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Customer Respect. Does it exist?


Paulywhore
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Just wondering how you tattoo artist view your customers?

i have always noticed a "im too cool attitude" by every artist that ive been tattooed by, I get the feeling that a customer is just a john or trick if you will, kinda like a prostitute views there clients, ya know with a complete lack of respect for there customers and just wanting to get your money.

It seams like all the "artists" that ive encountered sees me as a drawing board with a pocket book, usually the artist is talking to another artist the whole time he is tattooing me and if i participate in the conversation at all I either get ignored or looked at funny and responded to in a curt manor, is this the normal attitude in this industry?

(Take this for instance - i made a apointment with a artist earlier in the week for saturday 12:30, i showed up at 1230 sharp, and the helper said oh hes gunna do a tat really quik than get to me, ok i said", if it wasnt for wanting to get tattooed by this man for years, i would have just left right on the spot, but i stayed and about 45mins go by and the helper is going around asking the tattooers if they wanted some coffee or something to eat because she was going out to the coffee shop, I was thinking boy i hope she asks me if i want a cup of coffee, i sure am thirsty, but she just walked right past me like i wasnt there.

30 more min goes by and she gets back and everyone takes a coffee/ lunch break, the artist takes a break and about 20 more mins go by, by than its been two hours ive been waiting and im pretty thirsty, so i ask the helper if there is a coffee shop near by? she says - "oh hes ready to tattoo you know".

Im not out to bargin hunt some rinky dink skull or sumething, I dropped 300 on the piece and didnt have any requests or stupid placement of the tat, so i know im not difficult in any way.

I am very happy with the tattoo and i even tipped the artist, because i like the piece he did, he was also a nice guy to talk to, and he didnt have the cool guy tude most have.

I would get tattooed again by him maybe just not at that shop, i guess he works at other shops so.)

Its funny how many times I have felt disrespected in one way or another while at a tattoo shop when i really think back on the experiences ive had in the past.

Im almost to the point that id rather get a shitty tattoo but a good experience rather than the other way around, either that or just smack the motherfucker right in his mouth right when i feel disrespected by the "cool guy tude"

For the record I am a very easy going guy, i dont judge peolpe, I dont think im better than anyone, and I am willing to talk to anyone no matter how different they are, but i get the feeling alot of tattooers dont think that way? its like they are in this cool guy society and regular people just are not cool enough to respect, almost like a form of racism against non tattooers?

If I could get your guys take on how you see customers and the way you think they should be treated please do tell? -

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I don't think tattoo artists are different than any other group of people in that you need to take them on a case by case basis. If I had a couple bad service experiences at various restaurants I wouldn't think all waiters are douchebags. Yes, at the end of the day, you are their source of income and that's often most important to them, but that doesn't mean that every one of them will treat you poorly. Same deal here.

Personally, I tend to have quite pleasant interactions at tattoo shops. It could be due to the shops that I choose to frequent or the manner in which I try to approach situations though.

I've had plenty of tattoo appointments pushed back, rescheduled, etc. Generally the artist is sincerely apologetic though and it's not a big deal. I love punctuality but shit happens and everyone runs late sometimes on both client and artist side.

Don't get offended when I say this, but perhaps there's something you don't realize you're doing that facilitates these constant negative interactions. More often than not if any one person is getting repeatedly burned/used/insulted it tends that they're doing something to put themselves in that position... Or maybe you just have picked a lot of asshole artists to visit. It's hard to tell when an outside party like us LST'ers only hear one side of a story ya know?

As for the coffee thing, you could have communicated with the staff more about when you would be getting tattooed and whether you had time to get something sooner rather than just expected them to ask you if you wanted something. The helper already has to deal with plenty of other things besides serving food and beverages to customers as well.

Straight up- we have it pretty posh as tattoo customers nowadays compared to what anyone wanting to get tattooed in the past had to deal with. In the big scheme of things, we as customers really don't have much to complain about (and if there is a legitimate complaint then fuck it find a more appropriate fit.)

Good luck- I hope you find a more positive tattoo experience. I promise they're out there. I see your profile says socal- what part of socal you in? I can think of several great tattoo artists with welcoming shops down there- some of them are even on this forum...

