A 19-year-old father-to-be is saying he’s having a difficult time finding work due to a tattoo across his face that reads, “DEVAST8.”
Mark Cropp, of New Zealand, recently completed a two-year prison term for armed robbery after threatening a tourist with a knife. In prison, he got the facial tattoo. His brother—who shared a jail cell with him—reportedly gave him the idea to get the tattoo.
Cropp, who has another tattoo above his eye and a tattoo on his neck, added that the tattoo wasn’t supposed to be that big. He claims he and his brother were drunk when the tattoo was inked, The New Zealand Herald reported.
On Facebook, he wrote (sic): “Hey im keen as to work but have one thing that is stoping me and thats my tattoo on my face i dont have a cv as of yet but have worked at nz brick distrabuters b4 also a scrap metal yard … im 19 years of age and have my lerners license.”
He added (sic): “Keen as on job or work place that will take me on. I have a cpit qualification in painting and decorateing, Also chainsaw an fencing nzqa throw aggrabusiness. Any questions please ask me.”
When he tried looking for work, Cropp said he’s been turned down.
“One employment place said to me: ‘I wouldn’t employ you with that on you face, I wouldn’t even take a second look at you.’ I’ve had other people that just shrugged and laughed at me,” he told the Herald.
“I was over people judging for my facial tattoo … that’s why I made the decision to put that photo on Facebook, to turn around and say ‘I am just a normal human being, you do not have to judge me because of the way I look.'”
He added that the “DEVAST8” tattoo is not gang-related.
As the Herald later reported on July 14, he got a number of job offers after his story went viral online. Douglas George Hebert, who owns scaffolding company PR Contracting, offered him a $22-an-hour job.
“We’ve all made bad choices, doesn’t mean we are bad people,” said Herbert. “I’m a big brown man covered in tattoos myself, and I have been on the receiving end of judgment from people who don’t even know me.”