Tattoos in the workplace are becoming more accepted. But the owner of Nova Cafe in Bozeman, a town in the US state of Montana, goes one step further. She pays for her employees’ tattoos. That is if they get inked with the company logo.
Employer gives employees a tattoo as a gift
As bizarre as the idea sounds, over 30 current and former employees have had one. But it is not mandatory, says owner Serena Rundberg.
The unique logo came about accidentally.“Wewere working in the kitchen when two eggs and two pieces of bacon ended up on a plate in the exact shape of a skull and crossbones. We thought this could be a cool tattoo!” said Rundberg. The owner then went to a local tattoo artist, had the design made and tattooed on both her arms. But not every employee has the same design. When choosing the tattoo, a personalized design is created that incorporates the logo.
The image, which is reminiscent of an old-fashioned pirate flag, is a big hit. It is now also available on shirts and stickers and the slogan of the cafe has been changed to ‘killerbreakfast’. Even customers have jumped on board and are getting adhesive tattoos of the design.
The question is whether this is going too far. The owners don’t think so. According to them, the tattoo increases team bonding and a sense of community. I understand this comes from sharing the tattoo. And since it is not mandatory, everyone is free to choose whether or not they get inked. Still, I think this is going a bit too far. Things happen in the workplace that you cannot predict, for example, a work dispute or some other reason the business owners turn out to be not as pleasant as you originally thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against tattoos, I actually like most of them. And a business owner wanting a tattoo of the company logo, I get it. I know what it is like to live for your business. It is your passion, an important part of yourself.
But in my opinion, an employer paying for employees to get a company logo tattooed on them is going too far. There are plenty of other ways to create a strong team bond. You don’t need an image on your body for that.
What do you think of this? Do you think it’s a fun idea or a step too far?