The Perception of Tattoos

The Perception of Tattoos

By Sharon Rector

 The essence of the articles I write deal solely with life lessons, oftentimes my own, but also the life lessons of others. It is said that with age comes wisdom. Hopefully, the tidbit of wisdom I am about to share will help someone to make a better decision about their future, especially in the workplace.

You see, the job market world is rapidly changing. The needs of the employer from a prospective employee are also a part of this metamorphosis. Just recently, I heard on the evening news that a well-known, high-end retailer is requiring their employees to wear the same brand, color and make of shirt as well as the same brand, type and color of underwear and pants. When the temperature hits a paltry 60 degrees, they are required to wear the same type and brand of overcoat buttoned-down to the fourth button, with the last one open. Identical hats are to be worn on the same day, with the brim at a certain angle. Sounds a bit excessive, doesn’t it?

Well, this is the new world order of business. As you see, employers are becoming more conservative by the day. This article takes a look at one big issue facing many employers today that has found a re-birth in today’s world — tattoos.

While watching a recent NFL game (the name of the team escapes me at the moment), I noticed that one of the players had (what I thought at the time) an ugly rash on his arm. Of course, I had to step a little closer to the television and my husband explained to me that it wasn’t a rash, but a tattoo! Upon further investigation, I noticed how this very massive tattoo crept eerily from his bulging arms all the way up his back to his neck! At first, I could not encompass what pain this man must have gone through. But I had another issue I could not encompass and this is…Why? And every time I see one, I still ask that same question. So, let’s take a look at the issue of tattoos or as the title says, The Perception of Tattoos!

Did you know that the word “tattoo” comes from the Tahitian word “tattau” which means to “mark” and at one time, was a draw for freak circuses and fairs in the 18th and 19th centuries? Evidence from ancient Egypt, Greenland, Siberia and New Zealand reveals that the art of tattooing is truly global and has existed for thousands of years.

Tattooing was often seen as a symbol status, as a mark of a person’s passage through life; and often, as a way of beautifying the body. Westerners, though, have regarded the practice as repulsive and slightly frightening.

In ancient Greece, tattoos were used to mark spies. Romans utilized tattoos to identify slaves and criminals.

In tribal cultures, tattoos held even greater meaning. A tattoo increased one’s marriage potentiality, denoted a specific skill for the tribe, or symbolized greatness in rank as a warrior. Tattoos were worn to identify a religious sect, to symbolize a proud family crest, or as a form of self-expression and solidarity with some idea. Tattoos were often worn by tribal units to ward off illnesses.

Today actors and athletes wear them like you would wear a sweater. Then, they realize the error of their sometimes irrational decision to get a tattoo. But, the good news is they have the money needed to remove the mistake of tattooing in order to correct a bad decision.

There are probably more cons than pros in the art of tattooing. First of all, the markings are permanent! The marks and colors of a tattoo will remain on your skin forever, and forever can be a long time.

You need to understand that the skin’s subtle elasticity does not last. As we age, the depletion of elasticity causes the skin to sag. Here’s an experiment. Inflate a balloon. Write your name on it and even add a drawing and a little color. Slowly release the air so you can see just how your skin will look with a tattoo as you gradually get older. If you smoke, get a lot of exposure to the sun, or maybe not on the healthiest diet, the sagging process is sped up tremendously. So keep in mind, you are stuck with this mark until you depart this world. It’s just like cutting off your arm. Once it’s done, it’s done!

Remember those actors and athletes I referred to earlier? They can afford the creams and lotions to improve the elasticity of the skin and they can afford the expensive and painful treatment needed to remove the tattoos.

Here is something else you probably did not consider: the health risks. Ever heard of HIV/Aids? Ever had a bacterial infection or MRSA? What about hepatitis? Allergic reactions to the dye or ink used in tattooing is more common than you think. What about unsterile needles? Did you ever stop to think about the cleanliness of the tattoo shop? Is the tattooist following the strict regulations? Is the tattooist experienced?

In the December 2012 issue of ShopSmart Magazine titled “Bad Tattoo News,” it is revealed that one in five adults have at least one tattoo, according to a 2012 Harris Poll. Most say that they don’t regret the decision. However, 14% also reportedly regret the body ink and realize that they will have a harder time getting rid of the tattoo than they originally thought. The article goes further and reveals that if tattoos are older than three years of if they are green or yellow, of if you smoke and they are located on your legs or feet, you may be in trouble. It reportedly takes 15 (long and expensive) sessions to remove the ink! You are at higher risk for infections, hepatitis, HIV and other allergic reactions. Just make sure that you stay safe.

