doing a lot of damage control

I haven’t been around the last few days, and this would be why.

One of my distributors (the one I’m getting ALL my cartridges from) decided they were going to go out of business. That’s only 5 weeks after we called them, spoke to the owner on the phone for 45 minutes, and he reassured us he wasn’t going out of business and not to worry. Suddenly they’re gone and all the stuff I ordered isn’t coming and I’m scrambling trying to find a replacement product for something ALL my customers liked.

Cartridges are what the tattoo industry as a whole is switching to instead of needle/tube combos. So all my big-name customers and… well, pretty much everybody except for the scratchers (people who tattoo out of their homes and have little to no skills) have switched over to cartridges. I was already running low on supplies (including the cartridges) and was waiting for a shipment that’s never going to come. They also got me an AWESOME price on cleaning supplies, ink, and other stuff.

Any company I go to in finding a replacement for the cartridges is going to want me to plunk down anywhere from
$5000-$25,000 just to get started with them. If I don’t do it, I’m going
to go out of business myself.

Money is VERY tight right now because we had to put a new roof on one of the rentals my uncle owns (do you have any idea how much a new roof costs?!). He owns several houses, and renting them out is how he used to make his living, but for the last few years the houses cost more to maintain (mortgage + repairs) than he gets in rent checks, but he fights me on selling them off. He’s not a slumlord. In fact, his tenants love him because he lets them send in payments late, fixes their stuff IMMEDIATELY even in the middle of the night, and just gives them stuff because he’s an idiot. Like we’re made of money or something.

My uncle got sued and lost on a case where this guy who illegally represented himself as licensed and bonded (he wasn’t) ruined my uncle’s back yard and the city is actually getting involved. In order for the back yard to get fixed enough that the city gets off our backs, it’ll be at least $11,000 and probably more. As it is now, it keeps flooding and backing up into the loading dock area of a Frys grocery store behind him. The judge sided with the unlicensed asshole because technically the guy did the work, and the judge doesn’t care that the work was done AFTER we told him to stop because we realized how much he was fucking up the yard, but the guy waited until my uncle was gone for the day and broke into the backyard, finished up, and sent us the bill.

It’s been slow at the shop recently for some reason, and that always freaks me out because I worry there’s a rumor being spread about us or our customers have decided ordering online is easier or whatever. That means I have less income at the moment. November isn’t usually a slow month. Oh, and of course the guys have to freak out about it too, so I’m dealing with their drama queen stuff and trying to keep them calm and productive.

Andre is continuing his issues at school with not doing work or doing it and not turning it in. School started how long ago? And he was already failing this grade as of three weeks ago. To get him back on track, my mom is spending several hours a day working with him, which is exhausting her and causing more seizure issues. And of course Andre is fighting her every step of the way.

My dad’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, and to get better treatment, she needs to move. She wanted to move anyway, but this just makes it urgent. So my dad is going to drive to where she lives, pack her up, and move her and her daughter. My dad is 74 years old, has busted legs and heart issues, and he also brings money into the house, which means not only is he going to wear himself out helping a woman who has never done a damn thing for him or even bothered to ever call to ask how he’s doing even when he had his accident a few years ago, he’s also not going to be making any money during the move time. There’s a good chance she won’t even be grateful he’s doing it and she’ll belittle him and harass him the whole time.

Last but not least, my dog’s dead. Still. And all three of us (me, mom, dad) are
STILL having a hard time with this and we’re fighting the urge to run
out and get a new dog. I didn’t think we’d have a really hard time with
this, but damn all three of us are depressed over it!

I know people are waiting for the changes and announcements and such for @spncoldesthits, and I *will* get around to it. It’s just going to take a little time. Sorry guys!

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 🙁

did i mention my family is frustrating?

Charlie has bugged me for years about starting an online store for the shop. Because he wants more money. Of course he knows nothing about making an online store, and I was putting it off because I’m already busy and I knew filling online orders would be more work for ME not him. Although it would mean I can sell the place for money in a few years – successful online store AND brick and mortar store? Yup!

Well, I finally made the online store a few months back. Even created apps for Android and iPhones too.

me: okay the online store is there but Marissa and I didn’t want this because we’re already super busy so if you want this YOU have to do it

Charlie: I WILL!!

me: seriously i want nothing to do with this

Charlie: yeah yeah I’ll do it!!

me: I already put in all the products, but in order for you and customers to know how much shipping on each item will be, you need to get the weights on everything in the store for me. I’ll put it in, you just need to get it.

Charlie: No problem! I’ll get it to you right away!

*two months after opening the online store*

me: okay now I’m getting customers ordering things and it’s this fucked up thing because they insist they don’t need to pay shipping because there aren’t any weights in the system so it charges them nothing so you REALLY need to get the weights for me

Charlie:

me: seriously you said you would do this

Charlie: I’m busy redoing Marissa’s sister’s bathroom! (which he only started this week)

Guess what I’m doing right now? Yep. I’m inputting item weights for all 1500 products.

Also the whole Charlie-taking-care-of-the-online-store thing is probably not going to go well. He gets bouts of depression or whatever it is he does and he stays in bed for 1-5 days at a time ignoring everything while he does it.

