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Lizzie

"I quit!" how to stay friends when you leave a shop...

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I haven't met many people who have success stories leaving their shops for others or to open up. Even when things are done in the shop owners benefit, and with the utmost respect it goes pear shaped too often.

Any tips on how people here did it? I'd love for anyone to not go through the ex communication I have in the past. And why do we think this happens? Are we really that scared that we're going to lose our clientele to the new guy? Or is this just part and parcel of a linear career where one shop trumps the next until you're happy and settled?

I would ask that any responses here obviously don't make any negative mention of former employers. This isn't what this post is about: moreso to help people "quit better" and more respectfully...

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I'm still friends with my old boss. I gave him the respect of a 2 week notice before I left. I would never talk shit on him, and I don't think he would of me. The place I work now is also on the other side of town. Basically, I think if you are honest and straightforward then you have done all you can. I think some tattooers forget that you have to treat the workplace like...a workplace. Don't just bail on people. Timing is everything also.

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frog's right, just have a sit down, face to face talk ASAP, and thank them for giving you a job, and explain politely that you're leaving, hopefully to a shop that's far from his, and i think a one month notice is good in tattooing, or even two months if you can pull that off. that way your old boss doesn't feel like you're screwing him over. also, i'd say tell your boss before you go telling ANYBODY else, especially online. word like that travels fast. i left another shop here in town a few years ago and i still send people over there if it's a job i think they're better suited for. and they send people to us if they're all busy, or because they close 4 hours earlier than us.

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the problem is the pie is small and full of egos. i have worked at several shops and have left them all. all of which went ok only one do i not speak to but thats just because we don't ever see each other and have nothing in common. i have always been honest and spoken to them before anyone else. i always gave ample notice but also expected to get thrown out that minute. you never know? i mean really i want to throw people out of my shop on a regular basis and they don't even want to leave.haha me and freddy are good friends but we respect each other and treat each other that way. that is not how all tattooers see each other some just see them as competition and so on. if you are leaving to open a shop you cant expect everyone to welcome another tattoo shop opened by there now ex employee with welcome arms. it just wont happen. cuz honestly not everyone can get alone. we are just animals..yes i said that.. christ i need to go to bed...

thanks scott

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YEAH AND PIE SLICES ARE GETTING SMALLER ALL THE TIME....good points fellas...AND IN MY LONGWINDED OPINION AS YOU ALL POINTED OUT COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY...BUT REALLY EVEN THAT CANNOT HELP IN CASES OF MONEY LOST...

AS SOMEONE I RESPECT TOLD ME ONCE UPON A TIME."...PEOPLE GET STUPID ONCE MONEY IS INVOLVED"

but it depends on if you were broke in there or not too....I have rarely seen good splits from that...it is almost like the father and son (not gender biased ladies just an example)How many of you have seen that....I think in most cases it repairs itself overtime..sometimes a decade....but i think it is almost neccessary(unfortunately)

In some cultures or disciplines..it is the son killing the father to be free kind of deal..not to get too esoteric......

Just in the" breaking in" cases mind you....but first off if you are gonna teach someone shouldn't they be better than you...or isn't that the idea...Well there is the EGO thing....when the student surpasses the master....I have seen it happen alot...But when the dust settles usually they become OK again(sometimes it takes years)....control....fear.....you know the teacher in some cases has the apprentice thinking if he fucks up he will be blackballed,skinned alive boiled in oil etc....and actually the guy is really talented but the teacher will not let him fly..so once he gets away from that person he really takes off....but sometimes those threats and 'fear of' are necessary to keep the nit wit apprentice in line..to a degree...but it becomes sometimes overdone...WAY OVERDONE...not in my case..i was tattooing within a few days....but I see it alot...

or maybe they heard oltimers telling stories of the abuse they threw on apprentices and though it did not happen to them personally(the person listening)..feel it is neccessary to do the same when they get someone under them....

is that what creates that whole tattooer too cool shop treat customers badly thing...I know a guy i really like that was broke in by frank mills(i beleive at least at that shop) thought he was suppose to act that way until he got a decade under his belt and realized it was a perception...Not that Mills was the example but there are alot of funny stories about him and customers....Now the guy is super nice....

Then in shop settings you have complacency....especially when someone has been there awhile....then sense of entitlement....there is the never ending "war" for want of a better word...between shop owner and employees,PC,etc...you bring a new guy in and it starts shit with the people that have been there(if it was not their idea to bring em in)all this makes the split harder....

SOMETIMES ON THE OTHER HAND THE SHOP OWNER IS SO DEPENDENT ON THE PERSON GIVING NOTICE THAT THEY PANIC AND REACT BADLY RATHER THAN TAKE IT IN... AND IT IS HARD TO FORGIVE SOMEONE WHEN THEY REACT LIKE THAT BUT IT IS ALL ALOT OF FEAR....ARE THEY GOING TO RIVAL SHOP TWO DOORS DOWN....THEY HAVE SOME DIRT ON ME....I THOUGHT IT WAS FOREVER....ETC...

HUMANS HAVE A HARDTIME DEALING WITH CHANGE.....

and then the shop owner may let shit slide with a guy that stuffing the safe full of money ,like coming in late, and ride someone else that is not..so they start looking at others..what they have and do not have..etc...that starts shit....

I think with all the shops out there now....it is very different leaving....

Then as was pointed out where are they going when they leave.. are they gonna open up on me.....some people made us sign contracts saying we would not work within a certain distance....I remember col Todd it was 20 miles(and also verbal...other people 50 miles sometimes 500 miles....written mind you..but do people do that anymore???)

