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Listen Up Custys: What Not To Do At A Mall Jewelry Store

Arant1

From Harry:

Hi! I just stumbled across your website and  I must say it's amazing. Anyway, I work at a major cheap-shit jewelry store at the mall. Let's call it 'Hair's'.

Now, I have been in the seemingly endless hell pit of the dreaded food service industry; it isn't easy or fun. Retail, or at least in comparison to my previous two Hellish jobs, is easy as walking on cake. The custys still suck, but they are must less rude since I don't have extended contact with them. I say 'hey what's up' and move on. The rudest people I deal with are the ones who want me to punch holes in their, other their hellspawns, heads. Yes, ear piercings. Nobody seems to understand the proper etiquette on how to go about this.

So, I took it upon myself to write a list of what not to do. Read up, custys! 

1. Don't be a cheap asshole.

I am putting a hole in your child's head; don't opt for the cheap shittly-made stainless steel earrings for your mothertrucking 3 month old. When I say that gold is better because there is a lesser chance of an allergic reaction, I am not talking out my ass. I may be trying to upsell but the real reason is because I don't want a damn call in two weeks asking why your child's ear is red and oozing pus. If you can't afford a nice pair of earrings for your child, why are you fucking bothering? It isn't a necessity. 

2. I am not a doctor.

I am not even in college yet! Nobody who works at Hair's is going to have a MD, I promise you! Don't bring in your disgusting embedded ear that smells like rotted goat cheese and ask if I can take it out. Oh yeah, hold on let me go grab the rusted box cutter from the back. Don't call me and tell me you/your child's ear is red, bleeding, embedded, or has fallen off. I don't fucking know what to do nor do I give a damn. What possesses people to call me first anyway? That's like if a child is choking on a burger and their mom calls up the burger joint and asks if that is normal.

3. FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY AND GOOD, FUCKING LISTEN TO ME!

This is my biggest pet peeve. Put down the cellphone, stop yabbering on to your friend who you brought for 'moral support' and listen to me. I am not chattering away about the proper care of ear piercings because I just love listening to myself talk. Don't give me a blank drooly stare like I spoke gibberish because your mind is off thinking about a sale at the store down the way. I am talking to you for a goddamn reason and one thing I hate is repeating myself.  If I left it up to you to read the aftercare information, you/your child's ear would have fucking gangrene. Contrary to belief, I am not trying to save mine or the Corporate's ass by telling you these things, I do actually care about the well-being of your piercings. Surprising, I know. Also, when I say initial the little lines don't say 'ok' and put a fucking check on them, god dammit.


Arant2 4. Stop piercing your infants!

Okay, this may spark up some controversy but I don't give a damn. I am so sick of piercing babies. It's, in my opinion, wrong on so many levels. The main reason I get for parents piercings their precious little angels is because people keep mistaking them for a boy. So, you're going to inflict unnecessary pain on your infant because someone told you your son is cute? Get over it! And don't tell me to make sure they're super duper even because, in case you are unaware, ears GROW. Your entire life. So, when your little angel turns into a stuck-up bitchy teenager, the holes are going to be fucked up, unless they are a very few lucky ones who happen to have symmetrical ears. I don't want to sit there for twenty minutes dotting your crying baby because the holes need to be lined up just right.  Oh and the best part is when parents don't hold their babies right. I can't, and won't, pierce a fidgeting baby because the earring might go in wrong or I will miss the dot completely. When I say hold them down, I mean HOLD THEM DOWN.  I can't tell you how many times I've fucked up because the parents let go at the last second and the baby jerks. Oh and stop with the fucking stink eye! Even when I do the piercing right, I get such an evil eye from parents because I made their 'baby-wabbies' cry. Of course their going to cry, I just rammed a sharp-ass earring into their lobe. It ain't gonna tickle!

Ahh, I feel better. That's my rant. Thanks for reading!

