3 Times to Refuse a Service

You found the perfect space, signed your lease, and your husband (let’s call him “Derek”) helped stick fifty rolls of damask wallpaper all over your new crib, so you are ready, bitch. Ready to slay.

Derek watches as weeks three and four roll by with your book only half-full, and then overhears you telling a client you won’t perform the service.

Derek isn’t happy. He reminds you that your business has soaked up part of his 2021 Muay-Thai Boxing retreat savings fund and he’s anxious to know why you’ve just sent that client and her cash money out the door. Feel free to present this list of acceptable reasons to Derek (and anyone else who starts icing your grill).

Audio Version

Season 3 [2019]
Season 3 [2019]
[3.2] Three Times You Must Refuse a Services: Feat. Derek

1.) The service falls outside of our scope of practice.

Consider this a hard and fast rule, Derek. If a credible professional who cares about their integrity and their reputation doesn’t have the training or authority to do something, we don’t do it.

AJ McLean, circa 1999.

For example, even though you’ve personally watched your barber begrudgingly frost the tips of your gel-encrusted, outdated AF boy band haircut for the last fifteen years, you probably shouldn’t take a crack at it unless you’re also a qualified professional. For you, the consequences could be as devastating as trading that A.J. McLean circa-1999 embarrassment you call a “hairstyle” for something a little more modern, but those of us holding licenses face serious fines and legal consequences, including suspension or outright revocation of those licenses and possibly even misdemeanor charges (depending on the state laws).

To really drum this in, review this short list:

Legal Secretary: Not a lawyer.
Medical Receptionist: Not a nurse.
Esthetician: Not a nail tech.
Nail Tech: Not an esthetician.

…you get the idea.

Responsible professionals stay in their lane.

2.) The client’s wellness could be compromised and/or the client appears to have a possible infection.

Barbara—the MLM long-lasting-lipstick super-seller client—has just returned from her all expenses paid ‘work’ trip on a fancy ocean liner. She’s been hiking in an extravagant corner of the African jungle wearing $600 boots that looked fantastic on her impeccably coordinated Instagram posts but have put pressure on her toenail enhancements. Now, Barbara the pearl-wearing fancy-pants suspects that she has a nasty infection growing under the aforementioned enhancements.

She reveals her swollen feet, covered in seeping blisters, and asks if she’s okay to get a new set or if she needs to heal first, but your wife (who definitely isn’t a doctor but has enough sense to know when a client’s issues are outside her pay grade) agrees that what Barb has going on under there doesn’t look kosher in the least—and neither do those angry looking blisters. Now, she has to make the call on whether to service Barb’s gnarly funky-junk or refer her to a podiatrist for medical treatment.

Tough call, right? Sending Barbara the Lipstick Diva of the Southeast off to the doctor means your wife loses $50 but completing the service exposes her (and possibly her other clients) to what could turn out to be a highly transmissible infection, threatening Barb’s health, the wellness of the other customers, your wife’s license, and your entire livelihood.

Still think it’s worth the risk?
Take a moment and think it through, home skillet. We’ll wait.

3.) We don’t have time for scrubs and their shenaniganry.

While they may not be hanging out the side of their best friends’ ride, scrubs sometimes find their way into our salons.

Policy Creation & Enforcement Pack Square

Short term, the salon professional employs strategies to diffuse an awkward situation or undesirable client behavior without being stabbed, but long term, these strategies pay off by establishing a set of boundaries and guidelines. As professionals, we set the tone for client interactions, but when a client steps out of line and disrespects the professional or the business, the salon owner (your wife, in this situation) ultimately has a duty to act as an enforcer and tell them they need to bounce.

Finger pointing, raised voices, face wobbling, head bobbing, hands on hips or any other ‘Becky from the Bank’ biotch behavior must be shut down.

A customer with an elevated sense of entitlement is unlikely to accept an amicable solution and should be dismissed as swiftly as possible.

Finally; Derek. Oh, Derek. You precious, ignorant mofo, still sporting a ridiculous pencil-thin chinstrap beard and goatee that every fly guy should have waved “bye, bye, bye” to in 2006. Trying to help the guy who once spent $1,600 on “a hella sick jet ski trailer” (when you lacked both a hella sick jet ski and a vehicle capable of towing it) understand why his saint of a wife declined a service is tearin’ up our heart. We understand that you may be disappointed initially, watching the client carrying your gym/tan/laundry money walk out the door, but hopefully now that you’ve been presented with the reasoning, you’ll be able to accept that these policies are part of a much longer strategic plan, designed to ensure the safe (and efficient) running of the salon, and its continued success.

Stop tripping, homeslice.

Let’s agree that your time might be better spent focusing on your areas of expertise (like getting jiggy and YOLO-ing or whatever). Continue to be the supportive dude you’ve always been—genuinely laughing every time she quotes Austin Powers in a conversation, sharing her enthusiasm when she finally scores some vintage JNCOs on Ebay, and responding with an enthusiastic “Hell yes!” when she asks if it’s cool if she plays every track on Spice World for the fifth time in a row.

Leave your missus to her bidness. You heard?

Disclaimer: The idea of older Millennials being as consumed with the late-90’s and early-2000’s as much as some Gen X-ers are with the 80’s was too much for either of us to handle. Derek is an entirely fictional construct born of Kat’s drunken drafting and Tina’s manic attempt to slip more 90’s slang and references into this piece than anyone thought possible (or necessary). Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Should you know a Derek, be a friend and beg him to either shave off that ridiculous facial hair or grow a proper beard. It’s dirty…


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