Thanks for the Compliment, Sorry You're Bleeding

I just don't understand why people want to squirm when they're getting their nails done. It seems like a no-brainer that you would want to sit still. I mean, sure, there's always the Murphy's Law factor that your face will itch just when you can't scratch it, but I'm not talking about a little scratching here or there. I'm talking about, "Excuse me, have you been diagnosed with adult hyperactivity/attention deficit disorder? Here's some Ritalin, now SIT STILL!"


First I have to convince my clients that they need to scooch their chair all the way up to the edge of my desk. I cannot do their nails if they are sitting three feet away from the desk. Once they have scooched, I have to tell them to sit facing forward, with both hands on the table.


"No. Not like that. RELAX. No, don't do that. No, that doesn't help. No, just let your elbows relax. Don't hold your elbows all tight against your boobs like that — that can’t be comfortable and it sure as heck doesn't help me. No. No, No. See how when you pull your elbows in like that, your hands sit perpendicular to the desktop? I can't see both sides of the nails. If I can't see the nails, I can't do the nails."


How it is that so many people can actually find excuses for "not being able" to relax is beyond me. But eventually I get most people wrestled into some sort of position that works. Then their cell phone rings. And they just have to see who it is. They don't answer it most of the time, but they just can't stand not knowing who is calling. Of course, the phone is in their purse, across the room or on the floor. So they reach down, or backwards, with one hand and try to grab their phone. All the while holding their other hand out so I can — theoretically — keep working on it.


Really? You think I can keep working like that? You have leaned backward, moving the hand I was working on about a foot away and another foot to the right and are waving it frantically in tiny circles in the air to keep your balance while your phone, which is set to ring way too loud by the way, continues to play whatever craptacular song you personally love at the moment. Still, you think I can keep a steady grip on that hand and still manage to ... what? File the nails without cutting you? Drill the nail without cutting you? Apply product without getting it up to your elbow? Polish your nails without getting it up to your elbow? Just, exactly, what do you think I can do with that hand?


No thanks. I will sit here quietly and wait for you to get your phone... (humming quietly to myself) ... Which has now gone to voicemail. Which means it keeps beeping because you haven't checked the missed call yet " Oh, well that's good, you're sister called. Sure, I can wait while you check the voicemail. I totally understand that you weren't expecting her to call — it might be important. (hum hum) Oh good! Penney's has shoes on sale. Well I'm glad you found that out. Alright, let's get back to your nails now ... No! Please! Just go ahead and leave your phone on the table in case it rings again!"


Then, of course, someone else in the salon will eventually stop by my desk to chat. And now my client will have to tell a story that will require the use of her hands. And so starts the challenge of chasing her hands through the air again.


I have often considered building a stockade that I can lock my clients' hands down with. Of course, that probably won't fix it either, since they also don't understand that the rest of the body is connected to their arms. If they are dancing with their feet, it moves their hands too.


I finally decided to take it as a compliment. I'm flattered that my clients feel so comfortable and trusting while in my chair that they feel safe to flail about while I attempt to file their nails using a power tool that is spinning at 18,000 RPMs. That's great. Thank you. Thank you very much. Note to self: Make sure my insurance is up to date.


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