So… I have been debating on this post for sometime… but about a week ago I had a client that pretty much sealed the deal for me… So I thought I’d share a funny… or hopefully funnier blog post with you about the things I hear and have heard since being an Esthetician… I hope you enjoy! 🙂
So… what prompted me to create this post was due to a client I had last week… she floored me with her… er…ummm hypothesis? theory? I am still trying to be ‘kind’ and not too judgmental about her… but… perhaps you’ll understand after I give you further details…let me set this up…
Client details – approx. 5 feet tall… (or approx. 154 cm.) and apparently extremely knowledgeable about all things brow related or naive… you choose! lol.
So… I was at job #2 – threading at the local mall, this client (above) walks up, she had never come to our KIOSK, she explained in a very very rapid explanation that she had always had threading until she moved to the PDX/Vancouver Metro area, then she gave it a try at another local metro area mall and the girl was apparently too rough and also took way too much hair… I explained to said client that I could take only what she wanted and I’d leave the rest for further grow-out so her brows could fill out and be thicker as she was desiring. She sat in my chair and I prepped my thread, as I was getting ready I asked how far down she wanted me to clean the tops of her brows… she nearly leaped from my chair claiming she didn’t want anyone touching the tops of her brows… I am sure I frowned… I explained that she had A LOT of hair above her brows, I kindly explained I could make the ‘line’ cleaner… but avoid going too deep and leaving her with still a lot of hair… I further pointed out with my finger that she had a lot of excess hair that I could help remove.
The client was extremely adamant about me not touching the tops of her brows. As I was about to start on her bottom brows… I asked once more “Are you sure” in the kindness sweetest voice… because to be frank and honest with you all… her upper brows were bushy, they truly needed some cleaning up and some defined lines… but she said NO and then proceeded to tell me one of the best reasons why… I have ever heard… and I am not sure it will ever be topped… here’s what she said:
Client: “Everytime I have someone take the hair above my brows it makes me look short.” (yes… that’s what she said!)
I stood for a second and burst out laughing… I didn’t intend on laughing as loudly as I did… I am sure it sounded pretty rude of me… I initially assumed this client was kidding… thinking she has a very wise-ass dry sense of humor… and there was just some reason that she didn’t want to share with me… as I calmed down from my giggling fit… I looked down and saw this lady had the most serious face…
ME: (mentally thinking-not saying out loud) oh shit this lady is SERIOUS! quick… do something… but… she’s SERIOUS JAMIE!!! OMG what am I suppose to say?!!! CRAP!!!
Client: (looking up at me from chair) “Haven’t you heard that before?” (in a very condescending voice)
ME: (smiling the best fake smile I can possibly muster and thinking this lady is bat-shit crazy) “Ummm… *big smile* that IS new information for me!”
I started in on threading the lower part of her brows… and finished up. She was, from what I could tell pleased with my work and the fact I did in fact listen to her… but… damn this woman and her “unique ummm…. tips” definitely made me wanna say “herrrrrrre’s your sign”… but that’s counterproductive to the customer service career I chose huh? oh well… I don’t have to filter my brain… 😉
So… this lady got me thinking about all the silly… crazy things I hear in a day… week… month and the entire time I have worked as an Esthetician… specially at that KIOSK… we get some pretty funny things asked, said and suggested… here’s just a few:
- Does that hurt? (Threading) typically my answer is… “Well… it IS pulling hair”
- Do you use the SAME Thread for everyone? (this one always makes me roll my eyes, since 9 times out of 10 I am actually pulling NEW thread from my spool as I am trying to answer said question)
- “No Martha, they’re ‘cutting’ hair off with that thread!” — (then I cut ‘Betty’ off and explain as sweetly as I can… in fact we are PULLING said hairs, NOT cutting them off)
- What is Threading? (I explain it’s a hair removal technique… then get asked) No… what are you doing?! (I say it slower this time… We. Are. Removing. Hair. with. a. thread. and then I try to smile)
- What is it that you are putting on those eyebrows?
- Are you implanting hairs? (this one always kills me… seriously?! we are in a KIOSK, in the middle of the mall, no running water, I am NOT a doctor, AND YOU think we are sewing hairs into someone’s brows?! let’s think about this for a few seconds…)
- Oh my God that’s just gross…. *points to the thread we hold in our mouths* (we try to explain to these people that said thread in our mouths NEVER touches the clients skin EVER, it’s ONLY a tension line… but they are just making a scene… ugh)
- *facial cringing* What are you doing?! (attempt to explain) *client intentionally become defensive-cuts you off* I’ll do waxing, thank you VERY much! (no, thank you!)
- How much longer??!!! (they just signed in and can see I have about 4+ clients on the list before them)
- Same client above comes back 10 minutes later, stomps, huffs, puffs, until I finally look up, and they ask me: “How much longer?!” again…
- Again same client comes back again… this time they huff, puff and then decide they cannot wait and make everyone within earshot know why they cannot wait any longer “You’re just taking entirely TOO long, I can’t wait! I have to go back to work now!” *huffing once more* as they scratch their names off said list. (please come with plenty of time if it’s not a place you can set up appointments, it’s first come first serve, if that’s not acceptable, perhaps get a phone number of the KIOSK or business and call ahead of time to see what the wait times are, still won’t guarantee anything, but, you can get an idea of the wait times, above all, please understand FOR ME I give every single client the same respect… regardless of said service, I take my time with each person and I make sure my quality is my #1 priority and IF that takes an extra 5 or 10 minutes…I can absolutely guarantee you will be much more pleased and less upset when you get home and see all those left hairs because that person rushed… I will never rush through a service).
