A Nail-Biting Conclusion

, , , , , | Working | January 29, 2020

(I go to get my nails done at a new salon in town. The women are at the various stations while a man stands at the cash register. I walk in and am immediately met by a woman in a smock. There are no other customers in the store.)

Woman: “Hello. Nails?”

Me: “Yes, please. A full set.”

Woman: “Okay, $45.” *points to the sign behind the cash register*

Me: *pulling out my wallet*

Woman: “Pay later. Come sit!” *ushers me to a chair*

Me: “Oh, okay.”

(The woman applies my nails and paints them, and then asks me to stand and gestures toward the drying stations. I start to take a seat but the man from behind the register grabs my arm and pulls me back up.)

Man: “No, no. You pay now!”

Me: *confused* “Um… but my nails are wet…”

Man: “Pay now, then dry!”

Me: “I can’t get in my wallet with wet nails. They’ll smear.”

Man: “You must pay.”

Me: “And I will… when I know I’m not going to damage my nails.”

(The woman and man talk quietly.)

Woman: “So sorry.” *gestures to the drying station again*

Me: “Thank you.”

(After my nails are dry, I approach the register.)

Man: “Okay, $60.”

Me: “What?”

Man: “$60. No cards.”

Me: “I was told when I came in that it was $45.”

Man: “$60.”

Me: “$45.”

Man: “No. $60.”

Me: *points to his pricing sign behind his head* “$45. And that says you take cards.”

Man: *turns to see where I’m pointing* “Fine. $45.”

(I was going to pay with a card, but now I’m suspicious, so I hand him two twenties and a ten, instead.)

Me: “Here you go.”

Man: “$5 tip for nails?”

Me: “No, that’s my change. I’ll give my tip directly to the woman who did my nails.”

(I do have another $10 in my wallet and intend to give it to her.)

Man: “No change.” *closes the drawer and walks away*

(I stand there for a moment, waiting for him to come back. None of the women will look at me.)

Me: “Excuse me. I need my change.” *loudly* “I’ll call the police.”

(The woman who did my nails comes forward.)

Woman: *opens the cash register and pulls out $5* “Don’t come back.”

Me: “I won’t.”

(A few months later, I drove by the salon and saw that it had closed down. Can’t say I’m surprised.)

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