Oh no…here he comes again. The seething, scathing, sarcastic and vicious author of all things fun in tattooing is at it again! Yep, you guessed it! It’s me, the Five, coming at you all with something a bit harder to chew and swallow.
(DISCLAIMER: This rant is going to contain a huge load of negative emotions, connotations, accusations and generally crushing response to a growing problem. If you’re looking for flowers, head to the next garden to the left…this one’s gonna be filled with acid-tongued manure.
So…here’s the scene as it stands. Over the last couple of months, we here at Trinity have noticed the growth of an alarming trend in local, and even national, tattooing. That trend, my little lovelies, is not showing up for an appointment, showing up late for appointments, and even believing appointments do not apply! I mean, really! Has gravity stopped functioning? Do snakes now have arms and legs? Do people have two brains? Something as simple and constant as the concept of an appointment has begun to fade from the public mind-set.
In the VAST majority of cases, appointments are set for tattoos in a very similar cascade of events. Meet with your artist, discuss ideas, formulate a plan, LEAVE A DEPOSIT, approve artwork, SHOW UP FOR APPOINTMENT. Right? I’ve only been doing this for 15 years, so maybe I just have it all wrong. F#ck me, right?
Allow me to elucidate on the topic. A tattoo appointment is backed by the deposit. It is a sort of insurance that the artist will at least get paid something for the time they put in to the artwork should the client decide to opt out last-minute. That does nothing to cover the loss of income caused by some asshole not showing up for a four-hour appointment at around $120 per hour (do the math) and in most situations, not even bothering to communicate with their artist to let them know!
Take it to heart, kids…if this is your Modus Operandi, you should just not get tattooed.
While we artists hold the chair, and turn down immediate work or schedule life around those appointments, we are relying on our clients to uphold their contract with us…sealed by the deposited appointment time. Most tattoo artists hold a reasonable deposit process. You leave a small portion, usually $60-100, of the total cost of your work as an AGREEMENT that you will be there on the agreed-upon time and date. Yes, life can have a funny way of throwing us curve-balls. Yes, emergencies happen. We’re all human, so I think we can simply accept that that’s just how life is, sometimes.
ANYONE EVER HEARD OF A PHONE? EMAIL? SOCIAL MEDIA? SMOKE SIGNALS? ANYTHING AT ALL?
Understand that douche-nozzles that continuously push off their appointments at the last second or just fail to appear for their scheduled time are having a horribly adverse effect on the rest of you, our well-intentioned clients! It really sucks like a Dyson that because of this unfortunate trend, the entire deposit process is about to undergo an enormous change. Here’s what people can expect to see as a result of these flakes and D bags’ actions.
Expect deposit amounts to increase. It is no longer worth the risk to accept a small deposit for a substantial tattoo appointment. I would expect to see a requirement of, minimum, $100 deposit, if not a flat 50% of the total estimated cost of the work. People seem to forget that this is NOT a hobby or something we do on the side…this is OUR LIVELIHOOD. Easy way to tell the difference? We don’t do this out of a goddamn kitchen. If you want a cheaper tattoo, there are plenty of scratchers out there who are more than willing to jack your hide all up for a few bucks. IF cheap is what you want, do everyone a favor and don’t WASTE A PROFESSIONAL’S TIME.
If you’re not sure you actually want the tattoo, go away until you are. Professional tattoo artists are already very busy people…what with all the people that have a shred of integrity behind their word of agreement, that is. Go waste the time and effort of someone needing the practice and with the time to flush down the toilet on your ‘maybe.’
Hopefully, you non-rock dwellers out there have seen the funny memes. They’re quite accurate. NO DEPOSIT, NO APPOINTMENT. Sure, you can take your chances on a walk-in. Ask yourself, though, if it makes sense to get tattooed by someone who never seems to have anyone in the chair…there’s a damn good reason good tattoo artists are so booked up. IT’S BECASUE WE’RE GOOD AT IT. After all…you came to see us, right? Don’t blow it. Leave your deposit, honor your word, get your tattoo done. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why so many people are clueless about that simple process.
If you cannot make it to your appointment, pull your head out of your backside until you hear a ‘POP,’ grab a phone and tell your artist! Chances are, we will reschedule you (provided you’re not doing this 5 minutes before your appointment) and leave your deposit intact. Fail to show up, though, and your deposit is a loss. Don’t even ask, Flakes McGee…it’s not yours anymore. You want another appointment due to your screw-up? Cool. Double the deposit, and your tattoo just became more expensive. Complain yourself out the door, if this seems unreasonable.
I wish I could say there was a universally accepted policy about tattoo appointments, but trying to get a bunch of artists to act in unity can be a lot like trying to herd a room full of housecats.
It’s easy, people. Simple rules sum it all up. No deposit, no appointment. No show? No refund. Too dim to figure out a phone and tell someone? Expect your tattoo to become VERY expensive. Honor your word. Act with integrity and respect for the time and professionalism of others. In those moments, most artists are thinking about your no-show, and subsequently deciding that you are no longer worth your word…or our time.