The Clock Stops Here

I don't know how some of you fellow techs out there do it. Keep your schedules to "normal" business hours, that is. Who are your clients? Where did you find an entire clientele comprised of people who don't have to be at work during those hours?

My clientele is almost entirely comprised of working women. I'm eternally grateful to those who are self-employed, work from home, have variable schedules, take a long lunch, or who just plain play hookie and have a "doctor's appointment" every other week. But I usually have a handful of open slots in my week somewhere between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The phone still rings, regularly, with hopeful — and sometimes desperate — voices on the other end of the line asking for appointments. But when I offer them my next opening on, say, Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m., I hear a disappointed, "Ummm, I work till 5."

I have finally had to draw my line in the proverbial sand and put my foot down hard on my side of that line. And my side of that line happens to be on my side of 5 p.m. I already work till 9 p.m. on a regular basis. In fact, 10 p.m. is not uncommon. There are only so many hours after 5 p.m. and they are full. 

I just love hearing people tell me that I really "need" to start working on Saturdays — or Wednesdays (yeah I take Wednesdays off; it's another long story) — because my current schedule is unable to accommodate them. Well heck! Even with my handful of daytime openings, I average a 42-hour work week! And I only hold my tongue sometimes when someone reveals this incredibly selfish viewpoint with me. I usually let it be known that I can be contracted outside my regularly scheduled hours at double my regular prices — double-time plus Starbucks if it's before 10 a.m. Or I’ll remind them that my inability to schedule them at a time convenient to them does not constitute financial destitution on my part; the fact that my regular schedule is too full to accommodate them, in fact, indicates that I happen to be holding my own without them.

I think everyone should be able to take an hour-and-a-half lunch one day every other week. Maybe two hours. I have yet to think of a business that honestly would not be able to allow one employee to have an extra long lunch each day. I just need a little extra time tacked on to their lunch hours to allow for travel! Let them make it up by coming in an hour earlier or staying an hour later, or just give them the option of taking the extra time off without pay — you know how many of my clients would take that option if it meant they could come get their nails done during the day?

The world is not going to end if one of your four receptionists takes an extra hour for lunch one day every other week!

I suppose the business world is not likely to relinquish their control of their employees' time and lives — I'll have to focus on filling those open slots with the bosses and the self-employed, and the working gals will be stuck with nail techs that work on Saturday.

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