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To ink or not to ink...

A regular reader of my blog asked a question in the comment section of my In Many Workplaces, Tattoos Still Taboo post. Jona-Tat.2 wanted to know if I’ve faced any problems with my tattoos. Well, this post is my honest answer to that question.

Here we go…

The problems I’ve faced are minimal I guess. Every time I’m in a car and there’s a police road block, I’ll have to get out of the car and get screened. It can get a little irritating. Especially when you’re pissed drunk and all you wanna do is get home.

I have had run-ins with doctors too. Some ask if I’m there for a medical cert or if I’m on drugs. Those doctors will get an earful from me.

Then there is a job that I want to go back to but I can’t. The Singapore Zoo has a new rule. A dumb rule that says they can’t hire anyone with visible tattoos. What the hell happened to hiring people that genuinely love animals?

Other than the zoo, I’ve never had problem with my previous jobs. Some years ago,I pitched for an event for the Prime Minister in a polo-tee. The committee did indeed look shock in the beginning. After 45 minutes, I bagged the 10,000 pax event. I even shook hands with the Prime Minister on the event day. And guess what? I was in a polo-tee again.

I think it all boils down to how we carry ourselves. It’s about how we dress, talk to people and our outlook of life. I can have a conversation with just about anyone and I greet everyone with a nod and smile. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know a person. It's a simple way of me acknowledging their presence.

Singapore’s society is indeed opening up. Everything takes time and we’re slowly getting there. All we need now is for a minister to get tattooed. That day will come for sure. I just hope I’m alive to see that.

Well Jona-Tat.2, I think you should get the tattoo. You can always wear long sleeve tops if you do need to cover up. My soon-to-be wife Ant has tattoos on her wrists too. The moment you get those tattoos, you’ll be itching to tattoo your forearm. Trust me man…


  1. hey noel, thanks for the extremely detailed reply! much appreciated.

    a real in-depth insight, and i could actually relate to some points as well. used to work at the Jurong Birdpark during my poly days, and i guess with visible tatts, no chance of me going back there as well, 'less it's gonna be behind-the-scenes work, but where's the fun in that? =)

    most definitely gonna be getting inked on the wrists real soon, just that it's gonna be the first pieces that i won't be able to cover up easily, me being a tshirt kinda person, hence the slightly prolonged thought process behind them.

    thanks again for the wonderful sharing post. great read as always!

    advance happy New Year to you, your wife-to-be, and all at Home!

  2. oh man...sorry for the LATE reply. at the back of my mind, I thought I replied!!

    to jona-tat.2: you're most welcome! I didn't know you worked at JBP. how was it like? good experience I hope. my friend's wife is working in the show department. Her name is Sue. She worked in the zoo as well.

    I'm a t-shirt kinda person as well. Everywhere I go, I'm in a tee. I'm comfortable with my tatts so it isn't much of a problem. Did i mention I hate formal events?!

    Well bro, happy new year and big hugs!!!

    to missbitchalot: call me neighbour! i called you on Saturday morning but your mobile was off!!


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