“The Client Who Fired Herself”

To this day we still laugh about it whenever the topic of firing clients arises. Here’s how it all started….. I accepted a new client named Mira who had been trying to get on my book for a long time. A vacancy opened up for a standing every 2 week appointment & she jumped on it.

Within a fairly short period of time she started to be 5 minutes late for her appointment. She was self employed like myself, so I figured she was covered up with all kinds of work & 5 minutes wasn’t that big of a deal. But then she started to be 10 minutes late, so we had to have a conversation about the need to be on time.

I shouldn’t have to tell people that because my salon policy is always in plain view & in a nutshell it states that the 1st time you are late, you’ll get an abbreviated service in the time that you’ve allowed me, but you’ll pay full price & your service will end when my next scheduled client arrives.

If you no-show or show up too late for your appointment to transpire at all, you’ll be charged 50% of the service that you booked. The 2nd time you’ll be charged 100% & must prepay before you can get back on my appointment book.  The 3rd time you’ll have to find a new nail tech.

The final straw came when Mira was 40 minutes late one day. I give reminder texts the day prior & she confirmed she’d be there at her appointment time. When she wasn’t, I texted her again to see if she was on her way & to make sure she was ok, but I never received a response.

After 20 minutes I texted my next client to see if she could come earlier, which she could. So while I was waiting for her to arrive & fuming because I’d lost 1 hour of income, I decided to water my salon garden to chill me out. While out on the porch with the hose in my hand, Mira finally arrives in her car. She walks up to the porch all casual-like, smiling really big & wiggles her fingers at me saying “Can you still do my nails now?

I replied “No, I’ve already texted my next client & she’ll be here any minute”. Mira stops walking towards me & says “Well, when can you get me in?”. As I continue watering my potted plants all nonchalantly, I respond “Just as soon as you pay me for tonight’s missed service”.

“But what if I don’t want to pay you?” was what she said next (she’s got big balls!), to which I replied “Well, then you can consider yourself fired & find a new nail tech” (I have big balls, too!).

Her last comment was “Oh”. And then she turned around, walked back to her car, got in it & drove away. I erased her from my appointment book & put the word out to all my clients that I had a standing appointment to fill in case they had a friend who wanted to get in. It was filled in no time flat by a good client who could show up on time.

But the really funny part came 2 weeks later when I was doing the nails of the woman (Jennifer) who had referred Mira to me. I never told anyone about what had transpired because I handled the problem & there was no need to blab about it. But while doing Jennifer’s nails she said “So, I heard you fired Mira”.

“Uh, no. She essentially fired herself” I explained. “I gave her the chance to pay me for her missed appointment & she chose not to, so the way I see it was that she fired herself.” Jennifer started to laugh & I had to ask “Did Mira tell you I fired her?”. Then Jennifer described how Mira had come into her store right after the incident happened & loudly exclaimed in distress “I just got fired by my nail tech!

To which Jennifer’s husband who also works in the store asked “Well, what did you do to piss her off?” 

It’s been at least 5 years ago that this happened & I haven’t had any similar incidents. I’ve run into Mira a few times since then, but I basically don’t even acknowledge her existence. Call me petty, but I take great pleasure in ignoring her presence.

However Jennifer still loves telling that story to everyone, especially to other clients of mine. It’s become the running joke that clients are just a little bit scared of me because they don’t want to be fired & they know I’ll do it if necessary!

we don't sugarcoat shit

THE PREQUEL: about 2 years prior to this incident, my client Sara & I were enjoying touring the Parade of Homes in our town. It’s a yearly event where builders get to showcase their mostly custom work (translation: very large & extremely expensive houses that most of us could never afford) while the paying public gets to meet them & we vote on “Best in show”, “Best kitchen”, “Best Bathroom” etc.

It’s a lot of fun because you get design ideas from the featured interior decorators, plus we can gather info on what company installed which brands of high-end windows/doors,  light fixtures, kitchen cabinets, driveway installation, landscaping, the paint colors used in each room, etc.

