In a variation on the old adage, the reason one teenage father from New Zealand was complaining about employers refusing to hire him was as plain as the tattoo on his face.
Mark Cropp, 19, who recently completed his 2015 two-year sentence in jail for armed robbery after he brandished a knife to rob a tourist who backed out of a fake marijuana sale, got a tattoo in jail that covered the lower half of his face. It read “DEVAST8.”
Cropp got the idea from his brother, who shared his cell in the jail in Christchurch and thought the tattoo would prevent other inmates from giving Cropp trouble.
After the brothers got drunk drinking home brew made from fermented apples, sugar and bread, things went awry; Cropp said the tattoo was supposed to be a “little one along the jawline,” but “Before I knew it I had this on my face. ... It was swollen like a bloody pumpkin,” Cropp told the New Zealand Herald.
On Wednesday, Cropp posted on Facebook:
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. 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.
Cropp said, “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. 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.’”
Cropp stated “DEVAST8” is his nickname and not gang-related.
Cropp got lucky; Douglas George Hebert, who owns scaffolding company PR Contracting, offered Cropp a job paying $22 an hour. Hebert asserted, "We've all made bad choices, doesn't mean we are bad people. 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."
Hebert allowed that most of his staff had criminal records, adding, "All my guys have got pasts, but we're all united on the job site, where you are only as good as the man beside you." Hebert also publicized Cropp’s search for a job.