Most likely, the majority of your clients are people you enjoy, who give you energy, who make it easy to love your job. But there’s always that one.
NAILS has compiled some of your worst client stories, and you are going to love reading them. So go grab a warm beverage and get ready to laugh as you empathize with your peers. (See how many of these clients remind you of someone you know!) To vote for your favorite “worst client,” e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the story by February 15).
I’m a germ-a-phobe, and I saw a client use her hands instead of a tissue to wipe her runny nose. I nearly flipped out! I stopped doing her nails and asked her to come back when she is feeling better.
DOMINIQUE STANTON, Candy Paint Nailz, Chicago
Forget Me Not
“Mary” suffered from a combination of bipolar disease and other issues. She would book appointments, but never remember them. After each missed appointment, Mary would call to re-book, and I would explain to her our salon policy about a $25 no-show fee. She would agree and sound like she genuinely understood. But then she would miss her appointment again. I even pre-charged her for six months so that I would be paid in advance if she no-showed! Still, after only a few appointments, she would become inconsistent again. Eventually I gave up serving her, because I felt so guilty about taking no-show money. The shame is that she loved anything and everything about nail art that I could put on her. It’s been three years since I’ve done her nails, but every six months or so she calls to see if I’m taking new clients.
AMANDA L. SCHISON, Outer Images, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Assault and Flattery
I had a client who was mature in age but young in spirit. She was French, with a very chic sense of style, and a sympathetic, empathetic, and vivacious personality. One hot summer day, I came to work wearing a cami with a shelf bra. While I filed the nails on one hand, she reached over and grabbed and jiggled me with her free hand.
“Wow!” she said. “They’re very natural! Your doctor did a great job.” Then she let go of me. All I could do was gawk and think, “Oh my God! She just grabbed my boob!” When she saw my expression, she apologized profusely. We laughed about it later. To be fair, she wasn’t perverted. I suppose it’s much like grandmothers who assault young pregnant women by patting their bellies.
VICTORIA HUNTER, Ongles Chez Victoria, Montreal, Canada
After 22 years of working as a nail tech, I remember my worst client as the one who asked to have an affair with my husband. I was prepping her nail when she popped the question. I laughed, thinking she was kidding.
But she assured me she was serious. Now mind you, I had an e-file in my hand, which was very brave on her part. I stopped the service, handed her back her money, and told her she needed to find a new tech. She was horrified not only that I would deny her request for the affair, but also that I refused to finish her service and sent her away with unfinished nails. This woman was an old friend of my parents, making her at least 20 years older than me and my husband! Somehow she thought that since I had known her most of my life I would be OK with the arrangement she had cooked up in her brain!
MELODIE HAND, Tickled Pink Salon, Clayton, N.C.