--Harry

 

 

Comments

Care Plan Pimp

I feel so sorry for you and totally agree with the piercing babies thing. I work in the jewelry department of a Sears, and once some customers actually asked if we pierced ears, it was all I could do to resist laughing in their faces.

snuzzle

I agree 100% about not piercing an infant's ear. I won't go into the myriad of reasons here, but suffice to say the biggest is that piercing guns suck. They're impossible to sanitize as well as a needle; they're more likely to get infected or tissue trauma (needles are a lot sharper, and hollow); they're more painful due to the bluntness and the force; and they're often (though not always) wielded by those with little training on proper piercing.

Nothing against you personally, but I don't shop anywhere that pierces with a gun. And I've yet to see anyone pierce their baby's ears with a proper needle.

Rodeo Ho

How about those parents who get their 4 year-olds pierced even when the kids are screaming and crying and begging to not get their ears pierced?

Last time I was at a mall, this very young mother (maybe 21 or 22) had her 4 or 5 year-old at Claire's and this kid was screaming, kicking her feet, and holding on to the legs of the piercing chair for dear life. You could hear the screaming from outside the Hot Topic.

I was at the mall for over an hour when I walked past Claire's again, and the kid was still in there screaming. They'd only managed one ear. The associates there looked like they'd had the most hellish day ever and the mom was yelling at the kid that she was "done with the fucking temper tantrum. We are NOT leaving until we finish your other ear."

I'm standing there thinking, "Really, Lady? Are you fucking serious? How is there not a exam to pass in order to get a license to breed?"

Callista

A pediatrician can pierce a kid's ear way more safely.

Ideally, though, why don't these parents wait until the kid is old enough to decide for themselves whether they want pierced ears? I know it's traditional in many places to pierce girls' ears when they're infants, but it's purely cosmetic, and who cares if somebody thinks it's a little boy? It's not gonna scar her for life or anything (but botched piercings very well might).

Wolfycat

There's this jewelry store that I frequent and they have cuuuuuute clip-on earrings! I kinda wish I didn't have my ears pierced :-P

As for piercing infants, I had it done when I was a baby and don't even remember it. But my mom had me in little dresses and hairbows, and people still thought I was a boy. Oy.

fgjkf

i think it's shitty to get a baby's ears pierced too. in my opinion i think the minimum age should be 10 years old.

Kat

I think I know the store you work at, I like shopping there, cheap jewelry but it's still very niiice looking. I check in every once in a while to see if they have new crosses (not religious at all, but the prettiest necklaces I own are crosses... go figure).

@Rodeo Ho: WTF o__O

Green Grin

My poor cousin was mostly bald until she was 4 with a unisex name. She was called a boy while wearing pink dresses. Maybe people just though we didn't believe in gender stereotypes or something.

The problem with getting little kids' ears pierced is they suck at taking care of piercings. I know a 4 year old girl with pierced ears. It was only done a few months ago and she asked for pierced ears. She loves her earrings but she won't stop touching them. She keeps accidentally pulling them out and losing earring backs. One earring got partially embedded in her ear and had to be dug out. Ick. Replacing her studs with hoops seems to have helped. If she manages to muck her ears up with hoops the next step will be CBRs.

Gold posts are awesome! I figured out recently that I'm allergic to some metals. This means I can finally repierce my ears! I gave up after the 3rd try as a young teen. Now I know my constant infections were actually allergic reactions. As soon as I have enough spare cash (possibly never) I'm getting holes in my head.

Twitchy

I agree with have an age set when the child can logically make an informed decision about piercing their ears.

My mother waited until I turned 11, sat me down and asked me, explained that I would need to clean and care for them (so on and so forth) and once I thought it over, it was a birthday present.

When I have childern that is what I am going to do.

Also I agree with Snuzzle and the use of guns vs needles. I have 3 in each ear now and used to have a nose ring, my first set was a gun, all my others have been needles and I remember how much my ears hurt for days afterwards.. needle its done hurting in like 3 minutes.

pja

I used to work in a mall a few stores down from a "Hairs" and every time we'd hear a baby or child scream, my boss would yell out "someone must be getting their ears pierced". It was awful and I wonder what would possess a parent to put their baby/young child through that. I agree about waiting until the child is old enough to take care of their piercings themselves, not to mention that touching and caring for someone elses ears makes me squeamish.

