They Are Infinitely Clueless

, , | Right | January 18, 2019

(It’s a running joke in the tattoo parlor where I work that customers don’t want to tell us what tattoo they want. This happens almost daily.)

Me: “Hello! [Shop], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Hi. Uh, I want to get a tattoo.”

Me: “Wonderful! What kind of tattoo were you thinking of getting?”

Caller: “Just something small.”

Me: “All right. What kind of image were you thinking of?”

Caller: “Just, like, a little symbol.”

Me: “Any symbol in particular?”

Caller: “Like, a little symbol, just on my shoulder.”

Me: “Okay… What kind of symbol would you like?”

Caller: “Like, a little symbol, on my shoulder; how much would that cost?”

Me: “Well, that’ll depend on what kind of symbol you want for your tattoo, and how small you want it to be.”

Caller: “Well, like just a small, little symbol.”

Me: *face buried in hands* “Are we thinking about the size of a business card, the size of a quarter? Do you have a ruler, so you can check?”

Caller: “I want it, just… little. How much would that be?”

Me: “That depends; what kind of symbol do you want us to permanently tattoo on your body?”

Caller: “Do you guys know, like, the little sideways eights? How much for one of them?”

Me: *screaming internally*

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Tat For Brat

, , , , | Right | July 27, 2018

(Like most French tattoo parlours, we work only with appointments. A lot of customers want to get tattoos right here, right now, so we decide to have one “walk-in” day per week, on Tuesdays. Most customers perfectly get the idea, and everyone is happy about this. It is a Friday. A regular’s daughter, age nineteen, comes in.)

Customer: “Hi, I want to get a small tattoo. A small bow, on the ankle.”

Me: “Great! I’ll do it for [price]. Do you want to get an appointment, or do you prefer to do this next Tuesday?”

Customer: *seems confused* “I want to do it now!”

Me: “But we can’t do it now. We work only on appointments every day but Tuesday. That’s why your parents and you usually come here on Tuesdays, right?”

Customer: *looks dumbfounded, pouts like a baby, wide-eyed, and says with a baby tone* “But… I want it NOOOOW.”

Me: *confused* “But, [Customer], I can’t do it now. I have a customer right here waiting for me. We work only on appointments, every day but Tuesday.”

Customer: *not kidding at all, now leaning her head as if it would change my mind, saying in a desperate tone* “But… I wanted it… I wanted it TODAY!”

(She looks like she’s about to cry.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, but I really can’t. I’m planned all day, today and tomorrow. You can come back on Tuesday if you want.”

Customer: *leaving, mumbling* “That sucks. This place sucks. I wanted it. That’s not fair. I want it. I want it.”

Coworker: “What was that? Did she think that puppy eyes magically cancel your other appointments?”

(I was told the next week she eventually got her tattoo, in a famous tourist walk-in shop, for three times the price I asked. Some people can’t wait, I guess.)

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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?”

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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!)

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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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