Drawing the Line

At some point in your career — if you're going to work by appointment for very long — you're going to find yourself on an angry cleaning frenzy, or soothing your nerves with an unexpected latte during the time you should have been working.

There are two situations in which getting stood up is particularly irritating: when you really need the money and when you're so busy that there are at least three other people who would have really liked to have had that appointment time. But no matter what the situation is, it absolutely sucks to get stood up.

It's so rude. And it feels so personal. And it never fails that the person who totally blew you off without bothering to call will think nothing of it and expect you to simply reschedule her.

And this is where you start looking at all the other nail techs — and hairstylists, and doctors, and hotels, and even campgrounds — who have cancellation (or lack thereof) policies that require a minimum notice for cancellation and charge a fee for failing to give it.

And that's when you write one up and hang it on the wall and ... then what? How many of us have policies that we stutter and sputter and ultimately fail to enforce?

Well, I finally borrowed the wording from a doctor's office appointment card I happened to find lying on a table somewhere; my policy now says that I "reserve the right to charge" which gives me some leeway in deciding which situations require putting my foot down vs. which ones get a nod and an understanding, "no, that's fine, I totally understand."

This morning I am writing my blog post during a little unexpected downtime. Unexpected and unhappy downtime. I knew she wasn't going to show. I darn near just stayed all warm and snuggy in bed this rainy morning, curled up with the dogs for just a little extra time... instead of hauling my butt down here and waiting around for someone that I just had a feeling wasn't going to bother walking through my door.

So I have updated my Facebook pages and made a trip down to Starbucks and now I'm typing this up and hopefully that'll take up the time till my next — reliable, responsible, considerate, mature — client shows up.

And yeah, I will be telling the MIA client that she owes me for my morning time that I could have given to someone else. (I oughta charge her for the coffee too.) And she can argue all she wants with whatever excuse she comes up with but I'm not hearing it. She tells me she “does hair” or “used to do hair” or whatever. Anyone who's ever worked in a salon gets no pity — unless they missed their appointment because they were being chased by tigers.

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