Growing up I recall seeing old men who had a tattoo on their arm, and they were usually from the Navy or another military service. Men like this would brag about their conquests or how they survived a fierce battle. The tattoo was a badge of honor or a symbol of remembrance of days gone by. I don’t ever recall seeing a woman with a tattoo other than maybe at the circus. Ear piercings have long been a traditional form of wearing jewelry mainly for women. There are hundreds of variations and styles.
Hiring Frontline Talented People
Hiring talented people isn’t an easy job. Sifting through applicants to find the perfect match to your business takes time and money to get it right. Hiring managers are generally overconfident about their expertise and experience, so they are reluctant to use more structured approaches to evaluate a candidate. Their preconceived biases shape how they interview and offer a job to an applicant. I remember a manager not hiring a lady because she reminded him of his ex-wife. That is a pretty crazy reason not to hire someone with talent.
Business owners and managers who are growing their businesses are more open-minded today about hiring front line people with tattoos and earrings for customer service roles. They are thinking out of the box with hiring practices. The stereotype images are being shattered because having an arm sleeve doesn’t mean you’re a thug.
Regardless of the reason to hire, employ good people who can do great work is the goal. Body art is yet another form of personal expression and doesn’t designate the person to be anything other than a good person.
The Critical Question: What Do Your Customers Accept?
Whatever someone wants to do to their body is their business. When it crosses a line is when that person is in a position to service a customer, and it affects their ability to communicate or to enhance the company image in providing the service.
Each impression your customer has about your business comes from the experience of what they see and hear.
Many frontline people have never been coached or trained to expect feedback from the customer, so they respond according to what they think is right or based on their mood. Others seem to develop an attitude that the customer is an intrusion on their day so without coaching or training they leave a poor impression on a customer. These are skill and attitude issues. They have nothing to do with tattoo’s or earrings.
The Frontline: Servers & Waiters
My wife and I enjoy different types of food. Sometimes this means we have communication issues if the waiter does not speak good English. Language isn’t the only reason communication barriers crop up. I work through most situations rather well, however, when a tongue ring slurs the servers speech then I wonder if the business owner is serious about wanting our business again.
I have no issue if someone wants to pierce whatever part of their body they want. When the employee isn’t communicating to the customer in a way the customer can understand, then it means the line was crossed.
Am I the only one who rants about this?
If you work at the Harley-Davidson dealership, having an earring or a tattoo very well may be part of the evaluation if you get hired or not. In a restaurant, friendly tattoos and bright green hair are ok. Whether it’s a Harley-Davidson dealership or a restaurant, the level of customer service provided is the goal. If tattoos are offensive to your customer base or if there is a tongue-ring that prevents them from communicating properly then it crosses the line.
Just look around today. You can see earrings, piercings, and tattoos on all parts of the body. You can get whatever you want tattooed on your body and in places that the sun has never shined. The creative artistry cannot be denied. Maybe I need to relax and get a few tattoos and piercings. That would put some color on my body, but never would it change my attitude towards the customer. The customer is king!