Give Them An Inch And They’ll Give You Nothing

, , , | Right | April 27, 2018

(It is my job to schedule appointments. When a client makes an appointment, I always ask about the kind of tattoo and how big they want it to determine how much time the artist will need to complete the service. Since all our prices are an hourly rate, this is important to note. This is a conversation I have with one client; it’s indicative of so many others.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Tattoo Shop]. How may I help you?”

Client: “I want to get a tattoo of a rose.”

Me: “Okay, where on your body would you like to get this, and about how big?”

Client: “On my arm.”

Me: “Sure, and about how big of a rose?”

Client: “Medium. Small. Not big.”

Me: “Okay, can you give me an idea in inches?”

Client: “Medium.”

Me: “So, an eight-to-ten-inch rose stretching the length of your forearm? Or a three-to-four-inch one from your wrist? Or a two-to-three inch rosebud in the center?”

Client: “I don’t know. Normal size.”

Me: “I don’t need exact dimensions, just an idea so I know how much time we’ll need for this service.”

Client: “I don’t know inches.”

Me: *head-desk* “How about we just schedule a consultation first?”

This Realization Is Permanent

, , , , | Right | April 13, 2018

(I work in a tattoo studio. Two customers in their mid-30s walk into the studio. I’m doing paperwork in the office but can hear the following interaction.)

Customer: “How long do tattoos last?”

Coworker: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Do they last a few days?”

Coworker: “Oh! Temporary tattoos?”

Customer: “No, real ones. How long do they last? A few days?”

Coworker: “Uh… They last your whole life. Like… until you die.”

(I’ve never seen my coworker so speechless!)

Watching Your Career Just Flutter By

, , , , | Working | January 26, 2018

(I own a tattoo shop and have recently taken on an apprentice. He’s got a bit of an attitude, but for the most part he’s a promising artist. However, because he’s just an apprentice, we normally pair him with clients who want something simple or easy. On this particular afternoon, he’s set to tattoo a client who would like a butterfly on her shoulder. He complains about how he’s too good to do stuff like butterflies until the start of the appointment. I supervise for the first twenty minutes or so before I’m needed back up at the front. About an hour later I hear crying and screaming coming from the back room.)

Me: “[Artist], [Client]! What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

([Client] is crying and [Artist] looks irritated.)

Client: “He ruined it! Just look!”

Artist: “It’s not my fault she wanted a dumb f****** butterfly tattoo! I’m better than that.”

(I take a look at [Client]’s back, and instead of a butterfly, I see a huge mess of lines and colours. There’s the faint outline of a butterfly which I saw him tattoo, but other than that it looks like a huge blob. I’m instantly beyond furious. I pull [Artist] out of the room and let him have it.)

Me: “[ARTIST]?! What the f***?! Why the f*** would you do this?!”

Artist: “I told you at the beginning of the appointment I didn’t want to tattoo anymore f****** butterflies! I’m too good for this s***. I should be able to tattoo whatever I want.”

Me: “You’ve been tattooing here for only two months, and we’re the first place to give you an apprenticeship. Until you have people specifically asking to get tattooed by you, you take what we give you, and you do it well. This is beyond unacceptable.”

Artist: “That’s not fair! I should be able to do whatever I want!”

Me: “Well, now you can. You’re fired. I’m also calling every shop in the city letting them know what you’ve done. I will also be asking [Client] if she wishes to file charges. Now, get out.”

(He left, but not before throwing a hissy fit and throwing all his equipment and ink on the ground like a toddler. I calmed down and went to talk to [Client]. I offered her three different options: we would pay for her laser removal, give her a free cover-up, or, if she didn’t want to get tattooed at our shop, we’d pay for a cover-up elsewhere. We also called in the police and proceeded with pressing charges. She sued, and I believe she won.)

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Black Friday Strikes Earlier Every Year

, , | Right | January 4, 2018

(I own a tattoo parlour, and for the last 15+ years we’ve given Black Friday deals. However, due to the popularity of these appointments (15% off, plus waiving the supply charge), we open bookings on a specific day in September. Shop policy is that all appointments must be made in person so a deposit can be paid, and a quick consult can be given. In mid-August we advertise which day BF appointments can be made. As soon as we start advertising, a woman calls and tries to book an appointment. I tell her that she’ll have to come down to the shop on the specific day and time if she wants to book on BF. She absolutely loses it and hangs up the phone. Later that day she comes in, screaming about how she needs to book an appointment on BF. Again, we tell her no, and she storms out. Then booking day rolls around. We open at 10 am and there’s already a line up. I’m upstairs booking in a customer when the woman comes back.)

Woman: *pushes to the front of the queue* “All right, I’m here to book my appointment. I want [Highly Sought-After Artist] to do a [horribly cliché design] all over my back. It’ll probably take all day, so make sure he doesn’t book anyone else.”

Me: “Certainly, ma’am. Although you’ll have to wait at the back of the queue for your turn. If [Artist] still has time available, I’ll definitely book you in.”

Woman: “What?! NO! I’ve been trying to get through to you people for ages! I want to book my tattoo! NOW!” *stomps her foot*

Me: “Once you’ve queued like everyone else, I’ll most certainly help you. Until then, excuse me.”

(I manage to ignore her long enough, and she finally leaves, all the while screaming. I figure this is the last I’ll see of her, but Black Friday rolls around and low and behold, she shows up, claiming she has an appointment.)

Woman: “I’m here for my appointment with [Artist]. I was getting [design], remember?”

Me: “Ma’am, you don’t have an appointment. I told you months ago you would have to queue like everyone else, and you refused. And, quite frankly, I’m going to refuse you services based on how you’ve acted every time you’ve been in here. Please leave.”

Woman: “YOU DUMB C***! I BOOKED AN APPOINTMENT! I PAID MY F****** DEPOSIT! SCAMMING B****! I WANT MY F****** TATTOO RIGHT F****** NOW!”

Me: “Look, lady, you’ve got five minutes to leave or I’m calling the police.”

(She screeches like a banshee and actually rips one of our artist’s paintings off the wall and smashes the frame. No charges are pressed since the actual painting was fine, and we don’t want to deal with her anymore. Weeks later, she comes back with sunglasses and dyed hair, but still recognizable by her hand tattoos.)

Me: “Ma’am, please leave. You’re banned from this shop due to all the Black Friday grief you caused last month. You need to leave now, or I’ll call the police.”

Woman: “Uhh, no. That was my sister.”

(Police ended up escorting her out.)

A Tatty Tattoo

, , , , | Hopeless | January 1, 2018

(A friend of mine works as an artist in a tattoo parlor. One of his friends is well-known for being a weird and all-around goofy kind of person, and is also a regular. He comes in for a consultation on his next tattoo.)

Friend: “Okay, so, what is it that you want?”

Regular: “I want this on my left bicep, surrounded by roses!”

(He hands over a printed out paper that says, “NO REGERTS,” in Comic Sans.)

Regular: “And it needs to be in that exact font!”

Friend: “You realize you spelled ‘regrets’ wrong, right?”

Regular: “Well, duh! I want it spelled exactly like that!”

Friend: “Is that really what you want on your bicep for the rest of your life?”

Regular: “Yep! That way if I die in a horrible accident, when my wife comes to identify the body, she can take one look at that tattoo, sigh, and go, ‘Yes, that’s my husband, all right.’”

(My friend said it was painful to do an intentionally bad tattoo, but according to him, it fit his friend’s personality perfectly, and the guy seemed happy with it, anyway.)

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