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Sounds like somebody needs a hug. lol. Just kidding. I can see what you're talking about, and I would say it's not a general attitude with most. A lot of the attitude can come from the constantly dealing with people that come into the shop asking about doing this tattoo or that, but never getting anything done. Also dealing with the people that think the local tattoo shop is the local club or lounge to hang out in all night. Since you obviously didn't fit either of those categories I can see your frustration. I would be a little annoyed too. I probably would have wanted to be asked if I wanted something too. If I were the artist and had asked you to wait after I made an appointment I would have done something like that just as a gesture of appreciating your patience. I know some artist personally that have that smug attitude, but I also know many that are super nice and cool to anybody. Some people are just assholes by nature. I hope you have better experiences in the future and don't give up on getting great work.

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As with every profession,(and everything in general) there are the people that are nice and you can have a fun time while being involved, and the other side. The people that can be such jerks. Both of these kinds of people are everywhere. Keep your chin up, you cant control it. All you can do about it is adapt to it, learn how to deal with jerky people and enjoy being with the nice ones.

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the guy i used to get tattooed from was kind of a dick. i couldnt finish my first big tattoo in one sitting and he was really rude about it, because he had already poured out all the color and we never got to use it. it was my second tattoo, the first tattoo being really small, taking only 15 mins. the tattoo i couldnt finish ended up taking a total of 4 hours. i could only do 2 hours in the first sitting.

i was straight up with the artist telling him i had never gotten a tattoo that large before and yet he still acted like an asshole. its not my fault he poured out the color to early, he was supposed to be the professional. i went back to him for my third tattoo, because even though he was rude i really loved how the tattoo turned out. but the second tattoo he did for me turned out pretty bad, and he still had an attitude so i decided to find another artist i gelled with more.

enter Travis McGregor.

ive been going to him for all my tattoo needs for a few years now and he is not just a talented artist but also a super cool dude. everyone at the shop he works at, Thrive Studios, is really nice. i dont really know what to say beyond that. i always have an good experience when i go there. they have a mini fridge with beverages that i usually take advantage of, and one time the guys bought me lunch. (i offered to pay for my share but they said they had it covered). a few times during sittings on my full back piece i wasnt the best client, (having to stop early and literally moaning in pain) but they never made me feel bad about it.

that being said i wouldnt expect this type of treatment from every artist or shop, but im glad i have a reference point for a good and bad shop experiences.

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You might as well be asking "how long is a piece of string" Pauly.

I know some great tattooers who are absolute D-bags. If they were dentists, they'd be d-bag dentists.

Tattooing is a hustle to them, and yeah.. you're the mark/trick.

I also know some great tattooers who have so much humility that you want to smack them for being so dang nice.

And while it may sting to hear, if you think that everyone treats you poorly, it might make sense to internalize the situation and see if you may be contributing to it in some way or the other. Sure, I've had counter people ask me if I want anything on a store run (one got me bbq ribs once) but that's not a make/break situation for me.

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right on, thanks for the responses guys.

I guess because I have my own business and I have more than a thimble full of common sense in my head, and I was raised oldschool with this thing called Respect engrained in me that i see things the way that i do, the man with the money is the boss, without the paying customer your rent is not paid, but money doesn't come that easy to me so I appreciate it when I have a customer, shit especially in this economy.

At work I get burned and breath in chemicals all day and i'm happy as fuck to do it when someone calls me to do a job, I dont have some punk attitude to my customers because I want to treat people good so I get referals to other customers.

Maybe the money is just too easy to make for some tattoo artists and they don't appreciate what they are doing, Ya know easy come easy go.

Anyways thought id share my thoughts with you guys, perhaps a customers view for you shop owners to take note and evaluate how you treat the people who pay your bills.

I mean damn I thought getting tattooed was suppose to be fun? The fuckin cool guy punk attitude kinda blows the fun out of it, and maybe offer your customers a cup of fucking water for christ sake? especially if they have been waiting for two hours after they made a appointment to get tattooed.

How can you be proud of the work you do if your just out to hustle someone?

