Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

I need your advice - what would you have done?

First, I should tell you that a) I don't get easily offended, b) I'm not a demanding and picky person, and c) I don't have high expectations of people I don't know.

I splurged on a pedicure today because I felt I sorry for any poor soul who had the misfortune of looking at my scaly, crust-infested feet.

I strolled into the shop and asked for a pedicure. The man that greeted me grunted and head-nodded toward the polishes - indicating that I should pick one out.

Okay then.

I picked one out and looked for my greeter to know which seat I should go to. The greeter was gone - maybe he spontaneously-combusted - not sure. So I looked at one of the ladies that worked there. She was slouched in one of the pedicure chairs, watching tv. She head-nodded for me to sit in one of the chairs to her left. As it was only a head-nod, and not an actual finger-point, it was unclear to me which chair she wanted me to sit in. My bad. Then, horrors of all horrors, I asked her to tell me again which chair she wanted me to sit in. She didn't answer me.

Here is where I felt the first inklings of irritation. Did she not hear me? Was she ignoring me?

I stood awkwardly and then just sat in a chair - the one furthest away from her.

The lady that did my pedicure came and sat down at the foot of the chair and started filling the tub with water. Since she didn't even look at me, I'm sure she didn't notice that I'm human and would be burned by the literally scalding water she filled the tub with. After she grunted for me to put my feet in the water, I committed the unpardonable sin of telling her it was too hot.

Remember B from above? I'm not picky. I would normally just put up with the hot water if it was a little on the hot side. In fact, I like hot. But, this was devilishly hot water.

So, without skipping a beat, she turned off the hot water and poured cold water into the tub. I wasn't about to tell her that it was now too cold when I put my feet back in. No, sirree!

Still without looking at me or even acknowledging that she was aware of my perplexed existence, she busied herself with my feet and I turned on the chair massager.

I was not expecting a grand conversation full of heartfelt exchanges - but a "hello" would have been nice. A smile would have been cool. Pfft.

Did I walk in on a argument between the workers there? It's Friday the 13th - were they all just having one of those days? Did I walk in with a scowl on my face that set off the whole bad experience? Do they just not enjoy their jobs? I had to laugh at this theory because, really, they have to work with people's feet all day. Especially my feet. How can that be fun? Still, if it was me - I would want that tip - a nice tip - and force myself to be pleasant.

These were the sorts of things I was thinking about while she was vigorously working on my feet. Then I realized I was just being ridiculous by being so curious about the whole thing. Why did I have to sit there and analyze possible reasons for their behavior? I hate that I over-analyze things. And I hate that I analyze my over-analyzing.

Then, they all started talking to each other in a language I didn't understand. All of them were chatting and laughing.

I went back to analyzing. Okay, clearly, I didn't walk into an argument and they aren't having a bad day. They are just being rude!

I silently fumed in my massage chair and thought of the way I would leave without tipping. Would I just not tip and then leave? Would I say something about the poor treatment and then leave?

Then, she started massaging my legs. Then she dipped my feet in wax. Then she painted my toes.

Begrudgingly, it occurred to me that she was doing a really really good job, despite being super unfriendly and rude.

Here was my dilemma. She was unfriendly but did a really good job.

Do I tip or don't I? What do you think? What would you have done? What do you think I did?