While touring one home, we walked into the kitchen & standing there was the interior decorator that I had fired a few years prior. She was “let go” because keeping appointments didn’t jive with her scattered & flaky life. The way I remember it was that we both acknowledged it just wasn’t working out & that she needed to go to a walk-in type of nail salon.

Anyway, she recognized me & saw that I recognized her. That meant we had to speak, so I went first by saying “Hi Tonya. How are you?” and we made brief pleasantries. Then I introduced my client Sara to her by saying “Tonya, this is my client Sara. Sara, this is Tonya, the interior decorator for this home”.

Then Tonya said to Sara “Nice to meet you. I used to get my nails done by her until she fired me”. I was caught by surprise & came back with “Uh, I wasn’t going to mention any of that”, to which she replied “Oh, it’s ok. My therapist fired me, too! I was always late.”

Well, at least she didn’t take things personally.

greatest accomplishment keeping mouth shut

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Lesson #1: Why Not to Drink at Trade Shows (if you care about your career).

Happy 2017! With show season starting soon, this particular story came to mind.

My first (& last) foray into working for a corporation was back in the 90’s when I was hired by a major East Coast beauty supply distributor to work in their showroom. Each year they held a small trade show about an hour from corporate headquarters. Since I was low man on the totem pole that year, I had to stay behind to work the store over that weekend.

When the rest of my coworkers returned, they had all kinds of good stories to tell me, but 1 in particular stuck with me. I’m happy to say that I’m the type of person who learns from other peoples mistakes. Maybe by telling this story it will help some of you avoid this same fate, too.

For those who aren’t in the beauty business, it’s customary for every show to hold a big party the night before the show floor opens for business. At this particular party one of the women who worked in the corporate office (can’t recall which division) had too much to drink. She began hanging all over 1 of the distributorships owners & was telling him how hot he was (very untrue) & how she wanted him (I’m sure she did at the time). To make matters even worse, the man’s wife (who also worked at the corporation) was present at this party, too.

It was evident that she was 3 sheets to the wind, so they called security to come escort (basically carry) the woman back to her hotel room. The hotel was connected to the ballroom where the party & the show were being held. The guards dumped her into her room & left her there, but later they found her crawling down the hallway trying to find her way back to the party!

All I can say is that it was a damn good thing for her that cell phones & social media hadn’t been invented yet. Nowadays, several people would’ve snapped a photo of her drunkenly crawling down the hallway, then hash tagged it “#hotdrunkenmess” & people across the world would’ve known about it before the party even ended. It probably would’ve been made into a scandalous meme & gone viral, too.

Believe me, it was THE talk of the whole corporation because you know how word spreads when people make fools of themselves in public. A few weeks later we heard that woman’s name being called over the loudspeaker to report to the owner’s office. All of us in the showroom looked at each other & went “Uh-oh”! She was only with the company a few more weeks after that. We figured that she was told to find a new job & they graciously allowed her to leave quietly with whatever dignity she still had intact. We never heard or saw her again.

Since then I’ve been to several show parties & have only encountered 1 educator that was way too tipsy. When you’re slurring your words, you are WAY too tipsy. I made a mental note to avoid this man in the future because he obviously does not use good judgement.

The moral of the story: never drink alcohol at a business function, even if it’s free. The price of your reputation being ruined is just way too high.

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“The Egg Rolls”

     Judy was a client of mine who as best I can describe was a stocky, weathered, no-nonsense country grandma. She was as nice as can be, but unless she was smiling she always seemed to have a perpetual “I’ll beat you down if you look at me sideways” scowl on her face. Plus she had gotten to that age when some women just don’t give a flip anymore. They’ve put up with enough B.S. over the years & they just say whatever is on their minds (regardless of the Southern manners their Momma’s taught them), if you know what I mean?

     As I was doing her nails one day, she recounted this story to me about how she loved this certain brand of egg rolls, but her local grocery store had stopped carrying them. She hunted around town until she found another store that carried them & as luck would have it, she also found some coupons for the egg rolls in the local paper, too.

