4.18.2008

Thirtieth: Looking on the Bright Side

First of all, let me apologize for my little absence. I'm working on being a better, more reliable blogger, and I've actually started 3 new entries between my last one and this one. I'll probably rework the other two and push them out in the next couple of days. I've been busy with a big project, which is in part to blame for the lack of time I've had, but that's no excuse.

As for today, I came here on Sunday to make a gripe-entry, complaining about all the reasons that I was having a bad day, but you know, I just can't manage to do that now. I'm too lucky, too blessed with a great life to sit here and complain about "bad things" that happened, when really, none of it was really that bad at all. I was grumpy and self pitying, and that's not who I want to be. So instead, I'm going to have a little bright-side entry. :)

Grump#1
I ordered some clothes a few weeks back from Gap.com. Having tried them on in the store a couple of months ago and finding that they fit well, I decided to wait until they went on sale online and buy them then. They arrived over the weekend, and they didn't fit at all anymore. They were too big, too baggy, and altogether unflattering. I planned to return them, but since I bought them online, none of the tags had prices, and I didn't have a printed receipt. Therefore, I couldn't return them without paying shipping again, which was almost the price of the clothes. Grump.

Bright Side
The clothes don't fit, because I'm losing weight. The running and lifting and hot yoga I'm doing are all clearly paying off, and that's rewarding. Plus, now I guess I have some cute, unused, quality clothes to donate to someone who needs them far more than I do. Sure, I'm out a few bucks, but I'll just save my donation receipt so that when the tax-man calls next year it doesn't hurt as badly. :)

Grump #2
Last month, when I went shopping at Limited, I received a $25 gift card free with my purchase, redeemable after April 7th. There were some spring clothes that I wanted there, so I decided to wait until then to buy them. Well, Sunday I went to the mall with Darold, planning to use my gift card (which he'd been holding onto in his wallet for me) only to find that he'd lost it. I couldn't justify making the purchases without it, since I'm pretty broke right now, so no new spring clothes, which I'm awfully short on since my last big charity-donation-closet-cleanout, for me.

Bright Side
I'm trying to be better about saving money, so maybe this was a blessing in disguise? I dunno, though. I'm having a tough time with this one. I was really looking forward to having some new, more adult/work-appropriate spring and summer clothes. I guess it at least taught me a lesson about not letting the ADD-kid keep something that you don't want to lose for you.

Grump #3
Darold ate all my Oreo cookies that I'd bought as my sweet treats for the month. Do we really need any more evidence as to what a petty, grouchy little brat I was feeling like when I started this entry? I mean, really. I'm embarrassed that this was even in my list. It's too petty to even warrant a bright side, I think.

Grump #4
This was the grand grump that really set my pissy mood in motion. A couple of months ago, I called my salon to schedule an appointment with my regular stylist, whom I've been seeing regularly for the last 3 years or so. I only decided to finally donate my hair to Locks of Love because I trusted her enough to make my hair look as cute as possible at any length, and I fully intended to stay with her as long as she was in the area (which she always said she planned to be forever, as she loved Atlanta). At any rate, I called to schedule only to be informed that she'd moved to Florida without notice, leaving no recommendations for her current clients.

I resisted going to someone new for weeks, asked around for recommendations, and ultimately couldn't find anyone who seemed both reasonably skilled and reasonably priced, so I chose to just start over at the same salon with a new stylist. They set me up with Sasha, who they said had the exact same hair and style as Andi, my former stylist. This was encouraging, since the reason Andi had worked so well with my hair was that our hair was the exact same texture, so she knew how to work with my wavy, often unmanageable mane. Imagine my surprise when I showed up to the salon and was introduced to Sasha, a stylist with thick, coarse, African American hair, which one must admit is not exactly what I have. I trusted that she would be a great stylist, though, and proceeded to communicate what I was looking for to her. She nodded and acted like she understood, though I admit I was worried at the time that she didn't seem to be paying much attention and was rushing the entire process. She proceeded to cut my hair, and then styled it the exact opposite way from what I told her I'd like (giving me flat ironed, stick-straight locks rather than the loose, spiral curls I'd requested). I politely told her that it was fine and that I loved how soft it felt (which wasn't untrue). I paid $15 more than the price I'd been quoted, because I was told there had been a mix-up and that Andi and Sasha were NOT in fact the same price (though I wouldn't have booked with Sasha had I known that) and tipped well in spite of it.

