinked that the usual position in this cases should be: I don’t want to work in a place where i’m not allowed to be myself.
    I mean, i understand that not everybody can just leave a job and look for another one just for that reason, but in my imaginary perfect world, that would be the idea.

    Personally, i’ve never had any problem with that, I worked as a manager in a restaurant in the city center of Barcelona with 20mm plugs, forehead microdermals, big labret, subdermals in the arms… maybe i was just lucky, but if my boss would decided to discriminate me for my aspect, I would just kick the job.

  182. Heh. I love stupid issues like this. People get so worked up over mods. I can’t get tattoos that are easily seen because I’ve yet to encounter a psychologist with body mods…

    Right now I’m still a student though so things could change.

    As for piercings, I work at Wegmans. They get anal about stuff in most stores… I’m lucky with the one I work at…they don’t care about piercings or tats unless one is working with food. I’m in the deli so I can understand to a degree about stuff falling into the food… but it’s a pain. I have my cartilage pierced on my left ear though and I haven’t taken the ring out in ages…they stopped bugging me about it…prolly cause it hasn’t moved in so long. Hair dying isn’t favored though. I still dyed my bangs green though. I wear a hat so I can hide it, and I’ve been there long enough that I doubt they care…

    Still…could be worse.

    And I think you should be allowed to wear those rings.

  183. that shit is so messed up. its not right at all, i was in that situation too many times and a got so sick of it. body mods dont make you less of a hard worker so its completely unfair and prejudice. there has to be a way to take something like that to court, but i dont think it would ever hold up in court its just not fair!

  184. Just seeing this picture irritates me. That bandaid looks ridiculous.

    I’ve had the same job in retail for a little over 3 years with a company that prided itself on encouraging individuality. Just a few months ago they drastically changed the policies on facial piercings. At the time I had two double nostrils, double lip, septum, smiley, as well as ears at 3/4 and other lobe/cartilage piercings. They limited employees to two facial piercings. Since then I’ve had to retire my nostrils because they were on the larger side and taking them in and out wasn’t doing them a world of good. Mods are so normal to me that I forget I have to take them out, and I’ve gotten attitude on more than one occasion about my lip piercings. They even have a laminated picture of jewelry that is unacceptable posted near our lockers just for me.

    My manager said to me, “At least they didn’t say anything about your tattoos. It’s not that big of a deal.”

    It’s a huge deal to me. This is who I am. I was hired like this. I’ve worked like this for three years. It offends me to be told that my appearance is no longer acceptable, even after I’ve been internally promoted. Piercings do not take away from my ability to do my job.

  185. I hide my tattoos when I’m interviewed.

    Once I’ve got the job, I roll my sleeves up in the office. So long as it’s in the office and it’s not public-facing, if they have a problem with it, I tell them I’ll see them in court.

    Easy. The question is, why do I have to hide them in the first place?

  186. I work part-time at a candy store to help me pay for the studies. I have 4 rings in my right ear, and a 3mm ring and a 10mm plug in my left ear. Also, I have a nose piercing and two tongue piercings. Oh, and I have dreads too.

    At first when I started working there the regional manager told me to take out the ‘extra’ piercings in my ears, and I did as I was told. But after a couple of months I started ‘forgetting’ to take them out. It was a busy time, and the manager had no time to pester me about it. Then she got used to me looking like that, especially since I’m a very cheerful person, and know loads about each of the products (we have over 1000 different product names) – I tend to lure people into leaving unplanned ammounts of money in our store and coming back again and again and again :)

    Now I’ve been offered as an extra job with way more pay – setting up a catalog for the company, but they still want me working in the shop as well – I suppose mostly because a lot of regular customers prefere speaking to me rather than my collegues when it concerns candy :D

  187. That’s how they acted about my piercings in high school. Well actually only one teacher and i responded by wearing hello kitty band aids on my nose and lip. Great student, good grades, and i did them my 18th birthday. I would take the band aids off the second i got through the class period (1st class of the day V_V) and go about my day. It’s horribly idiotic.

    But a trick I’ve learned was that a labet bar with the ball taken off is barely noticeable.

    When i worked at Denny’s they had the rules that i could only have one pair or earrings and no facial piercings, as stated before. When i first started they were fairly fresh and i had some trouble when i trained with a manager in the morning. She got nose to nose with me and told me to take out the retainers. I did then when my break came up put them right back in. Well since i worked nights i never saw her and started wearing my little nose stud and the rest of my earrings (1/2 inch in the lobes) and continued on my marry way with not a comment.

