Archive for the ‘Hair Salon’ Category

Service of Biting Your Tongue and Keeping Your Cool

Monday, October 11th, 2021

Image by kaleido-dp from Pixabay

Some feel that because they pay for a service or a purchase they can treat the vendor or salesperson with disrespect. I wonder how retail business owners remain sane and silent when they inevitably deal with at least one entitled, nasty, thoughtless customer/client every so often.

Here’s one: A customer flounced into a hair salon last week, marched over to the chair I was in and said to the stylist, who was in the middle of touching up my color: “I’m in a rush. I can’t be away from my office for long. My boss doesn’t want me to leave. I’ll have to reschedule unless you can you take me NOW.” [Note: She didn’t greet the stylist who also owns the salon.] Did she expect her to kick me out of the chair with half a job done, a procedure that involves timing? The stylist responded, as she continued to work on my hair, and had to repeat, because of the bombardment of the same question, “in five minutes,” as the woman paced nearby. The stylist remained cool.

Image by petitcarre from Pixabay

When suddenly the customer dashed outside to place a call I said “she is a bit much.” The beleaguered salon owner told me about a longtime client who consistently blows off three hour appointments or arrives an hour late without a peep of update. Clearing the decks for that long for a no-show represents a significant financial loss. The customer, who always confirms the appointment the night before, didn’t show twice in a row and never apologized. The last time the woman arrived at 7 pm for a 6 pm appointment at 8 pm she declared she was hungry. The stylist asked her to please call and order in to save time and she refused and left the shop, oblivious of the late hour and the staff waiting for her return to complete the work.

In another example, the owner of an antique shop in New England that specializes in small collectibles shared some recent confrontations. A woman recently looked around and announced, “Nobody wants these things anymore.” Rude? [Shortly thereafter the dealer made a several hundred dollar sale.] Another visitor started taking photos of some high-end greeting cards with clever sayings to text them to friends rather than buy [and mail] them. The dealer asked that clueless person to stop.

In the same vein, seven years ago I wrote “Service of Being a Good Customer.” I asked then and reiterate: “Have you been in the enviable position of being able to give a nasty client/customer short shrift? Do you think pushy, entitled, aggressive behavior wins in the end?”

Were you faced with thoughtless, rude or hostile conduct, how would you control your irritation so as to keep your cool and not snap back? What responsibilities do customers have to the good businesses they support?

Image by Rose McAvoy from Pixabay

Service of Change

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

I passed a deli with signs on the door: “To Dine-in Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination Required.” It surprised me because the place didn’t look like a restaurant but there must be a few tables and chairs inside. This requirement is a change for New Yorkers who won’t fully feel the brunt until the winds of fall make outdoor dining less appealing. I signed up for an Excelsior Pass so that proof of my vaccines are accessible by clicking on an icon, with me when my phone is. In addition to my driver’s license, I’m set to enter any place proof is required.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I get attached to people. A few months ago my hair stylist of years retired. I’m still adjusting though we’re in touch as friends. I envy women who are comfortable going to a range of hair salons. Not me.

My investment advisor also just retired. Wow! Will the roof fall in? No spring chicken, she was entitled years ago. But still: Couldn’t she hang on a little longer for me? A person’s doctor, accountant or lawyer can have the same impact when they leave the scene. Two years ago my eye doctor moved his practice out of NYC. Calamity! I miss him.

A friend suggested that Virgos don’t handle change well which is why, she explained, I find these changes disturbing. I’d be curious to know if others–born under other astrological signs–feel as I do over a change of doctor, hair stylist, stock broker, lawyer, accountant or other key person. Do you?

Service of Pride in Work

Thursday, October 24th, 2019


I have been going to the same hair stylist and salon for years. Support staff in the establishment changes frequently. Most recently this neighborhood business hired a hair washer who, when he’s finished rinsing, adds a spectacular head massage for minutes–no extra charge [though my appreciation appears in his tip]. Heaven. When not washing hair he never sits still, sweeping away every hair practically as soon as it hits the bright white floor. Who knows if he loves what he does but his pleasant nature and fervor insure that he’ll always get work. He’s at the salon a few days a week and is a bartender at night.

