some exciting things and some crappy things :)

I’ve been away from Tumblr like… what a week now? Life has been busy and intense, but not horrible, so yay!! (reference list for everybody I talk about)

Shop Expansion: The construction is under way for the expansion at the shop, and while that’s really awesome, it’s also made my asthma flare up, and I got a bit of a cold too. I’m better now. The tattoo side is going to be done in a couple weeks, and the guys are excited about moving into their new spaces.

I’m also signing up for a few more distributorships. Those are always both scary and exciting. Big companies take me more seriously the longer I’ve been in business and the more distributorships I have, so these few companies I’m doing lately never considered me before, but now they’re ready 😀

Sponsoring Evan: I talked it over with the family and we decided to sponsor Evan. We’ve wanted to sponsor an artist for years now, but either the guys weren’t good or they didn’t want to put in the extra work. When I told Evan about it, he started crying he was so happy. It works out for both of us and it’s a huge privilege for him. I pay for ALL his supplies, but the money coming in every month from him doesn’t have a cap – which is awesome because he gives me about three times what everybody else does. It’s worth it for both of us because supplies aren’t expensive for me and giving me a cut of his pay without a cap isn’t a burden on him. I’m also going to be sending him to conventions.

But these guys are so emotional! It’s only been two days and he still tears up every time he talks to me about anything. He came in to ask for more Madacide (cleaning solution) and his eyes got all pink and watery when I gave it to him for free 😀

Evan and I are also registering a brand name, and we’re going to make and sell supplies under that brand name. We’re already planning on several products, we just have to wait for the brand name approval from the state.

FYI, when you sponsor an artist, you pay for all their supplies, send them to conventions (which you pay for) to promote your shop and their art, they help promote IRL and on social media and pretty much represent your shop. It’s still clear they’re not the owner, but it’s definitely a big thing for me and for Evan. We’re both really excited. And it also cheered him up after all the shit went down with Allison.

Asshole Cousin and Husband: They STILL haven’t taken the kids back. You’re not surprised, I’m sure, but they’ve also started getting pushy with stuff. And it’s pissing my mom off. They started asking her to download a video app so they could chat with their kids. My mom was like nope, take your kids. They just kept asking and as of today AC’s husband sent this to my mom: Will you download the damn Google Duo app for video calls already. I need to see my kids.

Needless to say, my mom is fuming. Not only are we paying over $100 a week for someone to babysit the kids for two days a week, but we’re all super tired taking care of them AND running five different businesses, spending tons of money on clothes and food for the kids, and super stressed because KIDS and difficulties with Andre in school being an ass, but then to just demand like that? Take your damn kids back and you’ll be able to see them anytime you want! What makes them think we have the time to do that?! Or that we even want to when we’re so fucking tired?! Andre is on spring break, so we’ve got both of them full time while my cousin and her husband STILL haven’t found a job and haven’t taken the kids. Ugh.

Mom’s Seizures: My mom has had three seizures in the last four days. I’m not sure what’s making them flare up – she had gone 1-½ months without having any, so we’re kinda concerned and puzzled.

Shop App: I’m developing an app where people can buy stuff from the shop with an app on their phone. It’ll be on Apple, Android, Windows, Amazon, and… something else i can’t remember right now. It’s a lot of work, but already people are getting excited over it, so once it goes live, I think I’m going to need a lot more supplies, so I’m trying to order a ton. I spent $10,000 a few weeks ago for ink from the main company we sell ink for and this past week I had to input, organize, and label 1500 bottles of ink. Yikes.

Ash: I told him just a few days ago I want him to start working full time again and he can take walk-ins. He’s recovered enough from his surgeries that he’s got his mojo back and is producing awesome tattoos again. He still needs to work on some stuff, but I’m really happy that it’s coming back. We were all worried the accident had taken away his ability to tattoo really well. He started crying at me when I told him. Did I mention these guys are emotional?

Me: I’m actually doing really well, and the only reason I’ve been away from Tumblr the last week is because there’s so much going on with the shop and family. By the time I get home I’m super tired, but I still have to take care of the parental units and work on the app and do orders for the shop. I‘m pretty much working whenever I’m awake. Ugh.

