Angriest Fucking Woman

I am the fucking angriest woman in the fucking United States of America. Possibly in the entire mother fucking world.

Part One.

by

Cheri Lovedog

 

My anger is righteous. Justified. Specific to person, place, and event. And I swear to Christ, if I could find the seven ancient daggers of Megiddo, I would bring them to Santa Cruz and follow protocol. Not once. Not twice. But three times. Of course, that’s not going to happen, so I am stuck with more secular choices. For example, a well deserved, give it everything you got, bitch slap would be a good start with regard to Woody and Jesse. These two boys worked for me for years, conspired to steal the lease for my business of 20 years out from under me, and succeeded.

How? Well, I rented the business at 1115 Soquel Ave. in Santa Cruz in 1997 from the property owner Helen, an amazing, sweet woman in her early 70’s at the time who looked me dead in the eye and told me she believed in the power and honor of a handshake to seal a deal. We shook hands, and for 18 years I ran my business, Lovedog Tattoo Studio, out of her building. We moved thru the years without drama and without incident.

When times were rough for me around 2005, she was patient and trusted me to catch up, and I did. Equally, when the building needed some plumbing work done, I took care of it. I had the outside repainted twice in the time I was there, and I regularly updated and replaced fixtures. That is what you do when someone does right by you. You do right by them.

Over the years of chit-chatting when I would drop the rent off each month, I learned her story and she learned mine. When I had to have surgery on my spine she sent me a card and said she was having them pray for me at her church. When a family member of hers was injured and the family was going thru a rough time, she asked me to pray for them, and I did.

She would go for walks daily, and sometimes come by the shop and drop off cookies and biscotti she had made from scratch. She broke her hip when she was in her early 80’s, and my heart sank, as that is usually the beginning of the end of an older person. Not Helen. She got better, slowly. Then got herself a little white Chihuahua rescue dog named Toby and walked him everyday. At 4:30. You could set your watch by it.

When I had my stroke a few years ago, she was a constant source of inspiration with her kind words and encouragement throughout my recovery. She is a lovely woman whom I care about deeply. I believe she turns 93 this year.

In fact, it was while I was recovering from the stroke my business partner of 8 years, Brian, (who’s dramatic weight loss was accompanied by months and months and months of growing paranoia and irrational behavior) basically up and disappeared without a word to me. Not. One. Word.

Woody and Jesse told me he simply “gave” them his half of the business before he walked out. Of course he did. Apparently, he wrote it on a little piece of paper that Jesse lost. Seriously, you cannot make this shit up. So now they think they own half my shop. I explain to them that he cannot “give” them the business, that as per the terms and conditions of my contract with Brian, abandonment is forfeiture, and his half defaults to me. I provide them a copy of the contract.

I do offer them the opportunity to “purchase” the business. After all, I apprenticed Woody almost 20 years ago. He left for a while to do construction, and when he got over that and asked for his job back, I gave it to him. He left again and worked at another shop for a while, and when asked for his job back, I gave it to him again.

As for Jesse, I apprenticed him about 8 years ago. He left to go travel all over Europe and the states, and when he was done and came home, I gave him his job back. When he got so strung out he was a complete mess, replete with smoking heroin in the bathroom, I told him I had to let him go, but that if he ever got clean again, I would give him his job back. His mom appreciated the tough love, and told me as much. He eventually cleaned up and came back to work.

They agreed to a purchase, but wanted a six month window to walk away with no repercussions should they decide it was more than they could handle. I told them I would give them that window with one caveat: If at the end of six months they did not honor all the terms and conditions of our contract it would be considered null and void, and everything would revert back to me. We all agreed and signed the Six Month Good Faith Agreement.

I took them to meet with Helen and let her know they were buying into the business and would be taking responsibility for the rent and all other matters with regard to the property as part of the purchase agreement, and to make sure she was comfortable with it. She knew they had been with me for a long time, so she was just fine with it.

Basically, they would be required to assume certain financial responsibilities, continue to meet all county and state regulations and health code standards required for a tattoo studio, as well as maintain the property, keep the shop clean, bills current, keep all logs current (sterile room logs, autoclave spore tests, etc.) You know, the ABC’s of business.