HAVEN'T YOU GUYS OPENED SHOPS THAT ARE EQUAL PARTNERSHIPS....ISN'T THATLIKE BLACKHEART.....NOW THAT IS A GOOD IDEA..THEN YOU ARE ALL WORKING FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE SHOP RATHER THAN FOR THE BOSS.....OR AM I MISINFORMED....

i think it is easier to leave now with a good or bad split because there are soo many shops now....so so many...a guy or gal can earn a living almost anywhere.....i HAVE NEVER HAD A BAD SPLIT FROM A SHOP....but maybe thats cause i am affable...

Scott,are animals affable???

PS recently(last 6 years) i saw a bad split from a young tattooer who I used to tell when he was unhappy that the great thing about this job is you can ride your machines anywhere...you can find work anywhere..if you know what you are doing....well he now is at a place he loves and that bad split blood is buried and our friendship is better for it....he is thousands of miles away....he mentioned that everything we told him was right...hindsight is 20 20 but i think there is a certain insight that only time and experience can give you....as in everything in life...he needed to experience it for himself....work in a few shitholes to figure it out...

I think it is communicating throughout the whole time...people get resentments that fester..sometimes for years...so splits get really gnarly....we work in a highly stressful,highly creative enviroment,with some real characters,with some real egos...

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just remembered that at the first shop i worked at, i was made to sign a contract stating that if i left, i couldn't work at a shop within a certain mile radius of the shop. pretty ridiculous, but i hear it was standard for a lot of shops in the 80's/90's. i wish i still had a copy.

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Agreed. At the same time, giving TOO much notice can lead to problems too. I think there's a reason why "2 weeks" is so cliched - cuz it's just about perfect. Gets your ass out the door before it's KICKED out the door! hahah

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I gave 2 months when I left as I had been there 6 years and it still wasn't that great of an idea. I hope he doesn't join this site and see me discussing it although I do so with tons of rsepect because my former boss taught me everything I know now. I'd be nothing without him. But with 2 months, he had enough time to see me developing my ideas for a shop and woudl hear clients ask me about my plans and despite the attempts I made to be quiet and ho hum about it, it still just was what it was.

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RE wanting to throw people out of your shop... I had a realllllly lazy tattooer here at SPeakeasy for a while and it was hard to get this person to do much of anything. Still, though, firing him/her was very difficult and gut wrenching. I never want to h ave to throw someone out again. I am just going to try to make better hiring choices! hahaha!

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I gave a years notice from the last shop I worked at.

Sometimes I think two weeks is not enough time. If you are leaving on good terms, a month seems like a cooler amount. Here in Milwaukee is really hard to find a good tattooer to replace another. A month prepares the owner to put the word out or possibly get used to the fact his income is going to be that much smaller.

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ive had to leave shops numberous times, and none of them went too well. one shop threatened with a non-compete i never signed or saw, another cut the ties totally and took over my room during the two weeks, another ignored me for the two weeks, the two week thing never worked. last shop i left i told them, it wasnt working and gave them the option "i can leave today or in two weeks", i packed up the car and left.

i think its the weird and fragile ego in tattooing...i dont know. ive remained friends with one...and that was only after a year or so had past. weird! business is business and we all have families, bills, or whatever.

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i almost wanna say a weeks notice. only because two weeks to a month means more opportunities to develop potentially life long clients that could of been theirs. maybe im wrong but its definatley a case by case sitcheeayshunn.

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If I trained someone who has talent I would expect them to open their own shop, but If I owned a shop and I heard youo telling clients that you were opening a new venture I would be annoyed.

Each situation is different, but I would say that the pie is more than big enough, but not nearly as big as the egos.

As an artist I would want to give 2 weeks notice.

As a shop owner I would want two months.

But as long as you do what you would want your staff doing to you, as long as you are honest and keep your side of the street clean then it will be fine.

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Only had to deal with this a couple times. Guy came in asking about a job but said he had to give two weeks notice from shop he was at because technically he was the manager. Well the owner of the shop didn't want him booking any appointments at her shop to do at our shop so the next day I arrived at the shop and he had all his stuff in the back of the pick up truck. He was a nice guy but just didn't work out with us either. His clients almost all cancelled and got tattooed at his old shop and honestly he wasn't as good of a tattooer as we had thought. He bounced around but eventually found a job at another good shop and has been working on his craft and still stops in from time to time.

Another guy didn't really quit, he just took a year and a half off to go to New Zealand. He gave plenty of notice and we had a party a couple weeks before he left. It sucked having him go but honestly he comes back in September and will have his old station back business as usual which I wasn't sure we'd actually see him again. He came back and tattooed for a week last year and we hung out even went to a Slayer concert.

I can understand both schools of thought when parting ways. If you are shop that gets pretty booked out I can see wanting a fair amount of notice. In a walk in shop I can see tattooers not wanting to send work the way of a tattooer who is leaving in two weeks so might as well just leave today but I think it all depends on how much you like that person too.

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the only people i know who are now 'hated' by the place they left was because they either

a)got fired for stealing

b)got fired for being a fucking idiot

c)they opened a shop up two blocks away

d)they just up and left without telling anyone

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I've always felt a great debt to the people I've worked for.

I am so fortunate the last person I worked for , before opening mine and my husband's shop in the next town, was such a gracious host that after telling him that we were leaving, he allowed us to build our shop, book our customers at his shop - for when we moved and still include us in his shop's Christmas celebration ( 2 months after leaving we even got our Christmas bonus)

I realize this is an extreme case but if you think of tattooing as your life and not just your job-- then hopefully you will develop a relationship with whomever you work with.

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I can understand both schools of thought when parting ways. If you are shop that gets pretty booked out I can see wanting a fair amount of notice. In a walk in shop I can see tattooers not wanting to send work the way of a tattooer who is leaving in two weeks so might as well just leave today but I think it all depends on how much you like that person too.

word!!

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