It’s been 1 year since my mom and I changed our diets because of her cancer, and we’re both losing a lot of weight and feeling really good physically. I don’t even want to say how much I’ve lost because it’s quite telling of how big I was when I started, but damn it’s a lot.

Only problem that isn’t really a problem is we can’t eat out anymore. Everything makes us sick except Chinese food, which we’re assuming is only because it’s rice-based instead of corn or flour-based and has a lot of sugar/MSG, so it’s easier on our stomachs. My dad REALLY likes eating out, but my mom and I never really did, so it’s kind of hard for all of us because he’s doing the butthurt thing over it and constantly trying to get us to go out. After the last time we went out and the two of us were sick for five days, me puking two of those days and only able to eat crackers, it kinda made him realize it’s more than just a “don’t wanna” thing, but he’s still pushing it.

But yeah I’m doing pretty well mentally and physically, just super busy! Missing everybody here and missing online fun stuff and fandom stuff. Poor me!! 😀

I hope everybody’s doing well, and hopefully this weekend I can catch up some and see what y’all have been up to while I’ve been gone!

allison started shit – a lot of it

Evan fired Allison Wednesday morning, and she didn’t take it well. He tried to tell her the reasons behind the firing, but instead of being reasonable about it, she went and blasted us all over social media, telling everybody what an unclean and “old school” shop we are, that we don’t do spore tests, don’t autoclave our jewelry, and have messy rooms. None of which is true.

Before she came to the shop, it had a 5-star rating. We were very proud of that and it got us a lot of business because we came up first in searches. In the three months she was here, we got a bunch of 4-star ratings because of her, which brought us down to a 4.9-star rating.

After she blasted us on social media, we got a ton of 1-star reviews on Facebook and Google – those are our two main sources of new clientele. All those bad reviews are from her friends, and she has a lot of friends.

The way it works in shops is that the apprentice works under the mentor, and only the mentor is responsible for them and does the teaching, training, and talks to them about issues. The other artists and shop owner talk with the mentor about issues, but they don’t usually directly teach the apprentice unless they’re considered a “shop apprentice.” Evan and I were talking about her on a daily basis and once a week we’d have a longer discussion about her.

Evan tried to help her. He talked to her many times about coming in late (she very rarely showed up on time and it pissed a lot of customers off), about suiting up properly in the clean room, about proper techniques, about what jewelry to use for each piercing, and about how to do the actual piercings, but she only took in about 50% of what we told her and decided she knew better on the rest of it and we were “dangerous” and putting people at risk.

She’s even spread it around to other shops that come to us for supplies, and I’ve spent the last few days replying to furious shop owners and trying to smooth things over. Shop owners don’t want to buy supplies from a dirty shop, and I had to reassure them we’re clean and tell them about our procedures.

She was the one not using proper techniques. She was the one piercing too deep and causing piercings to reject and using jewelry that didn’t allow room for swelling – which then meant money out of my pocket when the person came back and needed it fixed. She was the one who didn’t treat the clean room properly. She was the one constantly late and pissing off customers who had appointments with her.

Evan has been a tattoo artist and piercer for 18 years, and I’m not a newbie at owning a shop either. But she never told me her concerns and all I saw was an apprentice who was losing me business and ruining my reputation, which is a risk you take with an apprentice or anyone really.

I called her back in here today to talk to her, and she started going off on how awful Evan was, so I listened to her concerns, then started telling her the problems I saw with her behavior. She claims Evan never told her any of it, but he did. Many times.

She flat out lied to me about only being late “a couple times” and never leaving early – did she forget I was here and saw that? She was surprised to learn I do my own spore testing on the autoclave once a month. Evan didn’t know I do it because he never asked me, but she never asked either. There’s a lot of things I do in the shop behind the scenes. The guys probably don’t even know half the stuff I do, but it’s part of owning a shop.

I actually have no idea how tattoo artist/shop owners can keep up on all this stuff. I’m constantly doing things, and can’t even imagine trying to tattoo while doing all this. I had to stop piercing because I was too busy, so I don’t know how those shop owners who are also artists can do it.

I’ve already told the guys we’re not doing apprentices anymore. It’s not worth it at all. I can’t take hits to my reputation like this, and it also means I now have to deal with four highly emotional guys who are very upset by this and freaking out because they think the shops reputation is completely ruined and their lives are going to be greatly affected. Ugh.

