Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Staying Humble

by Maggie Franklin | May 29, 2012

The last two weeks have been a nightmare to work through. OK, not a nightmare, exactly, but an anxiety-ridden, hand-wringing, headache for borderline OCD me who doesn't multi-task well and goes completely blank if one small thing has been moved out of place.


The good news is that construction on my expansion is finished. I now have an extra room, which will eventually become a pedicure haven ... for the time being it is the place where I have stashed everything from the main salon while I attempt to prepare to paint.


Which means my life is in full-tilt chaos, and I have to smile and do nails every day and act like I'm in total control while all my glitter and polishes are in boxes and I can't find anything.


But I was doing a pretty impressive job of pulling it off until Friday.


Friday I had a new client. A nice lady who called after finding my website because she actually wanted to find a nail tech who disinfected properly! She informed me that she wore a simple overlay with glitter. This was not expected to be a difficult task. In fact, I figured her service would only take about an hour, but since she was a new client, I booked an hour and a half for her. That way I could take a little extra time and get to know her, consult with her, and take care of any little things I might not be expecting.


Except, of course, for total product failure.


The fill was simple. Her polish choice also simple: OPI Gelcolor in "A Good Mandarin is Hard to Find" with the ring fingers in corresponding glitter. NOT a challenge.


Except that the Gelcolor refused to cooperate. The first coat went almost as expected, there was a little shrinking/puckering which I am not used to with OPI Gelcolor, but other brands do it and it's never a deal-breaker. The second coat? Total disaster. Puckering, shrinking, pooling at the sidewalls, ripples, dips, waves— and an attempt to buff it smooth and recoat revealed that although it appeared that the gel was curing on the surface, it was a sticky, gooey mess underneath.


I fought with it for an hour, which was half an hour over the time allotted, with Client #2 waiting patiently and assuring me that it was OK (I think she was concerned I was going to have a full-blown meltdown) and Client #3 waiting with her — but she did, in all fairness, arrive half an hour early.


I finally asked Client #1 if she could return on Monday afternoon, insisting that she not pay me until I fix them, and assuring her that this is not par for the course! I really am an accomplished professional and usually I make a much better first impression.


I have had three days to ponder the cause of the product failure and I think I have a working hypothesis. Of course, I won't be able to do anything about it until after the holiday weekend, but at least I'm pretty sure it isn't something I did wrong.


So not the first impression I was hoping to make, but I guess it's important to stay humble.


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