Been there, done that.

This goes back a bit to the piercing gun post. This story is from someone who has actually worked with a piercing gun, at a very common store called Piercing Pagoda. Not sure how wide-spread this store is, but it seems fairly common from the people I’ve spoken to.

My experience at Piercing Pagoda wasn’t the best. Aside the fact I was the only worker there besides my manager who was never there so I had to work 12 hour shifts 7 days a week..

Working there made me realize how horrible piercing guns were. Our training was next to nothing basically and looking back on it, was horrible. I first had to take a test over the phone about various types of metals, irons and such. A test that I was given all the answers to by my manager so I could “get through it” faster.

Then came the hands on training. They taught us that all the guns were sterile, and in order to “sterilize” them we had to wipe them down with an alcohol swab. THEN we’d put on gloves and put the earrings in. Of course (sarcasm), wipe down the persons ear with a cotton swab, take a marker (that was used on other people as well) and mark their ear. Put the gun up to the persons ear and fire away. Don’t panic if it gets caught, that happens a lot, just wiggle it and yank it to make it free again.
The actual piercing training consisted of us taking a piercing gun and practicing on a FOAM ear. We had to dot the ear where we thought the piercing should be and pierce it. The way the manager knows if we did well was the cheat sheet on the back of the foam ear. If we got it through the x, we were done training.

Before we could pierce a paying customer we had to bring a family member or friend in as a guinea pig to pierce them. After we were done with just one ear, we were fully trained.

All of these are horribly wrong. The “sterilization” method used isn’t really sterilizing at all. In order for a piercing gun to be truly sterilized it needs to be put through an autoclave system. But they can’t be because the guns are plastic and will melt. Just wiping it down with an alcohol swab won’t do either because there are so many areas that you can not reach on the gun that it remains forever dirty. If it isn’t properly sterilized the person getting pierced runs the risk of getting HEP, HIV and MRSA, which is a flesh eating bacteria.

The lack of training, and what training I DID get was a dumbfuck to me looking back on it. At the time in my life I wanted to become a professional body piercer and thought that working at Piercing Pagoda would help me. Well it actually did, it helped me learn on what NOT to do while piercing someone.

Now I am heading to the medical field and really know how to keep things sterilized and safe for all people, including the handler. Piercing Pagoda and other mall kiosk/store piercing shops should be shut down due to their lack of knowledge and risking their customers lives.

Now if that doesn’t convince you to run screaming from piercing guns, I don’t know what will.


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