Its called Pride ya know that thing that America was built on.

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At my business, I always say:

The customer is always right, but management decides when you're a customer.

If the man with the money is an asshole, he's not the boss. He's an asshole who we eject. As an ownership team we decide what's best for the business. If someone comes in with a swagger and is disrespectful of our business or staff, we don't need their money. We have pride in what WE do and don't sell that out to the highest bidder. We had a gentleman in last night who was screaming "I pay your salary!"

He was saying that from the street, cause he certainly wasn't coming back in.

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Ohhhhhhhhhhhh im soooooo scared Shawn, you sound like a badass bro, right on bro!

Ya Shawn everything you said is common sense, as far as you taking what I said personal, not sure how that happened? you yourself said some tattooers see tattooing as a hustle so maybe you should read what i wrote again.

So your saying not having a tough guy punk attitude is selling out to the highest bidder?

Im really not following you man, kinda hard to make sense of your comment regarding my comment.

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Shawn's comments make perfect sense. Your reaction to them leads me to believe that you look for things to offend you. He said he treats every customer with respect. However, he realizes that taking money from a jerkoff comes with a bigger price, so he chooses not to deal with them at his business. I follow the same thought pattern. Maybe it is because he and I are both from the Philly area. Either way, maybe you are too sensitive. People need to realize just how nice the tattoo business is now. It is much more customer friendly than it used to be.

Customers should be treated PROFESSIONALLY. It doesn't mean like friends. Sometimes I become friends with customers and, other times, I never want to see them again. Regardless, I treat them professionally as they are paying for my service. I welcome anyone into my shop and expect that nobody treats them badly. On the other hand, I'm not really there to hold a customer's hand and pat them on the back. Sometimes customers are looking for friendship and usually I'm looking to do a good tattoo.

Lastly, counter people have a lot going on in a busy shop. They are not paid to get the customers food and drink. At my shop, sometimes they ask customers and sometimes they don't. It isn't personal either way. If they have a lot going on they may not think about it.

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Pauly, even your initial post on this thread makes me think you came here looking for a fight. I can sympathize with the frustration but if you've had more negative experiences than positive at tattoo shops, then take a look at these situations and try to understand the root causes. Maybe the guy was a dick and it sounds like the time management and professionalism could have been better on his end, but no one is obligated to get you drinks or be your best friend. Like others have said, as little as a generation ago, chances are you wouldn't have even gotten in the door. We've all had times where maybe we've had to wait around, or appointments run long, or maybe the tattooer is just having an off day. We all have shitty days. But it's no reason to think all tattooers (or waiters, etc.) are assholes across the board. You get the same cross section of people in any industry. There are a lot of dipshit people in general.

I wasn't going to comment on this, but I can understand your frustration. Instead of trying to force people to like you and treat you with respect, you have to show some respect first. If you're serious about continuing to get tattooed, just relax and try to enter in future situations with a positive outlook and no expectations other than a great tattoo.

How'd the end product turn out?

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Ohhhhhhhhhhhh im soooooo scared Shawn, you sound like a badass bro, right on bro!

Ya Shawn everything you said is common sense, as far as you taking what I said personal, not sure how that happened? you yourself said some tattooers see tattooing as a hustle so maybe you should read what i wrote again.

So your saying not having a tough guy punk attitude is selling out to the highest bidder?

Im really not following you man, kinda hard to make sense of your comment regarding my comment.

I think I see where some of your issues are coming from, Pauly.

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I've been watching this thread since it popped up and have enjoyed seeing the respectful post from multiple perspectives of LSTers, thanks. I think some valuable feedback and ideas have been put out there. This sounds like a frustrating experience though to go in to any business from an entitled perspective as a customer we are bound to hit friction, sometimes aversion in our interactions, and overall unhappy outcomes. I do think some good feedback has been given and don't think verbal retaliations need to exist on this site. If that is what any LSTers are looking for I strongly encourage you to go elsewhere as this is one of the reasons we started LST as the other tattoo forums have too much of this negativity. We designed this forum in hopes of positive interactions from tattoo conversations to tattoo pictures to what-have-yous for both tattooers and tattoo customers. This thread is heading in a manner that I don't think it needs to go and honestly hope it doesn't as we don't need that here. This topic is a good one so if it is going to continue lets continue to go for overall ways to support/facilitate better interactions with the tattooers and customers who respect tattooing humbly.

