I arrived at work today and the receptionist told me my client was ready but that she was told to come in early to meet with the owner about getting a perm. The poor woman was sitting in her robe in the reception area. Not in the back. Not in the owner's chair at her station, but with fully clothed people waiting. The owner didn't show up until 10:10 a.m.. My client was there at 9.30 a.m. because she was told to be there early. So her consultation lasted all of five minutes. The owner (who I will now, and from hereon out, refer to as The Debil) came over to me and said she was ready and that she "threw her into the first room. I don't know. Is that where you're going with her?" I opened the door to the massage area and the first room was empty. I opened the door farther and there was my client standing in the hallway. I said, "Hi. Ready?" I'd already introduced myself to her in the lobby. She said, "Well, actually I'm freaking out. That lady (The Debil) said, "Well, I've already gone 15 minutes into your massage so we're done". I don't want to get a short massage. That is the whole reason I'm here." I assured her she was fine. WTH? Why would The Debil say that as if it was the client's fault they were running so far behind? Whatever. So I went out to the desk and told the receptionist that I would be giving my client the full hour.
I go back in and my client said, "I want to get a perm. I haven't had one in years and I've grown it out just for the occasion. I sat in that woman's chair and the first question she asked me was how often do I color my hair. I don't color my hair. She told me she's been doing hair for 40 years. Forty years and she can't tell I don't put color on my hair? I don't think I want her giving me a perm. And how can you tell someone 'Well...what I don't want is my hair to look like...yours' without sounding rude?"
Me: nervous laughter followed by an...um...and a...erm...and finally a...yeah.
Then she said, "Who does your hair?" I said, "My mom." She said, "Could she give me a perm?" Oh God. This sucks for many reasons. Two of them being, my mom will kill me for drumming up more business for her. And secondly...um...is this a trap? Am I being filmed? Is there a camera hidden in my oil? Perhaps that awful painting The Debil did (the whole salon is dripping in hideous paintings The Debil did and most clients say 'That is awful!' or 'That's um...interesting') has a hidden voice recorder in it. I began to freak out and my heart was racing.
Many questions and insults later I finally said, "Well, I'm sure The Debil (I said 'she') does a great job. I don't know much about what goes on in the salon, but she's been in business a long time and I've never heard anyone complain." Hell! I don't know!! Finally, she begged me for my mom's work number. I said, "Well, okay. As long as you're not like...The Debil's niece and you're setting me up." She said, "Oh my God. You aren't her daughter or something, are you? And I've done nothing but bitch the whole time I've been in here." I said, "NO!" God no.
I gave her my card and wrote my mom's work number on the back (sorry, mom) and went to where my friends were sitting and said, "Yeah. So I'm going to be fired today." I told them the whole story. They informed me that The Debil doesn't even give perms. That in fact, one bride hated her hot rolled updo so much they had to wash her hair and start all over again and she just ended up wearing it straight. "That bad, eh?" I asked. I ran and told my client's facialist to tell her to tell the desk she'd changed her mind. I didn't know people still got perms, but it wasn't going to be cheap and I'm pretty sure she was going to hate it since The Debil's husband told her on the phone when she made her appointment that, "...they can start you off in rollers and then switch you over to these other rollers the size of beer cans." Dear Lord.
My client was also pretty miffed that the receptionist asked, "Have you ever even had a manicure or pedicure before?" She said, "I wanted to say, 'Lady. I spend sixty dollars a week on my nails'. This place scares me."
Me: more nervous laughter...looks under massage table for recording device
My friend was telling me that her client was about to have lunch the other day and noticed it was chicken salad. The client was allergic. My friend told the The Debil. The Debil's husband just happened to have a salad he was going to eat. They gave that to the client, opened the dressing...big fat hair in it. The Debil asked my friend if it was her hair. Uh!! Then she got furious and took back a bottle of vinegar and a bottle of oil and told the client, "You really should've told us you were allergic to chicken. You're lucky we had something else for you to eat." Hello! Bitchy much! Who does that? How was she supposed to know we were going to serve her chicken? I guess if you're allergic you should always ask ahead of time, but come on!
So my fear of being fired waned when I remembered I won't have to work there for long. Ahhh.