Newstalk 1010 Radio Interview: The politics of refusing service

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I had the privilege (thanks Lulu, and everyone I spoke to at the radio station) of voicing my opinions on some of the daily experiences at the shop. The tattoo industry is unconventional, in the very least, and mis-understood at the very most. The main topic of conversation centred around if, how, and when to refuse service to clientele.

After speaking to Bekky and host Jim Richards, I felt compelled to expand on a few points.

First and foremost, as part of a shop that prides itself on the reputation we have worked so hard to achieve, if in any doubt we feel uncomfortable about a tattoo idea, we will, kindly and assertively, refuse said service. It falls on us to assume the responsibility of protecting the clients from themselves – just a couple tens of thousands of clients, no less. Because we remain emotionally neutral, we can provide outside insight on tattoo ideas driven by emotional circumstances. It may not be what the individual wants to hear (which usually results in a minor altercation), but 9 times out of 10, the client comes back and thanks us for our otherwise “unsolicited” advice.

The last thing we want is to be part of the problem. The problem consists of ease of accessibility and execution of tattoos. People unfortunately forget the permanency of tattoos, and more often than not, regret them. Not putting in enough thought and planning, as well as not going the appropriate size, are all common denominators to a regretful tattoo. Moreover, not doing enough research and seeking out an artist that specializes in the style you want furthermore compliment the mangled instance of regret. The in-and-out availability of many down-town shops leads to the issues listed above.

We heard some pretty ridiculous situations during the segment. The discussion stemmed from a report from the U.K where a guy got his girlfriend(s) to tattoo his name on (or above) their eyebrow. Cool. Have fun explaining that to EVERY PERSON you encounter. “Your name must be Ryan, given the eloquently placed tattoo on your face,” says a stranger, while girlfriend intelligibly rebuttals with “no, actually. It’s my boyfriends name.”

“Wow, what a great idea,” said no one ever.

The Moral of the Story goes as follows:

Listen to those assisting you. If you need it on your body for the rest of your life, then waiting another month or so mulling it over won’t make a difference. But it will ensure lifelong happiness with your tattoo.


Check out News Talk Radio 1010 daily for some interesting discussions daily!

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