Last year, as a 21st birthday present, I spent ten days in Hawaii, on both Oahu and the Big Island. Whilst I was there, I decided I wanted to get a piercing to celebrate both my 21st birthday and being completely alone in a foreign country. The piercing I selected was a fairly simple cartilage ring, but one I'd been thinking about as part of an ear project.
After looking at a few places, I chose A Tiki Tattoo in Waikiki. The first time I went there and inquired about jewellery and prices, the guy told me to simply buy a captive bead or seamless ring from Hot Topic because they were 'cheaper and just as good'. I was a little taken back by that, but over all the place was clean and I'd read a few good reviews on Bmezine.
So on my last night in Hawaii, I went back to A Tiki, and an older woman offered to pierce me. She was fairly chatty, asked about my accent (Australia), my home and was fairly talkative and friendly. I selected a 16 ga captive bead ring (rather than buying from Hot Topic) and went around the back to get pierced.
Except not. Sometimes with ear cartilage, the skin kinda *folds in*, especially if you've spent the entire day playing around with position! This lady tried for a couple of minutes to get the positioning right, but she was starting to get huffy and impatient- hello, this is MY EAR and I damn well want the positioning to be near perfect.
So I changed my mind about the piercing. I was incredibly apologetic and offered to pay for any costs (set up, autoclaving, etc.). This woman however was FURIOUS. She refused to even speak to me when I apologised, slammed by credit card down on the table and when she did even dignify me with a reply or answers, they were short, sharp one word answers. I believe she even said 'whatever' to me at one point.
I'm incredibly glad I didn't get pierced at A Tiki. If the piercer isn't even willing to be careful and exact with the positioning of the jewellery and the piercing itself, then I hate to think of the idea of her putting a damn needle through my flesh, especially with the risk of infection and rejection etc.
One month later, back in Sydney, I got my cartilage piercing done by Rob at Polymorph, Newtown, who spent as long as I needed getting the positioning right, was friendly and answered all my questions and I've not had a single problem with the piercing.