As much as I really like my department and those in it, one thing I find somewhat awkward is breaking news to people. For instance, when we knew we were going to have another baby I wasn't sure how to let people know. One couple who recently went through the same thing made an announcement in faculty meeting, but that didn't feel right to me, so I just went about it on an individual level. As a consequence, some people still are not aware, but it seems to me that if I haven't gotten around to telling them yet it is mostly because I don't interact with them much. This probably means that the fact we are having a baby means little to them.
However, today I'm in a slightly different situation. Over the weekend I got a new tattoo that, while certainly in a place that I can cover, likely will not be at all times. If you've ever gotten a tattoo, you may have found that there is almost always a line of questions that people pose on first seeing it, and frankly, I don't need to go through that with all my colleagues. So now I'm trying to figure out easiest way to just get the initial phase over with in a way that won't seem like I'm flaunting it, and I'm not so sure there is one.
On the flip side, of course, is the perceptions of others. While I'm largely indifferent, I am also aware that some of these folks will be making important decisions about my future. I realize that if it comes down to whether or not I have a tattoo, I'm surely screwed, but I am at least somewhat sensitive to the fact that some people will have a negative reaction.
So, I'm busting out two questions I posted some time ago when I first started thinking about this tattoo.
A) If a colleague in your department had a visible tattoo (which would be covered for classes, etc.) would you think of them differently?
B) If YOU got a visible tattoo, how do you think it would be perceived in your department?
NOTE ADDED IN PROOF: The tattoo is an inoffensive design, and not something that would inherently upset anyone.