Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week 6: Substitute, Overbooking and a Very Special Client

by NAILS Magazine | June 15, 2012
Here we are, just around the halfway mark. I don't feel as though I should be halfway done with school but I am ever the perfectionist and maybe I am just a bit afraid. I am still lacking self-confidence even though I am receiving nothing but praise and high test scores. Does this ever pass or will I always doubt myself? 

We had a substitute teacher on Wednesday and Thursday. Our teacher was out for a family function and left us in amazing hands. Our substitute was a former student who in fact won student of the year. It was truly a pleasure working with this lady and hearing her feedback on what we all as students have accomplished. I am not sure how other schools stack up in regards to instructors, but I feel we have totally stolen the cream of the crop :)

This week for the first time we encountered a scheduling problem that many of you may tremble in fear about — overbooking! We are six students strong but had been over-scheduled for the longer services requiring at least two hours since we are still in the beginning phases of learning acrylic on real hands. This resulted in nine bookings that all somehow were supposed to be done simultaneously or had been booked in the slot reserved for short services. My freebie person and, oddly enough, a friend of mine were both rescheduled as we were expecting two severe nail biters to come in for acrylics. With the teacher out, this left only me knowing how to do the button technique on the biters and another student who was willing to sit next to me so I could coach her with her biter client. Then, 30 minutes before their services they both canceled. All this happened after rescheduling the two who would have shown and been early for their own service. I was pretty disappointed. I really wanted more practice with nail nibblers. And this left me and one other lady without a set of hands so we ended up kidnapping barbers from across the hall and giving free manicures all night.

Now here’s a story about my client of the week — or maybe even of a lifetime. Today I did a pedicure on the most outstanding woman I have met in a long time. With a terminal illness hanging over her, she was nothing but wonderful. Soft-spoken and friendly, she totally had us all charmed from the moment she walked in. A service that normally only took about an hour I stretched out on purpose as she was so vibrant and happy to be telling me all about her wonderful sons, husband, and home. She was thrilled for a bit of pampering. One son is a Gideon and another should probably have several statues in his honor for his service to this nation. As a service provider, maybe we sometimes forget just how personal face-to-face services can be. Our clients consider us friends, family, confidantes, and confessors. But today I was an audience of one to a wonderful woman who just needed to talk, brag, and connect with another person. I truly feel honored to have been the one to connect with her.

After walking her down to her car, she hugged me and thanked me way more than I thought I deserved. I feel like I should have been the one thanking her. Through her quiet dignity and calm confidence she is inspirational. I am sorry but I really do not know how to put into words the impact this one chance meeting had on me. She left with me a sense of hope but also sadness. I cried for her tonight and can only pray the final months are sweet to her.

— Mary                  

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