PITTSBURGH – Popular tattoo artist Lee Steinbeck took to their Instagram stories to apologize for neglecting their unread DMs for nearly the thirtieth time in a seven-day span, sources who are getting tired of this shit confirm.
“Please, please, just be patient with me, you guys. I’m so sorry for leaving you hanging. If you’ve sent me a booking request via DM, I promise I’ll get back to you as soon as I can,” Steinbeck said to their 12,000 followers only minutes after their previous apology. “I’m just one person trying to essentially run a business, and I just joined a softball league so between practice, games, and time at the batting cage I’m stretched pretty thin. Plus as you already know, my pet turtle is potentially going to be featured in a calendar, and the logistics of that are taking a toll on me. I know I’m on here all the time making excuses, but please know that I’ll be messaging everyone back to get you booked. I’m so bad at this, really.”
Steinbeck’s prospective clients were not entirely moved by their requests for patience and understanding.
“Look, man, I get it, you can’t be working 100 hours a week. But I see Lee on stories apologizing about not responding to messages literally four or five times a day, every fucking day,” said potential client Andrew Altman. “I sent them a message a year and a half ago asking to get a piece of flash they’d already drawn, and never heard back. I kind of can’t help but wonder if it would be easier for them to reply to people who are legitimately offering to give them money if they didn’t spend hours upon hours creating heartfelt pleas and apologies, and instead used that time to send a simple ‘sounds good, when works for you’ to the throngs of prospects in their inbox.”
Sasha Palmer, a historian who works at the Three Rivers Tattoo Museum, weighed in with her expertise regarding this kind of behavior.
“While I understand why clients are frustrated with the direct message model of booking, and the inability for artists to message back in a timely manner, the truth of the matter is that this sort of thing has been happening as long as body modification has been part of society,” Palmer said while gesturing to several framed papyrus fragments on the wall behind her desk. “Even in ancient populations, sought-after artists and practitioners became increasingly impossible to contact. We have first-hand accounts of folks looking to receive traditional cultural tattoos expressing their anger that the only person who did said tattoos would disappear for months at a time, and then completely blow off the queue for the equivalent of a Friday the 13th special.”
At press time, Steinbeck announced that they will now be using Jotform for booking requests and asked for a meager 52 to 104-week window to reply.