Some people really just can’t help it. They just don’t know. You know the type: They don’t know leggings aren’t outerwear; Some people will drive for three miles with their turn signal on; and some people don’t know they have bad tattoos. The latter came in today. He had a sleeve (mostly) done at another shop and couldn’t reach his artist since the shop was being moved. Frustrated with the lack of customer service, he came to Cardinal Tattoo to see what we could do to finish it. Unfortunately the answer to that question is ‘not much’.
Not to be ugly, but there was no way we were going to work on his tattoo. It was so poorly executed that anything we could have done to finish it would only serve to attach our name to something so bad the only way to fix it involved lasers. But maybe you need further explanation to understand why we would refuse good money to do our job…
This tattoo was a composite of several different styles, mixing poorly rendered, scratchy traditional Japanese wind bars that had been colored over (wind bars are supposed to be black and grey), with traditional-ish American-style skulls, New School style brass knuckles that have to be studied for a moment to identify what they even were, with an oddly curved and off-sized straight razor. Top it off with a Von Dutch flying eyeball for no reason at all and you’ve got yourself a tatty that only laser tattoo removal establishments could love.
Well, that, and the guy who got ‘em. Stick around kids, here’s where it gets good.
Having overheard where he got the tattoo originally, our illustrious leader Will asked the gentleman to let him check out the tattoo in order to determine the best course of action. Upon investigating, Will found that course of action to be none. ‘There’s nothing we can do with that.’
The tattoo was so bad that we literally couldn’t fix it up enough to where it wouldn’t be detrimental to our business by having our name attached to it. RE: It was so bad it wasn’t worth the reputation hit to take his money. That bad. That wasn’t the worst part. The worst part is that the guy didn’t want it FIXED, he wants it FINISHED, meaning he had NO PROBLEM with the quality of work.
This couldn’t be right, Will thought, so he investigated further.
‘How long had you been getting tattooed before you figured out it wasn’t good?’ Will asked, maybe money had been a factor, or drug use.
‘I didn’t say it wasn’t good. I just need somebody to finish it.’ Incredulous.
Will pitied him, but still couldn’t bring himself to sacrifice our hard-earned reputation for excellence, ‘Well, there’s a place that might be able to help you in Hendersonville.’ Will was trying to help the guy out, even though we weren’t going to get his business.
‘Naw man, I want to stay local.’
Wait. What the Fuck?!? Local?! Dude, Hendersonville IS local, you can be at the far side of Hendersonville from anywhere in Gallatin in 15 minutes. Still, maybe the guy doesn’t drive.
‘Do you not drive? Or have a car, like , is tranportation an issue?’ Will.
‘Naw, I just like to support small business in town.’ THIS GUY.
Really? Sounds like bullshit to us.
THIS GUY literally got his entire arm done, terribly, by a guy who he thinks did a GREAT JOB and the minute he isn’t available because his shop is closed down to move THIS GUY gets offended and tries to go to the next nearest place?! He gets mad because we don’t want to take a hit to our reputation for good work by shining up this turd of an arm he has and when we try to help him by recommending a place who might actually try to tackle this mess he decides he has some sort of moral obligation to local business?! COME ON!
This is how bad tattoos are made.
He went so far as to complain about how much he’d paid for the tattoo, saying that he’d already paid in full for it, then changing his story and saying that he still owed ‘a couple hundred dollars on it’. But when asked, he couldn’t remember how much he’d paid for the tattoo. It’s our contention that mental Hercules here wouldn’t want to spend the couple thousand dollars it would take to finish his arm, much less fix the coat hanger abortion of a tattoo he’d gotten himself into and the whole time Will’s talking to him about this he keeps muttering under his breath about why he can’t understand why we can’t just finish it. IT’S BECAUSE WE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT WHAT WE DO TO PEOPLE.
Cardinal Tattoo has been in business for 4 years now. If you live in the Gallatin area or even Sumner county and you get tattooed, you’ve heard of us by now. We don’t do a lot of advertising because we like to let endorsements from our customers do the talking for us and we don’t want to get too busy that taking care of our regular customers becomes an issue. That being said, if you have researched good tattoos in Tennessee you’ve probably come across our name online. So, simply put, there’s no excuse for getting terrible tattoos in Gallatin anymore. If you know of Cardinal Tattoo and are still getting tattooed somewhere else, we probably don’t want your business anyway.
We’re not trying to sound stuck up. We work very hard to be accessible to our customers and keep artists on hand to tackle a variety of styles and proficiency levels. We do everything from small lettering tattoos on wrists and ankles, to photorealistic backpieces and sleeves. We have a $20 minimum for clients who don’t want huge tattoos and only want something small or cute. But we do have standards. Those standards are what guarantee our customers that they will get the best work for the money anywhere. ANYWHERE. ON EARTH. Best bang for your buck on the planet people. That doesn’t mean cheap either.
THIS GUY wants a low price and convenience and the quality of tattoo work isn’t a priority for him. If it was, he’d have come here in the first place. Lazy clients end up with lazy ‘artists’ and we use that term loosely folks!
All jokes aside, our reason for not working with him is his general attitude toward the quality of work he was comfortable with; an apparent entitlement mentality with regard to accessing his artist (if the shop is closed, don’t get mad that it’s closed); and the fact that no matter what we did to his existing tattoo, the finished product wouldn’t be up to our standards. The comedy stems from the fact that this gentlemen decided to cop an attitude when we tried to tell him nicely that we couldn’t help him. We’ve enclosed some photos of the tattoos in question to drive the point home. If anyone reading this thinks they’re good, please don’t ever come into Cardinal Tattoo, we won’t get along.