You may not have considered in addition that your poor judgment could cost you a job. You are never fully aware of the biases and prejudices of an employer. Ask yourself what lasting impact will the decision to get a tattoo have on your financial future? Is it a vice of necessity or are you just following a fad? Is this a true form of self-expression? Will this decision help you to improve on how others view you?

In an interview recently conducted with Chef Sheri Yearby, Culinary Arts Instructor and Chef (November 12, 2012), she states the following about the issue of tattoos in the workplace.

“…This has always been an interesting topic for me. I am becoming more aware of how disruptive tattoos can be sometimes. Tattoos can be a huge source of distraction for customers and employees. Depending upon the nature of the tattoo, there can be very negative meanings that could possibly offend patrons and co-workers. In the educational area, for example, tattoos must be covered. In the food industry, however, views are becoming more lenient due to the fact that a number of people have tattoos on their wrists and hands which would be difficult to cover during food preparation. So, when rules as to employees’ duties and responsibilities come into play, it is necessary to minimize their exposure to patrons. For example, it might be wise to delegate one’s duties to the back of the house. This can, then, pose an issue of fairness when employees are required to cross-train in all areas and rotate duties. The other area of concern is health. Sometimes, a person can be exposed to hepatitis through obtaining a tattoo from a source who is not reputable. The result is increased risk of exposure of hepatitis to customers and other employees. Of course, the decision is solely left up to the employer. Some companies have stricter hiring criteria than others. As a Chef and Culinary Instructor, I always encourage students to cover their tattoos completely when interviewing for a job. Remember, first impressions are lasting!”…

Here is where wisdom comes into play. Sometimes, what looks good to you, may not be good FOR you! If you are seeking a job with a great employer, you must possess the wisdom to realize that employers are indeed getting more conservative about the way you dress, your skill set, your overall persona and what you say on social media. So, take this little tidbit of wisdom with you to the door of that tattoo shop.

History may repeat itself,

Fashions may come and go (and come back again),

But, a tattoo is forever!




















“History of Tattooing” “The Limitless Potential of You”

Pros and Cons of Tattoos

Marcy 28, 2011 by Julia Michelle



Personal Interview

Chef Sheri Yearby

B.S., Nutrition and M.S., Human Relations & Business

Career Technology Education

Former Adjunct Professor, El Centro College, Food and Hospitality


December 2012 Issue

ShopSmart Magazine from Consumer Reports

Article “Bad Tattoo News” p. 13



Crafty Christmas

Crafty Christmas

By Sheena Williams

Christmas Gifts that cost very little…

So, do you have a lot of people who are looking at you as their Great Santa this year? But not being employed has put you in a gift-giving pinch, right? While the obvious answer would be to politely abstain from gift-giving this year, you know and we know that there are some circumstances where gift-giving is unavoidable.

So, to help you out with the gift-giving dilemma, we have come up with some homemade gifts that you can make and pass out without costing an arm and a leg! Not only does it give you gifts in a hurry, it’s an activity the whole family can enjoy doing together to celebrate the holidays!

Treats In A Jar

Depending on the item or goodies that you put in the jar, you can average approximately 76¢ per jar prior to decorating! You can make Trail Mix Jars, Cookie Mix Jars or Cake Mix Jars (minus the eggs and milk of course). Or you could bake or mix together the ingredients and create infused cooking oils! Like Olive oil infused with jalapeno or rosemary.  Do you have a special blend of seasonings or Grandma’s secret ingredient that you add to your food creations? Package them up and pass them out as cool gifts! Maybe you can try your hand at apple butter or hot chocolate mix with marshmallows or peppermints! How about something for the ladies on your list? Take a Mason Jar or any clear jar, layer the bottom with cotton balls, then place some nail polish on the next layer, then place more cotton balls, then add some small emery boards and top it off with more cotton balls. You can then make a cute label to place on the outside of the jar. All of these items and ingredients can be bought very cheaply at your local dollar store! And it is so much fun, especially when you engage the whole family!

Make Bath Time Fun!

There is not enough room on this page to go into all of the things that you can create to make someone’s holiday a spa experience! Scented bath salts, hand scrubs, sugar scrubs, and homemade bath soaks can all be made at home and placed into cute decorated containers to pass out as gifts. Don’t want to go through the hassle of making it yourself? Go to a dollar store and purchase various items to create small gift baskets for your family and friends! It’s the thought that counts.


