Communicating at the Nail Spa
It has only been about 10 years since I went in for my first pedicure and waxing of my eyebrows. I will never forget asking the gal who was putting hot wax on my eyebrows if it was going to hurt. She smiled sweetly then promptly ripped the wax (and what felt like all the hair on my entire head) off my brows. "Ouch!" I yelped. "Sorry!" she replied in her sweetest and softest voice, all the while smiling like a Chesire cat. I've learned. Let's just leave it at that. I've learned.
I went in for my way-overdue pedicure and waxing yesterday, fully expecting them to recoil in horror at my overgrown bushy brows (not to mention my berry-berry-black eye (see previous blog)). But no. They are the consummate professionals. Well, kind of ....
While getting my pedicure, I was made aware of several things. As much as we sometimes feel like there might be a bit of need for Rosetta Stone when talking to folks with heavy accents, it is no surprise they feel the exact same way about us. The gal (angel in disguise) doing my feet was Asian, as was the pedicurist (made up word? Oh well....sue me) next door. The lady getting her pedicure next to me tried to strike up conversation with the gal doing her feet. "My...what a pretty bracelet. Is that stone?" Pedicurist looks at her with blank expression. So the lady tries again, "Your bracelet. Stone or is it plastic?" Pedicurist nods her head. Conversation over. Although, technically, she is likely correct---it is likely plastic or stone.
When I was taken back to have my eyebrow hair forcibly removed from its follicles, an older gentleman had just sat down on one of the great vibrating chairs, to have his own feet done. Since they were busy, they just had him soak his feet while a pedicurist could finish her current pedi and get with him. So....to no one in particular, older gentleman pipes up. "I'm just warning you....I have never had a pedicure. I don't know what to expect."
The girl torturing me (I mean doing my brows) started giggling quietly.
He kept on. Apparently, he needed no encouragement to keep talking. Dave says I operate this way.
"I'm warning you guys right now. My feet are ugggggg-ly!"
One sweet pedicurist made her way over to him, finally, and said, "Okay, let me see", to which the girl doing my brows began giggling again, a bit more intensely. "Okay, simmer down. just don't shake while you put on that hot wax!" I thought.
Just then, my brow gal noticed my black eye. She poked it and asked, "Does this hurt?" Good grief, I thought. This is what my sister and I used to do to each other's bruises just to torment each other. "Yep!" I said. "My dog jumped up and head-butted me......" I began, only to see a glazed look cross her eyes. She does not give a rip.
In walks a lady wanting to get a manicure. The nail spa pimp (I mean, owner) looks around at the busy store, walks over to her and asks, "Can you come back in 30 minutes?" The lady hesitates, "Ummm...errr....hmmmm....well, I guess I could." She turns to go then looks back and asks, "Do I have to leave? Why is it a problem if I just sit in a chair and wait for 30 minutes?" Seriously?
You see, just because our mouths are moving and just because we are talking to one another does not, for one second, mean that we are communicating.
Communication requires sending and receiving of messages, not to mention a bit of understanding to take place.
Just for today, maybe we can remember that in order to make sure we are communicating, we need to somehow send a message that is understood to the other person. And that sometimes takes time and patience. But it's time and patience that are well worth it.
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