- Sign in, ask me how much longer, I tell you about 2-3 minutes IF THAT, I explain I am just finishing up, you decide you need a latte, (at Starbucks just down the isle from KIOSK) you neglect to leave me your phone number) I finish up and you are nowhere to be found, another client comes up, I take said client BECAUSE you left me with no contact details, YOU show up and then get upset that I took another person… Here’s a huge clue and TIP: please do not walk away w/o giving us your phone number IF you don’t want that to happen to you… otherwise expect that we have to take someone when they walk up. Sorry… just courtesy.
- Walking down the isle, and your child spits out gum and you the parent watch said child do this awful deed and you choose to turn around and keep walking… why was it so easy to just keep walking??? I get bothered… quickly grab tissue or paper towel and nearly yell at another person ready to walk right into said gum your child kindly left for someone to pick up with their shoes… YUCK! (yes this happens too often!)
- While does said procedure… we are seen from both the floor we are on as well as people can and will often watch from above us, we are as I have liken to call the KIOSK a great big “Fish Bowl” there is no hiding regardless of where you stand within said KIOSK (give up trying people) the people occasionally gift us with things from above… coins (just pennies… but hey! Pennies from Heaven?? LOL) and the really nasty one was someone actually flinging a blueberry from their frozen yogurt dessert onto my clients WHITE blouse I was threading… luckily I was able to get it off before there was any major staining damage… but… it was gross nonetheless… please IF you think it would be funny to drop things on us… think again… JUST DON’T!
Then… we have the clients that sit down in our chairs… and say or do even further wacky stuff:
- This scenario gets me the worse… someone that frequents the KIOSK a lot… like every other week or sooner, however, they still claim it’s the most painful process… even worse then child bearing or getting a tattoo… SERIOUSLY PEOPLE?!!
- Going with the above, the younger girls that have their little entourage in tow… they sit down and have had said procedure enough to understand, yes, it’s uncomfortable, yet, they make this entirely unnecessary show for said entourage, as well as all the people walking the mall near the KIOSK, they weep, need hand holding, she moan, act like they are in fact giving birth, they just seem to need as much attention to the fact that they are in fact dealing with a very small amount of discomfort… that in fact they chose to have! UMM????
- Someone sits down… has an idea in their head, explains it to me, I start, finish one brow, feel like it appears near what they envisioned, then they see it, agree, then decided… “I want that” *pointing to the picture (which I HATE) over my chair… the only problem? The shaping I just did… is entirely different, I try to explain, which ensues in said client getting pissy and having a bad experience. BIG HUGE TIP: never ever choose one shape, and tell me 1/2 way through the process that you’ve in fact changed your mind… it’s not conducive to a great experience and most of the time you will not be happy with the results… typically we have to take more hair away to make a different shape… SOOO if we’ve taken away a lot in the first place to start with your initial shape… guess what happens?! Please be ready and don’t change your minds!!! 🙂
- Sitting down in said chair… and ready to complain… the complaining commences and you realize they are complaining about you… they just don’t realize you have lost a few pounds and your hair is a bit pinker this time around… apparently you were too rough with said client… so… even though you recall this client, because she tends to be a bit… putting this as nicely as possible… a bit sensitive and tends to be a bit vocal about her emotional well being if you do anything… and I mean ANYTHING… which means actually pulling said hairs… I remembered this client… I apparently wasn’t that memorable? LOL… so for the next few minutes I made sure to go over the top with making and taking every precaution… just to make certain said client cannot complain… then… she still complains because I asked her if she was doing okay and was overtly cautious with her… hahahaha!!! (yes this did in fact happen).
So after all the above… I have to tell you I STILL love my profession… I love the clients… (for the most part) and I appreciate all their insights… the one thing I can leave you with is that we are professionals… we went to school… I then went on to get my state license, passed my state board exams and then took extra training to learn my skills, I take further training when I can afford the class and time away from my jobs… I spend the time learning the skills I was trained to do, I am confident in my abilities and work hard to maintain a good edge to what I am doing always trying to improve my skills and make things better for my clientele, I mastered my skills, I am very good at what I do and I take constructive criticism well… that being said… I might know a little about a lot of stuff… but… I am very mindful of the qualified, often times licensed or highly trained person that is giving said services… and I allow them to do their jobs… I think we just need to be mindful of the things we ‘expect’ out said services we are in need of.
Always keep in mind we are also customers and we know you can be nervous, anxious and often times uncomfortable… but… we are there to help you all along the way… regardless of the service you are having done… we want to help you… and with regards to my profession… Estheticians WANT nothing more then to help you see the beauty we can see all along… help you feel better… give you instant gratification and hopefully leave said service happy and feeling great about yourself… that’s the bottom line. We want to help… let us.
Thank you… as always for reading my blog and I hope you enjoyed this post… I meant no disrespect… trust me I have been at least one of the above more then once in my lifetime… we all have! 🙂
If you have any great stories from ANY customer service oriented job in your past, or current profession… I’d love for you to feel free to share it! I think everyone would enjoy knowing we aren’t alone… regardless if it’s within the beauty industry or your very first job at 16 flipping burgers… or anything else in between!!
Regardless… thank you for stopping by and reading! Cheers to you all! 🙂
Everything has Beauty… but, not everyone sees it ~ Confucius