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interesting thread for sure.

at the shop i work at, its open plan with the counter being the dividing line between waiting area and tattooing area, it's barely hip height. i tattoo right beside it and when it gets noisy/busy i try to ignore everything around me and concentrate on setting up, finishing a drawing or most importantly on the customer im tattooing and thats paying for my time.

i dont expect anyone to think of that as being rude, it just gets hectic at our shop, its a very small studio and sometimes i can't stop to talk to everyone that comes in asking for me. i run late only occasionally, and i try to make sure im ready for my first customer because i hate how sometimes that can cause me to run late for the rest of the day. sometimes i have the drawing ready, sometimes i dont, it depends on each and every tattoo.

we work our staff very hard, sometimes when someone does a coffee run the tattooer might ask their customer if theyd like something, but usually theyre bringing back 5 or 6 drinks back already so sometimes they dont. personally id recommend staying hydrated for a tattoo by drinking water which we provide at the shop anyway.

every tattooer ive ever met works differently from eachother. trying to get my first tattoo at 18 got me thrown out of a shop cos the main guy was drunk and didnt like the look of me, so im kinda glad i didnt see that as a challenge and didnt go back to get tattooed, instead finding a place more suited to a first timer. when i did eventually get tattooed, it was at Richard Pinch's shop in aberdeen, no red carpet, no Champagne, just a great, clean, fast tattoo and thats what i came to expect from tattooers.

i am really lucky to have some awesome and loyal customers, i dont tattoo that many new faces, and in the time theyve been coming to me for tattoos, theyve become used to the way i am/work, kinda quiet for the most part, erupting half way through with some crude humor then going quiet again. i also work with some guys who just love to have a chat, personally i frown and concentrate a lot haha!

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I've been watching this thread since it popped up and have enjoyed seeing the respectful post from multiple perspectives of LSTers, thanks. I think some valuable feedback and ideas have been put out there. This sounds like a frustrating experience though to go in to any business from an entitled perspective as a customer we are bound to hit friction, sometimes aversion in our interactions, and overall unhappy outcomes. I do think some good feedback has been given and don't think verbal retaliations need to exist on this site. If that is what any LSTers are looking for I strongly encourage you to go elsewhere as this is one of the reasons we started LST as the other tattoo forums have too much of this negativity. We designed this forum in hopes of positive interactions from tattoo conversations to tattoo pictures to what-have-yous for both tattooers and tattoo customers. This thread is heading in a manner that I don't think it needs to go and honestly hope it doesn't as we don't need that here. This topic is a good one so if it is going to continue lets continue to go for overall ways to support/facilitate better interactions with the tattooers and customers who respect tattooing humbly.

(A man walks into a tattoo shop he has never been in before, with 450 bucks cash in his pocket ready to get tattooed, not to window shop. he go's to the desk and says "hi i have a appointment right now with so and so", the helper says to the man "oh hes got a quick tattoo to do and he'll be right with you" ok the man says, he sits down on the couch in the shop and waits patiently, not expecting a free rib dinner or a blow job, or a cappuccino or anything like that, he just sits there, about 30-45mins go by, the man notices the helper going around taking orders from the artist for a coffee/lunch run, the man thinks to himself "hmm a coffee sounds pretty good I hope she asks if she can grab me a coffee" , she walks right past the man saying nothing, the man thinks nothing of it at the time because he thinks the tattooer will be done soon, so he waits ... another 30 mins go by and the helper gets back with coffee and food for everyone, the artists take a brake and eat lunch with the whole crew, another 30mins go by, the man still waits patiently, than the artist is ready to tattoo, the man gets tattooed, he very much enjoy's the attitude of the artist and very much likes the piece he did, so the man pays for the piece and tips the artist, he shakes the artist hand and says to him "thank you i really love the piece" and the man go's on his way.

