i just had to do some adulting

A guy came in for an interview (we’ll call him Brett), so I spent about an hour on the interview and didn’t get any bad vibes from him and he’s a good artist. I hired him, but he needs to get his bloodborne pathogen certificate for this state (he has them from two other states), and he’ll be starting as soon as he gets it. It’s not required here, but *I* require it of my artists.

I already felt kinda odd from adulting all day, but then ALL four of my guys needed reassuring and filling in on the new guy, what he’s about and his experience, etc. Calming them like they’re nervous 5-year-olds who think the new baby will get all the attention. Seriously – I told Ryan that a few of the guys roses reminded me of his and he actually bristled. Like his chest puffed out, and he’s not even normally a peacock type of guy. So I had to reassure him they weren’t the same as his, just reminded me of his. Ugh.

I texted my family to let them know we need to set the room up for Brett, and I suddenly have my mom, my uncle, and uncle’s wife ALL me at the same time.

I called mom back first and filled her in, then called my uncle, who was in the truck with his wife, so I was able to fill them both in at the same time.

I thought I only had to take care of the four 5-year-olds here at the shop, settling them over the new baby. I didn’t realize my family would step in and decide they were 5-year-olds today too 😛

I also had to talk to the shop’s internet and phone service provider. Our contract is up for renewal. They were super pushy to the point where I was like “is this a scam?!” It took 20 minutes of me talking to her before she would admit that the current service plan is still available and I don’t NEED to switch to the more expensive (at least $200 more a month) plans, which also require me to buy a new $300 router.

So far everybody has worn out my “I can handle this” for the day, so now I’m wiped. Too much adulting, but I’ve still got 2.5 more hours to go at the shop 🙁

so i’ve talked to each of the guys individually

about the drugs-in-the-shop thing. Again. We’ll see how it goes from here.

It always cracks me up when I have to talk to them about something, because the tattoo industry is known for being really harsh. Like if you fuck up in a tattoo shop, the owner used to take you out back and beat the shit out of you. If you steal from anybody, they take a hammer to your tattoo hand.

Times have changed a bit and that only happens in REALLY old school shops now, but shop owners still tear the artists a new one screaming at them and firing them on the spot or just chucking their stuff out the front door.

I run my shop differently. I don’t want the guys constantly scared of me. I want an atmosphere where we can reasonably talk about something.

But it’s hard for the guys to let go of that panic when I say I want to talk to them. So I usually wait until they come to me for something else, then go “hey, can I talk to you about something quick?”

The panic on their face is still there, but by the time we’re done talking, they’re relaxed and smiling.

I really like that it weeds out the assholes, because they’re not receptive to that kind of thing, and then I fire them. The crew I’ve got now listen, we discuss it quick, I don’t berate them but I let them know it’s not acceptable, and then we move on.

It doesn’t always work, and they come up with new ways to fuck up all the time, but the atmosphere in the shop is such that they feel comfortable coming to me with their problems, which actually stops a lot of the bullshit before it even starts.

I can’t tell you how many times a situation has stopped before escalating because one of the guys comes in and flops on my couch and complains about something that happened between two of them. We talk it out and work on it instead of blowing up or the guys getting in fights.

It also creates hella loyal artists in my shop. There’s a shop down the street that’s run by a hardass old school guy and he only charges $600 a month. My guys give me at least $900 a month (because we do it by percentage instead of a monthly rent) and they still won’t go to his shop because they don’t want to put up with him.

There’s times my way doesn’t work, but for the most part it works out really well.

is today even real?!

So first off this morning we had that group of people smoking crack on the walkway (they’re still there).

Next I smelled weed wafting up to the front of the shop, so I go into the back of the new tattoo side only to find Ash and Lee smoking weed IN THE DRAWING ROOM! I told them to stop and we sprayed both sides of the shop down with air freshener. The place was full of customers, including kids.