     So one day on her lunch break she drove over to the poorer section of town where this other store was located, just to get her favorite egg rolls. As she was standing in this very long line, she notices that there’s only 1 register open. As the line slowly moved along, she can hear the young clerk apologizing to the customers while ringing up their products. Apparently the other employees were all on their lunch breaks, leaving her as the sole lane open.

     Judy said that the line grew even longer behind her & she could hear people sighing with frustration. One white dude was talking on his cell phone, a Mexican man was just standing in line looking around, some other random white woman was behind the Mexican man, while 2 black girls at the back of the line were talking loudly about how “this was bullshit”, “why was this taking so long” & how the “store needed to open up another register“, etc. etc.

    Finally it was Judy’s turn & the young clerk apologized for the delay as she hurriedly rang up all of Judy’s many egg roll boxes. The poor girl was sweating & moving as fast as she could because she knew the people in line were getting annoyed. When Judy was told her final grocery bill, that’s when she realized she had forgotten to give her the coupons!

     So Judy apologized & quickly was digging the coupons out of her purse as the clerk was probing buttons on the register to re-ring her order, when one of the black chicks from the back of the line said VERY loudly “Oh, sure…. NOW miss WHITE ass is using COUPONS”!

    Judy looked up at the clerk & said “No she just did not just say that, did she?” & the clerk darted her eyes away as she rang up the coupons. Everybody in line got quiet, as if all the air was sucked out of the room. Judy turned around to face the people in line, looked straight at the 2 girls at the back of the line & said equally loudly “Oh sure….and MISS black ass is probably using FOOD STAMPS!”

     Someone let out a gasp & the one black girl turned to her friend & busted out laughing saying “Giiirrrllll…YOU got TOLD!” And with that nobody said another word as Judy paid for her egg rolls & left the store.

get over it

“To feed or not to feed?”

My client Melanie had been with me for about 2 years & had recently given birth to her 2nd baby. Melanie was fanatical about keeping her nail appointments & would bring her newborn with her, which then always made me run late because inevitably the baby would need tending to.

On this particular day while I was doing her manicure, the baby started to get fussy & needed to be fed. I was still trying to build my clientele & needed every warm body in my chair, therefore I tried to accommodate her when she wanted to breast feed the baby in the middle of her nail service. Yes, you read it right…IN THE MIDDLE OF HER MANICURE!

We draped the lightweight baby’s blanket over the head of the feeding baby & positioned it over Melanie’s shoulder so that nothing improper was showing. She cradled the baby with one hand while I tried to work one her other hand. Can you imagine how difficult it was to keep her from smearing her wet nail polish as she balanced the baby that was attached to her boob AND tried to keep the blanket in place? This was the first, the last & the only time we ever attempted this.

It was at that precise moment the UPS man came to deliver a package & at the same time another employee must’ve had the back door open to take out the trash. As the UPS man pulled open the salon’s front door, it created a vacuum suction effect, which caused some interior salon doors to suddenly slam shut. At the same time a huge gust of wind blew forth from the open front door, snatching the baby blanket completely off Melanie & blowing it up into the air!

The blanket landed about 3 feet across the room, leaving Melanie’s naked breast fully exposed, complete with the attached baby who proceeded to happily keep on feeding. The UPS man was MOR-TI-FIED, along with the receptionist, me & Melanie herself!

I jumped up from the nail table, grabbed the blanket from off the floor & positioned it to cover the baby’s head/Melanie’s boob again. She took this opportunity to stop feeding & got herself together so that I could finish the manicure. The UPS man left the package with the receptionist & promptly fled the building. Melanie couldn’t leave fast enough either.

After they’d all cleared out, the receptionist & I tried so hard not to crack up, but after closing time we laughed hysterically. For about a week, every time we made eye contact we’d bust out laughing!

The moral of the story: I support your right to breast feed in public as long as it’s not done at my nail table!

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The Recovering Alcoholic & the Nail Competition

“The Recovering Alcoholic & the Nail Competition”

 

Candy was a good hearted ‘biker chick’ kind of a woman, in her thirties, with a good figure & a short blonde bob when I first started doing her nails. She was the type of person that people, especially men, would take advantage of because she had the need to please everybody & a heart of gold. Alcoholism was unfamiliar to me at that time & I’d never actually thought much about it before then. One night Candy came in to get her nails done & by the way she was slurring her words, it soon was evident that she had been drinking.