    I only got in trouble with the management after my ex (who was the manager’s grandson and shouldn’t have been hired there in the first place- the rules stated that) who i dated way before i was hired, started started saying shit about me and i wanted it to stop.

    I left for other reasons, it was just way to corrupt there and i always had to watch my back.

    Long point short, there are ways to bend the rules but people are always going to be biased.

  188. I work at Wells Fargo as teller, and they seemed to be very strict about body mods. I have 4 gauge lower lobes, three more ear piercings going up, and I have my traguses done. I am able to keep everything in as long as there are no customer complaints. So far (over a year now) so good. But I used to have two surface piercings on my chest, which left four scars, and i have had several comments about them. So I have to try and keep those as discreet as possible.

    One of my co-workers has his lip pierced and his ear gauged to 1/2″. He wears a retainer in his lip and flesh toned plugs in his ears. He often gets comments about his ears, but all of the customers love him, so no one has caused a fuss.

    Both of us have tattoos, but they do not show with regular clothing. But one other girl had one on her foot and had to keep it covered with several band-aides if she wore open topped shoes.

    The only real problem I have is that I feel very constricted to the mods I have now. I feel as though I cannot do anything else until I find a new job. I have all of my plans for a half sleeve ready, but I know that I’ll have to wear long sleeves to work all of the time. I am also planning on a microdermal project, but again, I know it’ll have to be concealed.

    I think that for any of us in a more professional job know that there are sacrifices to be made. We just have to decide if it is worth it.

  189. Covering a body piercing can lead to it masticizing. Ask your employer if they would rather you have a big oozy infected lip – which might require surgery (oh and a trip to the icu should it go septic) due to the constant block of air flow to your piercing. Bandages should never be put over a piercing. Just think of all of the bacteria superheating inside of those. ew. I work in a nursing home and it’s a policy that comes and goes. I just ignore it and go about my job. Guess it just pays to have medical professionals for relatives.

  190. Just thought I would add…I am a Supervisor at my job and soon to be college grad. I always love when people assume that modified sorts can only be employed in the lowest level jobs.

    You mention union – I used to be a steward and I say you need to get yours of their butt and doing their job at finding you a copy of said handbook. Sadly you can’t fight them legally unless they fire you, or unless the union attorneys are willing to step up for this one.

  191. i read through these comments and noticed that yes, times are starting to change. while some companies are still being tards and not hiring and/or firing people due to their mods, a lot of companies are starting to accept this. i believe that the reason for this is that the baby boomers are starting to retire. this means more jobs for our generation. and since we have grown up very open-minded, we get to start making the rules about mods.

    mods ARE beginning to be more accepted. it just takes time. another 20 years and i believe that mods won’t be a problem AT ALL.

  192. Basically, I work at Mac Don’s (Mc Donald’s) and they have a no piercing policy. I have to put band-aids on my snakebites… And I work in the back, where I’m not even seen by the guy ordering a Big Mac… If it offends the customers that much, maybe I should personally take the food to their table- you know, dance around a bit. Maybe after that display they’ll stop going to our establishment.. ha

    Won’t bother me any.

  193. I work in a well known venue as bar staff, and was told in my interview that there was a strict no piercings policy. Nothing was mentioned about tattoos, which I thought would also be a problem, since I have one on my neck (and one on my hip, but it isn’t visible). I got a retainer for my lip piercing, but a lot of time I “forget” to change it now. It’s mostly not mentioned to me because I’m a hard worker. It’s actually the more junior people who would say it to me, my managers don’t really care because they know I’m doing my job. I get more grief over wearing skinny jeans than for my piercing, to be honest.

