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Redditor Asks Tattoo Artist To Lower Price After She Used Bathroom Seven Times During Their Session

Stevica Mrdja / EyeEm via Getty Images

The receiver of a tattoo is always put in a rather vulnerable position while the art is being added to their skin.

Simply put, they’re laying down defenseless in a big chair and they can’t go anywhere until the thing is finished.

That is, unless they’re willing to walk out and show everyone their new, incomplete tattoo.

One Redditor recently learned just how much she was willing to sit through during a tattoo appointment. They posted about it all on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP), known as throwawaytattooappt, made the issue pretty clear in the post’s title. 

“AITA for asking my tattoo artist to lower my price for my tattoo after she constantly got up to go to the bathroom?”

OP got down to brass tacks right away. 

“My tattoo artist charges $125 an hour, my tattoo was done by the hour and in the end, I was there for a little over 2 hours, so in the end before a tip my tattoo was $270.”

Then they shared an unexpected development. 

“I wouldn’t have had an issue with this, but my tattoo artist had gotten up 7 times to use the bathroom and was gone for at least 5 minutes each time and left her timer going.”

“I asked if there was anyway I could get the time she was in the bathroom taken off and she made a face and then kindly said no. I didn’t argue so I just paid for my tattoo but left a lower tip than usual.”

But that wasn’t the last OP heard about it.

“She emailed me this morning and asked me not to book with her anymore because she said I disrespected her and her work.”

“I’m upset because she does amazing work but I don’t feel that I was wrong. If she had gotten up once or twice I wouldn’t have cared.”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

By far the most common response from Redditors was that OP was not the a**hole at all. 

“I would say NTA. If she is using a timer to get an exact work time she should pause it when she has to go to the bathroom. I get if she was having a bad tummy day or something but it’s a bit unfair to charge you for that.” — mynameisrae

“NTA I get 90 minute specialty massages. If my guy leaves for even 5 minutes he adds 5 min to the end. If you charge by the hour, you better be there the whole hour” — marheena

“NTA If you’re a client she truly valued she would have apologized and at least offered a discount perhaps on your next piece if she couldn’t discount this one. She spent almost 25% of her time away from you and you shouldn’t have been charged.”

“Even if you give her the benefit of the doubt and say she was having digestive issues, that’s her problem, not yours.” — krik2019

“Assuming you were looking at the timer and are not being hyperbolic when you say she was gone for 5 minutes 7 times, that’s over half an hour of time she wasn’t actually working on the tattoo and IMO should not be chargeable.”

“She does charge for part of an hour (125 x 2 is 250 so the extra 20 before tip came from somewhere) rather than an ‘anything over X is 1 hour rate’ attitude, so it is totally reasonable to want to take this 35min off the bill.”

“She should have at a minimum been pausing the timer after the 1st time she went to the bathroom – I feel like one time is probably okay, we’re all human, but more than once in two hours is already a bit ridiculous let alone 7 times.”

“NTA” — bettyblueeyes

Others accused the artist of some deliberate swindling. 

“NTA. Sounds like she knows she was wrong and got caught in the act padding her time. As long as you asked politely you’re all good. Don’t bother going to that studio any more though.” — midg-ee

“NTA, it sounds to me like this person artificially pushed up the time it took to do your tattoo so they can squeeze money out of you. I would be taking your experience, and the email she sent you, and would be writing reviews, warning other people to watch out for that sh**.”

“You paid nearly $80 for her to use the bathroom if my math is right.” — godrestsinreason

Multiple people shared that same advice to take action. 

“NTA. You should reply and provide a review on Yelp and other sites that of your two hours for which you were fully charged, she spend nearly 40 minutes of it in the bathroom on 7 trips and did not stop the clock.”

“That’s a definition of being unprofessional. If she was sick, she should have still discounted 30 minutes to make up for the time.”

“There are many other tattoo artists – I suggest branching out for a new favorite.” — Apprehensive-Rip-529

“NTA you should review her online to make others aware. You shouldn’t have even given a tip.”

“Side question by why would you tip someone who charges 125 an hour anyway? You have paid for their time and talent and they are not a Waiter or waitress on a tipped minimum wage? They get the whole thing as the artist. Would you tip a doctor charging you 125 an hour too? Or a lawyer? Guess it’s very different in the the US compared to U.K. and Europe and how we see things.” — Careless_Mango

“NTA at first I was gonna say YTA but 7 times!? In two hours no less? I would leave a review of the shop saying that. It’s unfortunate she turned you down, but that’s her choice. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t warn other people of her practices.” — _Deletion

And one tattoo artist took some time to provide a detailed analysis of the dynamics at play here. 

“Tattoo Artist here!”

“NAH, you’re N T A for politely asking however if she is as popular and good as you are saying Im not surprised she is turning you down as a future client. I’m sure she has a lot of other people that go in and just pay what she asks because they want her work specifically.”

“The more popular an artist is the more incredibly selective they can be with their clientele. Time to find a new artist and ask them about getting a flat rate price for your tattoos next time so you don’t have to worry about time anymore.”

“Personally I only charge hourly for tattoos that are going to to be more than 3 hours/multiple sessions. Some people have off days, you have 3 other tattoos by her and didn’t seem to have a problem with her before so it seems like maybe an off day.”

“Also it’s very weird people are jumping to conclusions of her doing drugs in the bathroom. She should prob just increase her hourly rate if she really is just trying to nickel and dime people as obviously she has enough clientele to be choosy.”

“Based on the fact that you didn’t say she had this problem before then I doubt it was malicious on her end now.” — Roachcola

So on one hand, OP likely doesn’t have to feel too bad after reading so much supportive feedback.

But on the downside, they also probably need to begin their search for a new tattoo artist.

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.