Christmas Ornaments

Making ornaments is soooo easy and all it takes is some love, some time, and a generally steady hand… if that fails, you can get stencils! Personalizing ornaments is a great way to show someone you love them! You can put the year you met, your favorite nickname or a personalized message. Perhaps stenciling an angel or a Christmas tree with their name underneath would be a nice touch. The colors and options are endless with this type of gift. The great part is that you can buy a large box of cheap ornaments and make them into miniature works of art that look expensive!

Get Crafty

Maybe you have a skill… or maybe you don’t, but you can fake it! It might be sewing, crocheting, knitting or maybe even ceramics. Whatever it is, use it. If there was ever a time for you to apply a hobby or a talent you enjoy to encompass the world around you, now would be the time! Create yarn dollies, stuffed animals or scarves and mittens. Maybe you can’t paint, but you can cut a straight line. If you can cut, heck! if you can tear, you can hodgepodge the bejesus out of a cardboard box and make adorable storage for keep sakes or a playhouse for the kids. Everyone has a talent, so, utilize it and bring joy to those you love!



Helping Where You Can

So, let’s say that your wife has cornered the cooking gifts, your kids have crafted you to death, and you’re more comfortable putting up Christmas trees instead of decorating ornaments. Never fear, you get to give what I call Christmas coupons! Do you have a sister or a friend who can’t program their DVD Player? Maybe your wife has been gently asking you to fix that wobbly table. Well, all of that can be remedied with a coupon! Just write out or print note card sized pages with things that you know someone in your life wants done and they can trade in their coupon for that particular task. Brilliant, huh?

Another way to use your talents is to find out causes that your family and friends are passionate about and donate a small amount of money to that cause. You get to control how much you’re spending and you’re supporting a cause that they love!

We hope this helps with your gift-giving plans this year and puts to rest the boredom and the hassle of shopping this year. Just remember that you’re with those you love, and the best gift you can give someone is your continued health while you search for that next great job. If you don’t have the ability to give this year, then you just don’t and those who love you will understand just as you would if it was the other way around.

Please have a safe and happy holiday! △



FUN Things To Do in Waco at Christmastime FOR FREE

FUN Things To Do in Waco at Christmastime FOR FREE

By Sheena Williams

The worst thing about the holidays is not being able to be with the ones you love. The second worst thing about the holidays is not being able to afford to celebrate with them the way you would like to. There are so many things around the holidays that remind us of how much we don’t have, that it’s hard to remember and be thankful for the things that we have.  So in effort to keep your mind off of the hard times, or even just to distract yourself and the kids from what television commercials are telling you that you are missing, we have supplied you with a list of free things to do for the holidays to get you into the Christmas spirit!

F   O   R       T   H   E       K   I   D   S   !   !   !   !

Secret Santa Letter

Make sure Santa Claus receives your child’s holiday wish list this year. Children can email or call Santa through December 17th and receive a special letter in the mail. Santa can be reached at or 750-5848.

Fire Engine Santa

Come meet Santa as he arrives at the South Waco Community Center on a red fire engine. Children 13 and under are invited to the South Waco Community Center from 2 to 4 p.m. on December 16 to greet Santa and receive treats. For further details, call 750-8650.


Children will enjoy holiday stories, crafts, and treats.Story times are scheduled:

Tuesdays – East Waco Library, 901 Elm Avenue

Wednesdays & Fridays – West Waco Library, 5301 Bosque Blvd.

Thursdays – South Waco Library, 2737 S. 18th Street

Kwanzaa Story time will be held at the East Waco Library on December 13th and will feature a meal, craft, and stories. Holiday Toddler Times, for ages 2 and under, are planned for Wednesdays, from November 30th to December 14th, at the South Waco Library, 2737 S. 18th Street, at 9:45 and 10:30 a.m.


F   O   R       Y   O   U   R       H   E   A   L   T   H     !   !   !   !

World AIDS Day is held December 1st each year, and it is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and get tested to learn their own HIV status. The Public Health District will offer FREE Rapid HIV Blood Testing  on Thursday, December 1st from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 225 W. Waco Drive. No appointment will be necessary (available while supplies last; please allow 30 minutes or more for testing).

