Naturally, over the years, I have met hundreds of people and done thousands of nails. And, as is the nature of the business, not everyone I've met has remained on my client list.
Clientele turns over for a million different reasons, but there are always those people I miss. Some have moved away, some have merely moved on. Some move on to other nail techs, some just stop getting their nails done altogether. Several have become on-again/off-again clients that I might see for a few weeks or months every couple of years.
I was thinking about some of these clients earlier today. Thinking about how much it sucks that some of my favorite people have to book an appointment with me just to hang out and play catch up every so often. And I don't mean "book an appointment" like making plans to get together, I mean, book an appointment as in schedule a service with me. Yes, they actually have to schedule an appointment and pay me for my time.
That struck me as pretty messed up. Like, what kind of friend am I that in order to hang out with me you have to see me at work and pay me?
Naturally, I realize that this is my job. Of course I understand why I expect anyone who wants my undivided attention for any length of time during my regularly scheduled work day to actually book an appointment. But we could just plan to do lunch...
Which brings up a whole flip-side to the issue: I'm not a pity case.
I can't tell you how often personal friends and relations have tried to schedule services with me that they don't really need or want for the express purpose of "getting together."
I cannot tell you how insulting this can be. If you are a long-lost friend from high school and are going to be in town just for the weekend and want to see me, do not try to book a mani/pedi with me because you want to "catch up" or "hang out." First of all: I don't need your money so badly that you have to whirl in from where ever you managed to escape to after high school and let me rub your feet for a few bucks. You aren't doing me a favor. This is my job. I've been doing it for a long time, I'm good at it, and I already have a regular clientele that keeps me busy (and my bills paid) throughout my workweek so that I could afford to meet up with you for lunch and/or drinks at a local restaurant and have a conversation at eye level if you really wanted to "hang out and catch up," thank you.
Which is probably why we keep getting the advice that our clients should be clients and our friends should be friends... If my friends and former clients really want to hang out and give me their money? I think they should just buy me lunch.