You might think that the life of a nail technician is all rosey posey. For the most part it is, but every once in a while the sh*t can hit the fan!
The People Pleaser:
By nature I am a people pleaser. I generally won’t raise a fuss. Rarely send my food back at a restaurant and certainly try to avoid any confrontation. I like the high road. You know, the one way up here where very few travel. Where you just generally swallow you emotions and hope that it is for the greater good of humanity. I’m joking…..kind of.
It’s tough being this people pleaser/perfectionist. But as tough as it is, I really feel that it is necessary to run a successful business. There have been a few times when I may have had to bite my tongue or tune out something a client or co-worker had said or done. Sometimes there is just no point. I would rather pay my bills you know? (shrugs*)
But over the years there is one instance that really stands out. A time when I wish I stood my ground, because no amount of money is worth feeling like absolute turd.
Sick As A Dog:
I was sick. So sick. Like sweaty with chills and a runny nose. Any nail tech knows how ‘effing hard it is to do nails with a runny nose. Its nearly impossible. But what can sometimes be worse, is trying to reschedule all your clients because you need a sick day! Nail techs and estheticians rarely take sick days. Its just not worth it.
So here I was, sick as a dog and as my day is going forward I am getting worse and worse. I really want to go home. I want to curl up into a ball and die! I make the decision to cancel the rest of my day and go home. For the most part when you tell someone that you are sick and need to go home, they receive it pretty well. They don’t want to get sick either. And this was even pre-Covid.
Most of my girls were kind and told me to get rest and call them when I felt better. All of them except for one.
She begged. I mean begged. The sound of desperation in her voice! I can still hear it. Which is ridiculous really, because they are only nails at the end of the day and I’m sure there are other nail techs out there.
She proceeded to tell me about her horrible morning. The kids were crazy, the dog ran away and she was late for her first meeting of the day. Sounds awful* Now she was so excited to get her nails done and I was just going to cancel?! Could her day get any worse?? (Insert eye roll here)
She then told me she would pay double. I sighed and asked myself how badly I wanted to go home. I told her I still couldn’t do it. By this point I am almost in tears. Mostly because I am just feeling sorry for myself and want to go to bed. Also because I feel like I am playing a roll in her “horrible” day.
She wouldn’t take no for an answer. She offered me triple! That’s what broke me. How could I turn down $160 for one hour worth of work?? With tears literally streaming down my face I agreed and did her nails.
Was it the end of the world? No. I was able to go to bed and rest shortly after. But let me tell you that I certainly have some feelings about this, to this day.
What Is Your Self-Worth Worth?
Firstly, I am annoyed with myself that I let $160 break me. Maybe she would have offered $500!! You never know. But looking back the money wasn’t even that important. My self-worth is far more important to me. I didn’t stand up for myself. Not even a little. I laid the groundwork for her to continue to take advantage of me. She now knew I was soft and had no backbone.
Secondly, She felt that her situation was more important than mine and I bought right into it. Literally. We all go through sh*t on the daily. I made the choice to let her situation be more important than my health. That sounds crazy to even think about. Her powder pink nails were more important than me. Bottom line. And that stings a little.
Thirdly, over the next year she continued to bail on appointments, cancel last minute and have zero respect for me and my business. Again, her agenda was clearly more important. After a while I stopped allowing her to book appointments with me and passed her off to one of my co-workers. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.
This little incident was at least five yeas ago and It stays with me today. It stays with me to serve as a reminder to hold my self-worth up to a higher standard. It reminds me to never bully or push myself onto someone who needs space. And it reminds me to follow my gut and stick up for myself gosh darn it!!
That was the day my client made me cry. I survived. More importantly I learned something. Which really is the best thing I can take away from that experience. That and maybe push for the $500 next time!!! 😛
Thank you my loves for reading and following along. I am going to start sharing some more personal stories from my career. Stay tuned for all the juicy goodness!!
Cheyanne – The Nail Lamp Tramp