 

 

After her nails were finished, she stumbled around the salon looking at polish & other boutique items. By the look in my eyes the 2 owners could tell that I didn’t know how to handle the situation, so they both stepped in & directed her out the door. It was done in a friendly, but forceful, manner & since she wasn’t a mean drunk she happily went out into the night. A short while later I discovered that a bottle of polish was missing from the display case & we all knew where it went. The owners said they’d handle it & that was that.

 

About 2 weeks later when Candy came in (thankfully sober) the owners took her aside after her nails were done & told her what had transpired on her last visit. She was embarrassed & was more than willing to make restitution, so all was good. Many months went by & I didn’t think any more about it. Whenever Candy came in we always talked, laughed & had a good time at her appointments. Then I decided to enter into a nail art competition at the Midwest Beauty Show (now called America’s Beauty Show aka ABS), which would require much practice & the need for a hand model. Candy had great nails so I asked her if she’d like to be my model for that day & she was more than happy to do it.

 

On the day of the competition I picked Candy up in front of the salon & we drove out to where the show was held. It’s a pretty big show, with thousands of licensed beauty attendees & professional hair, skin & nail companies holding classes & demos going on at the hundreds of booths. Every beauty professional who’s worth anything goes to this show at least once in their career. It’s a place to see & be seen, plus make new business contacts, so you want to be at your best.

 

The competition went forward & it took several hours to complete. Models have to sit patiently & quietly while competitors work on their nails….which means, no eating, drinking or smoking, too. This category I’d entered was for flat nail art, which meant I had to paint tiny little scenes with acrylic paint on each of Candy’s 10 fingernails. Our models could only leave when the judges were totalling up the scorecards, so at that point Candy went out into the lobby to have a smoke (yes, they allowed smoking in the lobbies back in early 90’s) while I remained inside the competition room.

 

It took another half hour or so to finish all the judging & I didn’t win or place, which was disappointing. When I walked out into the lobby, the first thing I saw was Candy sitting on the edge of a big easy chair with her feet propped up on the coffee table. Since she was wearing a black leather mini skirt, sitting in this position made it possible for EVERYONE in the room to see her white panties! There was a grouping of 3 other easy chairs surrounding this glass coffee table, the kind of arrangement you’d see in a hotel lobby, & I was MORTIFIED to see all the surrounding chairs were taken by other beauty professionals……all of whom were seemingly enthralled by the scene that was unfolding!

 

Some stylists were even sitting on the arms of the chairs while Candy held court with a cigarette in one hand & a cocktail in the other. Unbeknownst to me, there was a cash bar at the end of the lobby & Candy had been drinking the entire time I was inside for the judging process! Inside my mind was screaming “OH, NOOOO!” as I rushed up to Candy to try to hustle her out of the building, fearful of what she’d already said to my peers.

 

The story she was telling was every bit as trashy as I’d feared. I walked in on the part where she was telling everyone how some guy she knew pulled a gun on her & she was waving her hand around as if she were holding a gun & pointing it at people, while ashes were spilling onto the carpeted floor from her lit cigarette. I can’t recall the rest of the story because my mind blanked out, but she insisted on telling it even though I tried repeatedly to get her to leave. I just wanted the floor to open up & swallow me at that point; I could’ve just died!

 

I still remember the look on the other professionals faces though. One guy looked away, as if to find a quick exit. Some of the other women had looks of “you poor creature” or “thank God I’m not you” on their faces. One girl’s expression was akin to the look you’d have if you just stepped in dog poo while wearing your best shoes. I felt like crawling out of there; I was so beyond embarrassed.

 

I finally managed to get Candy out of the building & back to the car, but then on the drive home she began freaking out about how her boyfriend was going to be mad at her for falling off the wagon. She would not let me drop her off at her car until she had some coffee, so we drove through a fast food place & she slowly started to sober up. Very slowly.  Too slowly for me. We got back to the salon, but she still insisted I drive her around until she was completely sober, so around & around the block we drove for the better part of an hour.

