Disrespectful receptionist

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Sunday December 27th, 2009 @ 3:18 PM

Filed under: Tattoos

Hey! So this isn’t a question about an actual mod, but more of studio etiquette.

I went to go get a walk in tattoo done and after I spoke to the receptionist she told me that the tattoo would take a lot longer than I had thought. It wasn’t a big deal, and I thanked her for checking with the artist and told her I’d come back when I had a day free. When I went to get my drawing back (which is a hand written quote by my favourite author), she remarked “you know, even though YOU’LL know that it’s supposed to be kind of crooked and stuff, no one else will and they’ll just think your tattoo artist didn’t know what they were doing”. I was a little stunned, and she asked where I wanted it done and I told her, then also mentioned I wanted it “upside down” so I could read it to which she signed loudly and proceeded to lecture me about how that was a terrible idea and how tattoos aren’t supposed to be upside down even though it’s a tattoo for me and that it will look funny.

I’ve always had a good experience with this studio and I was totally taken back by how rude she was being. Is it really the receptionist’s place to lecture clients on their choice of tattoo? I had a feeling it may have been because I don’t look heavily modified. But I was just wondering if this kind of behaviour is acceptable, or whether I should email a manager about this? She’s definitely put me off wanting to go back to that studio for a while. Thanks for any info, or your own experience with this.

p.s. is it really that unusual to have an “upside down” text tattoo?

As someone who manages a high volume studio with a lot of first-time clientele, I would absolutely be interested in hearing about customer and clients’ experience in my shop.

While it is the staff’s job to “consult” the client on acceptable placement and design of a tattoo, it is certainly not their job to make anyone feel uncomfortable about their tattoo design.

Many custom artists will discuss tattoo placement with their clients as per the “flow” of the piece with the natural flow of the body structure and encourage the client to readjust the piece accordingly (for instance, armbands “cut off” the arm and don’t flow as nicely as a more vertical S shape on the upper arm would) However, some clients are adamant on an arm band and the tattooer will exercise his or her right to not tattoo a piece that they don’t think will work well on the client’s body. At this time it’s up to the client to compromise with the artist who’s name is forever attached to the piece or to simply find a different artist who doesn’t mind doing it.

As far as having a hand-written quote translated into tattoo form on your body, upside down so you can read it, I don’t see any problem with that. This is clearly a more personal tattoo for you than something you’d seek out the artistic skills and style of a certain artist for. Many people have script tattoos in personal handwriting, even mirror image so they can read it when looking at their own reflection, upside down, etc. The nice thing about tattoos is that they can be 100% your own and for your own reasons.

Please don’t be put off by your tattoo idea because of someone’s opinion of it. Remember that it’s yours and for you at the end of the day. However, consider keeping an open mind with your tattoo artist’s suggestions in what would make your tattoo fit you better.

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3 Responses to “Disrespectful receptionist”

  1. i have 3 handwritten pieces (one which i just got on the 24th), and every now and then someone mentions to me how its not perfect, crooked, the letters dont match, etc… but when i tell them its handwritten and who wrote them and the stories behind them, i’ve always received positive feedback and generally an apology. go for it. it’s so much better to have a unique tattoo you love just for you, than one people will think is “right.”

    allie on December 29th, 2009 at 3:19 am
  2. Thanks for the reply! I ended up going to another studio, and speaking with the artist directly about the tattoo (which I got done exactly the way I wanted). I think what threw me off was that she wasn’t a tattoo artist, she was a receptionist, and she wasn’t even offering “professional advice”, but it was more just her opinion. Thanks again! I’ll make sure to find out her name and send off a quick email to the studio owner about her behaviour.

    Alison on December 29th, 2009 at 3:44 pm
  3. I’d definitely contact the manager about it. Professional advice and constructive criticism are one thing, but what she did is certainly not that, especially considering she was just the receptionist. I don’t mean that to come out sounding like she’s *just* a receptionist, thats not what I mean, but if it was the tattoo artist who had said it then maybe I’d take their opinion more seriously; it will be their name on the work, and they are the artist after all and I think its always important for clients to take the artist’s suggestions into account. Even so, I’d say well done for getting it exactly the way you wanted, its your tattoo and even if no one else likes it, if you do then who cares.

    emhib on December 9th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

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