Then Evan was working on a family that always comes in smelling REALLY bad. Like it’s hard to not gag when they walk by. They also walk in and out the front door a million times while one family member is getting tattooed. It’s like the doorbell never stops.

Just now I saw the guys hanging out near the clean room (we’ve got cameras), so I went back there and Evan has his entire wax rig – quite an elaborate setup – sitting out on the counter in the CLEAN ROOM and he’s demonstrating how he smokes his wax (weed in concentrated form) for Ryan’s girlfriend.


So I shooed everybody but Evan out of the clean room and told him to clean his shit up. I’ve told the guys plenty of times not to do any sort of drugs IN the shop. I don’t care if they do drugs as long as it doesn’t have an impact on their work and as long as they do them outside the shop. Even in the alley or their car, whatever. Just don’t do it IN the shop.

I’m feeling SO unreal. I mean I already kinda feel unreal when my mental issues are flaring, but when bizarre things happen it makes it even worse.

Is today even real?

today was Not Good


And I really would like to distract myself, but if I whine about it first, that should help a little so here goes.

I’m going to put it under a cut because it’s really long and there’s ISSUES under there that not everybody would want to read.

Keep reading

5. the one slightly bright note about this day

was that
after Charlie and Marissa left, my mom and I were talking about what
we’d like done about the shop situation, and we’re usually in agreement.
We were joking about just saying “we’re done” and walking away, letting
Charlie and Marissa try to take it over. They’d fall flat on their face
because they don’t know how to run the POS, all the connections with
distributors are mine, and even if I gave them the passwords and all the
info I currently have, they wouldn’t be able to learn it all before
they ran the business into the ground.

I smiled and said that
would be a relief. To just walk away and tell them they can’t call me
for help or anything. Then I mentioned how beautiful Montana is. How the
cost of living is cheaper there. How we could get a big gorgeous house
for half the price of our current house.

My mom got a grin on her face and said, “So why don’t we do it?”

I was like BWUH?!

shrugged. “Why not? Your dad would probably be up for it. The three of
us don’t like this city anyway. I mean we’d really miss our house
because we love it, but wouldn’t it be worth it to be rid of the rest of
the family?”

I’ve never heard her talk like that before. I always
assumed if I moved away, it would have to be alone because there’s no
way in hell my mom and dad would ever think of moving, which also keeps
me here because I feel obligated to take care of them. All three of us
moving means I can still take care of them.

I still couldn’t
believe she was serious, but she was like “No, really. What would we
have to do here before you’d feel comfortable to move?”

I said I
want the money from the sale of the shop, And she asked how much I
thought I could get for it. I told her an amount, but that it would be
ten times that amount if we finished the construction, got the online
store + shipping up and running, and opened a small second store on the
other side of town – not including another tattoo shop, just a small
place for a second supply shop.

“And that’s all we have to do to
get TEN TIMES more for the place?” she asked. When I said I’m pretty
sure, she shrugged again and said, “So we should work toward that.”

don’t know if she’ll change her mind tomorrow, but she’s not a flighty
type of person. She doesn’t say stuff like that lightly.

of the mental issues, I have a hard time imagining a future different
than what I’ve got. I tend to live in the now, and if something is
awful, I can’t see a way out of it. It’s always been like that despite
my family trying to help me with it. But even a small sliver of hope
that this might not be what I have to deal with for the rest of my life
makes my chest feel just a little lighter.

Dunno if anything will come of it, but it’s a nice thing to fall asleep imagining instead of crying myself to sleep 🙂

today was Not Good

And I really would like to distract myself, but if I whine about it first, that should help a little so here goes.

I’m going to put it under a cut because it’s really long and there’s ISSUES under there that not everybody would want to read.

1. AC still has Addy

which is awesome, but on the way home after picking up Andre (because they’re only going to take him for overnight visits) he made the comment “I’m glad Addy doesn’t have to go to the babysitter anymore. She hits the kids.”