 

Finally I got her out of my car & sped off, not looking back. At the time I was so upset I really didn’t care if her boyfriend beat her butt because that’s what I felt like doing to her myself! I could not get away from her fast enough. The more I thought about it, the more pissed off I was. All I could say at the time was thank heavens none of those beauty professionals knew me! After that incident, I didn’t see her for a long time, which was fine by me. The sooner I forgot the whole sordid mess, the better.

 

Several months passed & Candy finally showed up to get her nails done. I acted as if nothing happened, but knew I’d never go out in public with her again. She had gotten back into AA, gotten rid of her abusive boyfriend & seemed to be doing better. She was trying to keep away from all of her bad influence friends & that was hard on her. Finally she met a decent man who was also in AA recovery & they started seeing each other. She said he treated her really nice & I was genuinely happy for her. We took up doing her nails just like old times where we laughed & had fun conversations.

 

Months later Candy & her boyfriend got into an argument & they didn’t speak for a few days. She was determined that he would make the first phone call to apologize. After about 4 days she got word that the police found him dead in his apartment. He’d died of a massive heart attack on Mother’s Day & laid there until his work reported him missing. Candy was emotionally devastated & fell off the wagon. Some people it seems just never catch a break.

 

A short while later I moved out of state & never saw her again. I think about Candy from time to time, especially around Mother’s Day & I hope that she’s okay. It’s like an ongoing mystery, which could either have a good ending or a bad ending. I prefer not to know for certain, but I like to think in positive terms.

 

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“The Happy Hooker with a Twist”

 

While living in Chicago, I worked at a small nail salon that catered to an unusual mix of clientele. There were the

average 25 – 45 year old professional women, but then there was the “after hours crowd”. It was business as usual

to see a parade of drag queens, gay men, transexuals, transvestites, & cross dressers coming in to have their nails

done. The nail salon was owned by a gay man & a transexual woman (who was fooling no one – picture a man

dressed as Mrs. Roper from the old sitcom “Three’s Company”), but that’s another story! Anyway, this being the 80’s

meant that long nails were all the rage, plus lots of fabulous nail art & rhinestones, too.

 

One client in particular had extremely long acrylic nails. Try 5″ long! And they were pointed, not like the typical

square nail that was in fashion. Her name was “Lynnette Yvette ” & she was a transexual. Well, not completely. The

top half was woman, the bottom half was man. Even more bizarre was the fact that she was working her way

through college as a prostitute! Her goal was to one day graduate with a psychology degree & then complete the

surgery that would make her into a legitimate woman.

 

Now Lynnette was a very dark, black skinned  “girl” who always wore her hair in a tight, little pony tail, barely 2″

long. Why she didn’t wear a weave or some tracks or a wig, I’ll never understand. She lived as a woman, wore

makeup & clothes like a woman, plus got her nails done like a woman. She would regale us with stories of her

“johns” while we did her nails & some of the stories were quite shocking. Some involved police getting ‘freebies’ in

exchange for them not arresting her!  Some involved married men! All were very entertaining, though. We found

something else we had in common…… we both loved scary movies. So from time to time we’d meet up for a matinee

of the latest Freddy Krueger or Leatherface movie. I can only imagine what an odd pair we made as we walked

down the street……me being a short, naturally born white woman & Lynnette being the exact opposite!

 

One night friends & I were out at a club that was holding a “white party” (everything is swathed in white fabric &

attendees are supposed to dress in white) to benefit AIDS awareness when I ran into Lynnette, who was there with

her family. She introduced me to her daughter & her daughter’s children. It was so surreal! Everyone shook my

hand & we all talked for awhile, then parted ways. I was struck by how odd this scenario was. I mean, here Lynnette

used to be her daughters’ father, but now she’s her “mother”?  And how do you explain to the grandchildren that

grandpa is now your “grandma”? It was all very, very bizarre….. at least to me it was.

