spritechan: (TTGL - Yoko - you wanna mess with me)
[personal profile] spritechan
Even though Laura was the one who set the pricing for my tattoo sessions, and even though Jerry (the owner) approved of them and was present, I always got the feeling that he did not approve of the pricing. He constantly gave her pointed looks and asked her how long we were working for. Laura is his only employee. She is talented, friendly, and simply awesome. I saw 3 other tattoos happen by Jerry in the 6 sessions I have had with the shop, and everyone came and left during my session. I noticed that the shop wasn't doing awesome (at least on the days I was there), and Laura mentioned several times that November/December were the slowest months. So really, my $2000 was helping the shop a great deal during the slow period. Laura offered my last session in December to be free, because progress was going slower than we would have liked (the flowers and grass around 3/4 of my wrist, for example, took one whole session and was a very small area). *I* did not ask for it. *She* offered it. 

So when I went in for my session on the 1st, I did not feel like it was any different. Jerry was being douchey with his looks, and Laura and I were doing business as usual. When Jerry left at 6, he gave her a longer-than-normal stare before he left. At 7, she went to get a pizza two doors down. She received a text during that time. I did not think to let her know she received one when she got back. A few minutes later, the shop got a phone call. It was Jerry. He clearly asked her if she got the text. She grabbed her phone and went into the storage room (as the shop really is just one big room). It was very clear then that the phone call was regarding me. A very heated 5-10-minute discussion ensued, with her raising her voice and getting all fast and squeaky. I knew they were arguing about my sleeve. A few minutes later she came out, stricken and very visibly upset, and told me that Jerry was requiring her to raise the price of my sessions, starting that evening. I was IN THE MIDDLE OF MY SESSION, mind you. Apparently Jerry feels that they have been undercharging me, and I deserve to finish my tattoo at an increased rate. At the time I was tired, and defeated, and I didn't want to be mad at Laura for what Jerry did. So we came to a compromise for the night and I ended up paying $50 more than I would have (I still tipped her my standard amount, which she was plainly shocked to see. It was clear that she thought she'd be losing her tip in favor of making up for the increase in price. I would never take that out on her like that.)

For a little while, I resigned myself to it. There's about 2 sessions left and then touch-ups, which are free (the shop guarantees all of its work... or so it claims). I couldn't think of a way to argue my point without burning bridges. I decided to let it go. I DID NOT schedule a new appointment, which I had done every single other time. I hoped that would send a message.

Then I thought about it for a few days, and I have decided that I simply may not go back to the shop AT ALL. How DARE he send his employee to do his dirty work? How DARE he decide to extort me when he knows that I am so close to being done? How DARE he not have the balls to talk to me himself!!!! Fuck! I am seething. I vacillate between wanting to storm down there and demand that he not renege on the agreed upon deal (and notify him that I know an artist who would be GLAD to finish my tattoo [even though I don't want to take this away from Laura and I don't *actually* have an artist lined up... but Andy could do it]), and maybe reach a compromise, and just never contacting them again and badmouthing the shop to anyone who will listen (and post a horrible review on FB, etc. OR just waiting to see if he convinces Laura to contact me when he realizes he misses that consistent money from me). Whenever I think of going to shop, my blood pressure absolutely skyrockets and I get dizzy, from a combination of the helpless, blind rage I feel at his outright greedy asshole behavior and the fact that I am so ridiculously terrified of a confrontation that I panic at the thought of trying to put forth a demanding, coherent, convincing argument.

It just sucks. Why did he have to do that? I hate him. Seriously. It's so wrong on so many levels and I just don't deserve this kind of treatment. God.

Date: 2013-01-13 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silver-tiamat.livejournal.com
I hate it when I take something, and then later it causes me insane rage. I'm going through the same thing with our movers. I'll just have to settle for posting negative reviews countering all their good ones, but there are times when I want to call up the owner and be like YOU GUYS ARE BULLSHIT AND YOU DESERVE TO GET NOTHING. We didn't tip our movers at all, which was Brian's way of getting revenge for their shitty work. But, it still pisses me off. I have to try to not think about it.

So, I get where you're coming from. I honestly think that you should consider phoning Jerry and trying to at first have a calm and rational discussion about it, and save the raging for if he doesn't back down. Heck, if he's not willing to go back to the original deal after his customer becomes a screaming maniac, then they're really not interested in keeping you as a returning customer in the first place. That's something that's important for later, because you're likely to run into this same problem over and over with them if he doesn't try to smooth things over. It means he'd rather be a douche and see if he can force more money from you, than be a nice guy knowing that this will bring you back for additional services you'll pay money again for later.

Whichever you choose, just remember that in the end this isn't life or death, and having higher blood pressure from stressing so isn't worth it. I mean, Jerry's a dickasshat, and he doesn't really deserve your business, but Laura seems like a good person. You can't punish him without punishing her. But, you can certainly do your best to convince Laura that she'd be better off somewhere else.

Hang in there! Remember that this is a reward for yourself, something you've wanted to have done, and that you don't want to think about this terrible event every time you look at your arm. =(

Date: 2013-01-17 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vixenofflames.livejournal.com
That last hit me pretty hard... it's just so true! After reading your post and talking through it with Pat and Steve, I finally got up the courage to prepare a speech and settled on doing a phone call instead of actually dropping by the shop, which was too anxiety-provoking. I deserve this and I want to be happy about it! I don't want horrible resentful memories of getting it done!

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