The HMV Situation: Rich’s View

I’m sure that by now you have heard about the new regulations regarding HMV’s new dress code. Rich has some of his thoughts and experiences to share on this, which I think is pretty cool. Happy Monday, guys!

I went in to HMV the other day, got to the counter, and the girl behind the counter said she liked my tattoos. I had obviously read the story that HMV have now decided to follow the police in their quest to eradicate all visible tattoos, but they have also decided to make employees tie back long hair. The girl serving me then went on to say, “they make us cover our tattoos now. It’s horrible. Every employee here has a visible tattoo, and none of us are allowed to show them. Part of the reason I wanted to work here is they liked people with tattoos.”

This struck a chord with me, as it then dawned on me that the reason I even go in to HMV is partly the way their staff used to look. Having their tattoos on show made me feel at ease in the sense that the people working there were on the same level as me, and were not using a shirt and tie to prove their authority. This however has now changed, and I feel some of the integrity of the company has fallen away. I will not stop using HMV, as they are the only way I can get my fix of CDs around here, but part of the attraction has definitely worn off. I hope that other companies are not beginning to follow suit, as this would be a small step back for tattooing.

In terms of being an employee in HMV, I am not sure how I would feel working in the shop now, but that’s because my old boss was fine with me having really long hair, a beard and tattoos. I am a firm believer that people should be able to wear and look how they want, and should not be constrained in what they have to wear. Uniform is a great concept, and I do have respect for companies that have uniform for the correct reasons, such as distinguishing themselves as a brand, or making sure that all their staff are equal in terms of their employment. However, the constant need to slowly but surely strip their employees of whatever bits of enjoyment they have in having their tattoos on show at work is just too much.

To be honest, I would be wary of applying for a job in HMV now as I really would hate having my tattoos covered up all day, and with plans to eventually obtain full coverage of my neck and hands, a situation like this could become an issue. However, in times like this, the term “needs must” comes in to effect. At the moment I cover my tattoos for job interviews. This is something I despise doing to a level that I cannot explain, but it seemingly is what needs to be done if you are a tattooed individual trying to get a job. People will say to me “if you want a job, then you can’t have visible tattoos.” This for me is not true and I will continue getting tattooed until my heart is content.

Honestly, if I was to start a new job tomorrow, I would test the water for a couple of weeks, adhere to the dress code, and slowly show a bit more skin. Then if it gets to the point that I could have my tattoos on show, then brilliant!

With regards to dress code at work, I would be really interested in hearing whether your jobs have a dress code, whether you adhere to it if you do, and if anybody has had any verbal or written warnings for their body art.

Rich Jones spends his time getting great tattoos and learning Journalism and Media, which he’s going to ace a degree in, in September. When he isn’t having needles stuck in him or writing long words, he loves rugby and music.

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