Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tattoos - another sign of spring

At my place of employment we are required to wear a uniform. Not so in the rest of the Boise Co-op. But for those of us who work in the deli this uniform involves black pants, a black co-op T-shirt (short-sleeved) and an apron. During the chillier months of the year we are allowed to wear a turtle neck (or some such long sleeved attire) under our co-op T-shirt. Which I've been doing. Up until now. Now the weather, mostly, has been warming up. And the co-op is warming up. So I've been going to work in short sleeves. Doesn't sound like a problem, right?
Well, it's not really.

The only thing is, short sleeves expose my tattoo. And yes, I could have had my tattoo tattooed on a hidden spot on myself but then I wouldn't get to see it often enough to suit me.

So I've been waiting on customers five days a week, mornings and evenings (because that's my schedule), for months now in my long sleeves. I look like someone's grandma. I look like any other nice 54 year old, old lady.

But now spring has arrived. Off come the long sleeves. Now when I wait on someone and I'm dishing up their salad or handing them their espresso drink the customer doesn't just see their selection coming at them, they also see my snake tattoo coming with it.

For the most part it's fine. There are so many tattooed employees working at the co-op that one more doesn't tilt the scale much at all. And most of the time the customers don't even react. And if they do, it's usually a pleasant, "Oh, nice tattoo!"

Last night I was stocking product when a customer walked up to me and said,
"Oh, you're the one my friend was telling me about! She said there was a lady working here with a snake tattoo but all she could ever see was the head because you had it covered all the time. Can I see the rest of it above your sleeve?" (I pull up my short sleeve so she can see where the rattles lie on my shoulder.) "Oh, nice! Now I can tell her it's just as nice as the head!"

That's part of what spring means for me at work.

And that's OK. I don't mind customers like her. It's the ones who argue with me that I don't appreciate. For instance they'll say, "That's not a rattlesnake, that's a python!"
Really? I mean, really???
Or, "That's not colored correctly." OK. Now I'm tired of you.

Or when they want to know all about my reasons for getting a rattlesnake tattoo.
(What I want to say is, "Hey, I'm working right now, and besides, I really don't know you that well.")

But, I'm at work, and at work the customer is always right, so I smile sweetly and come up with something to say to satisfy them.

You're probably thinking, well, you brought this on yourself, you chose to have a tattoo. And you're so right. And I don't regret it for one instant. I love my tattoo.

When I was laid off from my previous job in July of 2007 I never envisioned having to work so closely with the public. But that's life.

So, now that spring has arrived I'll appreciate the nice customer responses to my tattoo (or the silence), and try to shrug off the irritating ones.

If you're interested in seeing my tattoo, and those of my children, here is the previous post.


Dirt Princess said...

Its your body and you do what makes you happy. Who cares what people think. I can remember being really young, and my Sunday school teacher was an older man who was a veteran. He has tatooes all over his arms. I would just sit there and stare at them. I was more interested in his tats than the Sunday school lesson..LOL!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Tattoos are works of Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I guess tattoos fit well with the phrase...

Every blog is potraying flowers as the sign of Spring, now you are looking at another angle.... TATTOO!!

Cheers. ~ Bangchik

Megan said...

I love tattoos, I've always wanted one but somehow never quite get around to doing it. At the job I was just laid off from, it was more of an oddity NOT to have a tattoo. My hairstylist's now ex-boyfriend was a tattoo artist, and had done a stick-on tattoo promotion for a local magazine. She put one on me while coloring my hair, and when I went back to work, I suddenly had more people talk to me that day than all the rest of my time there, but they were of course disappointed to learn that it wasn't real.
I know some people who feel like they have to keep them covered at work, I'm glad you don't have to cover yours up.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I have a little clerodendron bloom planned for my foot. As soon as the bush blooms the artist is going to draw it out for me. Can't wait. Love the snake

Kathleen said...

I could never sit still for seven hours to have your snake tattooed on me!! and I'm kind of a wimp so I'm with your hubby in abstaining. But I'm a live and let live kind of girl so I think it's great if you like it. btw, thanks for your water plant advice. I found some iris at Lowes the other day so I bought one. Also bummer about your wistera blooms getting frosted. :-(
Do you think there's still a chance a few might bloom?

EB said...

Your snake looks amazing - really amazing.

I had my mind opened about tatoes when I became interest in paganism, as with so many other subjects. In a way I'm all the more impressed by people who remain in their original faith but have a wider mind than I. Now I find tattoos, and to a lesser extent piercings, intriguing. I can imagine getting one myself, some time. My only worry is getting a real taste for it and feeling I had to keep having more, and running out of skin!

Unknown said...

I (almost) can't help myself! I love asking people about their tattoos, but I would never criticize it! I don't think I would ever bother some one about it while they were working, either. Seven hours! I have a bird tattoo and it only took 45 minutes :)
Do you like working at the Co-op? I always thought it would be a fun place.

our friend Ben said...

Awesome, Victoria (love the kids', too)! And it's so great about why you chose the rattlesnake. Living history! Our friend April was over here this afternoon, and over the years we've watched her go from nothing to almost full upper-body coverage. I hate needles, so I'm not a good candidate, but every year at the Scottish & Irish Festival I get a spray-on and love it while it lasts!

Ginger said...

That snake tattoo is COOL! My husband and I each have a tattoo, but they have to be in places we can cover easily since we're lawyers. I didn't think it hurt that much, to tell you the truth.

You have a good point about getting it where YOU will see it! Ours are on our backs so we pretty much never see our own!

rainfield61 said...

To have people discussing on your tatoo and asking for further exploration is kind of weird.

Heather said...

I love the tattoo. Can't seem to get one myself, maybe the reason will be the perfect winter post when I am out of good garden stuff. Five years really did make a vast difference.

Frances said...

Hi Victoria, I did click to see the tattoos and love your body art. I also have one, a butterfly on my right shoulder, not very daring, I know, and darn, I can't see it unless looking in a mirror with another mirror! All the females in our family have at least one, some have several. I love them all, including yours, even though I am not a big fan of snakes! As for remarks from strangers, a smile is worth a million words, as you already know.:-)

Nikky said...

Victoria i love your tattoo! I have three myself! I always find it funny when people ask about my tatts and I too get the occasional person who feels like giving me a lecture about them. my solution? smile. when that doesn't work i just tell them that i got all of my tatts just to piss off the people who are dead set against them! seems to work for me!

Prairie Chicken... said...

ummm your tat is super bad assed! Loves it.

Unknown said...

Well, I guess you might say I'm tatooed (4) since I had my eyeliner done top and bottom. LOL I'm a big baby when it comes to needles so it surprised the heck out of me that I even did that! But I won some money and said I was going to do something for me that I would never otherwise spend that much money on and got it done. I've worn eyeliner all my life and my eyes are getting old and tired and I felt it wasn't looking as nice as it should and so I kind of stopped wearing it so I didn't look messy. I went and had that done and I've been on an 'eyeliner high' ever since! Lips are next!!! ;-) Guess it's not quite the same but it's still a tatoo.

Genie said...

Not colored correctly? Dang, you aren't the Discovery Channel, it's art!