Perky

My daughter told me when she was five she wanted her ears pierced. I explained the process, said it would hurt, and that there was a lot of aftercare with it--keeping it clean etc...she still wanted it done. We went down to the jewelry store, they were getting ready to do another girl. She watched them do it, watched the other girl break down into tears, but still want to go through with it.

She picked out the ear rings she wanted, pearls with a gold post, hopped up in the chair. They did one ear, she didn't flinch, they did the other ear and she was done. No tears or anything. Never had a problem with infection. I don't no, maybe we were just lucky.

Djinn

I always feel a bit annoyed when I see a little child with pierced ears; I sort of feel like it makes the child an accessory rather than a person. Even if the kid did want it him/herself (it's not rare to see single earlobe piercings on little boys in some sectors of society around here), I can't really believe that the little one truly understands that all bodymod is permanent and not entirely risk-free, even something so common and apparently harmless as an earlobe piercing. Some kids - like yours, Perky! - are in a category of "bright, sensible kid" all of their own, but sadly they're the exception not the rule.

I have seven ear piercings - three in each lobe and one upper cartilage - and a few miscellaneous body piercings elsewhere, and didn't even start on those until I was sixteen (that's seven years ago). Sadly, my darling mother called me "cheap and common" when I got more than one set in my ears, although she's lightened up since. I totally agree on needles vs. guns, too.

Even though I'm scared, to the point of sometimes fainting, of needles.

I am kind of strange about some things, I guess...

Random

Not to mention piercing guns can stick O_o. My mother was getting her ears pierced and the gun got stuck on the first hole for a good 30 mins. Imagine if that was a little kid! The lady that did the piercings refused to do it on kids after that. :P

Allie

It absolutely disgusts me to see infants/babies with pierced ears. Children are not for you to accessorize.

Callista

Well, pierced ears aren't that permanent--sure, if you have them for a few years the holes will always be there, but they're not noticeable if you don't want to wear earrings. I don't consider that part of it to be a problem, really.

asdf

My mother wouldn't let me get my ears pierced until I was 13, I think. Don't really know why I wanted them. I wore earring for a few years, but was lazy with them. I haven't worn earrings in a couple of years and my holes are completely closed up. I don't think they're that permanent.

But I totally agree on the piercing infants. And no matter what you do, parents will always give you the death glare. You could be shitting rainbows and puppies, but if you think of politely asking their precious to stop playing with something dangerous, they'll fucking chop your face off.

Jollycamper

I had my first set of earlobe piercings at Claire's, with a gun. Even at fourteen, able to make my own decision, I didn't know what I was getting into. There were lots of problems afterwards (the actual piercing was a piece of cake) with infection. I had to let them close and then re-pierce them myself a couple years later with actual needles. I've had my tongue, belly button, labret, and nostril done, all taken out (they weren't aesthetically pleasing) and a couple of ear piercings including stretching. All of these were done at a piercing/tattoo parlour, or at home, with no problems. Needles make all the difference.

Cujo, the uses-a-blade-but-never-a-gun puppy pimp

When I was a teenager I worked at Haire's too and I never did the ear-piercings. The girls I worked with were so great with the kids and did such a good job keeping them calm, but I just wouldn't do it myself.

I also used to work as a hairdresser and similar issues came up with the rights of the children. I'm really good with the kids and will take the thirty minutes to kind of dance around their head and just trim while they're sitting still. I also don't use the word "cut" (scary, right? To a two year old - I''m gonna CUT you now!!) and I always show the kids the tools that will be used, and how they work, letting them touch the handle of the clippers (see, it tickles!) or playing with the clips or whatever.

But some PARENTS, my gosh! They would turn it into such a fucking traumatizing experience! I would do the most important parts of the cut first in case the child just had enough and refused to let me do anymore (not the best haircut, but hey, it's presentable. Maybe next time they'll be better) which really young kids are notorious for. But then the PARENTS would be like "well how about if I hold her head? Can you layer the back if I hold her head?!" and the entire time they'd be agitating them and the kids would be SCREAMING. Personally, I consider it a bit of a violation so if the parent couldn't calm the kid I wouldn't force an entire haircut on them.
Kids tend to get better as they get older but it's harder when they learn that going to the hairdresser means being held down even though they're crying.

