These days, things are generally rather more relaxed here (although other parts of the world are still rather less accommodating) and, with the advent of summer, bare ankles are visible in offices up and down the land.
It seems, however, that there is still one last taboo:
A high-flying career woman who lost her job because of a butterfly tattoo on her FOOT [sic] is contemplating taking a legal stand.This is the tale of a woman, employed via an agency, whose contract was terminated because, over a period of weeks, she 'made no effort' to comply with a ban on visible tattoos at her workplace.
She is consulting a solicitor, on behalf of all professionals with tattoos, to see if the Salisbury’s action constitutes discrimination under inclusion and diversity laws.How public-spirited of her! Frankly, this dispute with her boss looks like a case of irresistible force and immovable object; he says all tattoos must be covered in the office to project a professional image to customers, she says that disguising it would be impractical...
“The only way to cover it would be to wear a sock. I’m a businesswoman and I wear smart dresses to work, so that would look stupid."... and, on the sidelines, in the best soap-opera tradition, the local paper happily weighs in with some loaded narrative making it clear whose side it is on:
Jo [...] did not deal with members of the public and was praised for her “outstanding” work during her five months at Salisbury.I, for one, would be interested to know why this thirty-something businesswoman - albeit one sporting a rather un-businesslike tattoo - appears unaware that cosmetic tattoo-covering creams are widely available*; indeed, how could it be otherwise, given the popularity of tattooing and the exorbitant price of removal?
“I suggested covering it with a sticking plaster but thought that would look unprofessional and draw attention to it.”And who, in sartorially liberated 21st-century Britain decrees that women must wear dresses to work anyway? A smart pair of long summer trousers would surely hide the artwork to the satisfaction of all but the most draconian of employers.
While the policy is, perhaps, a harsh one in a society where even the Prime Minister's wife is no stranger to the needle, given this lady's persistence and her readiness to seek legal advice (and the ear of the local newspaper), it is hard not to conclude that she was stubbornly determined to flout the rules.
Under the circumstances, her choice of the delicate and ethereal butterfly as a motif seems more than a little inappropriate.
*And that's not all; a quick google reveals a host of specialist websites complete with such quotes as:
"Every bride I encounter now needs/wants their tattoos covered for their wedding, and airbrush is the best way to do it."