Hauntingly Charming

I forgot I’d dashed off a note to the manager of my apartment building. I admired the fall decorations that appeared in the entrance early in the month and the abundant flowers planted outside. When I passed him in the lobby weeks later he beamed and thanked me for my note. I’ve written before about him and the 510 apartments he oversees. He runs the 38 story building as though it was his private home.

Brick by Brick

In the 30s, east of Second Avenue in Manhattan, there are sterile streets spanning two blocks–no stores, no doors to apartments or offices–just road and narrow sidewalks on either side, which is unusual. The passages permit vehicles quick access to the Midtown Tunnel that runs under the East River connecting this borough and Queens.

I walk through one almost daily on my way to and from work [photo left and below]. It was out of commission and closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic for a few days to lay down new sidewalks and brick walls. This particular morning a crew was adding some finishing touches. As I sauntered past I said to the crew chief “looking good” and he stopped me to point out particulars of his men’s handiwork. He was so pleased someone noticed the brickwork and sidewalks and joyfully shared some finer points.

It is a pleasure to be around people who act as though they like what they do, who do their work well and with pride. Can you share examples?

Service of Common Sense

Monday, December 21st, 2015

I tell graduate students I mentor to rely on common sense and share a conversation with a former boss I’ve mentioned before on this blog. He was in the hospital with a mystery ailment, suffering countless diagnostic tests. “Could it be phlebitis?” I asked him, remembering he’d had that when I worked for him years before. Turned out that was the problem, not some exotic disease. You didn’t need a medical degree to come up with that obvious conclusion.

Whistle in the Wind

So when I heard of Bernie Sanders’ campaign worker who accessed and copied Hilary Clinton’s voter database I thought, “Is this person tone deaf to this candidate’s clean-as-a-whistle persona?” He parked his common sense in some other candidate’s driveway.

Study the Surroundings

On a visit to The Morgan Library this Saturday, I marveled at a 3-story glass wall in the front hall [at the right of this photo]. The view captured the back of a lackluster apartment building and some serviceable, unattractive separations between unimpressive back yards. This view diminished the impact of the architectural achievement and questioned its purpose. 

In addition, a heavy door to the library and Mr. Morgan’s study opens when you push a knob on the right and surprises as it comes at you. For a distracted visitor or one who can’t back up and out of the way quickly enough, it could be dangerous.

Listen to the Expert

My hair stylist told me of a mutual friend’s folly. The woman is a recent widow who wanted a different look as her birthday approached and she ignored the stylist’s advice and had a permanent. [She lives out of town and has her hair done locally.] The stylist warned her that the procedure would not enhance her wonderful straight, thick hair. The friend compounded the recklessness by immediately dyeing her tresses, burning her hair and achieving a dramatically freaky effect. The only remedy the hair stylist could suggest was to leave mayonnaise on the hair the day of her next appointment with her coiffeur, though she didn’t hold out much hope. Hopefully the rich oils in mayo would act as a super conditioner.

Is it ego that causes employees or consultants to take actions that conflict with the boss’s approach; an architect to design a project that ignores surroundings or a woman to override an expert’s advice? Can you think of other examples?

Service of Rising Prices: Milk, Hair & Electricity

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Moo x 10

I’m the only one in my family who drinks milk. I love it. Usually I restrict my consumption of fat free to coffee but if the mood and dessert are right, I can’t resist a glass or two.

The news of a 60 cent per gallon price rise won’t affect me, but it will millions of families with thirsty children. According to a story Jeff Maher wrote for KXTV, the reasons begin with a current short supply of cheese leading to increased production with a subsequent need for more milk. Maher added that increased cost of feed last year meant smaller herds. This situation bumped up against a greater demand for milk in China. He doesn’t say anything about what the Chinese do with all that milk but in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Ruth Bender shed light with her story about the popularity of moo juice with babies in “China Needs Milk and France Has It: Brittany’s Dairy Farms Get Boost as Chinese Baby-Formula Maker Sets Up Shop.”

