A few days ago I got to fix a set of rock star toes. A friend of a friend had had her toenails done at a local salon just up the street from me last Saturday. Twenty-four hours later, she'd lost one of the nails. By the time I saw her toes on Tuesday night, she was missing two of the nails.
I was called in to try to troubleshoot the problem, which is always so hard to do. There are so many variables involved in why nails break or come off. I'm not just going to automatically say, "Oh well the girl who did your nails obviously did them all wrong!" Because, for one thing, I don't know that and for another, it's not like my own work is infallible.
But after pointing out that she did have very short nail beds on her toes and being reassured that she "never" wears closed toe shoes, I started to wonder. More convincingly to me, she's had rock star toes done several times before by other techs and they've always lasted well over three weeks.
The client in question does not live in Visalia. Which brings me to ask: Are there any nail techs in the Ventura, Calif., area doing rock star toes? And she was leaving town the following day, meaning that she did not have time to give the tech who did her nails the opportunity to fix them for her. So I stayed a little later Tuesday night and re-did them for her.
Once I got up close and personal and started filing off the old product, I started seeing the problem: The tech who'd done her toes had applied way too much gel. The gel flooded the cuticle and had pooled up, and as we all know, it's no surprise that the nails were "popping off."
So, with great concentration, I diligently removed all the existing product while trying to explain to my client why I had to do it.
The whole time I was working I was considering taking a walk up the street to visit the other nail tech. I desperately want to go consult with her and explain where she went wrong and help her solve those problems so she has a better chance of retaining future clients.
But I don't know this other tech. I don't know if she's a newbie. I don't know if she's been doing nails for longer than I have. For all I know, she fit this client into her schedule and half-assed the whole service with no concern for whether or not the nails held. She works at a salon that has kind of a highfalutin reputation here in town, so it strikes me that she might not want to turn out inferior work like that. But then again, maybe she doesn't care. And maybe she would not take kindly to another tech coming in to "help" her out, no matter how sincerely that help might be offered.
I've been thinking about how I would have felt if that had happened to me in my first few years — I think I would have been grateful. But then again, how would I feel if it happened to me today? *gulp* I think I'd suck it up and still go with grateful, even if I might find it a tad rough on the ego.
But in the end, I'll probably stay here in my ivory tower. I don't deal well with rejection and I'd be seriously devastated if she didn't appreciate my efforts.