Nails 101: A Student Blog

Attitude Matters

by NAILS Magazine | June 19, 2012

Have you ever had one those days where everything seems to go wrong? I recently had one of those days and let me tell you it was no fun.

The day began normal as usual, practicing acrylic on my mannequin fingers and then it happened. Somehow I dropped my acrylic brush and completely bent the tip. After trying my best to straighten the bristles, they are still bent at the very tip. The brush is now making awkward acrylic balls. Even though that was frustrating, it gives me a reason to research and find some new brushes.

So I moved past the acrylic brush episode onto gel nails. After putting a full set of gel overlays on my client, it was brought to my attention that now five days later she was experiencing some small cracks in the product. I have no idea what happened. I’ve done this a few times before and haven’t had any problems (that I know of). I’ve been going over the steps to see what went wrong and I can’t figure it out. I pushed back and removed the cuticle, dehydrated and primed the nail before beginning the gel application. I just don’t know. To make matters worse, when I grabbed my camera to take a photo so I could share it here with everyone, I dropped and broke it. It was at this point that a little self-doubt crept in.

At this point I was frustrated and beside myself. I had even considered going home a little early to get myself together. But before I could make a final decision I was assigned a client. The client was having a soak-off with a new full set. Several people passed on this client (we aren’t supposed to do that) because she has a reputation of being difficult. Attitudes whether good or bad are contagious, and we both couldn’t have one, so I tried to get myself together to get out of this funk.

My client arrived; she was running late so I woudn’t be able to complete her entire service. I greeted her, explained that I’ll be starting her service and another student will complete it, and began on her soak-off. After a few nervous minutes, we were having a good conversation. I learned that she had moved here from Washington, D.C., where she had been going to her nail tech for 25 years. She had a service at a salon here only to receive a fungus on three fingers. When she tried another salon the tech forgot to use primer and all her nails lifted, so now she only comes to the school. She figures that the students haven’t had a chance to develop any bad habits yet.

I really enjoyed talking with her. Perhaps she was difficult on her first visit, which probably frazzled the student and earned her a reputation. Since she had that label, people approached her already on the defensive, which in turn triggered a negative response from her and the cycle continued.

Today I learned that in this industry it is extremely important to keep your attitude in check. I was having a bad day and was in a funk. If I hadn’t taken the time to get myself together, I could have passed that bad attitude on to my client. So while I’m searching for a new acrylic and gel brush as well as a gel system (any suggestions?), I’m going to remember to keep a positive attitude.

— Starr

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