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), December 4th through December 10th by offering free information bags containing flu brochures and materials.


F   O   R       E   V   E    R    Y    O    N    E   !   !    !   !

Holiday On The Square

The City of Waco and the Historic Waco Foundation will present an evening of family fun at the 31st Annual “Holiday on the Square.” The free event will take place Saturday, December 3rd in Downtown Waco at Heritage Square (3rd Street & Austin Avenue).

Feast of Sharing

H-E-B, City of Waco Parks and Recreation and other community organizations are teaming together for the 22nd Annual “Feast of Sharing,” from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 8th at the Extraco Events Center. Along with the free holiday meal, the event includes a variety of holiday activities and entertainment. Sounds like fun.

Safe Ride Home Program

Planning to celebrate on New Year’s Eve? Start booking your FREE Safe Ride Home starting December 26th through December 30th. Safe Ride Home is a great way to get to and from your News Year’s Eve Party without having to drive your car. The best part of the service? It is FREE! Call 750-1900 for more information.

So, just remember that you don’t need money this Christmas to have fun and celebrate with your family. Keep in mind that while you’re looking for work that things will get better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Don’t forget that if you need help, please refer to our help story on our website: Need Help?.

We at CampusJobXpress wish you Happy Holidays, a Safe and Merry Christmas and a most Prosperous New Year! △

Is Being Unemployed Making You Just A Little Crazy?

Is Being Unemployed Making You Just A Little Crazy?

By Yolanda L Salazar

Being unemployed is a very stressful thing to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Being unemployed during the holiday season can also add to that stress. We definitely know it is not easy. Not knowing where your money is coming from during the next several weeks or months can certainly lead to a lot of people getting really down and losing their self-confidence.

Many of our subscribers have sent in comments with feelings of depression and feeling blue. We always try to assure them that times will get better because the Heart of Texas Workforce Center and are working very hard to get everyone matched up to a decent job. Please don’t lose faith and patience with us; we are all trying to do our best to serve you.

As I was researching on the internet for something else, I came across an article that talked about staying sane during unemployment. I wanted to share this with you with the hope that maybe one or two of the items may help you. It is from a website called Financial Highway and I am just giving it to you straight from their website. So, here it is:

“There is nothing easy about being unemployed. It is stressful. It depletes your sense of self-confidence and takes away any feeling of financial stability that you may once have had. The longer that unemployment drags on, the more it feels like it’s going to make you crazy. However, there are many things that you can do to keep your sanity even while you’re unemployed. While it may sometimes be tough to motivate yourself to do these things, doing so will improve your mental health during your job search and make you a more appealing candidate at those interviews!

Here are 15 tips for staying sane during unemployment:

  1. Stick To A Schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Treat the job search like a job and make sure that you get to it on time each day and stay until your work day is done. When you leave the “job” for the day, do something else, rather than just continuing to focus on the job hunt all day and all night.
  2. Surround Yourself With People Who Are Employed. This may seem counterintuitive because it’s a lot easier to sit around with other unemployed people and commiserate. This, however, drags you down. Instead, spend time with people in your life who do have jobs. Not only do they bring up your spirits, but they may also be good folks for job leads!
  3. Learn Something New. Challenge yourself to learn something you’ve always wanted to learn, but never had the time. Meeting this challenge will keep you busy while boosting your self-confidence.
  4. Take A Class In Your Field. This will look good on your resume and keep you busy at the same time. Look into free local classes through the SBA and other community organizations.
  5. Breathe, Say Affirmations, Get Cheesy. Many people refuse to engage in the most common tips about staying calm and happy in life because they feel like they’re too cheesy. However, saying affirmations out loud and taking ten minutes per day for mindful breathing can actually make you feel better. It certainly isn’t going to hurt!
  6. Avoid The Bad News. Reading news reports about home foreclosures and unemployment rates just is not good for you right now. Stop doing it. Read an uplifting book instead!
  7. Exercise Daily. Even thirty minutes of exercise per day gets your blood pumping. This makes you feel better physically, which in turn makes you feel better mentally.
  8. Eat A Healthy Diet. Again, the physical benefits will make your mind feel better.
  9. Make An Effort To Talk About The Things That You Are Doing. It’s easy to get mired in conversations about your frustrating job hunt. Those conversations will make you crazy after awhile. Talk about what you are doing, what you’ve read, what you wanted to be when you were a kid … anything positive that isn’t the job hunt!
  10. Lean On The People You Trust. On the other hand, when your feelings do start to get overwhelming, don’t bottle them up. Turn to the people in your life who are most supportive in times of need. Note that this isn’t always your spouse or best friend; a friend with less immediate investment in your well being may be a better ear at this time.
  11. Celebrate The Little Things. The interview may not have gone well, but hey, at least you got the interview. It’s tough to stay positive, but a focused effort on doing so is well worth it!
  12. Set Specific Daily Goals. It can be hard to see the big picture right now, but you can achieve daily goals related to the job search.
  13. Set a BUDGET. This can feel interminably frustrating when you don’t have an income. However, it ultimately gives you at least some feeling of control over your finances, which can make you feel better in the long run.
  14. Go Somewhere, Anywhere, Every Day. Do not just sit in the house. It’s too easy to become depressed. Go get a $2 tea at the local coffee shop, go window shopping, or just walk around the block each day.
  15. Consider Speaking With A Professional. If you are starting to suffer from serious problems with depression because of unemployment, then, you may want to seek the help of a psychologist or a psychiatrist. This sounds expensive, but there are community programs and deferred payment plans to help. Your mental health is worth the cost, if it comes down to it.”

