Customer Service

Ask The Manicurist (Sept. 2009)

The manicurist-aka Rebecca Seals has returned! Sit back for a chuckle while she reprimands clients who use and abuse their techs.


Client: I have patronized the same nail lady for more than five years. My regular standing appointment is on Friday, and I’m her last customer for the day. At least once a month I ask her to do my feet, and many times I let her do a re-polish in between. I often surprise her and also line up my daughter for extra services whenever she’s in town. With both of us receiving so many extras, I feel like I help earn my nail lady a lot of extra cash by the end of the month. Imagine my shock when I asked her to do my toes the other day, and she informed me that she didn’t work overtime anymore, and that I’d have to wait on a cancellation like everyone else! I hate to show up even for my regular appointment now since she acted so rude! What would you do?

Miss Manicurist: Since you seem like a giving person who is dedicated to your nail tech, let me see if I can say this gently: you, my dear, might have a warped view of how things really are. Your long-suffering “nail lady” would have to be cuckoo to continue to work overtime at least once a month without notice, work overtime on most of her Friday evenings, and work overtime for your daughter whenever she flits into town! I bet you were shocked when she finally enlightened you that you and your daughter must make appointments and wait on cancellations like the rest of us peasants. I’m sorry it hurt, but you’re much better off now that you know. I’ll tell you exactly what I’d do to save face. I’d pull out the ole apology coupon, pray that it hadn’t expired after five long years, and then call to make an appointment in advance, with nary a mention of the dispute.

The lowdown: Your “nail lady” is still the kind and overworked professional she’s always been; you just need to show her that you and your daughter are a cool, calm, and collected class act who’ve wised up. 

Client: During the last eight years, I’ve witnessed my nail tech’s business go from few to fabulous. She even has a waiting list. I’m happy for her success, and I enjoy the benefits of her expertise in my services, but I’m really becoming irritated about a few things now that she’s so busy. For instance, I used to be able to linger in her chair indefinitely while my polish dried, and we used to be able to enjoy long conversations while my hands soaked in paraffin. Now, I feel like a number on an assembly line while she ushers me from chair to chair while servicing others. I miss the one-on-one, undivided attention time! Should I look for someone else who’s a little less busy and a little more appreciative?

Miss Manicurist: Well, you could, but you might end up as a salon hopper in a perpetual state of stagnation. You know, start with another newcomer, and then when she becomes busy move on again, and so on. Let’s look at the true picture we have here. You’re in a snit because your nail tech is burgeoning with success and doesn’t have as much time to dote on you as before. That so-called assembly line that you’re maligning is better known as good management. It is ridiculous to think your tech can earn a living chitchatting with you during down times instead of working on someone else while you soak/ talk/dry. There’s no way she could go from few to fabulous without being prompt, professional, efficient, artistic, and smart. I think you should count your blessings to belong to her elite clientele, and be glad you got in when you did.

The lowdown: Your nail tech is not being unappreciative when she advances in her career by becoming faster, smarter, and wiser in her use of time. Continue to enjoy the benefits of her expertise or give your time to one of the people on her waiting list.  

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