Previously, when I worked at companies that considered themselves hip, casual or progressive, I never saw tattoos. Well, maybe there was the rare ankle tattoo sighting or a half sleeve poking out from a t-shirt, but these occurrences were few and far between. People covered up their ink.
Not here. You can stroll through any Rackspace location and see tattooed folks mixed in with non tattooed folks. It’s not specific to a business unit or a team or a responsibility level. We have all kinds of Rackers with all kinds of skin art. We have even handed out fake tattoo sleeves for people to wear on their forearms at events!
For my interviews, I wore business clothes so I was pretty well covered. On my first day at Rackspace, I wore a t-shirt with a cardigan over it because I still wasn’t convinced that any company would actually be ok with my tattoos. On day two, I threw caution to the wind and left the cardigan in the car. The response I got from my teammates was refreshing: “OOOH! Let me see those! What is that? Where did you get that? These are amazing!”
I have a pair of swallows tattooed on my chest. They are traditional sailor tattoos. I was in the Navy and come from a long line of sailors all the way back to Captain Earl Morgan, the British privateer. Yes, I am related to the Captain Morgan and no, I can’t score you free rum. The rum thing aside, there’s a lot of history in those two birds and they have a lot of meaning to me.
On the inside of my right arm, I’ve got an old fashioned portrait of a black dog in a suit complete with a top hat and monocle. It’s a portrait of my dog Bear. He was my faithful companion for many years, moving with me from Hawaii to San Francisco to San Diego, where he got sick and I had to do the hard thing and put him down. I called him my Little Gentleman so the tattoo is a fitting tribute to my beloved friend.
Of all my tattoos, 11 and counting, those two get the most attention. They also have great stories behind them, which doesn’t hurt.
On the outside of my right arm, I’ve got a really cool heart with a dagger that is my personal favorite. My friend Tina designed it and tattooed it on me for my birthday a few years ago. There’s no message behind it, it’s just a great piece of work from an amazing lady.
I have to admit; not worrying about covering my tattoos has saved me a lot of time getting ready for work in the morning. I no longer have to hunt down one of my many cardigans and ensure that my ink is covered.
It’s nice to work for an organization that values what I do more than the way I look while I’m doing it.
Theresa is a Veteran of the U.S. Navy where she served as a Ship Board Electrician. After her service in the military, Theresa turned her attentions to a career in recruiting. Since then, she has recruited in a variety of fields including semi-conductor, gaming, medical and technology.Category: Rackers Tags: Bear the Dog, Being Yourself, Captain Morgan, Tattoos, Theresa Hankins