Long story short: Epic fail. Power got shut off a few times. Phone was shut off a couple of times. They were at war with our neighbors, despite the fact that written in our Good Faith Agreement was having to come to a mutually agreeable arrangement with regard to a smoking area. There was a rapid decline in the cleanliness of the shop, as in: I don’t think either of them cleaned anything. Ever. For months. The shop did not pass the County of Santa Cruz Environmental Health Department inspection, nor did they keep up to date records for the sterile room, or up to date Blood Born Pathogen Training Certificates. None of which ever happened on my watch.

Much to no one’s complete surprise, I took the shop back.

I notified Woody that his dog absolutely could not be in the tattooing area anymore. Duh. Health code violation. I told him he could bring her to work, but she had to hang out on the back patio or in a secure area away from the tattoo stations. He got pissed and told me he was going to get her certified as an emotional support dog, in which case the health department would be forced to let her remain in his tattoo station. I told him to let me know when that happened.

I notified Jesse that he needed to clean up, literally and figuratively. I mean, good Lord, he was looking and smelling like a person who lived on the streets. Of course, he said he would. And of course, he didn’t.

With the above notifications duly noted, we moved forward and I put together a different offer, in which they could each purchase 25% of the business. This way they were liable for only their part, so if it didn’t work out with one, it would not affect the other. And, most importantly, I maintained controlling interest of the business. Hell, I even applied the money they had put out in the initial agreement to the new offer. Why? Because I really believed that with some guidance and experience they might learn and understand what it takes to be a business owner, and appreciate the opportunity. We set a meeting up for a few weeks down the road. They asked for more time, and I gave it to them.

When the meeting time arrived, Thursday, January 14, 2016, neither of them even had their papers with them. What in the actual fuck is that about?!? Well, their feelings about the business is that it should just be theirs. Again, I cannot make this shit up. That between “Brian’s half” and the fact that I “wasn’t there that much for a while anyway,” (see also: recovering from a stroke) and that they had been paying the rent and bills for the last many months, (see also: part of the purchase agreement that was applied to the purchase price), and – news to me – the landlord felt that I owed her lots of money. Wait. What?

Naturally, I immediately call Helen. Woody walks inside the shop. Jesse sits out front with me and I put her on speaker. I let her know there is some confusion or misunderstanding with regard to our state of affairs, my standing as a tenant, and my owing her money. She confirms what I already know is true, that everything between her and I is just fine. That they are just “stirring the pot,” and that I should “ignore it.” I get off the phone with her and look at Jesse. “What the fuck, dude?”

He stammers and trips over his words, informing me that it may not have actually been Helen who told them those things. Damn straight it wasn’t Helen.

Woody comes back out, joins us, and hands me the phone. Immediately some woman starts yelling at me that I must leave the property immediately or she will have Woody call the police to have me arrested for trespassing. That she was going to call her lawyers and have a restraining order put out on me. That I was never allowed on the property again. I am speechless. I have no idea who this woman is, let alone why she is talking to me with so much anger and disrespect.

She goes on to inform me, via screaming, that Woody and Jesse just signed a lease with her for the property, followed by a repeat of the lawyers/cops/restraining order threat.

I informed her that I had leased the building 18 years ago from the owner, Helen. That I had just spoken with her in fact, and everything was fine.

She screamed even louder, which I seriously didn’t think was even possible, that I had been taking advantage of Helen for years because she was elderly. That I had been stealing money from Helen each month ever since I changed the rent due date from the first to the fifteenth of the month.

I explained to her that date change happened about 12 years ago. That I paid half a months rent on the 1st of the month the new due date was to take effect, and then the full months rent on the 15th of that same month, thus making the financial transition seamless.

She said I was a liar, and that since then (12 years ago?!?!) I have always behind on the rent, and that it was an accruing amount each month. I know, it makes no mathematical or logical sense, but it is what she said. And she wasn’t done. She told me to never call or contact her mother again. Wait. What?

Turns out it was Helen’s daughter Toni I was speaking to on the phone. Not the daughter I actually knew and had hundreds of pleasant conversations with over the years at Helen’s house, or around town. No. This was her other daughter, the one I never met or had a conversation with prior to this phone call. In fact, I barely knew she existed.

