Sometimes I can be a bit much. Or so I’ve been told. I talk a lot. I can be quite animated and I’ve never been very good at all that “polite conversation” stuff — always sticking to “safe” subjects and avoiding controversy.
No. If you are going to come visit me, sit in front of me, and hold my hand for an hour or two every two weeks for months or even years on end, we should get to know each other. And the sooner we figure out if there are any deal-breakers between us, the sooner you can move on to a new nail lady and the sooner I can fill your spot with a more compatible client.
It’s like speed dating. Only slower, with less dating and more nailing. Um — (cough cough) — I don’t mean NAILING, I mean getting nailed... no, wait...I mean getting your nails done!
So on a client’s first visit to me, I am likely to spend our time together first trying to discern the client’s needs and expectations of her service; second, getting to know basic stuff like where she works or goes to school, what she does or wants to do, is she married? Any kids, pets, etc.?; and third, can she hang with my neighbors, who tend to be more like TV sitcom caricatures than actual people (one client referred to the massage therapist as my personal Kramer), who pop in randomly and say amazingly hysterical — though totally inappropriate — things with no warning.
I used to try to introduce the neighbors gradually, but I finally came to the conclusion that if a client couldn’t hang, then this was not going to work out long-term anyway. So now we employ a full immersion technique.
I’m also likely to go off on deep, philosophical rants about religion, politics, the existence of free will, and whether we ever landed on the moon.
MOST people seem to take it in stride. No one has ever thrown a fit and run out. Sometimes people move on, and I always end up learning something about each person’s personal limits. I like the people who are different than me, but don’t have to fight about it. Those make for the best conversations and the best long-term clients.