Later that evening the man thinks to himself, oh theres that new tattoo site ive been checking out, maybe if I put up a post about customer relations and how i think it could be better it could help the way customers see artists and the way artists see customers. So he puts up a post.)

- Hey Shawn by you saying that you threw some guy out for yelling "i pay your rent" or something like that, I took it like you were saying I should have been thrown out to, like I was acting like that douche you threw out when you dont even know the way I am, or how my deal went down?

I didnt mean to offend anyone and I guess what I was trying to say came out wrong, or just in a curt way, The real deal is I fucking love drawing and art and getting tattooed so I guess i get passionate about it at times, especially when i pay good money and give good respect, all i expect is the same amount of respect, no free steak dinners or special treatment.

Ive had a few bad experiences but out of all half aint bad, its just a bummer looking down at your arm and remembering some douchebags cool guy attitude everytime you look at ur tattoo, but I guess you gotta get the good with the bad, in retrospect maybe it makes me appreciate the good experiences even more. ya I will go back to the shop that didn't offer me a cup of water, its not gunna make or brake it for me, like i said the tattooer is down to earth and does good work so that is really what matters.

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Pauly, even your initial post on this thread makes me think you came here looking for a fight. I can sympathize with the frustration but if you've had more negative experiences than positive at tattoo shops, then take a look at these situations and try to understand the root causes. Maybe the guy was a dick and it sounds like the time management and professionalism could have been better on his end, but no one is obligated to get you drinks or be your best friend. Like others have said, as little as a generation ago, chances are you wouldn't have even gotten in the door. We've all had times where maybe we've had to wait around, or appointments run long, or maybe the tattooer is just having an off day. We all have shitty days. But it's no reason to think all tattooers (or waiters, etc.) are assholes across the board. You get the same cross section of people in any industry. There are a lot of dipshit people in general.

I wasn't going to comment on this, but I can understand your frustration. Instead of trying to force people to like you and treat you with respect, you have to show some respect first. If you're serious about continuing to get tattooed, just relax and try to enter in future situations with a positive outlook and no expectations other than a great tattoo.

How'd the end product turn out?

Oh the end product turned out great, its by far my favorite tattoo i have got so far and has a lot of sentimental meaning to me so its a keeper, and thanks for the response, and i'm not looking for any new friends when i get tattooed, I have enough friends that i dont have time to see as it is.

Im a 6 foot tall 29 year old drop out that could be accused of partying a little much and getting in a few fists fights here and there, Only work I have ever done is Construction or Metal shops, and from what Iv'e heard back in the day as you guys speak of the kinda guy that got tattooed was kinda like me? so i beg to differ on me getting in a shop back in the day, no hard feelings, i know you guys dont know me.

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as a tattooer, sometimes i get tattooed by people that id not go back to, the works great but we dont see eye to eye, or they rub me the wrong way, or whatever. or they think im there to "steal their secrets" or something weird, who knows!!

unfortunately that transcends many fields. its not a blanket type thing as we all know... ive spent hundreds of dollars on "new client fees" each time i go to a different dentist because id like to "like" the person i fork over 1000 bucks to have a half an inch from my kisser, sometimes that happens, other times not. i dont let my teeth rot though, i figure ill find a dentist that isnt a pompous dick sucking assfuck someday.

thank goodness no one in tattooing has caught on to "new client fees" and "consultation fee" before tattooing. can you imagine charging 100 bucks just to check your skin, get your ideas and give a recommendation on what tattoo you ought to get...

wait a second. im on to something with this, and no ones getting coffee...

