My girlfriend and I went in for a tattoo, and she was sexually harassed for 3 hours by ********************
Myself, my girlfriend, and her two friends decided to impulsively get tattoos, and chose Haven Body Arts in ************, ***** Everything was fine, until the tattoo artist,********, called my girlfriend over to start. He said none of us could sit with her, which is unusual, because we all have tattoos and have never had that happen. The tattoo took 3 hours, something that shouldn't have for such a simple tattoo. We learned why when it ended, and left.
As we walked out, my girlfriend broke down in tears, says ******* was hitting on her the entire time. She then told us how he barely spent time tattooing, and spent most of it talking, changing music, pretending to stab her with the other side of the tattoo gun, and various other inappropriate acts. Here's a list of what happened.
1: He told her he was a DJ, and wanted her to come to the club to see him play, even after she said she wasn't interested.
2: He complained that her boyfriend (Me) would get upset if he heard them laughing together. And other manipulative comments to try to get her to come home with him.
3: Pretended to stab her in other areas of her body, mimicking that he was slipping up and tattooing her arm on accident.
4: Told lude stories of how he dated **** stars.
5: Called her friend a "Witch" when she walked by to see how she was doing, and told her to "Get out of here".
6: Acted unprofessional in every sense of the word, while using his power as a tattoo artist and needle to her back.
Overall, I've never seen my girlfriend so upset. She broke down outside the store after leaving, not sure what to do. She felt intimidated, and frightened that if she didn't laugh at his jokes, go along with his insults about her boyfriend and friends, that he would intentionally mess up her tattoo. He put her in a situation where he had the power to do and say anything he wanted, and she had to go along with it, so he wouldn't mess up her tattoo.
Feeling violated, sexual harassed, and intimated she spent most of the night in tears over the incident. I called the shop to complain, but was told I need to speak with the *******, who is only there on Friday and Saturday. So I have to wait until then to tell this story to ********, *********.
If nothing is done, we will be pressing charges against the establishment. We wanted to follow these steps to get ******* fired, so no other girl has to go through this again.
I want ******* fired, and our money refunded at the very least.
Contact Name and Title: ******** ***********
Contact Phone: XXXXXXXXXX
Contact Email: ****************@gmail.com
i am shocked by this complaint as were both my employees who were there for this tattoo. the client, her boyfriend, & both her friends were laughing & smiling the whole time. i received a call the evening of this tattoo, & was told to expect an email or some communication from the clients boyfriend because he was displeased with his experience at the shop. i have Multiple Sclerosis & am not able to be in the shop as often as i used to be, but am extremely available through the website & answer questions multiple times a day. because i was told that communication was going to be made i checked even more frequently. the first i got to hear any of the alleged sexual harassment accusations was when i received this complaint activity report from the BBB on 9-23-13, 2 days after the tattoo. no effort to contact me or leave contact information was made by the clients boyfriend or the client.
when it was finally brought to my attention, i spoke to both *******, my tattoo artist & ******** who was working the counter that day to see if they could remember anything that might either have been misinterpreted or that would indicate that the client was un happy or in distress. ******** my counter-girl, said quite the opposite, the client & her friends were laughing & having a good time & after chatting the boyfreind went to the counter, paid for her tattoo & even left ******* a $20 tip. I then, confused by the allegations went to the video tapes, as we have 4 cameras filming at all times in the shop. we don't film in the stations as that would be a violation of my clients privacy.
the whole story seemed so contrived and unbelievable for many reasons. first, there are no doors on the tattoo stations, they are completely open, the partial walls don't even go all the way to the ceiling, making it almost impossible to have a conversation that can not be heard out side of the artists station. all that was heard the whole time was laughter. Also alluding that this client was ever trapped & isolated from her friends & boyfriend by *******, our tattoo artist with over 15 years professional experience is preposterous. she could at any point get up or talk to someone she trusted to let them know she was uncomfortable.
. as far as the accusation that ******* said no one could be back with the client. on the video we can see the clients boyfriend sitting, keeping her company, not more then 5 ft. away from where she was located for over 30 minutes. prior to this her friends are seen on the video, going to say hi to her. they could come and go as they pleased, & did. ******* says that no one can be "in" the station, because when the massage table is set up there is not much room in the station. when someone gets a tattoo while using the chair instead, clients can have a friend "in" the station. at one point, after spending 30 min sitting right next to both ******* & the client. the boyfriend went & filled out paperwork because he too wanted to get tattooed by this "intimidating, frightening man who sexually harassed his girlfriend" for 3 hours even though he was present. After the Clients tattoo was finished, you can see her boyfriend going back into ******* station for 2 min. at this point he decided that it was to late for them to also get tattooed even though ******* offered to stay late to make sure they got tattooed if that is what they wanted. the next thing we see before everyone left is the client showing her friends her bandage and smiling & laughing. then her boyfriend paid for the tattoo, tipped *******, and the group left.
the reason this accusation is so upsetting, is that my studio has an amazingly great reputation for being a place of quality, cleanliness, friendly bedside manner, & acceptance of everyone. We have won the Valley Advocates "Best of the Valley" award for the last 3 years. our studio has only been open for 3.5 years. We take making sure our clients have a positive experience very seriously. The tattoo took as long as it did for it to be drawn up, because they were walk-ins & also ******* doesn't rush, to make sure the tattoo is done properly. when you are stuck working on a client for an extended period of time small talk will happen. "unprofessional in every sense of the word while using his power as a tattoo artist and a needle to her back" is a statement & accusation that infuriates me, & has An artist who did nothing but try to make his client relaxed & happy get questioned by his boss & live through the humiliation of being accused of such a reprehensible thing. Before hiring *******, i did a reference check, & spoke with 3 different tattoo employers, & every single one of them had nothing but great things to say about his customer service, his ability, & all when asked said they would hire him again if he ever wanted to go back. I will not be returning the money for this tattoo, & i will NOT be firing one of my best tattoo artists.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I do not accept this response.