 

Lynnette finally did graduate with her psychology degree & was going to specialize in helping gay, lesbian, &

transgendered people. By chance one night we met again at a party where she introduced me to her older, Jewish

boyfriend, who looked extremely conservative & deceivingly straight. They definitely made another very odd couple,

with him being a short, balding, middle aged white dude who might have worked as either a psychiatrist or a college

professor & Lynnette being…….well……the exact opposite.

 

I don’t know if she ever got her desired surgery or not because I moved away, but judging by what else she

accomplished in life when she set her mind to it, I’m betting that she did make her dreams come true. The last time

I saw her she was riding on top of a float during the “Gay Pride” parade, while giving the pageant wave & flashing

her bright white smile. And her 5″ long gold, bejeweled nails were flashing, too!

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“A Tale of Two Rivals”

“A Tale of Two Rivals”

Maria, a longtime client of mine, was getting her nails done one afternoon in my little nail room at the back of a busy salon. It was her day off & she had been cleaning house, running errands, etc., so she was dressed casual. In fact, she was wearing baggy sweats with an old t-shirt, no make-up & didn’t fix her hair. As her nails were drying I mentioned that my next client, Katrina, should be arriving shortly. Now Katrina is not a very common name, so Maria tentatively asked “By any chance is it Katrina Smith”? “Yes, do you know her?” I inquired. Then she said “That’s the bitch I caught cheating with my fiance’!”

Shocked is putting it mildly! I’d remembered Maria telling me a long time ago about how her fiance’ cheated on her & that’s why she wasn’t with her baby’s daddy, but I didn’t know the full story until then. Evidently this took place a decade ago when they were still in college. She said she was engaged to Carl when she found out she was pregnant & they were still planning to get married.

One night she went over to see Carl at the fraternity house where he was living & upon hauling her big, pregnant self up a long flight of stairs, she walks in on Katrina having sex on top of Carl! Maria bursts out crying, some words were said, & then she fled as fast as she could down the flight of steps. As she gets to the bottom, she looks back up to see Katrina standing at the top of the stairs, BUCK NAKED, with her hands on her hips, saying “Well what do you expect when you let yourself go like that”?

Stunned, Maria shouts back “I’m not fat, you stupid bitch, I’m pregnant”!  Needless to say, it was not a happy moment for everyone involved. Maria wound up marrying Carl to give the baby legitimacy, but then immediately had the marriage annulled after the birth. I don’t know what happened to Katrina after that point of the story. But for over the past year that I’d been doing Katrina’s nails, I had NO idea that she was “the other woman” until that day! I’d never scheduled both of them back to back, so their appointments never overlapped, & therefore each of them didn’t know that I did the others nails.

Just then the front door of the salon opened & we heard Katrina talking to one of the stylists out in the front room! Maria became distressed about her arch rival not only seeing her, but seeing her looking so slovenly & said “I can’t let her see me looking like this”! So I quickly snuck Maria out the back door of my nail room just before Katrina walked in to sit down at the nail table. Disaster was narrowly averted!

I did Katrina’s nails as usual that day & never let on that anything out of the ordinary had just happened, but I must admit that I thought differently of her after that. I couldn’t help but to wonder how she didn’t appear to be the sort of woman who was not to be trusted around other women’s husbands or boyfriends. Maybe she had regret for her past actions? We’ve all done stupid things & then experienced remorse, so possibly that bad situation helped shape her into the better human being that she appeared to be now? Or at least that’s what I hoped had happened.

Later that year Katrina married the nice man she’d been dating & they eventually wound up having a couple of children. Till the day she stopped coming to get her nails done, I never told her that I also did Maria’s nails, too……. even though it would’ve been interesting to hear her version of the story!

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One day a client told me that her mother had been in a horrible car wreck up in Chicago & that she’d have to take a leave of absence from work to go
take care of her. She went into great detail about the wreck, how bad it was,
& how horribly injured her mother was. It sounded positively horrific!