My aunt was driving, I was in the front seat next to her, and mom was in the back with Andre, and it was silent for a few seconds before my mom started in with calm questions, figuring out if what he said was really as awful as what he meant. And yup, the times she came home with little bruises or red spots, it was most likely because the sitter was hitting her, and the one time it was under her right eye – we thought she’d rubbed it a bunch while crying, but damn that was close to her eye!

We don’t know why Andre never told us. We’ve asked him before about the sitter. He only went a few times, but Addy was there five days a week, and she would cry every time we took her. We figured it was because she didn’t get along with some of the other kids.

Andre is 11 fucking years old and decided a babysitter hitting kids, including his own sister, wasn’t an important fact to bring up to ANY of us until after the woman quit and we aren’t taking her back anymore because she’s with her parents.

Addy is a very active kid – a tomboy and completely the opposite of her big brother. She gets bruises all the time, loves being outside and playing hard in the dirt and rocks. We had no reason to question it the marks. And big brother knew the whole time and said nothing.

I don’t really know what to say or do about that. We’re checking into how we can help Addy.  She’s young, but I’m sure you don’t forget shit like that easily.

2. we had a shop meeting tonight

and, as usual, it didn’t go well. Charlie (my uncle) constantly tells me “it’s your shop, just tell us what to do and we’ll do it that way” and then turns around and does things differently. There have been several Very Big Things he didn’t listen to me about with the renovations and it not only cost us more money, but there’s features we really wanted and needed that we just can’t have now because he brushed me off and did it however the fuck he wanted. He and his wife are hung up on the fact that I haven’t moved Saul from his old room to the new suite with the other guys.

I don’t know why they’re so stuck on it. It’s a selfish reason I’m leaving him there, and it’s extremely rare I make selfish business decisions. Also they’re pissed I used one of the six new rooms as a work room for making the supplies we’re going to sell. I needed a sterile environment, and they wanted to put it in the warehouse/storage area, which couldn’t have been kept clean. I also wanted it in one of the new rooms because then Evan could get to the room. He’s helping make things.

They’re so upset over those two issues and “now you can’t hire more guys to make more money!” that it’s driving my mom and I crazy. I don’t want to hire new guys right now. It’s hard enough managing the ones I do have, especially with Evan’s stalker and Ash’s physical issues and Ryan’s bitchy moody thing he’s been doing lately.

Forty-five minutes into the meeting, Charlie and Marissa STILL wouldn’t shut the fuck up, so I excused myself to go to the restroom and recoup a bit. When I came back they were gone. Apparently Charlie thought I was doing an “I’M OUTTA HERE” thing even though I said I was going to the restroom, and he decided he was done with that shit and stormed out.

I’m frustrated with my family on a daily basis anyway, but this does NOT help. Especially when I’m already having psych issues, my mom just recovered from 4 seizures in 5 days, and all the issues at the shop and the construction which is taking forever because Charlie won’t get the fuck out of bed because he’s too busy feeling sorry for himself.

3. Oh and Charlie and Marissa were also pissed AC took Addy back.

The kid is ecstatic over it and even kept trying to push us back into the car earlier when we were there to pick up Andre. She kept waving goodbye and kicking at us too. She WANTS to be with her parents. She’s happy there. Yet Charlie and Marissa are too busy wanting to control everything, including how other people raise their kids. Addy and Andre AREN’T THEIRS. Ugh.

So now instead of maybe getting more work done on the shop after 8 days of nothing (because Charlie was in bed all week feeling sorry for himself), Charlie is probably going to spend the next few days in bed feeling sorry for himself again.

4. AC and husband confirmed they’re not taking Andre. They’re only taking Addy. We’re stuck with him. My family is all excited and they swear he’s not a burden. It’s hard to agree with them when we all constantly have to think about him, have someone to watch him because he can’t be left alone, he always needs new clothes and food and my family won’t stop buying him toys, and constantly deal with his lying and issues at school. My hope AC would take him was a long shot, but damn it’s depressing to realize we’re stuck with him.