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elizabeth-arden spa day

Most people have to work for a living. The money that they earn is by the honest labor of their hands. However, who you have to work with or for can be a major source of stress in your life.

There are special people who are wealthy but also kind, solicitous, charitable and altruistic. There are others who have money and feel that palm fronds should be laid at their feet while someone feeds them grapes. They seem to be a little out of touch with the “little people” (yes, I have heard that expression used about those of us in a lower tax bracket) and very out of touch in their expectations.

Today, I treated myself to a pedicure as the woman who I had come to know was going to be transferring to a location at the InterContinental Hotel in Washington D.C. A meteor would hit the White House before I will be in that area, so I took my last opportunity for a spa treatment.

There are four stations lined horizontally, with deep white sink tubs for soaking feet and high backed chairs presumably for relaxing. One character speaks, everyone can hear.

The woman on my left remained on her phone for most of my visit and certainly hers. She sounded like a woman negotiating with her daughter-in-law for time with her grandson. It saddened me because I knew from the way she spoke, that she was walking on two layers of eggshells.

Then a young woman came in for her pedicure, waving her freshly manicured hands about her. Naturally, there was a cell phone in her hand. She got into her seat. It was when she opened her mouth that my shame began. Dismissive? Demeaning? Raised Volume? You bet!

She spoke to the kind Asian women attending to her and said harshly “Make it even. Like the other toes. I have had it done. I know you can do it.” The esthetician tried to explain that it was much shorter than the others and couldn’t as it was.

“It is short; someone stepped on my foot yesterday. Fix it.”

That tone of voice certainly made my shoulders rise and my body recoil. I can only imagine what the poor woman working with her could be thinking. The esthetician tried to lower her voice and diffuse the heat and the crazy in that way. She asked if the young woman meant that she wanted a “tip” put on her big toe. “Yes.” The lovely esthetician lowered her voice and explained that it would cost $10 for the nail. I feel that it is classy and more lady like to discuss transactions and money issues at a lower volume at times. It is not meant to embarrass or discomfort anyone should they be unable to afford the additional cost of the service.

The young woman raised her voice and waved the other women away, saying, “JUST DO IT.” I refer to that type of behavior as the Nike School of Management. There is no tolerance for questions, or comments. Just do It ~~ and move along. The contempt with which she spoke and the carelessness about the cost and extra effort was loud and made me embarrassed to be a human being.

She came off spoiled, arrogant and rude. Regardless of the amount of disposable income one has, you are dealing with another person who must commit to your request. Why make the person who is trying to do a satisfactory job feel even smaller about their skills and abilities?

We are all in a hurry, and want more than we ask for, and demand more than necessary at times. If you apologize, or show a kind smile, you remain human and approachable about the moods that we each share for better or worse.

But in an industry meant for relaxing, comfort, and patience, you can have everything you want if you just remember that they have their own insecurities, family concerns, and don’t “owe” you anything even if you pay the Spa.

However, with some empathy and compassion, you can have a pleasant soak, a hot pack on your neck, cucumber water at your side and a friendly woman at your feet who doesn’t want to clip off more than your hangnails.

Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know.

marilyn nail polish

After putting it off for too long, I made an appointment to go to the Spa with the brightly-colored door. Winter blues and boots made me long for summer toes and a soothing pedicure. Rationing the remaining balance on my birthday gift card, I booked an appointment to be soothed, smoothed, and calluses removed.

The clientele is always different. Some people are friendly and talkative. Others close their eyes or play on their phones. Midweek, I was able to get an appointment at a convenient time. I settled in to my chair with a warm neck pillow, a glass of cucumber water, and a warm towel across my lap. All this was brought to me; no one treats me that good at home!

While warm paraffin softened my crocodile skin, a voice could be heard loudly around the Spa. “I have been to Miami. New York. L.A. Las Vegas. They always play music. This place is for Grandmas. Who doesn’t like music?”

Firstly, now that I am one, I think highly of Grandmas and have deep appreciation for the child who made me one three times over in 18 months. I think it is a great gig and hope to carry the title for a long time.

Secondly, a nice person is making a living cleaning your skin and cutting your cuticles. You could say “Please” and “Thank You.” You could have managed to keep your opinion to yourself for thirty minutes. But, no, you wanted e v e r y o n e to hear about your dissatisfaction. You complained so loudly that I could hear you in an adjacent room.

Thank you for showing how entitled, spoiled, overindulged, and irritating some people can be with no appreciation for anyone else. For me, going to the Spa was preceded by a grateful thanks to Mom and G-d for giving me a gift to be pampered. Did you enjoy your little hissy fit in front of the staff! You made the group of us there at the expensive Spa seem like bratty children who don’t appreciate what they have been given.

After listening to you rant for awhile, the technician gently told you to let your nails dry for a few minutes and she would be right back. Rather than let her quietly gather some strength, fresh air, or a bathroom break, you called out: “Can you get me a coffee with Sweet ‘n Low?” Not even a please. Oh, and by the way, she is not a waitress.

By all means, this mundane little Spa is simply too pedestrian for the likes of you who has had her nails clipped around the world. Please find some place that plays music. By all means, escape us Grandmas. Not everyone has such difficult first world problems as you. Some of us are just worried about how to keep our jobs and pay our bills. I would much rather see the world through my rose colored toenails than listen to you whine.

Thanks for Stopping By! It means more than you know.


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