Pure Art

You know what I hate doing? Nail art.

Seems silly for someone who specializes in nail art to say, huh? But I don't mean that I hate doing nail art — I mean I hate doing just nail art. Especially when that's not what they say when we book the appointment.

It happens kind of a lot. I do some kickin’ artwork on somebody and next thing I know I get a call from someone they work with/go to school with/go to church with/are related to/random stranger they met at the store who wants kickin’ nail art too.

So they call me up and set up an appointment and during that process our conversation goes something like this:

THEM: "One of my friends gets her nails done by you and I wanted to make an appointment with you."

ME: "OK. What are we going to do? Do you have nails on now? Or will we doing a full set?"

THEM: "Ummmm ... well, I have nails on now but I don't really like the place I've been going. I seen on your website some really cute nails that you did and I wanted something like that." (Yes. They REALLY say "seen.")

ME: "OK, well if it's on my website then I can do it. So you'll need a fill and some nail art? Were the ones you liked rockstars or handpainted?"

THEM: "Ummmm ... They were sort of long and had zebra print on them with some sort of pink ..."


Well, let's face it. At this point I've realized that this person has no earthly clue what it is she really wants on her nails. But I'm pretty sure that she's going to need a fill and I should allow for enough time for sitting around going through the photo albums. So I book an hour and a half and end the conversation with something like, "OK. So you have nails on now? So we're gonna at least be doing a fill? OK. Don't worry, I have photo albums with all the same pictures that are on my website so you can show me which nails you liked when you get here!"

Most of the time this process results in spending an hour and a half chit chatting with a new client while doing her nails. But there are those few occasions when what happens is that she shows up with nails that have been filled and polished in the last two days — and she doesn't want a fill. She just wants nail art.

Every once in a blue moon, this even gets communicated clearly during the appointment-booking process.

The problem is, they don't understand that it takes just as long to book an appointment for just nail art as it does to book an appointment for a fill. And a fill with nail art only takes a little more time than just nail art. But they show up with their nails already done and they think they are going to sit down and pay me $5 for nail art that tied up nearly an hour of my time. Then they get all butthurt when I explain to them that if they just get nail art — I charge by the hour. Which means they are in for at least $30.

I don't know why it takes an hour of my life to do just nail art but only takes 15 minutes to do the same nail art at the end of a fill. Maybe I'm already warmed up after a fill? Maybe it's because we've already spent all that deciding-what-to-do time deciding what to do while I was already busy doing something else? All I know is that there ain't no way I'm doing just nail art for $5-$10. Especially when nobody explained to me that that's all we were doing when we made the appointment!

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