Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tip of the Day

I don’t know why this is pissing me off now, but I’m sitting here this morning stewing over it. My hair has always been long. (I’ll get to the point—just bear with me) My hair has now reached down to my waist. It’s too long. I usually get it trimmed, so that it reaches the middle of my back. I’m comfortable with that. The ‘getting ready’ process is just God awful. It sometimes takes me literally two hours to get ready. One hour to get dressed, put on make up, and one hour to dry my hair.

I’m due for a haircut, as you can imagine. I usually go to my friend’s salon. Now, usually I prefer people to do my hair- who have ‘nice hair’. It’s the same anywhere, you wouldn’t get a personal trainer who never worked out, who’s overweight and only ate donuts, would you? Same concept. My hair is usually cut by this woman named Tammy.

Now Tammy isn’t quite the typical person you would find at this ‘foo foo’ salon. She looks like a fricken mountain woman. Her hair is almost down to her thigh midway. It’s long, stringy, dirty blonde, and looks as though it hasn’t been washed in a month. She wears the same black faded out jeans all the time. The jeans are tapered. Hello Miss 1982! Her mouth sounds like much like a truck driver’s. Practically every sentence has effin’ this, or effin’ that. It’s enough to make you want to cringe in your chair and put the smock over your head.

“Oh great Deb! Just go sit by the f*cking sinks and I’ll be right there to give you a wash.”
“Umm, okay.”

She struts over to where I am and throws a smock around me, and nearly chokes me with some paper towel around my neck.

“So how the f*ck are ya’ man?” Always using ‘man’ at the end of her sentences drives me batty.
“Good Tammy, what’s going on?”
“Oh nuttin’ really. Got the f*cking truck fixed, and now we’re working on the f*cking floors…you gotta see them, it’s f*cking great!” She says loudly, so the whole entire salon hears her.

She tells me about her home improvements that she does with her husband. They’re both hunters too, so they hunt for deer as well as bears. She lives about an hour north up in the country somewhere, and looks the part. Dead bears and corpses of deer that were gutted beyond belief, are all hanging up as 'pictures' on her mirror. Usually, people have pictures of loved ones on their mirror---not Tammy. She is a proud hunter, and loves to display her ability to shoot down big ol' bears to the world.

“So what are we f*cking doing today man?”
“Well, I just want to get three inches cut off the back with long layers—the usual.”

“Cool. Don’t ever cut your f*cking hair Deb, we’re the last of the breeds man!”

She is now putting me in her category. This definitely makes me want to shave my hair off at this point. I don’t want to be put in ‘the mountain girl column’. I wish I could put her picture up here without the possibility of getting sued for slandering someone. Just stick with my description.

I get my manicures and pedicures there as well. Yes, by her usually. I try to get appointments where I know it's her day off. Never happens. I think she fixes it that way. The girl who sometimes fills in for her does such an amazing job. I feel bad to say anything because I have been going to this mountain woman for almost seven years now.

“You f*cking going out tonight or something?” She asks, as she is filing down my peds and clipping my toenails. I literally saw her wipe her pants off from the previous person’s dead skin. This bothered me. Now my DNA is all over her pants along with someone elses. Lovely.
“No, just getting it done for this week, may go out tomorrow though.” I answer back, looking at her ‘sanding skills’. She must think I’m like her hard wooden floors she’s trying to get done back at home. I’m practice to her.

While my peds are drying, she runs over to do a fast manicure on me. She’s actually really good at it. She’s fast, efficient, and she knows how to cut my hair the way I like it. I usually give her almost half of what the bill is, for a tip. I tip her generously----all the time. I walked up to the counter to pay the bill with my credit card, because I noticed I didn’t have any cash on me.

“Do you mind if I leave the tip on the credit card itself?” I ask the lady behind the counter.
“Oh sure, a lot of people do it that way—that’s not a problem, Deb!”

At that time, I went to say goodbye to Tammy, to let her know the tip was in the credit card info, but she was in the skincare room giving someone a facial.

The owner, a family friend came over to me one time to thank me for taking care of her staff so well. It didn’t bother me, because her staff (mountain woman) always caters to me, runs to get me coffee, and sometimes has my favorite wine stashed in the back. She lets me enjoy a glass of wine while getting my peds and hair done. It’s nice over there. I was comfortable, and I was able to talk to all the other girls there too. (Which was another nice perk!)

A month later I come in for my appointment.
“Hey! Pick out a color and sit at my station, Deb!” Tammy says, as she wraps it up with another client.
“How the f*ck are you??? Listen, man, the last time you were here, you kinda’ forgot to leave me my tip.”
I said, shocked, because I never, ever forget to tip.
“It’s f*cken cool---you can just make up for it with this session.”
“No, it’s not cool, because last time I tipped you even higher.”

I quickly go into my wallet, and flip through the stash of receipts that I keep. I know, I’m weird, but you never know when you may need to use them. In this case, I needed to use them.
I then pulled out my rebuttal. I put it down on the table. Tammy stared at it for a few moments, and then she walked up to the lady at the desk. I thought—problem solved, right?


“Yeah man, you gotta give me cash or let me know that’s being done.”
“Well they need to give you that money, because they charged my account, Tammy. You were in the skincare room, so I couldn’t just go in and get you…I thought that this place would inform you of this tip.”
“It’s cool man.”

I felt as though I still was being reprimanded. First of all, she has some nerve to complain about this. Second of all, I tip her almost half the bill---she should be so lucky. If someone were to tip me like that every single time, I would actually give them a complimentary manicure—something to show my appreciation.

That day, was the very first day I decided to leave almost next to nothing. It was my last day there. I was highly insulted. I was a regular customer there—knew the family who owned the place and loved the staff. They valued me as a customer- except for the mountain woman.

I explained what happened to the owner, and told her I will no longer be coming back to her salon. She was upset, and asked if I could come in on Tammy’s day off.

I didn’t. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. Would you have gone back?