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i too have had one or two less than perfect tattoo experiences in my day, and there may be another one to come someday. but point being, bottom line, it's the tattoo i'm after, not the respect of someone i have never met or don't really know that well, i believe that respect has to be earned. a good example would be; there's a really talented, popular tattooer in my local area and i have always really wanted a piece from him, i even have the ideas ready to go. but for one reason or another i find this person to be rather arrogant and pompous and that always kind of rubs me the wrong way, but dammit! his tattoos are so sweet, that i'm just going to have to bite the bullet one day and sit there quietly and get tattooed, because it's the tattoo i'm after! tattoos hold a great deal of meaning to me and when i look at mine, the first thing i think of is the reason i got that tattoo, not about the person who gave it to me. even if that person is a dick, if they did an awesome fuckin' job on my tattoo and gave me my moneys worth, i can't really complain or feel entitled to a certain kind of treatment because i walked into the shop with cash in my pocket. you chose a professional to get the job done and that's what happened, he/she is not obligated to give out smiles too, although it does help, no argument there! i would love to have good vibes and a positive experience while i am getting tattooed. you know, shit talking and joke cracking, talking about music and all that. but fact is, some people don't want to do all that shit, and i don't always blame them. they're at work, and some days you just don't want to be at work and you may be moving slow or whatever the case may be, we're all human. i'm a bartender man, i don't always want to hang out and entertain with all of my customers, like they expect me to. but i treat them all equally and try my best to greet each person with a smile.

what puzzles me is the fact that you said you really enjoyed the artist's attitude and the finished product and it sounds as if, even though you had to wait a bit longer than you initially thought, over all, you did have a positive experience, am i wrong? but, i also wonder, did the artists apologize for making you wait so long? as a professional i do believe someone who makes me wait that long for a scheduled service of any kind should at least compensate me with a sincere apology and recognize his or her fault in the matter, if that wasn't done then maybe this person doesn't understand the big picture of good customer service. but running late? c'mon, it happens to all of us. just be glad this isn't the 80's and you didn't get chased out of there by some coked up biker yielding a flat head screwdriver!

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(A man walks into a tattoo shop he has never been in before, with 450 bucks cash in his pocket ready to get tattooed, not to window shop. he go's to the desk and says "hi i have a appointment right now with so and so", the helper says to the man "oh hes got a quick tattoo to do and he'll be right with you" ok the man says, he sits down on the couch in the shop and waits patiently, not expecting a free rib dinner or a blow job, or a cappuccino or anything like that, he just sits there, about 30-45mins go by, the man notices the helper going around taking orders from the artist for a coffee/lunch run, the man thinks to himself "hmm a coffee sounds pretty good I hope she asks if she can grab me a coffee" , she walks right past the man saying nothing, the man thinks nothing of it at the time because he thinks the tattooer will be done soon, so he waits ... another 30 mins go by and the helper gets back with coffee and food for everyone, the artists take a brake and eat lunch with the whole crew, another 30mins go by, the man still waits patiently, than the artist is ready to tattoo, the man gets tattooed, he very much enjoy's the attitude of the artist and very much likes the piece he did, so the man pays for the piece and tips the artist, he shakes the artist hand and says to him "thank you i really love the piece" and the man go's on his way.

Later that evening the man thinks to himself, oh theres that new tattoo site ive been checking out, maybe if I put up a post about customer relations and how i think it could be better it could help the way customers see artists and the way artists see customers. So he puts up a post.)

I think it is a great topic and am happy you joined us and posted as unfortunately there are people out there with not so great people skills working in professions that we hope had better people skills as their job descriptions requires daily interactions and when we run into them we wonder, "why the hell are they in a profession with people when they can't be civil". But such is life in various professions so I try to kill them with kindness if possible and given the opportunity not give them my business. We hear endless stories of people who probably shouldn't be in various professions that they are in as well as tattooers & tattoo customers with tough guy non-verbals and verbals that leave us thinking "WTF". Sometimes we suck it up and goto them anyways cause their product is that good as mentioned in this thread and sometimes it is just not worth it. My main work is consultations with people in the arena of various psychology practices/theories and "helping" staff, agencies, and clients/patients/etc gain better retention and effectiveness with efficiency and I still run into people who "disturb" me with their intentions and definitions of "helping". I sometimes want to say "you do this work why?" But I try to remember they may just be having a bad day though when the pattern is established I tend not to work with them and/or their agency very long as it doesn't make sense in my mind or ethics.

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Oh the end product turned out great, its by far my favorite tattoo i have got so far and has a lot of sentimental meaning to me so its a keeper, and thanks for the response, and i'm not looking for any new friends when i get tattooed, I have enough friends that i dont have time to see as it is.