It’s not THAT bad. I mean it sucks, but the guys get so emotional. Just sucky shit.

allison is… doing stupid shit

(link to bios on all the people I mention in these posts)

She likes to go to tattoo/piercing conventions, and she went yesterday, but while she was there she somehow got into a discussion with some random guy and he asked to see her work.

She showed him and he immediately started telling her it’s shit work and he can teach her and she should come to his shop so he can show her how to really pierce.

She didn’t tell him she’s an apprentice. Didn’t tell him where she’s working. Didn’t tell him to put up (show her his own work) or fuck off. She bought into it and is going to his shop on a SUNDAY to meet with him.

All shops are closed on Sundays, so she’s going to a shop when it’s closed to meet some random guy.

Evan and I have been doing weekly closed-door meetings about her because there’s so much good about her, but there’s a couple really serious things she’s doing that kinda outweighs the good, including thinking she knows better than everybody else.

And we’ve warned her about people in this industry. Both Evan and I are pretty sure it’s some blowhard guy who just wants to get her alone and it has nothing to do with piercings.

I hope she takes her boyfriend with her when she goes, but there’s nothing else I can do, and this pushes her behavior over the border into shop/mentor disrespect, so if she goes through with it, she’s gonna get fired.

Not that she can’t learn from other people – that’s not the issue at all, but the way she’s doing it and how she handled the guy along with being late all the time and continuing to do the things she wants to do even though we’re all telling her different just smacks of disrespect.

She learned a lot very quickly in the first month or two she was here, but then hit a wall and it’s really disappointing to us because we both saw a lot of potential in her.

I’m also really hoping she doesn’t go through with this because creepo could be a real creepo. Hopefully he’s only a blowhard and not a creepo blowhard. Ugh.

i’ve been hiding

I hide from social media when I’m super depressed. I get really bitter, and I don’t feel like shoving that in everyone’s faces, so I stay away even though fandom makes me feel better and so do fandom friends.

I know pretty much everybody else on here vents and dumps all their personal shit, depression, and crying when they feel shitty (and I don’t have a problem with that – yes double standards, I can’t do what other people do, blah blah), but I don’t wanna do that. I’ll complain about shit, but once it goes over the border into really fucking depressed and wishing I would just cease to exist, I hide.

While I’m hiding, @spncoldesthits and @spnpolybingo suffer, and I’m sorry. I’m trying to get shit done in the background, but as soon as I come online to take care of those things, more things need to be done, and it’s difficult when my family is… sucking the life out of me.

So instead of whining about how depressed I am, here’s some of the most recent shit that’s been happening in my life. Enjoy 😀

(cast of characters if you’re wondering who I’m talking about)

