Last-Minute Notice
  • Maggie Franklin
  • April 16, 2014

I am supposed to be getting ready to go to work. Instead, I am waiting for a plumber.

You see, we have these beautiful coastal Redwood trees in our front lawn. I love trees. The BF loves trees. My mom? Not so much. She’s terrified of them. It’s kinda funny.

But the tree roots make a mess of anything that get in their way — like plumbing.

So we now have a plumber. Like my clients have a nail lady — you know, ONE go-to guy that gets called about once a year to clear the main drain so we can continue to enjoy the modern convenience of running water inside our home. He’ll be here around 11:00 this morning.

Which means I can’t go to work at noon.... yes, noon. I haven’t been able to lock up the salon until well after 9 p.m. for months now, so I currently have the first two hours of my daily schedule marked off indefinitely. Doesn’t hurt my feelings much; I’m still working 10-hour days four times a week (and six hours on Fridays) and I’ve never been a morning person anyway. Going to work at noon still feels like a normal person’s 8 a.m. to me.

Since there is currently no hope of taking a shower or flushing a toilet in the house, it just figures that my day is booked solid. So here I am, waiting on the plumber, and desperately trying to get ahold of my first client for the day to let her know that I really need to make her the first client tomorrow.

Which made me think, “Man, that is only a little less than three-hours’ notice.” Which is less than I ask from my clients when they need to reschedule. But I try to extend to my clients the courtesy that I hope they will afford me. Which is why, when someone cancels with an hour’s notice because her car wouldn’t start, or because her dog ran out of the gate, or because she has to wait for the plumber, I try to be understanding.

Some salons have “not our problem” policies — short notice is short notice and the policies get enforced regardless of the reason for that short notice. I totally understand the thinking behind those policies and I can’t say I’m against salons that can make them work.

Just remember, unforgiving policies will not earn you understanding and respect when you need to turn the tables on your clients. So before you decide that someone owes you that cancellation charge even though the reason she missed her appointment was because her husband was being air-lifted to Stanford for emergency surgery, think how you would want your clients to react if you had to miss their appointment for some reason? Because if no emergency is good enough for a client to miss their appointment, then no emergency is good enough for you to miss theirs.

Keywords:   cancellation fees     policies and procedures  

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