Sunday, July 6, 2008

Relaxing Afternoon at the Nail Spa ... Not

After that lovely morning, I went to the mall.  Figured I'd grab some eats and get my nails done.  This is not my usual nail place -- but a nail place is a nail place, right?

Made a "I'll be back in 20 minutes" appointment at the nail place, went to my favorite fast food place, ate, returned to the nail place.

They have a main room with various tables where manicurists do their thing, and then a side room with three pedicure chairs.  I am ensconced in a pedicure chair.  It's nice.  It's one of them massage chairs, but it really works -- not one of the ones that claims to be a massage chair but just half-heartedly vibrates. 

There's a wall behind the three chairs, blocking us from the mall, so that we can try to forget we're in the middle of a loud, busy, shopping zone, and make-believe we're in some distant place where we're being pampered.  They're piping in relaxing music.  There's a TV on the wall in front of us.  It's off, but I'm sure that if it was on, it would be showing pictures of tropical beaches or something.

Ten minutes into the pedicure routine, something invades the tranquility.  It's a woman.  Yelling. 

Her speech is heavily-accented and she's so angry she's talking too fast to be understood, but it's something about, "not how you treat a customer!" and "she said she was sorry, but she wasn't sorry!" and then back to "I'm the customer!" 

The tech doing my pedicure stops to glance over to the main room.  (There's a privacy wall preventing me from doing the same.)  She watches a bit, then returns to business.

The yelling abates, then restarts.  It changes language.  She is now yelling in Chinese.

This is not particular productive for her, as the manicurists are from Korea, but she keeps at it anyway -- clearly, she's way beyond actually wanting to communicate with the people in the shop.  (The customer next to me happens to speak Chinese, so she translates for our little corner of things.)  She keeps yelling, alternating between Chinese and English.

The tech working on the customer next to me gets up and walks out to the main room.  When she returns, she's got another tech with her.  She's very young, much younger than the tech who went to get her.  The older tech says something (in Korean) to theyounger tech, then slaps her. 


Younger Tech says something else, and Older Tech roughly pushes her.  Younger Tech moves into the bathroom and washes her hands -- for no apparent reason other than to avoid getting hit again by Older Tech.

Irritated Chinese Customer continues yelling.  She's now moved on to "Go ahead!  Call Security!"

(A sentence which, I imagine, will get Security called ten times out of ten.)

Customer next to me gets annoyed and yells, "Quiet!"

Irritated Chinese Customer yells back that you wouldn't be quiet if they treated you that way, and she's the customer and so on.  Another customer says, "Use your indoor voice!" which makes me crack up something wicked.

Woman next to me suggests that it's a "cultural" thing, and that in the West, we're used to asking to speak to a supervisor and resolving things politely, while in China, they just yell.  I ask her if yelling gets results in China.  She says no.

Irritated Chinese Customer keeps right on yelling, while the customer and I discuss the relative virtues of Anger Management classes.

Ultimately Mall Security comes, and things get quiet again.

Later, I'm sitting over at the "drying station," letting my nails dry under a bright blue lamp, watching mall traffic pass.  Another customer sits down next to me -- she was the "indoor voice" lady, who was in the main room and saw everything.

Apparently, Irritated Chinese Customer had come in for a pedicure and her daughter got a manicure.  Somewhere along the line, someone's nails were supposed to be "trimmed," and the tech in question (this would be Younger Tech) did not trim said nails sufficiently.  Irritated Customer said she wouldn't pay because her nails weren't trimmed; Younger Tech said she trimmed the nails; Irritated Customer went ballistic because she's the customer; Manager didn't placate Irritated Customer; and apparently the idea of just taking out a pair of nail clippers and trimming Customer's damn nails again was way too difficult for anyone to come up with.  Instead, Irritated Customer went on a tirade; Irritated Customer and her daughter both started yelling; Irritated Customer shoved Younger Tech.  Younger Tech apparently attempted to fight back, at which time Older Tech grabbed her, brought her to the back of the store, and slapped her herself.

I'm going back to my usual nail place.


rdautumnsage said...

I would of had giggling fits by the time the customer shouted "use your indoor voice"...ahh so hows your usual place? (Hugs)Indigo

helmswondermom said...

"use your indoor voice" ?!?  That was priceless!

mlraminiak said...

You didn't know you were going for nails and a show, did you?  Lisa  :-]