So, I hope this helps you a bit, one way or another. There are many sources of good information on the Financial Highway website. Click on the hot buttons above (the ones in blue) and it will take you directly to the website for you to read more valuable information.

Don’t despair during this holiday season, especially about trying to buy gifts and things for people. I am sure that everyone understands the constraints put on us about Christmas giving. We are not falling into it this year and don’t you either!

Read our other articles this month, “Fun Things To Do In Waco At Christmastime FOR FREE” and “Crafty Christmas.” The gifts that you make and come from the heart are the gifts that mean the most. Give of yourself, your time, your talent, your skills. That should be much more appreciated than any material thing you can buy at the store.

Enjoy the season and remember, that job is just around the corner for you.

Happy Holidays! △

Ethics in the Workplace

Ethics in the Workplace

By Marissa Maldonado

When you get hired and put time into your job, most of us tend to get comfortable with what we say and do in the presence of our co-workers, but can this hinder your career in the long run? Sometimes co-workers become our personal friends which has a lot of benefits when we need help delegating work in the office or when we need to confide in someone. But, I think that most of the time we get too comfortable with our co-workers to the point that we may put them and ourselves in uncomfortable situations. For instance, you see that a co-worker is breaking company rules, so what do you do? Do you report them? Do you stay quiet about what you saw and turn the other cheek? How many of you have been in this type of situation where you know your co-worker, a.k.a “your friend,” is breaking rules and feel as if your hands are tied on how to handle the situation? It’s a fine line between co-worker and friend. To be honest, it all boils down to loyalty and your sense of work ethics.

I think that people need to realize that you have co-workers who are friends at work and friends who are friends 24/7 outside of work. There is nothing wrong with being friendly and building relationships with your co-workers, but my advice to you is, to not let the relationships at work hinder you from doing your job.

When you work at any job, you have an ethical responsibility to report co-workers who are breaking policies. I am not saying to walk around all day with a pencil and paper and write down every little action of your co-workers. You should not feel guilty about reporting them and these co-workers should not put you in a position where you would have to lie and cover for them either. Do you put your loyalty in your co-workers or in the company?

For those of you who tend to put your loyalties in your co-workers, even when they do wrong, I would advise you to really think about why you are so loyal to those individuals. The bottom line is that your company or business issues your paycheck and your co-workers do not. If you know for certain that your co-worker is breaking rules and you choose not to say anything about it, then, you are just as guilty.
Another food for thought is that you need to think of how your co-workers benefit from being friends with you at work and vice-versa. I am not saying that being loyal to your co-workers is wrong, but the point that I am trying to make is to always be cautious and evaluate the relationships you have with your co-workers. Do not jeopardize your career due to covering for a co-worker when they do something wrong.

Now for those of you who tend to put your loyalties in the company and its policies, there is nothing wrong with that either. I would say that every employee should have some sense of loyalty to their company, but on the other side of the coin, be cautious on how you treat your co-workers as well. Do not be so unloyal and distant from your co-workers to the point where no one will have your back or find yourself in a situation where you are working with countless enemies.

When it comes to ethics in the workplace, it is all based on judgment. I would love to hear what you have to say about ethics and friendships in the workplace, so please comment and remember that there are no wrong or right comments. △