Now this lady had been getting her nails done faithfully every 2 weeks for about 2 years & I felt terrible for her! We agreed that I’d take her off my appointment book for the remaining 2 months of the year while she tended to her ailing mother. She never asked me to take off her artificial nails & I never asked what she planned to do about them. I wished her & her poor mother well as she left the salon.

As time went by, I periodically thought about her & hoped her mom was ok. One night about 3 months later, while I was doing the nails of 2 clients who both worked with this other lady, her name came up in the conversation. So while my clients nails were drying I thought I’d give her a quick call to see how her mother was getting along. Turning my back to my 2 clients sitting at my nail table, I dialed the phone on the wall. I fully expected her husband to answer, or the machine to pick up, since she probably would still be in Chicago nursing her mother back to health.

Her husband did answer the phone & so I identified myself as his wife’s nail tech.  Upon inquiring gravely (with that low voice we all use when we’re not really expecting a good answer) “How’s your mother-in-law getting along?” he cheerfully replied “Oh, she’s fine”!  It seemed strange for him to sound so chipper about it, but I didn’t have time to ponder this any longer because he informed me that his wife was standing right beside him & would I like to talk to her?

Right about THEN was when it hit me that her whole story had been a lie! I could feel my face start to flush from the embarrassment of the situation, & in the back of my mind I was acutely aware that my 2 clients drying their nails had suddenly become very, very quiet. It was an awkward situation for both of us, because when she was thrust onto the phone by her unknowing husband, she was caught totally off guard & didn’t have a good lie in place.

She began ad-libbing about how her mother was still recovering & that she needed to go back to Chicago tomorrow. She babbled on a bit more & I could feel the heat spreading from my neck up to my face & even to the top of my head. I was SO embarrassed I could’ve just died! I told her that I understood & that she could call me whenever her life settled back down, but it was obvious to the both of us that SHE knew, that I knew, that SHE was lying! I was beyond mortified & my face was still burning red when I hung up the phone.

My 2 clients who were sitting there quietly drying their nails had overheard my end of the conversation & had figured out what the deal was. They then informed me that she had NOT been away on a leave of absence & had in fact been here in town working the entire time! They had been unaware of the big fabrication that she had told me in the first place, but since the cat was already out of the bag I just went ahead & filled them in on her car wreck story.

Needless to say, they were duly appalled. They then told me that she had a reputation around work for being a liar ever since the time a few years ago when she had told coworkers that she had breast cancer. One by one they started comparing notes & noticed that she never took time off to go to the doctor, never got chemo or radiation, & mysteriously she was still healthy, with both her breasts intact (presumably).

I’d never experienced anything quite like this before, so I was stunned. Clients usually say they just “want to let their nails breathe” or some other fluff when they want to take a break from the nail services I provide. It’s no big deal & I always make sure they know that it’s ok & that they’re always welcome back any time. I try to make the potentially awkward parting scene less dramatic than what the clients must think it will be. What are they expecting……tears, accusations, & me hurling objects across the room at them as they flee out the door?

PUH-LEASE! I’ve been doing nails WAY too long to ever take it personally. As for the liar, I never spoke to or saw this woman again. The only thing I could figure was that she must’ve wanted to take off her artificial nails & didn’t know how to tell me. Or maybe she was crazy. But more than likely she was just a compulsive liar. I’ll never know for sure. But the moral of the story is ALWAYS be truthful to your nail tech because we have ways of finding you out, even when we don’t try!

Besides, we’re big girls (& boys). We can take it.

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aka: “She Was a Stalker, When Stalking Wasn’t Cool”

When I lived in Chicago I had a client we’ll call Pat, who was a twenty-something, pretty little blonde with a good figure, a great job, plus she drove a new convertible & generally seemed to have life by the tail. She’d tell me about this new boyfriend, then that new boyfriend, & then she’d have another new boyfriend by the next time I’d see her for her nail appointment. Pretty soon I saw the pattern.

She’d cling to her new boyfriend tighter than tree bark until she drove him away, which usually only took a few weeks. So I, having had no boyfriend for well over a year & was perfectly content, couldn’t understand WHY she needed one so desperately? Eventually I came to the conclusion that between the two of us, I had the better life.