And before I go any further, let me say this about Helen: Yes, she is in her early 90’s, but she is a strong woman who gets around quite nicely on her own, her mind is still sharp and clear, and she would never co-sign anything like this. Helen does not suffer fools gladly. Anyway…

I get off the phone with Toni and immediately Woody, Jesse and I get into it. The whole thing was so surreal and so ridiculous that I turned on the voice recorder on my phone because I was sure no one would believe me.

Our “meeting” was nothing more than a pre-meditated and spineless act of mutiny by two boys with no honor or integrity. Woody – who proved to be nothing more than a 38 year old man child with self entitlement issues who still lives at home with his mommy – and Jesse – who proved to be nothing more than a hygienically challenged junkie who, like all junkies, even the ones who do shower, clean their nails and brush their teeth regularly, will sell you out on any and all levels – won.

In what world is it possible that the business I have owned and operator for over 20 years, 18 at that address, is a building I can no longer enter? You could have knocked me over with a feather. What am I going to do, call Helen and tell her I am in the middle of a shit show staring her daughter? Of course not.

I went inside and began packing all my personal stuff, all things Lovedog Tattoo Studio, and remove or paint over my signs. All the while Woody is following me around with his cell phone and nipping at my heels like a small dog telling me over and over again he was going to call the cops and Toni. He also stated that I was being “petty” because I was removing all my signage that said “Tattoo Studio,” and that I knew they would still be tattooing here. Again, I can’t make this up.

I packed everything I could into a U-Haul and never went back. There are still some things there I would like to have, but I am quite sure that Woody has the police, S.W.A.T., the gang task force, and Toni on speed dial.

Equally, I do not trust myself to be near them. It is much easier to “do the right thing” and “take the higher road” from Reno, where I am taking an anger management course. For real.

I mailed Toni a letter letting her know what I thought of her and her actions, and that it was out of respect for Helen that there was no backlash, legal or otherwise. I also and informed her that I wouldn’t let her carry my luggage through the airport.

I have since been in touch with Helen. We send the occasional card and have talked on the phone. She has no idea what really happened, was told I decided to move to Reno, and I don’t beg to differ.

Angriest Woman Update/Tidbit
Sept 14, 2016
by
Cheri Lovedog

Years ago I fired a guy from the shop. His name was Chris. He was the fiancé of my (at the time) girlfriend’s close friend, and a grown ass man. Here’s the get down on that…
Our UPS driver comes in one afternoon loaded for bear. One of my crew had tattooed his little sister, who had just turned eighteen. That part is fine. The terribly not fine part is that Chris, who knew she just turned eighteen because he did her tattoo, got her phone number off of her release form and started calling her.
Let’s take a minute and think about how many things are wrong with that. Clearly, it is illegal, but more than that is the ethical and moral implications, in which the trust and confidentially of a client is violated. In which a man is calling a young girl repeatedly, ultimately convincing her and her friend to meet him for coffee. After that, he continues to call and pressure her for more meeting. She gets freaked out and tells her brother, our UPS driver. I apologize to him, and ask him to have his sister call me so that I may apologize to her, too.
Chris tries to defend his actions by telling me he was only calling her and meeting with her to discuss a future tattoo idea. That she was not telling the truth. Seriously?! Come on! How many of you get calls from your tattoo artist out of the blue to meet for coffee and discuss a future tattoo design idea? That’s what I thought. I immediately fire Chris. I explain to the rest of the crew what happened. And yes, Woody was working for me at the time.
Woody and Jesse just hired Chris to work for them. I know this because someone involved in the original incident called me, completely blown away and upset that I would allow him back. Many people are under the impression I am still running the shop, or somehow affiliated with the shop. I am not, and it sickens me that they intentionally misrepresent and/or blur that fact in an effort to continue to profit off of my reputation and twenty plus years of my hard work. Fuckers.

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Angriest Fucking Woman

  1. Wow what a great and stressful story. People can be so ignorant and clueless so unhappy with their own lives that they have to bring another person down . Except you did not go down you stayed strong and to the points . I know how angry you feel and are and yes I have been there . I have learned to dance with anger let it go and learn so I hope when you have your get together in November dance sing and riot with love so you can piss those steely boys off by being happy to make them feel small

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s