Im a 6 foot tall 29 year old drop out that could be accused of partying a little much and getting in a few fists fights here and there, Only work I have ever done is Construction or Metal shops, and from what Iv'e heard back in the day as you guys speak of the kinda guy that got tattooed was kinda like me? so i beg to differ on me getting in a shop back in the day, no hard feelings, i know you guys dont know me.

You're certainly right about the blue collar aspect so no argument there. I once waited 2 hrs for a tattoo from a pretty well-known guy up here because he hadn't drawn anything up and told me flat out he stopped drawing things beforehand b/c so many people had shot him the ghost lately. He apologized a lot but I still had to wait.. It was definitely worth it and the next two times I went back he was all set up and ready to go so I don't hold a grudge but it was definitely a bit of an eye-opener, since it made me feel like an idiot kid just setting foot in a shop for the first time. Don't let it get you down.

I think it was just your phrasing that sort of "got" some folks on here. Kind of like if some random person on the street started going off about tattoos I'd feel the need to defend it you know. Next time you get tattooed, I'd say bring some snacks and clear the day. I always try to swing it where I can have the whole day to myself and let it just be about the tattoo.

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Paulywhore: You are correct, period. Not that it's a prerequisite for seeing simple insecure egomania for what it is, but I have a decent amount of experience from the collector's perspective. I've been lucky enough to have been tattooed by the following, among others: Lehi, Rassier, Malone, Sylvia, Grime, Don Nolan, Bert Krak, Stell, Adam Ciferri, Seth Ciferri, Whitehead, Brooks, Spanks, Roberts, Conn . . . and my best bud Kyle Franklin! You don't need a fancy bullshit worthless psychology degree from a "Little Ivy", which I happen to have, to deduce that most tattooers succomb to the temptations of warped adolescent egomania. There are exceptions, but those guys (and gals) tend to get so disillusioned with tattooing that they quit. Read Mike Malone's letters to Keith Underwood in recent issues of TAM. Spot-on. He rags on "cool guys" who are too self-absorbed to actually learn about the fucking artform. I've wondered if the absolute elite echelon isn't as likely to be possessed by this meek demon. Hell, if you spend all your time seeking empty accolades and proverbial fellatio, it might be hard to fully concentrate on something of substance. Then again, I don't know: Bullshit megalomania permeates tattooing from the bottom up, doesn't matter how well you paint or tattoo. Power corrupts, in every context. If you're used to having your ass kissed, you come to expect it. Fucking pathetic. I'm sorry these folks are really insecure and immature, but it'd be peachy if they wouldn't take it out on me while I put food in their mouths.

To be fair, at the same time, I can totally see why tattooers get sick of clients. I couldn't do their job. Hell, I can be annoying as fuck, myself. Give me a painkiller and I never shut up. That being said, some of the behavior I've personally experienced and witnessed is absolutely inexcusable. Straight disrespect. Funny thing is, most tattooers are sedentary lumps of shit that couldn't fight their way out of a colostomy bag. Tattoos don't make you tough.

Tattooing's an intimate and intense experience, and, too often, familiarity breeds contempt. Like I said, having spent a fair amount of time in tattoo shops, I can totally see why being a tattooer is the yellow brick road to misanthropy. I hate people, too, but I try to be humble, honest, and respectful. Ya know, all that "Golden Rule" bullshit. Speaking for myself, I'm glad my bodysuit's about done. I'm too old for this shit. It's too much work. God Bless!!

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i agree with gouge above. definitely make time out of your day for the tattoo process, the whole day if possible. i always try to schedule appointments around my pay day and hopefully on a day that i have off. tattooing is something i love, i LIKE to hang out for a while before i get tattooed, see what everyone else in the shop is working on if possible, introduce myself to another customer maybe, depending on the vibe in the shop. after the tattoo, i always like to just walk around, maybe get a beer on my way home and just lounge out and clean it up. i always enjoy the feeling of being spent after a tattoo, i feel accomplished and fuckin' stoked everytime! if it is something you are really into, make the time available to truly absorb it and see how the whole process works and not just your experience. maybe you'll gain a fresh perspective or a new respect for it. don't let this experience ruin it for you. unfortunately, it's part of the deal.

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