Sometimes I avoid confrontation. Not because it makes me nervous or because I’m afraid to face anyone, but because I’m so #$!@ing mad that I know I won’t be able to remain coherent, let alone professional.
So it is that I have sat and stewed for the last two days since receiving two voicemails that left me mad enough to kick puppies.
I don’t like telephones. In all honesty, I would really benefit from working in a salon with a receptionist who handles calls and books appointments for me. But I do like being in control of my appointments, so I have intentionally shied away from having a receptionist. How it is that so many of my colleagues manage to convince their clients that not answering the phone during services is a good thing? I try not to answer the phone while I’m performing services, but that often means that it’s several hours before I can check my voicemail and return calls.
I also am not a morning person; I work late most days — late enough that it would be inappropriate to return calls when I get off work.
And I rarely answer the phone on my days off. I figure if I used the salon (as opposed to my cell), clients would have to leave a message at the salon and wait until I returned to work before I could return their call. Why should I be available 24/7 just because I use my cell phone?
Monday evening I checked my voicemail. I had two messages from the same client — a client who has been with me for seven years now. The first one was left at 3 p.m. She called to say, “I have a new client for you” and asked me to call her back. The second message was left at 4:41 p.m. the same day. This message was the one that has kept me from calling her back. Essentially, she made a comment about my never returning phone calls, then she let me know how “disappointed” she is in me. Then she said that she “had” a new client for me, and that “you still have an opportunity, if you have an availability on Wednesday.”
Her tone was extremely calm and soft, but also incredibly demeaning. Not to mention I haven’t seen clients on Wednesdays in five years, and I don’t personally think an hour and 41 minutes is too long to have to wait for a return call.
Oh yeah, and how about six weeks ago when this same client stood me up? When I called her 15 minutes into her scheduled appointment she was totally blasé about having forgotten her appointment. But since she said she was on her way to a funeral at that exact moment, I cut her some slack. She said she’d call me later to reschedule, but she never did. Like I said, she’s been a client for seven years, so I sat tight. I didn’t hear from her for two more weeks — when she showed up at the salon on a Monday afternoon long before I was scheduled to be there. She had arbitrarily decided to switch appointment times with another client she knows, except the other client had her day wrong. Not to mention Client B was scheduled for a simple fill on pink-and-whites (about 1/2 an hour of time), while Client A is not only due for a fancy glittery, rock star backfill, but also hasn’t been in for four weeks (which will easily set me back 1 1/2 hours)!
Why do they think they can just switch up their appointments on me like that?
The last appointment thing ended up getting worked out, but do you think I got an apology for standing me up two weeks prior? Or an offer to compensate me for my lost wages? Anything? Even a latté?
But now I hear that I’m disappointing her because I didn’t call her back within an hour? And why can’t her friend call me herself if she wants to make an appointment?
Oooooh... There, now I’m too mad to call her again.