Also, if someone mistakes your daughter for a boy even though she's wearing all pink, that is because of ME! In my family we all wanted a little girl more than anything (my mom has four boys) so when my youngest brother was born we dressed him up like a girl some times for fun (when he was still an infant).
I know, it sounds bad, but I don't feel it's as bad as piercing an infants ears.

CSI

One of my family members had her ears pierced at a very young age. She doesn't remember it at all, therefore it was not traumatizing. She loves her earrings and says shes glad its done and over with and didn't have to go through it at an older age. Nothing ever went wrong with them and they never got infected. Shes now 24.

Getting it done young doesn't always turn out bad.

Fein

I had my ears pierced as a baby. I'm glad it was done then; I don't remember a thing, and I never had to deal with the care of them. My mom is one of those insanely OCD parents who had a wetwipe in her hand every second of the day when we were babies, so she was much more capable than I'm sure I could've ever been as a child at keeping up with their care. And, if I really hated them, I could take the earrings out now and let them close up. Whatevs!

CookieRose

I had my first piercing done when i was 6 months old, but im surprised people would go to you for that, especially if they know you use a gun! Mine were done by the pediatrician with a needle, and after 16 years the holes are still even. According to my mom, I didn't even cry. A problem with infants and young children though is that they constantly play with the earrings, so if you dont find something that works to distract them infections can happen very easily.
That being said, when I worked at a certain Pagoda I absolutely refused to give infants piercings, because we used a gun. Most parents dont know about the needle option at all and were shocked to find out that its less painful and safer. It was weird because I was expecting to lose sales because of that, but a lot of the parents would just buy the starter earrings from me.

NC Tony

I got my first one when I was fifteen, and only if I got good grades on my report card. My dad actually did the first one. The other three (three in the left ear, one in the right) were done professionally. Never had any problems with any of them. I've never understood piercing baby's ears either. Yeah, it may make her look cute, yeah, it may keep people from calling her a boy (how much of a problem is it to say "Actually it's she"?), but as a parent, that's one more thing you need to remember to take care of on top of everything else you need to do. Changing diapers, feeding, bathing, making sure the kid doesn't put everything they find into their mouths and now taking care of piercings so their ears don't get infected. Is it really THAT important to get their ears pierced? Let the kids make that decision for themselves when they get older. The world will not end if your daughter spends the first few years of her life without earrings.

grey

Dude, I have nothing against piercing your child, but go to a damn doctor. Lots of pediatricians will do it and it is WAY safer than letting someone from Hair's at your kid with a needle. I got my piercings done at Hairs, but I also didn't expect them to have studied for years about the human body and the way it reacts to injuries...

Hailfall

lol it's not safer to do it at a doctors.. better go to a piercer and then get your kids ears pierced when they are old enough to acknowledge that they can care about their piercings.

Token Female

My mom got my ears pierced when I was a baby at my pediatrician's office. I've had a few minor infections due to improper care of the holes, but that was when I got older (and could actually run away from my mother if I wanted to). I'm actually kind of glad that I got this done when I was a baby because now that I'm older, I have a fear of needles, and probably wouldn't do too well. I actually like mine, too.

The thing with piercings is that if you decide you don't like them later in life, you can take the jewelry out and let them close up. Sure, it takes longer when you're older, but you do still have that choice.

Cherry IScream

For various reasons (the main one being I kept pussying out) I didn't get my ears pierced until I was 18, and even then I was pretty nervous when I went to get them done.

I've always had very small earlobes, and the woman piercing my ears insisted on continuously commenting on just how tiny they were as she got everything ready. She even said "I've pierced baby's ears that were bigger than this!"

REALLY LADY? I'm clearly not exactly relaxed right now and you think I want to hear that?!

Laughing Barista

"FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY AND GOOD, FUCKING LISTEN TO ME!"

Preach! I am so sick of custies ignoring me because they're busy yapping on their cell phones or talking to their friends. Like you said, I'm not talking to hear myself talk. I'm talking to you because you came here and it's my fucking job. Stop being so rude!