Tattoo artists want stuff NOW, are very fickle, and I can see this going bad very quickly. Because I don’t want to lose customers or get bad ratings everywhere, Marissa and I, who said we wanted nothing to do with the online store, will probably be taking it over soon.

so do parents get like really excited when their kid has detention?

mayalaen:

He’s not my kid, and I don’t have that parental instinct with him, so for me it’s like hot damn I get an extra 1.5 hours to get things done because he kept pushing it with the teacher today and got 6 red notes=detention!

WOOHOO!!

HE LIKED IT.

The little dork actually liked detention. It was his first time in detention and he came in all excited and telling about all the things he did while there.

If it had been any other kid I might think they were faking it so we decide that’s a terrible punishment and never do it again, but not him.

This is a dork who loves ANY kind of attention. He doesn’t care if it’s positive or negative.

It’s something my uncle (who is one of the kid’s primary caretakers) is never going to understand. Every time the kid does something wrong, he sits him down and has this long discussion with him. I’ve tried SO many times to tell my uncle the kid does the bad stuff just so he can get one-on-one attention like that and that the real punishment is taking away electronics and making him be alone for a period of time, but my uncle insists kids can’t like negative attention.

Oh, and also this tells me Andre is going to be a lot more like my mom and uncle than he is his mother. They never cared about stuff as kids. In fact everyone talks about how my mom would walk right out the front door of her school when she was skipping and nobody dared to stop her because there was nothing to stop her with. Detention? Sure! Suspension? YES PLEASE I GET A VACATION!!

You just have to hope they WANT to be good.

Now that my uncle and mom are adults, they care about being good, but the kid thing… Ugh :

yep i’m griping about family again what’s new :P

1. Andre (asshole cousin’s kid we’re raising) messed with the brand new bucket of chlorine tablets we just bought days ago for $80, leaving the top off (which we’ve gotten on him about MANY times – there’s no reason for him to mess with it anyway he just wants to) and there was a storm here last night.

I now have an $80 bucket of chlorine water. BTW, if you didn’t know, you can’t just dump that into the pool. I *have* to go buy a new $80 bucket and find some way of dumping what I currently have without damaging the trees, grass, etc. It’s heavy, so getting it into the house without bleaching my carpets will be fun.

2. Meagan (uncle’s wife’s daughter) went to the cell phone store because she wanted (didn’t need) an Android instead of the 6-month-old iPhone she insisted six months ago she NEEDED. Even though her Android at the time was fine.

I told her two weeks ago not to do anything until I we made sure it wasn’t going to mess things up because there’s 14 devices total on that account. I was thinking about getting a cell phone that’s just for the shop. One that the guys could use to accept credit cards when I wasn’t there. But I’ve since learned that we don’t need a separate phone and I can just put an app on their phones.

Before I could tell her that, she went yesterday and now has a Samsung Note 9. When I questioned her on the price, she said, “The guy said it was only $2 more a month.” I told her yeah the phone itself is maybe $2 more a month but the SERVICE for the phone is $22 ON TOP of what we’re already paying. She shrugged it off like it was nothing >:(

So not only is her phone now $73 a month, but I *still* don’t get the money because she gives it to my uncle, who then uses it himself. Oh, and he told her not t worry about it and keep paying $50 a month, for some reason. I think he’s feeling soft because she’s going through a divorce. A divorce, BTW, which was her doing because she wanted to dictate every moment of her husband’s life and when he didn’t do everything EXACTLY like she said, she slammed him with divorce papers.

3. Anyway she took my upgrade on my phone without asking. Charlie (my uncle) recently took my mom’s phone upgrade when he threw his phone in anger (insurance doesn’t cover that) and Dominic took my aunt’s phone upgrade when he claimed he lost his phone, then “found” it six days later after we set him up with the new cell phone he had been wanting for weeks.

Me, my mom, and my aunt all have phones that are over 3 years old and all of them need replacing because of issues, but if I try to upgrade them now, I’ll need to pay full price because Meagan, Charlie, and Dominic took our upgrades. Oh, and don’t forget they used their own upgrades just months ago for new phones.

Last night Marissa texted me to rave about Meagan’s new phone and how “it’s so nice I could really use one of those!” I managed to keep my cool. She’s had her current phone for 8 months and it just got back from the repair shop after she kept going hiking with it in her bra and got it so hot (120-degree weather + sweat) that the battery expanded.

4. Andre doesn’t have a tablet, cell phone, computer/laptop, or hand-held gaming system because he just keeps destroying them and I couldn’t afford to keep up with it. But now the school REQUIRES him to have some type of device to access homework, scheduling, and other school stuff.

WHY the fuck would you require that?! You just up and decided I needed to buy this kid a device he’s going to destroy within just a few weeks?! Are you going to pay for a new one every time he destroys one? Are you going to deal with all the shit he buys with it when he figures out my uncle’s Amazon password again?! Are you going to patiently teach him how to use the system and deal with the fact he hides homework and needs to be monitored closely even just to maintain a C average because he just doesn’t give a fuck about consequences or school or anything?!

I constantly feel like I’m holding the kid back by not letting him have those devices. He’s of a generation where familiarity with electronics is a must, and yet I just can’t. He doesn’t care enough about anything to NOT destroy them. So what am I supposed to do with a school that insists he use one on a daily basis? And not just for extracurricular activities, but for work that highly impacts his grade?!

Does someone wanna buy a kid or two? Or adopt me? or kill a few members of my family for me