One of Our Own
An acquaintance and fellow nail tech came in as a new client wanting a “fill” and “special art.” She arrived with four or five nails missing, cracked, and misshaped. The rest were barely hanging on because the regrowth was about seven weeks! I totally removed all the product, started over with a full set and gave her beautiful nail art. Though she misrepresented her needs, I honored the fill price as a professional courtesy. To top it all off, she didn’t even tip!
Mosaic Nails & Esthetics, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Drunk and Disorderly
I had a client who would come to the salon drunk or high, often with a posse of people who were also loud and drunk. At the end of one day, she called to say she was stuck and needed help with her car, and I went to help her. When I arrived, she was in cuffs because she was being arrested! She called for help because she needed me to drive her 14-year-old daughter and the car to a friend’s house because she was being taken to jail!
BRI MCCLOUD, Happy Nails, Athens, Tenn.
I’ve been a nail tech for five years, and I can’t get rid of my worst client. She comes in every two weeks and never misses an appointment. Here’s the kicker: She’s the most indecisive person I’ve ever met. Her appointment is on Tuesday, but her nails aren’t complete until Saturday. She comes back every day to have her polish changed because she can’t make a decision. It’s the same deal every time. Lord help me if I get a new polish — that will set her back another week!
CRYSTAL L. JONES, Royal Treatment Salon and Spa, Lancaster, Ky.
Nag Nag Nag
I was doing the nails of a little old lady who was very particular. As a new tech, I wanted to please her, so I soaked up her recommendations and brushed off her criticisms. After listening to her nag for 45 minutes about how I wasn’t doing her nails right, I grew weary. I just wanted her the heck out of my chair. I polished her nails, placed her hands under the nail dryer, and then took off to the back room, telling myself I would never book her again. When I returned to check on her nails, I saw that the red polish had smeared on every finger. My eyes darted to the red streaks now visible in her gray hair. At first I thought I should tell her and clean up the mess, but instead, I sent her on her way!
LORI PENDERGRAFT, Nails by Lori (inside A Personal Design), Spokane, Wash.
A client came in for a full set and seemed genuinely happy when she left. She called to schedule a fill appointment, but then no-showed. She called again to reschedule. Again she no-showed. This happened four or five times. Finally, she showed up one day with no appointment. I felt bad for her, so I told her I could do her nails. Big mistake. Normally, fills take 20 to 40 minutes. These took two-and-a-half hours!
During the appointment, she complained about the shape and the length, finally taking the file and shaping her own nails. During the polish application she pinched back the sides of her fingers to make sure I covered the whole nail. Before I applied the top coat, she got up and ran over to my boss to complain, saying I am a messy painter. She refused to pay for the service and stormed out. Later that day, she came back and slapped quarters on my desk, saying that was my tip!
LILYANN NGUYEN, Znails Salon and Spa, North Hollywood, Calif.
Dine and Dash
It was my first appointment with my new client, whom I will call Cruella DeVille. She arrived 20 minutes late. I was not happy, but since she had been referred by a dear friend and client I simply asked if she had hit traffic. She sensed I was irritated, which irritated her. Cruella was a caterer and her first request was that I file out the avocado from under her acrylic nail. I politely handed her a nail brush and pointed in the direction of the restroom. Cruella talked throughout her appointment, mostly slamming my friend! When I thought things couldn’t get worse, she threw me a curve ball. “Lunch is on me today for the whole salon!” Cruella announced. What the heck? I thought Cruella must have realized she was late, rude, dirty, demanding, and self-absorbed. She brought in a feast from a nearby Mediterranean restaurant. Everyone began thanking her for her generosity — until we received a call from the restaurant saying her credit card had been declined! “I’ll mail a check,” she promised and breezed out the door. It will surprise no one when I say the check never arrived.
RACHEL JONES, Ravisante, San Mateo, Calif.