  194. i work in a large nationwide shop, British Home Stores (BHS). when i had my interview, (which was a group interview) i had snakebites and no tattoos. i always took my snakebites out because in my previous retail job i’d had to do the same. several months down the line, one hole got sore so i gave up on it, few more months and i just forgot to take the other out but no one batted an eyelid. so i kept leaving my lip piercing in and no ones ever mentioned it. but then it was never said to me that i had to remove facial piercings.
    tattoos is a different matter altogether. a few years ago i started on my half sleeve, with a little carebear that my 3/4 sleeve shirt covered. i asked my assistant manager at the time if, in the summer, i would be ok wearing short sleeved shirts, she said yes so i carried on with the half sleeve safe in the knowledge that it would ok.
    so i get half way covered (my arm) and it’s roasting hot, come to work in a shiort sleeved shirt and my department manager flips at me telling me i have to wear long sleeves. so off i trudge to the assistant manager, who confirms this… even though she said it was ok before. apparently some customers may find my tattoos (carebears, hearts stars flowers, my little ponys!) OFFENSIVE. idiots.
    nowadays if its hot and i want to wear short sleeves i have to wear a tubey grip, which is really for supports joints etc and is a cream coloured stretchy thing. it looks ridic. i always get customers asking me why im wearing it, is my tattoo manky, do i hate it, what is it of, have i hurt my arm.
    on top of my half sleeve ive since gotten my dogs pawprint on my inner wrist, a sizeable umbrella on my inner forearm and a mighty boosh gimp face on my foot.
    these have never been mentioned. so ive drawn a conclusion that its ok to have tattoos stood on their own, but as soon as you start making them cover whole arms etc, its naughty.

    no i dont understand it either. but i enjoy my job (im hardly ever on the tills) and can put up with covering my upper arm some of the time.

  195. oh yeh i forgot, i used to have my ears stretch to 20mm too and that was fine.

  196. oh wow i’ve read through every single comment. and learnt lots… :D
    haha. i have waaaay too much spare time!

  197. Working in a resturaunt def. did not fly well with me, having to cover everything up. I quit after a year.

  198. I worked at KFC for about 13 months, mostly at the age of 15. I noticed a few girls had their nostrils pierced, so I brought it up with the manager and she said that it wouldn’t be a problem, so I went ahead and had it pierced.
    About a month later, new rule, no jewellry at all, including lobes.
    Being a bit oblivious at the time, I took it out for a few hours to work, and was allowed to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so to put it in and out, to avoid closing up.
    This became really painful, so I invested in a retainer. No one noticed, except for one supervisor, who made me take it out.

    A day short of my 16th birthday, I had my other nostril pierced, and on the same day, got a new job as a check-out chick at Coles. I originally wore the retainer in one of them, then forgot one day, and I was complimented on how nice and symmetrical they looked all day.

  199. I work with the general public doing retail, and here, even in Portland Oregon, where they like to ‘keep Portland weird’, you still many restrictions as to what you can and cannot show. The winters are fine to wear long sleeves, but the summers are really a bummer having to cover up. Piercings are another issue altogether, and besides the ears, no other piercing are allowed to be seen at work.

  200. I work at a local predominately southern restaurant called Jack’s Family Restaurant. I was hired with gauges and it was never really a problem until one of my managers commented that I was getting them too big. Mine are only 1/2in now, I went down two sizes. I’m fortunate that the handbook said “No larger than the Diameter of a nickle” However I recently got an industrial in my left ear and I can no longer wear my gauges to work, they wont let me wear the bar for my industrial either, I have to use labret studs in my holes and they constantly give me hell about having multiple holes in one ear. I have to keep the top one covered at all times. One of my co-workers was hired with tattoos, and they made him wear long sleeves to work everyday. They claim they didn’t notice them when he got hired, which I know is crap because I saw them during his interview. Even though there is nothing in the handbook to my knowledge about tattoos, they wont hire anyone with visible ones. They also wont allow anyone with “Un-naturally” colored hair. I found that out when I came in one day with lightly colored pink tips and they sent me home.

  201. ive been told to take out my piercings in my ears and cover up my tattoo, now ive found out their is no policy on tats in my workplace but my boss is “all about appearences” my lip healed up because of him but its okay for everyone else to have their nose pierced and not my tat on show? its only got “mother,father,sister” on it. Nothing else, i nearly had a panic attack in work because i was too hot in my jacket and he said it was my fault so he had the cheek to order me a new uniform, a long sleeved shirt and jacket for summer!