Kailen

My aunt dragged me to get my ears pierced when I was young, I recall that I cried and hid under a table and that I didn't want them done. She made me get them done anyway.

It might be why I hate her.

And I never wear earrings now, the holes are closed up. Theyre just not something I care about.

Aggie

On the topic of piercings, anyone ever seen a pet with pierced ears?

Maybe I'm being a hypocrite, when you have bulls that get rings and birds that get tags. But a teacup chihuahua with two hoops in each ear. *shakes head*

The creepiest thing was, the poor thing ACTED like an accessory. It wasn't looking around, sniffing, listening to anything. Just sitting in its owner's arm, like it was lifeless... creepy...

Humor_Me

I remember when I was young I wanted to get my ears pierced. My mom told me I had to be 10 years old before I could get them done. Sure enough, I was still begging for them when I turned 10, so we had them done at the dr's office. I had heard that if I held my breath it would hurt less, so every time the dr would bring the gun to my ear, I would take a deep breath and hold it. Finally the dr asked me what I was doing, so I told him. He said "Don't do that little girl. Every time you do that, your ear lobes swell up!" We all ended up laughing, and it ended up not hurting when I got my ears pierced. Back THEN though, the gun was a LOT bigger and was made out of stainless steel.

I have 2 sets of holes (got another set 20 years later), but after having so many operations on my knee and having to remove the tiny hoops from the one set of holes, I never got them back in and then lost them. I just never got around to replacing them and don't have the funds to anymore.

When my girls asked for earrings, I told them they had to be 10 years old too. I ended up taking them to Haire's and made sure that they kept up with the hygiene to keep the holes healthy. My oldest daughter still wears earrings, but my younger daughter rarely does if at all. My younger daughter also had a nose piercing, but she doesn't have jewelry in it anymore either. I know my older daughter talked about a nose piercing, but because she was working as a nanny with an affluent family that preferred she didn't, she never got it done. Now that she's going to be working for herself, she may decide to have it done. It would look really good on her!

She did NOT get my granddaughter pierced. I think it should be the child's choice and it should be when the child is old enough to take care of their ears themselves. Clip-on earrings can be just as beautiful. My grandmother used to have some totally awesome ones.

Humor_Me

@Aggie: THAT to me is animal cruelty! There was a guy who had posted kittens on something like craigslist and was trying to sell the kittens that had the earrings as art. He was charged with animal cruelty.

I HAVE seen pitbulls with tribal tattoos and NOSE RINGS!!! on the internet and wondered how these idiots were not cited for animal cruelty. I am all for tattooing your dog or cat for identification purposes and I am a lifetime member of a service that does this. I just need someone willing to tattoo my animals. They will register my animals for free.

Birds are regularly banded around their leg/s for ID when they are born, but I'm not sure about the tags you are referring to. Can you post a link? I have a friend who raises owls, but is in contact with other people who raise other birds of prey. Maybe she can shed more light.

Kisa

My youngest wanted to get them done, and she did so, 2 months before she turned 5. She wasn't screaming her head off, and actually asked to do it. She did tear up a little bit after they did them, but that was it. No screaming, no massive fit, anything like that. My oldest (10 1/2) was more scared, and panicked a little but did eventually do it. My 7 1/2 year old decided at the last minute to to them too, she sat there, made a face when it happened and that was the end of it. All in all not at all horrific. I would not do it before they could actually ask though, and my youngest does take pretty good care of them (with my help of course).

I couldn't imagine doing it as an infant to any of them though.

FriendlyNotFlirty

@Harry: Welcome to RHU :) sorry about the moronic customers you've had.

I got my earlobes pierced by my doc when i was 13. That didn't get infected. My cartilage, belly button, and monroe all did. >:( crabbiness abounds.

