(SWNS) – A job hunter claims he has been unfairly discriminated against after he was rejected by dozens of employers over his enormous neck tattoo.
Joe Parsons, 21, got the $330 six-inch throbbing red heart with turquoise angel wings in memory of his late grandfather while he worked in a factory.
But he claims that, while he has no problem getting around 30 interviews, he has never managed to get a job thanks to his huge inking.
He has tried attending interviews wearing high-necked shirts but the tips of the wings still peek out above the collar line.
Parsons, from Manchester, England, insists he doesn’t regret getting the extreme body art but wishes potential bosses could see past it.
He said: “Before I got the tattoo people thought I was a happy, confident person. Now it feels like people think I’m full of my self and that I don’t give a damn.”
“That’s just not who I am. I’m just a normal person and all I want is a decent job.”
“There’s definitely a stigma attached which there shouldn’t be. I do think it’s a form of discrimination.”
“It’s not down to the skills I have and in every interview they haven’t given me a good reason. Now I feel like I’ve got ‘don’t hire me’ written all over my neck.”
“I don’t want to get it removed. It means so much to me.”
“I still don’t regret it at all though. I’m proud of it because it means so much. What I regret is how other people are perceiving it.”
Parsons went under the needle in November 2016 while working at a factory.
It was in memory of his granddad Thomas Parsons, 63, who died in a care home in August 2016.
Joe was forced to leave his job in January after his mom was attacked in the street and he quit to take care of her.
She developed PTSD and needed full-time support from her son.
“She’s not been the same since then,” he said.
“I had to look after her pretty much full time which was why I left my job after Christmas.”
“I needed to be at home for her.”
Parsons started looking for a job in January but has been rejected 30 times for jobs at Topshop, Next and even TK Maxx where he was previously employed before his tattoo.
His lack of luck comes despite four years of experience in retail, hospitality and call centers.
He said nobody has explicitly mentioned his tattoo but he added: “As soon as I sit down they look me in the eyes and then I see their gaze drop down to my neck where they stay for a few seconds.”
“Then they look up again and go on with the interview.
“I can tell they are pre-judging me even before the interview has started.”
Parsons has three other non-visible tattoos including roman numerals on his neck and a diamond on his forearm.
Parsons has been supporting him mom financially and said the situation has become desperate in the run-up to Christmas.
“I have been going to more interviews in the past three months as it’s coming up to Christmas and my savings are running out,” he explained.