  • POS/cash register & inventory system: worked on it for months, am paying $550 a month for it, and it sucks, so I’ve started switching to an open source/free system I wasn’t confident enough in myself to use before
  • follow-up mammogram after they saw something two weeks ago – turns out the idiot did it wrong, there was nothing ever wrong, and I was worried for nothing because the chick didn’t know how to do a mammogram on really big tits
  • Marissa (my uncle’s wife) is in one of her pissy moods lately. Charlie (her husband) is being a dick about the kids, doesn’t want to help at all even though they’re HIS grandchildren and threw a temper tantrum when a project that he knew about for ONE MONTH came due and he had to hurry and help the 11yo get it done the night before it was due. He started crying (my uncle) and said “doesn’t the school realize how busy I am?!” like the school should give a shit about his personal issues when my uncle was the one who dropped the ball. Anyway, Marissa is now 40 years old and raising her step-daughter’s children, so I don’t blame her for being pissed, but she hasn’t been helping me at the shop since the kids came and in the last few weeks it’s been super busy. She came in yesterday and today and didn’t leave her personal problems at home, so she’s being shitty to customers and to the guys, so I’m sending her home. Thanks for NOT-helping. Ugh.
  • My stalker aunt is FINALLY OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!! I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. She’s been gone for three days now and the creep factor in the house is GONE. I had to take her to an appointment yesterday early morning before I went to the shop and she sat in the back seat and SHE FUCKING STROKED MY HAIR AND TOUCHED MY SHOULDERS as I was driving. Yeah. I felt like taking a shower after that. She kept saying “your hair’s so soft.” Ugh.
  • My mom has chilled a little. I think her sister being in the house and in her bedroom was getting to her, but she’s still being snippy with me. I don’t know if she needs some time to unwind after her sister being gone, but I hope she snaps out of it soon.
  • Mom’s friend is staying here for the next four days. This is the one that comes every other month and is a really good houseguest, but damn, we’ve only just gotten my aunt out and I’m tired of people in my house.
  • The 1yo is showing anger and behavioral issues the first 24-48 hours after visiting her parents. I didn’t realize this was happening, but yup, she’s having abandonment and separation issues. She’s expressing her feelings the only way she knows how – by growling, holding her breath until she turns red, and growl/screaming. My uncle’s reaction to this? He yells at her. Again, I didn’t realize this was going on, and I’m… I don’t know what to do about this and it’s really upsetting me. This poor kid misses her parents and she’s getting yelled at for having feelings about it. My family hasn’t told my cousin about this and my family still feels that the kids should be here instead of with their parents because “their standard of living isn’t up to par.” Well fuck you. It’s THEIR kids and they get to decide how the kids live, not you. Give them the fuck back. In the meantime EVERY FUCKING PERSON in the family including the kids are hurting over this.
  • The 11yo is, as per usual, not turning in homework, not doing homework, and doing the whole personal space violation with all the kids at school. My family always insists he doesn’t do this when he’s with us and he only does it when he’s with his parents because his parents “neglect” him. But hey look he’s STILL doing these things. Perhaps he just does this? Huh, I think so! And perhaps my family should be a little less critical of AC and husband’s parenting? That’s not gonna happen. They still think the kids should be taken away from them, and it’s bordering on racism at this point because they all talk like the kids shouldn’t have to live “the ghetto life” when that’s what AC and husband chose.
  • It’s been SUPER FUCKING BUSY at the shop. Always is when tax season comes around until the end of summer. But because my family is busy taking care of the kids and AC, nobody can help me, and as I mentioned above, Marissa is having attitude issues, so I have no help. Friday and Saturday Evan and Allison (his piercing apprentice) noticed I was overloaded with customers, so they came out front and took all the customers who were paying cash. They wrote invoices, and when I had time in between customers, I entered it into the computer. It was a huge help and I was so exhausted I completely forgot to tip them for it. I thanked them both, and I kinda did give Evan a tip in the form of some supplies he needed, so I guess I did tip him 🙂
  • The construction at the shop is going SUPER SLOW, and again it’s because of the kids. I can’t tell you how sick of this I’m getting. My way of bringing money in for this family to live on is suffering, and I’m in a position to overtake two of the biggest online competitors and three brick & mortar competitors in the state, and yet I’m being held back by my family, who all said they’d help and who directly benefit from the money I bring in.
  • Ryan is having girlfriend issues. They have issues all the time, but I’m his confidant, his counselor, and the one he trusts to give him advice, so over the last few weeks he’s venting and dumping on me on a daily basis, and even though I do it to keep employees happy and giving me money and keep a good atmosphere in the shop, it still weighs me down, and right now I’m feeling so shitty that by the time I leave the shop at night, I feel like crawling to the truck and I wonder if I’m leaving a slime trail behind.
  • Lee moved out two days ago, Alexis moved in yesterday, and today I fired her. Yup, she skimmed $100 on HER FIRST TATTOO. People never imagine I’m going to check up on them or listen in, and I heard her tell the customer how much the tattoo would be, heard the customer confirm it after the tattoo was done, and then SURPRISE the amount on the paperwork was $100 short, so she’s moving her stuff out right now. That means I have to find somebody else to fill the room, more interviews, and more trying out people that disrupt the everyday shop dynamic.

Okay, I’ll stop whining now. If you got this far, thanks for reading 🙂

someone gave evan a weed sucker

And it was a fuck-ton stronger than he realizes, so he’s super high and just giggling and finding the walls very interesting.

He just sent Allison to my office (where Ryan and I were watching him on the CCTV) to ask if Ryan and I would come back there because “he misses you guys.”

“He wants hugs?” I asked.

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah.”