A few months ago, I purchased a Groupon to receive a manicure or pedicure at a local salon. I bit because I was in the market for a new salon. Where I receive my pedicures is outstanding — they do a wonderful job, and I’m usually quite happy with my tootsies when they’re done.
However, 75 percent of their employees speak incredibly broken English, and they don’t always understand what I ask for. “I’m very ticklish please don’t massage the very bottom of my foot” gets me a confused stare, a cocked head and a sole massage. “I am prone to ingrown toe nails, so please don’t cut that nail too short” gets me the shortest toe nail of my life.
As I’m getting married in less than four months (holy balls, less than four months), I wouldn’t mind a nail tech who can understand what I want, as when I tell those at my current salon for a detail on my toes, I get tropical flowers. All. The. Time.
So, long story short, I bought the Groupon to the chain salon in town.
It was the worst.
I walked in a few minutes before my 1:30 p.m. appointment Saturday. No one was at the front desk, and the very loud noise the door made when I walked in drew no one. I stood there for a full minute and a half or two minutes before I heard someone walking toward the front, talking to her client.
“Oh!” she said when she saw me, clearly surprised. “Have you been helped?”
“OK. Give me a sec.” And she walked away again. Leaving me alone at the front desk, again, to wait.
About 30 seconds later, a man walked in from outside.
“Have you been helped?” he asked.
And then he proceeded to ((gasp)) help me. I told him I had a 1:30 appointment, and he invited me to have a seat on the couch. I sat next to a woman reading a Kindle.
Ten minutes later, a nail tech retrieved the Kindle reader, and they talked about her Groupon. Now, when I scheduled the appointment on the phone a few weeks ago, it sounded as though there was only one person doing Groupon manis and pedis. Which set off a warning bell in my head. Was this the only woman doing the pedicures? Would I have to wait for this other customer to finish before it would be my turn?
So 15 minutes after I arrived, I walked back up to the front desk, where I stood for about a minute before either of the two employees standing at the desk acknowledged me.
“I was just wondering, is that woman the one who’s doing my pedicure?” I asked.
“Oh no it’s …” and the original woman who didn’t help me when I walked in pointed to someone I couldn’t see at the other corner of the room. “She’s just doing a touch-up, she’ll be done in two seconds! Two seconds!”
So I sat back down with my magazine, looking over into the corner every few minutes to see how the “two-second touch-up” was going. It was going … long.
At 2 p.m., a half hour after my scheduled appointment, I said “fuck it” and walked out.
If I had been treated a little differently, it might have been different. Instead of being flat out lied to, I could have been told, “I’m so sorry for the delay. The nail tech had an appointment run over, but you’re next. It should take her another 15 or 20 minutes. Would you like to make another appointment?”
I would have said no, I understand, I’m happy to wait.
And I would have been. Instead, I got treated like a nuisance and lied to.
You can keep your damn Groupon.