training day

Today I am training a new receptionist at the Tattoo Shop to work during my weekends. Wish me luck, it’s really hard to impart all my “shop mom” wisdom in one day. From all the years of teaching new counter people, we finally made a “how to sterilize the equipment step-by-step” cheat sheet, but sometimes this job is not as straight forward as “sweep the floor” or “wash the windows” or “make sure you don’t touch this area with anything but gloves”.

For example, if somebody comes into the tattoo shop and they’re very nervous and don’t know exactly what they want, can you help them figure it out without scaring them away or making them feel stupid? It’s not as easy as it sounds.

What about if three drunk American sailors come in and want something right now? Do you know how to deal with that situation? What if an angry mom comes in with her 17 year old and insists you tattoo her even though she’s underage?

What if someone calls to make an appointment with their best friend the tattoo artist, but you have never heard of this person before and they don’t want to leave a deposit, and ask you to book the entire day because their friend would be fine with that? What do you do?

I don’t know, there’s ten thousand different scenarios that come up in my job and it’s all intuition that gets me by when I talk to customers. And then there are the millions of small things that come up in the day that I feel like I can’t possibly remember: where to go if you run out of tracing paper, what everybody takes in their coffee, how long to book for each appointment (and how not to overbook tattoo artists), how to tell what drawings are and are not garbage (lol learned that one the hard way), how much of each supply we should have on hand, when the recycling has to go out…bla bla bla bla bla ugh sometimes I wish I could just work seven days a week and do everything myself.

I feel like the shop is my second home. We have a really good, level-headed crew right now. Everybody gets along famously, and (speaking from past experiences) sometimes a new person can throw everybody for a loop. So here’s hoping today (and the rest of the season with her) goes well!

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