Autumn

I wasn't allowed to get my years done till I was 11. Between 11 and 13 I had them done twice but they always got infected despite taking good care of them. It wasn't till try #3 at 16 did I figure out that I was allergic to gold. I got stainless steel studs and didn't have a problem. I think there should be a minimum age requirement for getting a kid's ears pierced. When they are old enough to ask for them and can understand the process and aftercare. Piercing babies is just cruel. Poke yourself full of holes, leave your kids alone.

hellraiser

I got my first set of piercings at Wal-Mart when I was six-ish. I don't really remember it, but my Mom says I came home from school and told her I wanted my ears pierced, so we went and got them done. A few years later a dangly earring in my right ear got caught in my hair and ripped it. So now one of my piercings is right on the edge of my earlobe. One of these days I'm going to get it fixed, but I've never really regretted it, it's no big deal.
I know there are a lot of cons to getting your ears pierced by guns, but I got all three sets of my piercings at Wal-Mart (ages 6-ish, 16, and 18) and I never had any problems. I'm pretty tough; I've never been prone to infections and such, and none of them really hurt. I guess each person needs to decide if they think they, or their children, can handle it. I don't think infants should ever be pierced, period.

Persephone

I had my ears pierced when I was eight. My earlobes are different shapes, and the woman that did it missed and went too low on one ear, not because I was squirming, and my one hole is almost at the very edge of my ear. I asked to have mine done, and my mom made sure I took care of it by telling me in graphic detail what would happen if I didn't.

That being said, I cringe when I see babies with pierced ears. And I praise the retail slave that can put up with the nutballs that come into Haire's for a piercing.

Perky

It never occurred to me to ask her pediatrician to pierce her ears.

As for her being mature and sensible, HAhaHA. It was nothing to do with sense. She is just fearless.

Aunty

I'm allergic to silver, so when I got my ears pierced I had a lovely reaction involving pus and vomiting once I realized what it was. I was in elementary school. I stopped wearing earrings and nowadays the holes are completely closed.

DarkPhoenix

I got my ears pierced for the first time when I was 13. I had wanted them before hand, but I'm terrified of needles, and the gun freaked me out too. But after watching my Mom get her cartilage done, I decided maybe it wasn't so bad.

My first set was done at Hairs, and while they haven't gotten infected, I have to always keep an earing in them. I've had to re-pierce them a few times myself (fun!).

My second and third sets in my lobe were done at Walmart, as were the two in each of my cartilage, and I've never had a problem with them. I always used the stainless steel, because I hate gold.

Seeing babies (or pets!) with their ears pierced makes me cringe as well. They have no say, and while a baby might grow up to love them, who's to say they won't regret them later on in life? My fiance and I have decided that our kids will wait til they're between 10 and 13 to get theirs done.

The Kid

I don't think people should do anything permenant to their babies body's like piercing. Earrings aren't so bad because they usually close in, but I've actually seen a 1 year old with a nose piercing because "it's cute!" Disgusting.
As people above me have said, babies are not accessories. Pierce your own body.

Chicajojobe

I got my ears pierced at Hair's when I was about 12.
I always hated that my mom wouldn't let me get my ears pierced earlier because my friends had them, but now I agree...it's ridiculous to pierce a baby's ears.

I agree about the metals for first time earrings. I'm quite sensitive to metals. I apparently have acid sweat too, because I'll eat right through even gold filled and then react to the alloy underneath.
It isn't something you want to be cheap about because they need at least one pair to wear everyday to keep the holes open.

Chicajojobe

Sorry for the second comment, but I have a question.
I've heard the needle argument from countless friends, but I'm going to just ask the frank question...how do you trust the cleanliness of a needle?
Okay, if it's done a doctor's sure, but what if it isn't a child you're having done?
With the gun, I could see that the earrings were in the a sealed case before hand.
Yes, I'm mildly hypochondriac, but still blood borne disease are no joke.

Meggors

I totally agree with not piercing infants. It's straight up child abuse. I was with a friend and her 2 month old niece today and I couldn't stop staring at the new earings in the baby's ears. Two months old!

I got my first set when I was three because I cut all my hair off and everyone thought I was a boy. Didn't get the next ones until I was about 16. Most were done with a gun. If I got more now I would definitely go to a professional with a needle. Much safer and much less painful.

Chicajojobe: At a professional place they'll either use a disposable needle fresh out of a sterile package or a reusable that they've autoclaved. They should be wearing sterile gloves too.