Maher expects milk prices to increase even further later in the year because of the drought in California affecting the alfalfa crop, cows’ dinner of choice.

Hair-raising prices

There’s one crowd that won’t notice the difference–those paying $1,000 or in that vicinity for a haircut. Lauren Lipton wrote about the haircuts as the industry felt enough time had passed since the economic downturn. Lipton noted one difference between the haircut mere mortals get and the one that costs a tidy amount more. In “Posh Haircutters Push the $1,000 Envelope” he wrote that some claim the expensive haircut will last three to four months vs. six to eight weeks for a standard cut. Guess your hair knows not to grow when you pay a lot to have it trimmed.

Price shock

Guest host Hilarie Barsky on the WOR 710 radio morning show lives in NYC and said she called Con Edison for an explanation about her stratospheric electric bill. She used less electricity than last year, she noted, and her bill was far higher. Best sit down when you open yours. We needed smelling salts. Articles, such as the one Alexi Friedman wrote for The Star Ledger, give me the shivers. In “Frigid winter sends electric prices soaring for NJ customers who switched power suppliers” he speaks about one customer who reported a 200 percent increase this January over last. And it’s not just for customers of secondary suppliers.

Any skyrocketing prices you’ve notice lately? Can you tell me what an $800-$1,000 haircut feels/looks like?

Service of Special Promotions

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

I bought a summer skirt from a catalog that came in my Sunday New York Times. I’d never heard of the company—Boden headquartered in the UK—I liked the look of the clothes, the prices were very reasonable and the promotion, for the paper’s readers, included free shipping, for returns too, a discount and a handbag for first time customers. I bought, I liked, the skirt was too big, and I’ve exchanged my purchase for a smaller size. So far so perfect and customer service—I had questions–was helpful and in Pennsylvania.

Recently two friends have not had as much luck and both of them, independent of each other, shared their experiences within a week.

At a fundraising auction at her son’s school, one friend won a gift certificate at a hair salon for a wash, cut and blow-dry. She said, “When I got to the salon, and even when I made an appointment, the receptionist was super suspicious. She examined the certificate carefully and announced, ‘it expired last month!’ I told her ‘I just got this,’ and pointed to the expiration date: 2014, not 2013.” My friend added: “Had a good shampoo though!” But who wants to go back to such a place?

Another friend, Joan Cear, shared her thoughts about what she calls “The Groupon phenomenon.” She explained: “Restaurants actively market a special offer – whether through a promoter such as Groupon, or Restaurant Week or to their own member club database. So many times, I have felt like an untouchable in a restaurant because I either:

“a) Have to ask to get the Restaurant Week menu or the special that the restaurant sent me in an email (it is not offered as an option by the wait staff).  Or

“b) When I hand them my coupon offering at the beginning of the meal I am treated with disdain.”

Joan’s husband, Jim, likes an iconic NYC steakhouse that became a watering hole when they lived in that part of town. “They email us these specials and then make us feel like the great unwanted when they are not included among the menu offerings – print or oral – and I have to ask for them.  It’s the same for restaurant week offerings.  And it happens this way every time – regardless of which branch we go to – so I think the wait staff is trained this way.

“If restaurants can’t instruct their staff to treat every guest graciously, the establishment has no business recruiting diners,” she said.

Joan continued, “Last weekend I had just the opposite experience in Riverhead at Bistro 72. I wanted to give the restaurant a whirl, but was afraid to spend lots of money,” on a test. She jumped at the promotion, through Travelzoo–dinner for two valued at $102 for $45.  

“I kept commending the waitress, Cindy,” said Joan who left her a 22% tip on the full price of the meal.  “It was such a refreshing experience—we ended up enjoying the meal very much and spending an additional $20–that I would go back again and again and ask to be seated in her section.”

Why, in some establishments, is there a disconnect between staff and their employers’ special promotions while others take advantage of the opportunity to transform the discount visitors into loyal customers? Do you think that business owners take advantage of the special promotions to increase traffic and actually train their employees to direct customers to pay full freight?

Get This Blog Emailed to You:
Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz