I needed to get my gel nails redone. I’m kind of shopping around for a good salon, as the one I’ve been going to is near where I work and – hello, I’m a teacher! – I don’t feel like going anywhere near there when I’m on my summer holidays. I’d tried this particular place within walking distance of home, and although I wasn’t overly impressed with the end result, I thought I’d give them one more try, with a different type of gel. That would let me know if I needed to keep hunting or if my nails had found a home.

So one morning late last week, I called this salon for an appointment. I had an advertising flyer from them that proclaimed 10% off full sets of gel nails on Mondays, so I enquired as to whether or not that discount might also apply to fills of existing gel nails.

Silence on the other end of the phoneline.

Then, “I’m new here. I don’t know.”

Another silence.

I was thinking, Well, go ask someone who isn’t new, Einstein! But I said, “Okay then, I still need an appointment with Chris for a gel nail fill.”

Silence yet again.

Then, “Oh. I think Chris is away. Just a minute …”

I could hear her asking someone else when Chris would be back.

Back on the line with me, “She’ll be back on Wednesday. Can you come in then?”

“Actually, I was hoping to come in earlier than that. Monday, if possible,” I replied.

More silence.

Finally, “Okay. How is 2 o’clock?”

I agreed, gave her my name and number, and hung up. About thirty seconds later, my phone rang. It was the same gal from the nail salon.

“Oh, hi, I forgot that Holly doesn’t do nails, so you can’t come in on Monday.”

I was thinking, And what exactly does Holly do if not nails, seeing as how she works in a nail salon? But I said, “All right. When can I come in?”

Again there was a silence. This girl was most emphatically NOT a quick thinker.

“Wednesday at 2?”

I consented to this change, and hung up the phone. There was no callback thirty seconds later this time, so I carried on with my day – till early in the afternoon. Then the callback came. At least it was Holly herself this time, and she sounded much more competent than the previous bimbo.

“We’ve got you booked in for a gel nail refill on Monday afternoon, but unfortunately, I don’t do those,” she informed me.

I was thinking, Yes, I already know this, and no, I am NOT booked in for Monday afternoon. I am booked in for Wednesday afternoon. Did the bimbo not even write this down properly? And Holly, what exactly DO you do then? But I said, “Oh?”

“Chris will be back on Wednesday, so could you come in on Wednesday morning at 11?” Holly continued.

“Um, yes, that would be fine,” I answered, a bit confused. What happened to the 2 pm appointment? I assumed that the bimbo – quelle surprise! – had screwed up, so I decided not to worry about it and simply show up for the 11 am appointment.

A couple of days passed. Then it was Tuesday, yesterday, the day before my nail appointment. The phone rang. This time it was Chris from the nail salon.

“We seem to have you booked in twice tomorrow, once at 11 am and once at 2 pm. You didn’t want both of those appointments, did you?” she asked, clearly puzzled by what had gone on during her absence.

“Uh, no. One will be fine,” I replied, bemused.

So I showed up yesterday at 11 am and got my gel nails redone. I didn’t have the heart to tell Chris the whole convoluted story. I hope that this time it’s a more durable job and the nails won’t chip off as readily as the last set did.

But I can’t go through this phoning-for-an-appointment circus again, so I may end up changing salons anyway.


8 responses to “Gellin’

  1. I’m glad Jazz already asked what gel nails were so that I didn’t have to do it. 🙂
    Bad service is everywhere now and what a shame. Hardly anyone acts happy to be doing their service job (or even having one) and those that aren’t surly are morons. I always wonder if it is because of the parents that seem more overly indulgent now, certainly more than my parents ever were. It’s like they’re all angry because they have to work instead of being waited on hand and foot and told how brilliant they are all day long for being able to breathe without hurting themselves.

    • Kimberly – You gotta get with the girly-girl program too, then! 😉 But don’t feel too bad: I only found out exactly what they were about three years ago, and now I love them. My real nails are so pathetic, I wish I’d had the gels years ago!

  2. My thought was…and there are HOW MANY UNEMPLOYED MBAs OUT THERE WHO NEED WORK? I mean you don’t obviously need an MBA for appointment scheduling, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to put someone with a brain in there. Holy cats.

    • Wenderina – I know! I am quite sure that there are reasonably intelligent and organized 8-year-olds out there who have better telephone manners and can schedule appointments more efficiently – and I have met many of them in my teaching career. (And they would be THRILLED to earn eight dollars and fifty cents an hour!)

  3. What on earth are gel nails?!?!

    • Jazz – Aww Jazz (my triplet sister – did you know that there were three of us now?), you gotta get with the girl thang! Gel nails are awesome for those of us with soft, pliable nails that we like to nibble on. My real nail gets roughed up with a special file, then a little plastic nailtip is glued on the end. Because I like the look of a French manicure, a line of white powder gel is painted at the edge of the tip. It gets filed and shaped again, then more gel is layered on, then it cures under the ultraviolet light . Et voilà! Perfectly fake nails that look good and are VERY difficult to bite (though they do occasionally crack or a piece chips off).

  4. As I know less than nothing about gel nails I’ll decline to comment on that area of your posting. But, about your brain-dead service I can only sigh because that has become so commonplace today. So many younger people go into service-related businesses and they have no clue whatsoever about either what they’re doing or how to deal with the public. In one respect I blame the businesses in that they obviously offer no training and they give jobs to people with so little to offer. But, my other question revolves why are young people entering the adult world so ill-prepared to deal with reality? And no, I won’t go to the cliche of blaming the schools, because it’s greater than that. It’s much more societal — and, well, I could go into a rant here but I’ll refrain.

    • mrwriteon – Which (and of course YOU, my triplet brother, would get it!) was basically the point of the piece: shitty service. I would suspect that my bimbo friend was about 15 years old, the niece of the owner, this was her first job, and her training consisted of: “Answer the phone and take appointments. For this, we will pay you eight fifty an hour.” It is a huge issue for me as well – and just think, our parents ranted about US being ill-equipped for the workforce back in the day!