One day she came in to the salon & it was evident that she’d just experienced another break up. This particular guy she had met at her gym & they immediately jumped into a hot & heavy relationship. She previously confided to me that she had begun to sense that he was pulling away. “No duh”, I thought, but did not say. She then told me that she had hidden in wait outside the gym for him to leave so she could follow him.  She already suspected that he was seeing another woman, but needed to know for sure. Evidently, her suspicions were confirmed when she saw him greet another woman outside the gym.  The two of them began to walk down the sidewalk together, hand in hand!

So she continued to follow them at a distance until they entered an apartment building. According to Pat, she waited for them to get into the elevator. She then saw which floor the elevator came to a stop. She went up the elevator & got off on that same floor. Now I’m thinking “how in the world will she know which apartment door they entered?”.  She informed me that she recognized his shoes on the door mat in front of this particular apartment (NOTE* if you are going to cheat, bring your shoes inside).

She didn’t knock, but instead tried the door knob. Bizarre enough, it was unlocked (2nd NOTE* if you are going to cheat, lock the door behind you)! The apartment was dimly lit, but she quietly entered anyway. At this point in her story I’m wondering if she’s not only foolish, but mentally unstable as well! For God’s sake, she could’ve been shot as an intruder!

She then made her way to the bedroom & quietly pushed open the door. The room was dark, but the distinct sounds of love-making were audible. She flipped on the light & that’s when all hell broke loose! The woman in the bed let out a scream. The boyfriend saw that it was Pat & began to cuss her out. The two lovers scrambled to cover themselves with sheets, while the screaming & cursing back & forth escalated. At that moment Pat decided to quickly leave. She never did say EXACTLY what the ex-boyfriend said, but we can pretty much assume that it went along the lines of how he probably never wanted to see her again. Knowing Pat, I’m certain that she had the nerve to keep up her gym membership!

Another thing that I remember about Pat was how she always had me polish the underside of her long, acrylic nails. What a mess that was to try to clean out! She was the only client EVER to request this. And she liked to wear hot pink polish. I wonder what Freud would say about that?

 

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50 Shades of Grey……

Actually, I’ve never read the book. I picked it up once, leafed thru it, & read 2 paragraphs. That was as far as I got before I put it back on the shelf. Not because I was scandalized or morally offended by the S&M/B&D material, but because the dialogue was horrible (IMHO). It read like a high school sophomore wrote it! The wording had all the flow of nail polish running uphill. That’s when I thought “Crud, I could do better than that”. And here we are.

But you’ve got to admit it has a catchy title that’s recognized everywhere, so why re-invent the wheel? Plus I have more than 50 shades of nail polish, as most nail techs do. I’ve been a nail tech for over 25+ years & as techs we see/hear/meet some unique (aka off the wall freakin’ crazy) people in the course of our profession. Over the years I’ve documented many of my memories before I got too old & feeble to remember them. My intention was to write a book, but with the advent of blogs……. why bother with a book?

Let me preface this by saying this is MY blog, with MY opinions, & MY life experiences. I do not claim to speak for anyone else. Let me emphasize that I WILL NOT be shamed into retracting what YOU feel is not the ‘politically correct’ thing to say. If you read something you don’t like, click the delete button, move on & skip to the next blog.

I’ll be ‘keeping it real’, in my own voice, with my own style of writing…..which means that if foul language, nudity, sexual situations or violence bothers you….then do NOT read any further. This blog is not for you.

Likewise if you are offended by my religion, faith, grace, God, Jesus, forgiveness, love, morals, & spiritual beliefs…. then this is NOT the right blog for you either!

Everyone else is welcome to enjoy it. These stories are true snapshots of my life…..the good, the bad, & the ugly people I’ve met along the way. The names have been changed to protect the guilty (or innocent) & I’ll try to keep true to the circumstances as I remember them. What was it that Mark Twain once said….”Never let the truth get in the way of a good story” I think?

Anyway, maybe some of you might be helped by the lessons I’ve learned along the way or at the very least be thoroughly entertained.

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