HR Strange But True

New Employer Means New Tattoo

Tattooing your company’s name or logo on your body probably means the same thing as tattooing the name of a significant other—you face future risk if things don’t work out. Since most people are optimistic in both love and employment, such tattooing occurs all the time. However, one employee faced double jeopardy when he combined the two on his arm.

Rex Ryan, a football coach with a big personality who attained supreme celebrity status running the New York Jets and being outspoken and immensely quotable, had a tattoo of his wife wearing a Jets jersey inked on his arm.

After several years of failing to make the playoffs, Ryan was let go by the Jets at the end of this season, but was quickly hired by the Buffalo Bills as head coach. And there’s the problem.

But as Ryan told The Wall Street Journal philosophically, when you change employers (as is common with NFL coaches), “you’ve got to turn the page.”

So when he was in Arizona for the Super Bowl, he visited a local tattoo parlor, telling the tattoo artist that he had a picture of a girl in a jersey on his arm and wanted to change the colors of the jersey. Looking at his customer in a Buffalo Bills track suit, the artist told the WSJ he quickly realized who he was working on.

Luckily, there was a solution at the end of the rainbow. The Jets’ logo is medium green, while the Bills’ logo is dark blue, making the “revision” of the design doable in about 20 minutes, and the coach’s future trips to Buffalo more comfortable.

Coach Ryan also told the WSJ that he had donated his Jets’ logo clothing to local Salvation Army thrift stores, hoping that people who could use it would get to wear it.