Full Coverage: Links From All Over (March 24, 2009)

[KXII] Let’s file this one under the “There’s Got to be a Better Way” department: A woman in Ardmore, Oklahoma, recently got a tattoo (right) in tribute to her son, Maddox, and, whoops, looks like somebody made a typo! She and her husband are pretty broken up about it.

“It bothers me everyday. I have a couple I should get taken off as well. I’m tired of looking at it like that too,” Mike Burmeister says.


Burmeister says the mistake has been difficult on him and his wife.

“She broke down and cried over the whole thing. I was pretty perturbed. I even shed a tear over the whole thing.”

… sounds rough. Except! The artist who did the tattoo tells a different story!

Robert Ortiz, the owner of Ink Spot Tattoos and the artist who tattooed Burmeister’s wife. Ortiz says he did nothing wrong, and that burmeister’s wife walked out of his shop completely satisfied.

“I asked her, ‘Everything fine? Everything look exactly how you want?’ She says, ‘This is exactly what I want, I’m very happy with it,’” Ortiz says.

“She gave me a tip and left.”

Burmeister and his wife claim they just want the tattoo fixed, which seems like a reasonable request and something that could have been accomplished by, hmm, going back to the tattoo shop? At no point in the article is it mentioned that anyone actually tried to remedy the situation before going to the press about it, which is a curious method of settling such matters. This is because there are no telephones in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and when somebody has a problem, they march up to the local television station with tears in their eyes and a story to tell, the end.

[Connecticut Post] Haha, but lucky for Robert Ortiz, he doesn’t live in war-torn Stratford, Connecticut! In this similar-but-worse story, 18-year-old Noel Gonzalez got the name “Teresa” tattooed on his arm by local artist John Velikonja, but, of course, it was misspelled, because tattoo artists exist only to cause pain and misery to others. Well, our young hero didn’t take kindly to this slight, and responded in the only appropriate manner: by threatening to kill Velikonja. Hooray!

Gonzalez [...] demanded that he fix it.

When Velikonja refused, police said, Gonzalez pulled out a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun, racked it and allegedly told the tattoo artist, “You’re gonna finish my [tattoo] now.”

OK, first of all, why in the holy hell would Velikonja not fix the goddamn tattoo? Who taught this guy customer service? You’re already there—fix the tattoo! If I go to Subway and order a sandwich and the guy accidentally throws some olives on there after I told him not to, he doesn’t tell me to go screw myself—he takes the olives off and probably gives me a free cookie. You hear that, Velikonja? Cookies.

Anyway, Gonzalez is still a nut-case for pulling out a gun, and his next actions probably didn’t do him any favors, either:

Velikonja then allegedly played a phone message for police that Gonzalez left him after the confrontation in which there is the sound of a gun being racked and then laughter.

On the bright side, Gonzalez will have plenty of opportunities to get this tattoo fixed in the future, in prison. Haha, just kidding, he’s out on bail.

18 thoughts on “Full Coverage: Links From All Over (March 24, 2009)

  1. at our shop, we show the customer the drawing on paper to make sure everything’s good and then make the stencil and stuff. i mean, if that’s unconventional correct me, but assuming there was some similar system in play, you’d think they’d have noticed.

    sounds like the dumbasses getting tattooed are at fault to me.

  2. out of curiosity, why was ‘cocked’ replaced with ‘racked’ in the article quotes?

  3. GWBFC: It wasn’t, the original article seems to have been changed since I made this post.

  4. This calls for a quote….
    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
    -Albert Einstein

  5. 1st story:
    WTF is wrong with that shop? they screwed up, so just fix it. it makes them look like scumbags to blame the recipient or play games. of fucking course she was happy when she left. most of the time people are happy to get done and get the hell out of the shop. the endorphins and such clearly have an effect on piercing and tattoo recipients. i see “artists” use this against thier customers all the time and it makes me sick. the whole shop should feel humbled, embarrassed and very sorry.
    a good suggestion for shops is to have the customer write out what they want and then keep it, stapled to their release form. then if its thier fault you have proof. if you dont have proof then shut the fuck up and fix your amature/hack mistake!

    2nd story:
    sounds like places i have worked in the old days.
    the artist asked for trouble by being the tough guy, he should have just fixed his mistake without any BS. and he should have been embarrassed and very apologetic. although breaking out a gun is going way too far. but, i had a big name “artists” fuck me over not too long ago and if i owned a gun i probably would have done the same in the heat of the moment.

    honestly, the more nazis, rockstars, hacks, scratchers and generally unethical/ immoral tattooists, piercers & shops pop up in our industry the more vigilantes and violent reactions will occur.
    and thats a good thing, IMO

  6. This is the number one reason that EVERY artist needs to have a text tattoo spelled out ON THE CONSENT form with a signature from the client verifying the spelling.

  7. If the artist made a mistake, then he or she needs to just own up to it and fix the mistake, least of all to save face.

    However, psychos like the recipient shouldn’t be allowed out and about on bail so easily, either.

  8. Heretic138, I can see the direction of your point but it’s NOT the artists fault that the woman didn’t check her tattoo clearly before having it applied.
    She could have checked it when he (the artist) was making the stencil, when the tattoo was placed on her AND then when she checked it to see how it was placed.

    People need to own up and deal with THEIR own mistakes. It’s not the tattoo artists fault that she was a dumbass she didn’t check that tattoo a dozen times before it was done. Seriously.

    I have a tattoo with a name and date on it, and we triple checked it before we ever put the damn thing on. You get what you pay for.
    And instead of running to the media about it, she should have called to tattoo shop to see what they could do to fix it. Most places fix things for free.


  9. Oh, and P.S., why did I feel the need to comment?
    Because I know someone with two kids and she got the names and birth dates tattooed on her feet. BUT. She wrote down one of the dates wrong.
    Who’s fault is it? Hers The tattoo guy couldn’t have magically known the dates, they “went over the tattoo a dozen times” but in the end, you’re responsible for YOUR body and YOUR tattoos.

  10. The Madox story sounds like the customer’s fault. Whenever I got tattoos done, it was first on paper, then on a stencil, THEN inked. Sounds like there was plenty of opportunities to notice the error. Maybe she was so excited about the tattoo she didn’t even notice. In any event, sounds like her fault. Can’t believe she didn’t bother contacting the tattoo shop first before going to the press. Sounds like she just wanted to complain instead of admitting her own mistake and taking some real steps to fix it.

    The Teresa story also sounds like it’s probably the customer’s fault (due to stenciling & what not). I’m guessing the tattoo artist may have said he couldn’t fix it, depending on how it was misspelled and the placement of the letters. Even if the artist was just a jerk and didn’t want to fix it, pulling a gun on someone isn’t going to make things better.

  11. For they’re own well being, shop should have an area on the release form where the customer is required to print any lettering to be tattooed. After being checked by the artist, the lettering on the release should be initialed by both persons. It won’t totally prevent a mistake, but it’s one more helpful step.

  12. to bad this whole this is wronq assholes, NOEL IS A BOY. hes my brother & the tattoo man didnt spell his girlfriends name wrong. the tattoo faded two days after he got it done.

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