We went to Feelin' Lucky in Leesburg hoping to get my friend's outer conch pierced by my piercer Robert. Well, long story short, he has been fired. She still wanted it done though, so we traveled to the Feelin' Lucky in Eustis, hoping that the piercer there would be in today.
We got there and filled out the paper work. I saw the owner, her husband (a tattooist) and their other tattoo artist, but not a piercer. They reassured me he was there though. So after some girl came out from getting her belly button pierced it was my friend carrotyopp's turn. He came out, and we had no idea he was the piercer. He only had his eyebrow pierced and stretched lobes, was dressed well... in a shirt I think he might have worn the day before as well, he looked our age (18) and simply didn't carry himself professionally.
He walked behind the counter, tossed an aftercare sheet at my friend and said, "That's the aftercare sheet, read that, and wash it with soap two.. maybe three times a day." Then he paused and thought a moment and said, "Oh yeah... you could do sea salt soaks but since it's your ear I don't think you can... but people find ways." This is when I first became gravely worried. I almost told my friend she should wait and I'd take her to a place in Ocala, but I figured maybe it would be ok and we'd just ride it out. He then coughed, which bothered me, cause if he's sick, I don't want to be near him.
Then after looking at the sheet, from where the owner had put it, and not in front of us, on the other side of the room, he looks back at us and yells. "18 gauge or 16?" This annoyed me more, he was assuming what she wanted instead of plainly asking what gauge she wanted. When she said 14 with a raised eyebrow he gave us a strange look. She looked at me and I mouthed "there's nothing wrong with that" and she asked, "Is there something wrong with that?" And he said, and I quote, "Most people don't get it that big cause it doesn't really fit." At that point I raised a brow as well, I don't know anyone that has less than a 14 gauge outer conch piercing. Helix? Ok, most of those are 18, 16, but guys get outer conchs all the time. I know someone who had his pierced at 2 gauge. So as he told us to wait while he set up, which my other piercer did in front of me, I again contemplated whether or not he knew what he was doing... or even what an outer conch piercing was, considering the only things in his portfolio were belly buttons, tongues, helixes, and some eyebrows.
Back in the room he had everything already laid out on a table and then put on gloves (which at that point surprised me) and opened everything. The ring was too small, and I told my friend that with a motion and when she asked "Isn't that too small?" He looked at her as if she was mad. So I motioned to him and then pointed out where she wanted it and he gave me an odd look and an "Oh" and got a new ring. At this point I moved to my friends right side so I could watch him pierce her. Again, an odd look as if I was intruding in his space, even though I wasn't near enough to her to be in his way.
So, he dabbed iodine on her ear and wiped it off with a wet wipe type thing, not saying anything at all. I wouldn't call what he did cleaning, I clean my floors more thoroughly than he did her ear. Then, he handed her a stick to point out exactly where she wanted the piercing. So he marked it there, on the front only, and made sure she was ok with it. He didn't mark the back, and he didn't check with a flashlight to make sure they weren't going through a blood vessel. Oy. He also was working around her loose hair. Why he didn't get it wet and pin it back I don't know. ALL of my friends who have been pierced have had that done. I felt like telling him that I could do a better job prepping her than he did. Then, without warning he reached for the needle and brings it up to her ear, he didn't say anything to her. Then when he saw the look on her face he said "Ok breath in." And before she had he shoved it through and told her to breath out. Then without saying anything he put the jewelry in. And asked if she felt dizzy. That's the only time he asked.
Then he wiped off all the blood, because he had indeed hit a blood vessel, a rather large one, which bleed for awhile before stopping. And not with a q-tip, oh no, with a huge gauze pad. This made no sense to me. My friend then looked at me (because I guess she didn't think the piercer would talk to her) and asked how much longer it would be. I told her, "Well he has to put the bead in the jewelry and then clean it up, so not too much longer." Then he decided speaking might be a good idea and said, "There's still awhile." Which it might have been if he had cleaned it, but after taking a good 5 minutes to get the ball in the jewelry, which is far too long, he wiped off the rest of the blood and the k-y that was left on her ear. That was it, no cleaning, no scrubbing afterward like Robert did for my piercings. Nope, he just wiped it off. I was upset. Then he said "You're done" and even when she stood up, he didn't ask if she was dizzy. So I did. He also, btw, wore one pair of gloves the entire time. Robert changed his after cleaning and after the piercing before he cleaned the piercing again. Which made him seem a much cleaner piercer. As well as only opening things as he needed them.
Needless to say, my friend thanked him, but he didn't get a tip, because in my eyes he did a terrible job. So in the car I instructed my friend about proper aftercare and offered for her to come over if she needed help cleaning it and to call me if she had questions. The piercer didn't see us out, didn't say goodbye, and didn't even come out of his room. Nor did he take pictures of the process... which since he didn't have that piercing in his portfolio, I was surprised.
I would tell you his name, but he didn't tell it to us. I found out from someone at the mall later that my friend showed her piercing to that his first name is Joey, they didn't know his last name either.
The main reason I was mad though, was that because of what I had told my friend, she expected the same treatment. But she didn't get it, not by far. She was given a bad introduction to the world of bod mod by a cold, one year experienced (which I found out later, hell, I wouldn't let him pierce her with one year experience. I would have done it myself first.), teenage looser, who probably didn't even know the proper names for piercings. At least the piercing is straight, and not too shallow. Technically the hole is in the right place, but experience wise, I'll make sure no one goes there to get piercings from him.