First, I will address the issues brought up in the response.
1. We were laughing and smiling, because we had no idea what was actually going on. It wasn't until we left the establishment, that we learned of the sexual harassment. It wasn't until almost 2 hours into the tattoo that I, her boyfriend, went to sit next to them because I wanted to know what was taking so long, as we all did.
2. While it's true there wasn't enough room in the actual "room" for guests, when she was picked to go get her tattoo, I began to follow her to keep her company, but was told I wasn't allowed to go. The tattoo artist forgot to mention that I could sit in that chair near them, and keep her company. Instead, I was flat out denied going with my girlfriend to keep her company. Don't you find that odd? The only reason I finally decided to go against his wishes, is I knew she was uncomfortable being cooped up with a stranger for so long, so I took it upon myself to walk over there and sit with them. If I didn't, I would never have known I even had that option. And for them to say "prior to this her friends are seen on the video, going to say hi to her. they could come and go as they pleased, & did." they forgot to mention that any time someone DID walk by the area, they were shooed away. ******* was heard calling one of our friends a "Witch" and told to get away. While maybe this was a playful attempt from ******* to bond, it was not received as such from any of us, as felt even more isolated from our friend because of it.
3. The reason I didn't contact the business after I made that call the night of the incident, is I wanted to handle this through proper channels first. I was angry and upset at what happened, and knew that if I had called and spoken directly there would have been an incident where anger would have led the conversation. I wanted to approach this, by removing myself from the situation, and let the proper authorities handle it. I wanted to call last week, and talk about this with ********, but I knew emotion would drive it, and I didn't want to get into a "he said" "she said", and instead go through the better business channel.
4. There is no mention in this response about a certified tattoo artist, and trusted employee, who pretended to "accidently" tattoo other parts of my girlfriends body. Using the other side of the tattoo gun, he would pretend to slip up, and tattoo her arm. Now, I don't know how this could be interpreted as making a client feel comfortable having a stranger stick you with a needle, but that is straight up wrong. "Don't laugh too loud, or your boyfriend might come over here" is also not something you say to a client you want to make them feel comfortable. And while the walls don't go all the way to the ceiling, and the room isn't enclosed, it's almost impossible to hear a conversation from the other side of the room in the waiting room.
5. Laughing is no sign that things are going perfectly. While all her friends may have been laughing, they had no idea what was actually going on in the tattoo area. The girl getting the tattoo might have been seen as laughing, but again, as I stated in the previous response, this was nervous laughter. She was uncomfortable from being isolated from her friends and with a stranger, and felt the need to laugh at ******** jokes, so he would focus on the tattoo. If we looked at the tapes recorded, I bet we would see much of the actual tattoo was ******* talking to the client. I would love to see a copy of this tape, or the better business bureau to get a copy and determine for themselves how much of the time was spent tattooing, and how much was spent talking and hitting on her.(Though the actual content may not be heard, if there is no audio).
6. The only reason I still agreed to possibly get my tattoo, is because I had no idea of the incident until we left. When my girlfriend approached me after the tattoo, I told her I was next. She shook her head, and said don't do it, she would explain when we left, as to not cause a scene. It wasn't until we walked out that we learned what happened, and why she didn't want me to get my tattoo from him.
Finally, I understand that the ***** of the establishment has to defend their employees, especially if it is a situation of "He said" "she said". However, everything that I've stated in the report happened, all of it. The sexual harassment by means of hitting on her, insulting her boyfriend when he would walk away (which I don't care about, but made her even more uncomfortable). The pretending to stab her with the wrong side of the needle. Isolating her from her friends, even though 20 feet, and short wall may not seem like isolation, I assure you it is, and a court would see it as such as well. These are all things that sound like nothing on paper, but when put in the situation where a stranger is sticking you with a needle for an extended period of time, and you're alone, it can amount to a terrifying night. This was not only a bad experience, this was one of the worst experiences I've ever witnessed. Never in my life have I seen her upset like this. It haunted her for days after.
I want a refund of my money, and some disciplinary action to be taken against the tattoo artist. That isn't because I want retribution, it's because simply, I don't like the idea that my money went to someone who made my girlfriend cry. It's as simple as that. Something that could have been a simple encounter, turned into a nightmare, and I don't want to have to pay for that. The whole reason this is being reported, is to make sure something like this doesn't happen to another girl, who's shy and afraid to speak up. No one should be made to feel the way ******* made her feel that night.
If you need anymore information about what happened that night, feel free to contact me.
Final Business Response
My attorney and I have reviewed the complaint, his second response and the video tapes and I continue to deny the allegations because they are completely false. However,in an attempt to resolve this matter I will refund his money. I will not discipline someone who did nothing wrong.