My second year of tattooing, I was working long hours at Iron Age. It was the original location that was upstairs next to Vintage Vinyl. I’d had a trying week of crazy customers. It was not abnormal to tattoo 10 people a day. At the end of a shift I would pray that a tribal arm band would walk in so I could turn my brain off. On this particular evening 3 middle aged ladies walked in instead.
They wanted small tattoos but it was almost closing time. I did a horrible job refusing to tattoo them. I think I yelled and told them how tired I was. I’m pretty sure I looked like I just snapped on them.
The next morning Mark the owner called me to let me know the damage I had done. One of the ladies was a local Judge and the other was our local Alderman. Lesson learned. Take your time. Compose yourself. The shop is not a bubble. Plus its a general rule to be nice. Then you never have to worry about how you treat people.
I found this Blog my client wrote. It reminded me of those ladies 20 years ago. Its called Blog-A-Sphere by Scott Latta
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That I think means…nothing. I was just in the mood to switch things up and maybe make up a word or two. Not my best effort but for the time being, I’m willing to let the effort stand.
As my fingers fly across the keys, there is a fuzzy little snoring lump beside me. It’s not Sadie as she is at my home away from (Kristi’s) home but it’s Miss Candy – the pot-bellied tortoise-shell kitty. She was pouting a bit ago after she got chastised for chewing on one of the Christmas trees here. OK back to the topic…
As most of you know I recently started a new job. Within the physically housing of the building that my company is, there are of course people. New people. Well not exactly new as they were not recently spawned from nothingness into being but new to me – for the most part. Two of the people there I had worked with seven years ago at the sinking ship that was Sara Lee Foods. So those two were not really new to me but the rest are people I am completely unfamiliar with and thus the need to learn things about them like their names and such. One of my co-worker ladies trained me on the systems and procedures I would be expected to deal with on an daily/hourly basis. In the course of training, we made small talk and shared things about our lives.
On my first day I was wearing a short sleeve polo shirt that partially revealed my newest (arm) tattoo. She asked to see it and I pulled up my sleeve to show the healing color totem pole of skulls. My co-worker, will will call her Miss Stew, mentioned that she had a tattoo on the back of her neck that represents herself and her two children. Anyway…we get to talking about tattoo artists we like and our experiences. I tell her about Matt Hodel and the three pieces he has done for me. She begins to tell me about an experience with a small shop over in Columbia, Illinois…cue the dramatic horror music.
Some of you reading this are inked and understand what drives a person to have another human literally needle you for hours with an image or words that will be with you probably for the rest of your life. Some of you are un-inked but may be intrigued by the notion of tattoos and some of you are devoid of body art and cannot understand what possesses someone to want ‘to do that to your body’. Regardless of what category you may place yourself in, chances are you know a person or several people who have tattoos. I have long admired the concept of body art but have even longer been of the wussy nature. Truth be told, I whine for days after a sunburn for crying out loud.
So she begins telling me about a time she went to this small shop in Columbia and the guys (yes, it was only dudes) in the shop started giving her strange looks and one of them actually made a reference to her looking like a soccer mom. This spawned a discussion between us about how most tattooed people get stereo-typed by people who don’t have tattoos. In my brain, for this to happen in reverse was a bit stunning. You would think that the representatives of that artistic lifestyle would be a bit more tolerant and open-minded if for no other reason than how often they are misunderstood themselves. Like I said, I was a bit taken aback by this personal experience of hers. Needless to say, after the rude treatment she received, she left their shop without getting inked there and I don’t blame her one bit. Getting tattooed, no matter what part of the body, by someone is placing a measure of trust in that person. If you already feel they do not respect you as a person then I do not know how you would have confidence in them nor want to patronize their business.
She told me that she did place a call to the owner of the shop to relay her experience and told him she would never set foot in his place of business again after such treatment and since most places like his operate on word of mouth, she wouldn’t send any of her friends there (in future).
In today’s world things change so quickly and you never know from a networking standpoint what will turn out to benefit you. In the business (or softball) world, even small business or especially small business, you need many things to go right for you because it seems at most of the turns there are dead ends and setbacks. In mentally going over Miss Stew’s negative experience, (that could have easily been avoided mostly by the dude keeping his mouth shut) what did those careless words cost the owner and tattoo artists of that shop? Maybe Miss Stew could’ve been a life long customer and had big pieces like a sleeve or two done. With a good experience, maybe she could’ve directed a couple of friends there as well and then they refer a couple of friends each and so on and so forth. But instead some dude thought he would be judgmental and short-sighted and poof…that potential is gone forever.
I tend to think practically most days about networking and potential; softball has really taught me this. In all the world, you just never know what opportunities may come forth each day. You can either be a glass half-full or glass half-empty kind of mind set. I don’t know if one is more successful that the other, but I like to think and hope that being upbeat will always pay off.
In closing, I would like to thank everyone who zips into my blog site and reads what I have to say. Some pieces I feel are stronger than others and others may just be a way to clean the mechanism in order that I can get to the better stuff that makes you want to come back again and again or invokes some sort or reaction or emotional chain reaction within you. If this piece didn’t make you want to give my a candy cane for my stocking, never fear, I shall try all the harder to come up with something that does.
Merry Hump Day to all and to all a good night!