I've got this one client … You know where this is headed, don't you?
So I've had this client, off and on, for several years. And for several years, off and on, I've come this close to sitting her down and telling her to bugger off. And for several years, off and on, every time I get to the point of doing so, she turns it around in the bottom of the ninth and saves her @$$ to wear my nails another day.
On one hand, she's a dream client. Her nail beds are exquisite, she gets a backfill with nail art at every appointment, she takes excellent care of her nails and rarely chips or breaks one — and she fills my head with nonsense about how I'm the best nail tech in the world.
On the other hand, she's a nightmare. She reschedules constantly and about every fourth check bounces. She always takes care of a returned check, but seriously, how many times do you bounce a check before it dawns on you that maybe you aren't responsible enough to write checks? At the very freakin’ least, get a bank that gives you overdraft protection.
It's the rescheduling that ultimately drives me insane. And this one client isn't the only one who does it. What is up with these people who call you and beg you for a time slot to get their nails done? Who insist on having a standing appointment and then proceeded to cancel or reschedule every other appointment? And they are always people who have reserved one of those prime 5:30 p.m. appointments.
I swear I'm going to start charging a premium for those spots.
So here's my current frustration with this one client: She calls me up and cancels her latest appointment with 1 hour and 45 minutes notice. She had to leave me a voicemail because I was up to my elbows in acrylic when she called and I just wasn't at a point in the service that made it easy to grab the phone. (I really need to find a decent blue tooth earpiece.) So, as soon as I could I checked the message:
"Maggie? This is that one client. I don't think I'm gonna make my appointment tonight. I'm sick. <cough cough> I've been really sick all week actually. I know you were sick a couple of weeks ago too. Can I just come in next week?"
Now, mind you. I was sick a couple of weeks ago. I didn't miss any work. I didn't miss her appointment. And I doubt I was the one who got her sick since mine was allergy-related. So I'm not entirely sure what her point was for mentioning my being sick.
What I do know is that it makes me about hoppin’ mad to have someone give me less than two hours notice of a cancellation when they are sick! Especially when they proceed to explain that they've been sick "all day." COME ON PEOPLE! That's just crap! Then you knew you were sick when you woke up that morning and called your employer to tell them you wouldn't be in. You can't make one more stinkin’ phone call to let ME know?
I tell my clients to give me at least two-hours notice if they need to cancel or reschedule. Two hours is the bare minimum amount of notice that still gives me a chance to call someone else and fill the spot. I understand 24 hours is sometimes more than they might have themselves. They might have a babysitting arrangement fall through at the last minute, or might have to go pick up a sick kid from school, or have to take their grandkid to the ER because he just fell out of a tree, or drive to Stanford suddenly because their husband just had an aortal hernia — all true stories from clients who CALLED ME as soon as they found out they would be doing something other than getting their nails done. All gave less than 24-hours notice, but all of them gave as much notice as they had!
But not this one client. She has it in her head that two-hours notice is all I want, all I need, all she has to give to get her out of paying a fee. Problem is, I changed that policy over a year ago. It's been at my station, and on my website since February 2008. And, she didn't give me two hours notice. One hour, 49 minutes. And now she wants to know if I'm mad at her.
Not mad. Just sick. Actually, I've been feeling sick for a while now. Sorry I didn't give you more notice.