  202. I work at coles supermarkets and i have a lip piercing and half my head is blue. They have a problem with my hair even though i get so many comments on it saying it looks great. I work my arse off everyday and nearly everyweekend and have been employed for almost 4years, only now they are starting to kick up a stink about it, ive had multicolored hair threwout my employment, its really upsetting to know that all they are seeing is my hair and not all the hours im putting in for a company that doesnt give a dam about there employers

  203. I work at coles supermarkets and i have a lip piercing and half my head is blue. They have a problem with my hair even though i get so many comments on it saying it looks great. I work my arse off everyday and nearly everyweekend and have been employed for almost 4years, only now they are starting to kick up a stink about it, ive had multicolored hair threwout my employment, its really upsetting to know that all they are seeing is my hair and not all the hours im putting in for a company that doesnt give a dam about there employers

  204. A few years ago I was hired at Walmart as a cashier. Thru out the hiring process and all the training I wore a labret and nostril piercing and no one said a word. Then about a week after I started full time the manger called me into her office and said I’d have to take out the labret or I’d be let go. I was very upset because it came out of know where and I never saw any “no piercing” rules in anything I signed. I decided since the piercing was a few years old it was okay to take it out during work and it really didn’t bother it. But then about another week went by and I was called into the office again and this time I had to change my short sleeved shirt to long sleeves to cover a butterfly on my forearm. I have a small star on my hand too and they asked that I put a band aid over that. To make a long story short…I got really sick of their shit and 2 things became 10 and I eventually just quit. Working for Walmart is hell if you are not a drone.

  205. I find this ridiculous. If they don’t want their employees to have facial piercings, they should tell them before they hire them. The same goes for hair colour. As long as its not affecting the customers, you shouldnt have to change it.
    Also, i cant imagine how the customers feel when they walk in and see someone with a plaster on their face. I honestly saw this photo and thought there was something wrong with the piercing!

  206. I work for Walmart and only have my right nostril done.
    I worked for two different stores since being hired by this company and the first one was a hell of a lot more anal about it than the second.
    I got it pierced I’d like to say two months into working for the first store.
    One of my managers had hers done and didn’t have to take hers out, but I still covered mine up with a band aid just because I didn’t want to start anything. Or at least, I thought I wouldn’t.
    My main supervisor, after not saying anything for a good two weeks, pulled me aside one day and told me to take it out or go home.
    And when I explained to her that I was keeping it covered, that my front end manager had one, and that taking it out wasn’t an option since it was a new piercing she basically said “that’s not my problem and do as we say, not as we do” in so many words.
    Pissed, but not wanting to lose my new job I talked to the main manager and pulled the religion card. I don’t know if that was to work or not because (conveniently) I had to return home, two hours away, due to a family emergency.
    Since I hadn’t worked their for six months, I couldn’t transfer but my managers knew I was a hard worker and helped me get hired at the Walmart near my parents’ place.
    On the day of my interview I asked about my nose stud and if it could be covered and my head boss told me as long as it was covered there was no issue, but as soon as it healed he wanted me to get a retainer.
    That I could agree to and I even asked one of my front end managers if I could get more facial piercings and if I do could I cover them without getting in trouble and she told me if I do to take it slow so my face isn’t full of band aids.
    And as far as the tattoos go, I have two for now and my old Walmart wanted me to keep them both covered in fear of offending someone (one is a celtic cross, the other is my zodiac) and the one I work for now doesn’t give a fuck if they show or that I’m getting new ones, as long as they’re not vulgar they can be shown.
    Even though I was basically given permission to get more facial piercings, I think I’m just gonna get my labret done and call it a day until I get a job that approves of facial piercings and just work on my ears for now.
    I wanna stretch them a bit and get a lot more piercings in those too.
    I’m really happy with the people I work for now and when it comes down to it, it really is all about the people you work for.
    I do think it is against the law to fire you over preexisting piercings if you were hired with them in though. Better check.

  207. Been working at mcdonalds for four years they haven’t made a big deal about tattoos until the last couple years now they have this no visible tattoo policy and if we have tattoos on our arms we have to wear a long sleeve shirt in addition to our regular work shirt. This is ridiculous that we should be punished. We’re told daily that if we have a problem with it to discuss it with the owner/operator but I’m afraid if I make too much of a fuss that they will just try and nit pick and fire me. I’m at a loss and don’t know what to do.

  208. Discrimination laws really only cover age, gender, religion, national origin, race, and physical disability, so a lawsuit may not gain much traction. Unfortunately, the employers/owners are well within their rights to require these things. And the safety issues, i.e. something falling and ripping the ring out, aren’t so much for your benefit, but more of if you’re clocked in, that company is liable. If your mod is more important to you than the job, quit. But if you’re starting an actual career and want to continue on, then you have to play ball. Remember, it’s their company. Employees are really just a resource.

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