People Done Lost Their Minds

It seems like everyone in my personal circle returned to “real life” after the three-day weekend to some sort of Crazy that needed sorting out. That kind of shift in the natural flow of your daily life really makes one wonder why we bother taking holidays.

I had my own crazy adventure over the weekend involving the motorcycles, some camping gear, and a couple of “roads” that darn near left the BF a single man. I was actually thrilled to bring my tired, bruised self back to work.

So I unlocked the salon door at one o’clock this afternoon, after (wisely) planning in advance to start the day late to give me a little extra recuperation-from-the-holiday time. I got set up for my first client and started the process of answering text messages and voicemails and re-arranging all the people whose schedules suddenly conflicted with their nail appointments this week.

I took note of what today’s schedule had in store for me and noticed that Baby Bird had an appointment for a full set scheduled for 3 p.m. This is a little early for Baby Bird, who usually comes in around 4:00 or 5:00 and spends the evening hours with me.

But a little before 3:00, Baby Bird still wasn’t here. I rechecked her schedule to discover that her full set had been moved to 4 p.m.

When she arrived, she brought her drama with her.

OK. Not her drama, actually. MY drama. It’s my salon, after all. So I’ll take responsibility for the drama.

Her four o’clock had started texting her on Friday, asking if she could get in ASAP. The salon was already closed for the weekend, so Baby Bird said she could make the appointment for Tuesday. Client said, “Oh, I was thinking of today...can you do it tomorrow?”

Baby Bird explains that the salon is closed for the weekend. The next opening is Tuesday.

Client says that’s not good enough. She’ll just have to go to “one of those places.”

But Baby Bird got a text at 8 a.m. this morning that Client did not go to “one of those places” over the weekend and desperately needed in pronto... Could Baby Bird do her full set AND her rockstar toes in under three hours? We’ve met this client before. I would book three-and-a-half hours to do her nails and toes. Baby Bird is new; it takes her a lot longer to do a set of nails. And this client knows that. And Baby Bird was wise to not make promises she knew she couldn’t keep.

In the end, the client booked for 3 p.m. Then texted to say she was going to be late — by an hour. Her appointment was moved to 4:00, and Baby Bird related this entire saga to me while she — wisely — feared that the day would not end well for her.

I told Baby Bird that if Client wasn’t here by 4:15, she could go home. At 4:27, Client texted to say she couldn’t make it. (Gee, ya think?) At 4:29, Client texted to say she was here and wanted to know if Baby Bird was still available.

But Client NEVER CAME INTO THE SALON. Just texted, presumably from the parking lot. Meanwhile, I took over the conversation and explained that the client was too late and no one was available to do her nails today.

You know, when you hire an employee/take on an intern/get an assistant (or whatever you do), you spend a lot of time planning things like how you’re going to train this new tech to build her technical skills. You think about teaching her how to perform services and such. You — at least, I — don’t really consider how you’re going to train a new tech to handle firing clients.

Poor Baby Bird — she’s my employee, not running her own show. On one hand, that frees her of a lot of stress. All she has to do is shrug and say, “Maggie’s in charge.” On the other hand, it means she’s not sure how to handle things right away. She worries that what she would choose to do isn’t what I will do.

That’s a good employee... and it’s why I’m not one. I take action. And I fear Baby Bird is about to get a lesson in how I do that in the next few days, as I suspect that the second chance I offered this client will result in more apologies that don’t make up for the missed revenue from another missed appointment;  everyone gets a second chance, not thirds.

But it certainly brings up yet another issue for me to address — the texting culture has its pros and cons. What do I do about operating an employee salon without a landline?

What? What, indeed?

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