Queenofcrows

Chicajojobe:

At a professional piercer's shop (think of those tattoo/piercing studios), all the needles and jewelry are sterilized in an autoclave which essentially "cooks" the items to a temperature far higher than if you just boiled them. An autoclave is the same kind of gizmo used to sterilize operating instruments in hospitals. Sterilized needles etc are kept in vacuum-sealed packages until use, at which point the washed/sterilized/gloved piercer picks the needle and jewelry up off their work table (like the sterile tea-tray-thing used to hold sterile instruments beside an operating table) and opens the package immediately before piercing you.

Any reputable piercer should be open to you asking questions about the steps they take to reduce the risk of contamination and keep the procedure safe and clean. Cross-contamination and bloodborne pathogens, as you noted, are no joke.

The earrings at Hair's and other such places should only be considered sterilized if they are vacuum-sealed (not those little plastic boxes with lots of air in them) and have been autoclaved. They're probably clean of dirt etc, but I really wouldn't call them sterile.

The piercing guns used by such places are most definitely not sterile -- each time they're used, they get hit with a microscopic mist of blood, plasma, and whatever else is in/on the person's ear. A wipedown with rubbing alcohol will get rid of the flu virus, but does little to combat the big two meanies: HIV and hepatitis. The plastic and cheap metal of those guns would definitely not withstand being put through an autoclave for proper sterilization....Even if the gun itself doesn't touch your ear, what is the piercer touching? The gun. And then what are they touching? Your ear.

My heart goes out to those who work at Hair's (I've always thought that would be the *worst* place to do an annual inventory count!) and have to withstand parents pushing their crying babies and children to get pierced ears -- and I'm curious to know if any employees there are aware of any specific training on blood-born pathogens or cross-contamination that you have to take before piercing customers.

Autumn

@Chicajojobe

If you go to a reputable tattoo/piercing parlor, they will either have an autoclave that sterilizes all of the equipment, or have one use needles in sealed packages that are then thrown into a sharps bucket. I wouldn't call you a hypochondriac. I'd call you sensible. If I am mistaken on any of that, someone please correct me.

Gem

I asked to get my ears pierced when I was 11. My mom made me listen to all the work involved, then told me I had to wait a year. If I still wanted them a year later, then we would get it done. ow I have two holes in each earlobe. Both with guns. The ones I had done when I was 12 healed fine, except for a small keloid that swells up every so often - like maybe once or twice a year. The one when I was 18, my friend did while working at a jewelry store. They said trained piercer on duty, but I ended up having to help her do it. That was when I was 18 - and they never healed right.

When my oldest son was born, his dad wanted to get his ears pierced. I threw a fit for multiple reasons, not the least of which was the enforcing of HIS fashionable ideas on soemone not old enough to make his own choices yet. Said kiddo is now 13 and has thanked me repeatedly because he's not at all interested in having a piercing or tattoo or body mod of any kind. He doesn't even want to color his hair, even temporarily.

It's one thing to enforce rules/will on kids for things that really are for their own good - like teaching them proper nutrition and such, but some things really are better hold off till later.

bizhub bitch

I agree that the whole infant ear piercing thing is cruel and inhumane. You'd think mothers would remember how much it hurt when they got theirs done and not act all shocked and shaken when the little tyke freaks out and screams and cries. DUH! Fucktards....

TinNixon

I don't remember when I got mine pierced first but I got a second pair of holes at sixteen. I went with my friends to the mall and got stabbed, it didn't hurt much as I recall, but the awesome thing was the small high that I got from the endorphins afterwards. The only thing I regret is that I didn't ask for the holes to be further apart since some of the earrings I wear are rather large.

Fyrestorm

Way back in the day, before science gave us the understanding of germs that we have today, illnesses were believed to be caused by demons or bad spirits. Accordingly, if someone got sick, they had a hole drilled in their forehead to let the bad spirits out. Now, if I were to drill a hole in a child's forehead to "cure" their fever/colic/etc., I would be prosecuted for child abuse (and rightly so). So if it's illegal to drill a hole in a kid's head to let the fever out, why is it socially ENCOURAGED to stab holes in their ears?? I would think a hole is a hole, no matter where it is......

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