The entire ride home, I looked at my hair, played with it, and decided that I was really unhappy with more than just the way it was styled. The cut was all wrong, too. It was not at all the multiple soft layers around my face and neck and shoulders that I'd described, rather one blunt layer at around my mid-neck/shoulder region, done choppily so that it's nearly impossible to style neatly WITHOUT going the stick straight, flat ironed route. I decided that I had to call and ask if it would be possible for me to come in and have a few things fixed with the cut, even though I'm not generally willing to do something like that. I don't send back meals just because I don't like them; I don't ask for my money back on movie tickets when the film is dreadful (in fact, I didn't even know you COULD do that until I talked to a friend who used to work at a theatre). I've always assumed that such things were a "buyer beware" sort of purchase. If you don't like it, well, that's the risk you took, right?

Well, upon calling and asking as nicely as I could if there was any sort of policy in place for customers who found themselves unsatisfied with their haircuts (explaining that I'd just left and that the more I looked at my hair, the more I realized that it wasn't really what I wanted), and was asked to hold so that the person who'd answered the phone could find out. When someone picked up again, it was Sasha, who was really irate and snippy with me. Her tone was just awful and accusatory and mean as she demanded to know what had changed my mind, since I didn't say anything when I left about not liking it. I tried to explain that I had to look at it a bit longer before I realized that it wasn't quite right, and that I'd attempted to restyle it myself and that it just didn't work the way I wanted at all, all the while repeating that it wasn't personal; it was a great cut; it just wasn't the right cut for me and that I didn't blame her, rather myself for not communicating what I wanted clearly. She then accused me of just trying to get a free haircut. I explained that I didn't want my money back; I just wanted to fix the one I'd already paid for (and I should have pointed out that if I wanted a FREE haircut out of it, I would have called to complain 6 weeks later rather than 6 hours later). She said that she could schedule me to fix it, but I'd have to pay the full price all over again. I declined, and am now really pretty unsure as to what I should do next.

The customer service was absolutely deplorable, and I was shocked at being put on the phone with the stylist who'd cut my hair (who had clearly not been positively prepped for the call; judging by her demeanor by the time she answered, my guess is that the receptionist must have said something to the effect of, "This girl's calling to complain about the haircut you gave her." rather than "She'd like to talk about the style you gave her earlier today.") rather than a manager.

Should I call again and just ask to speak to the manager without giving a reason why? Should I just let it go? It's been over a week, and I'm still absolutely miserable with my haircut. I don't want to hate my hair for 6 weeks, you know?

Bright Side
Well, I'm clearly still unhappy about this one, but the bright side is, hair grows. And I'm lucky enough to have my health and my hair and the money to go to a salon to have it styled if I choose, luxuries that I understand that I'm blessed to have. Even still, I'm not sure how to handle the poor service I received, which is really the point at this point, I think.

If you made it to the bottom of all this, congratulations. I think I rambled too much even for ME this time!

5 comments:

Knitting Linguist said...

Woof! You really got hit with all of it at once! Brava for finding the bright side of so many of these; it's a great way to handle disappointment. However, I agree that it would be great if there were something you could do about the hair thing -- the manager really should know about the customer-service thing, even if you never go back there. I'd go with the plan of calling and asking to speak to the manager without saying why, and then tell her exactly what happened. Good luck :)

Holly of HollYarns said...

Wowzers! The haircut story really grated my nerves. Not good at all. You should demand to talk to the manager and follow it up with a letter to the manager and the Better Business Bureau. Also, if you guys have Yelp in Atlanta, I would go there and let others know about the crappy service you received.

I am so sorry. Hair is a sensitive subject (for me, at least). Yes, it does grow but it's not like kudzu grass or some other fast-growing thing. Hang in there!

Robin said...

I have been crabby myself lately and today I decided I was going to do something similar with my 7 random things meme I was tagged for, by listing some of my favorite things.

On the hairstylist, that salon sounds very unprofessional. I would either contact the manager directly or just fire them and go to another salon to fix it. I have to admit I'd personally lean toward the latter, as they sound like jerks that won't be worth dealing with.

Jackie Lewis said...

Girlie, I loved reading this entry, because it reminds me of how willing you are to look on the bright side, no matter how cr-app-y things suck sometimes. And I love you for it!
I know that it's been a while since you got the haircut, but if that kind of thing ever happens again, mos def speak directly to the manager. She took the call because she didn't want to get into trouble for doing such a poor job. I wuv you. You would be gorgeous even if you were bald, so you don't need to worry, darling. Again, I wuv you.

:D

Jodi said...

Ugh... bad haircuts suck. I haven't had any trouble returning at the actual Gap with just the invoice from the shipping package. But you probably made some people's day with your donations! And congrats on being too svelte and fit for you clothes.