Thursday, May 10, 2007

damn the man, save your wallet

So I'm currently staked out in the library working on a massive paper for my personality psychology course, which is actually pretty entertaining. I've been doing research to find out whether there is a link between body modification and specific personality traits, and the results have been quite intriguing. I've found some evidence that body modification is associated with high self-esteem, positive body image, and a lower incidence of depressive symptoms. However there have also been studies which seem to suggest that modders are more often involved in risky behaviors such as drug use and reckless driving, and that they're more sexually promiscuous and adventurous (umm and they make it seem like a BAD thing...).
In any case, one of the most startling facts I found in my research is that in certain industry categories, the chances of obtaining employment are reduced by 70% or more for individuals with visible tattoos. This shocking figure brought me back to my recent discussion of the Mercedes dealership incident, and also reminded me of an email I received recently.

"So, I was thinking. You recently posted that you'd be taking suggestions for posts, maybe you could talk about how your mods have forced you to overcome professional/career-oriented/scholarly hurdles? Similar to your post about the car dealership craziness.
Perhaps I'd glean a tip or two from such posts!
Either way, keep up the good work.

While I was at work yesterday, the track coach at my school came up and started inquiring about the tattoos on my arms that have recently emerged from their winter hibernation. I haven't engaged in a conversation based around justifying my choice to acquire tattoos in awhile, so I was a little rusty in my explanation at first. But once I got started, I began to remind myself of all the reasons why I decided to get tattoos in the first place, and how they've affected me thus far.
I began telling him about how I love a challenge, and that I see having visible modifications as a challenge to myself and to society. They challenge me because I feel that I can help to promote a positive image of body modification by excelling in everything I do. People don't assume that a girl with piercings all over her face and tattoos all up her arms is capable...of anything I have to give my best effort to every endeavor just to be given notice. It is certainly frustrating sometimes to have to give extra effort just to prove I have the abilities I've worked so hard to acquire, but the potential payoff makes it all worthwhile.
This payoff comes as a result of my challenge to society. I see my mods and my personality as a mix that can break down the misconceptions of certain individuals, but only if they're willing to accept a new perceptual framework. If people begin to realize, one by one, that mods aren't necessarily related to any one type of person, and that modified individuals should be given the same kind of consideration as anyone else, there will eventually be a revolution. I may sound naive when I say this, but I feel that through this dual challenge mods give me the opportunity to change the world.
So there's my little blurb about overcoming obstacles that result from my mods, but I wanted to add something else that might actually help some of my readers out. After losing my status at the temp agency that sent me to the Mercedes dealership from which I was sent home, I needed to find a stable job for the summer. Of course there was the option of taking out my vertical labret and wrist piercing and downsizing my plugs, but like I said, I love a challenge. Besides, I don't feel that I should have to change my looks just to get a job that I'm perfectly qualified for. So mods and all, I went job hunting, and I came up with some tips for fellow modders along the way:
1)Cover or tuck away all unecessary mods. If you have a wrsit piercing like me, wear long sleeves no matter how hot it is. That way you can get a fair chance at proving your abilities before the employer's preconceptions about mods have a chance to play a role.
2)Bring a freshly typed resume to every employer. Even if they have a specific application you must fill out, the resume is a great way to remember the phone numbers of your references and it looks damn responsible of you to be prepared.
3) For gosh sakes, dress nicely. If you insist on keeping some visible mods, well, visible, then you have to compensate by breaking out your snazziest duds. Please keep cleavage (both tit and ass) to yourself, don't wear absurdly high heels, don't wear wacky patterns or colors, and definitely don't opt for a tee shirt and jeans, regardless of the job you're trying to get. I would recommend that girls wear a knee-length skirt (unless you have lower leg tattoos, in which case a pair of black or grey slacks is fine), and a button-down shirt or a blouse. I know this totally sounds like nanny-wear, but you can get creative as long as you look polished. For guys, wear that same button-down shirt you wore to your grandma's funeral, your sister's wedding, and your high school prom. Throw on a pair of khaki or black dress pants with some boots or dress shoes and you're good to go.
4)Try finding employment in the more hip areas of your state. I live in Connecticut, so I automatically chose New Haven as my first choice for job hunting because the target audience of most of its establishments is between 15 and 30 years old. Also, people who own cafes and restaurants in more alternative cities tend to be younger and more accepting of mods, so your chances of being able to get work are much higher there.
5)Be yourself and smile a LOT. Just be friendly, and treat the employer like a friend (don't get too comfy though). If you're relaxed, they will be too, giving them a positive interaction to remember you by.
6)Now for the obvious stuff, like don't lie, don't promise you'll remove your mods before shifts if you don't intend to, and certainly don't be disrespectful if the employer starts to badger you about your mods. Just stay calm, and dig deep so you can tell them exactly why you want to keep your mods. If you know they were a rational decision, prove it by acting rationally and explaining your reasons clearly.

I hope this advice helps some people out. I'm happy to say that it was quite effective in my personal job hunting endeavor, and I'll be starting work at a snazzy cafe right down the street from my house this Monday. Don't get discouraged if you don't get phone calls back right away, and keep the phone numbers of the places you were most interested in so you can call for a follow-up. Just ask if your app. has been considered, and express that you're really interested in working in such a cool place. With a little time and a little luck, even the most heavily modded folk can find the perfect job to fit their lifestyle. And the satisfaction of knowing you didn't cave and conform to the standards of "the man" will be an added bonus. DAMN THE MAN, SAVE THE EMPIRE!...empire records anyone???


Scarlet Dux said...

You should check out fleshwound /intensive care - a nz website - my partner just got cut there very nice work - wouldve been a good place for you to go when you came to nz.

Anonymous said...

When you talk of that nanny-wear, it reminds me that many employers require their young live-in in maid/nanny girl to wear clothes like those you describe as "uniforms". Common, what I know, is a white blouse and a black knee-length skirt, white waist apron and black high-healed footwear and for the most dirty work a white full-length apron was required. Also, a nametag can be included. Many of the girls really hate it and want to wear more comfort clothes like jeans/t-shirts and sweaters, but the employer decides and many of them are strict. The girls have to accept it or leave searching for another work.