This is Kayla Brown from Woburn.
Kayla has a congenital birth defect that has left her with only 5 fingertips and fingernails. She recently went to Mane & Mani spa in Burlington to get a manicure and couldn’t believe it when they told her she’d have to pay for both hands. She then posted about it on Facebook and the outrage mob did what they always do – destroyed the salon’s reviews and contacted the media.
“Unethical.” – Woman leaving negative business review for business she’s never done business with.
My initial reaction to this post was like the mob’s – how you gonna charge a woman with one hand for both hands? It’s hard enough for this poor girl every time she wants to thumb wrestle or give someone two middle fingers. Now they’re just adding onto her misery.
But I find in this line of work it’s always best to wait 30 minutes, think it over, read what people are saying and evaluate properly, rather than give into theatrics on viral posts. Sadly most people on the Interwebz do not think this way.
I don’t know the first thing about manicures, but I do know that these businesses have been destroyed by the pandemic and we should be very careful before joining mobs that seek to damage them more. So I did what any uninformed male would do to find out more about this – reached out to chicks. Turns out there’s a lot more to the story.
For starters, you would think that someone with one set of fingernails would have found herself in this situation before. What does she normally do for manicures? If I were in her situation I’d personally call ahead and ask them if they can give me a REAL five finger discount before setting up an appointment. Seems like something you should mention before sitting down in the chair.
She admits that she asked the manager prior to getting the work done if there would be a discount and was told that there would not be. Shen then chose to go through with the services anyway before smearing them on Facebook when she got home.
For any business their time is valuable, especially during a pandemic when appointments have to be made and the amount of people in the business at one time is regulated. They need to maximize every minute of their day efficiently to make ends meet. This business likely bases their rates off of the time it takes to manicure 2 hands. If they booked the chair for an hour they need to make a specific amount of money in that hour in that chair. Every minute you’re in that chair is a minute another client can’t be in it. Time is money.
Regardless of how many nails they paint they still must sanitize everything, pay their employees, electricity, water, and heat, and use one time use only items that get tossed. They have to pay for the supplies that are used per person, not per hand/foot. Picking a polish, washing your hands, and all of the prep that goes into this takes the same amount of time regardless of how many nails you have. Drying 5 nails takes as long as drying 10 because that’s how science works. The only thing that would’ve taken any longer was painting the last 5 nails, which probably took a couple minutes at most. You’re paying for their time because they are running a business.
She’s also not just paying to get her nails done. When you go into a restaurant and you pay $15 for a burger and fries, even though it did not cost them that much for the burger and fries. You are paying for the restaurant’s rent, heat, insurance, and other operating costs.
When I call a plumber I’m paying him $200 to walk in the door because he’s a professional whose time is valuable. He had to pack up his gear, get in his car, and come to my house. He’s not doing that for $25 when he gets here and fixes the clog in 5 minutes. When you go to the the dentist to get two cavities filled you’re not just paying for the filling. You’re paying for all that goes into maintaining a Dentist’s office.
This is like someone with one foot demanding that Nike charge them half price because they only want to buy one of the sneakers. Nike still has to pay Colin Kaepernick $22 million and the children who made the shoes 20 cents an hour on top of the shipping, advertising, and other related costs to keep the company solvent.
Most importantly, plumbers, dentists, lawyers, barbers and other people who you hire to do a job are professionals who invested their time and money into learning how to do their craft. It’s why lawyers charge $300 an hour – because you’re paying for their law school loans. It’s why I collected a cut of the advertising revenue from Bristol Blarney – because I was the one who built this. You’re not just paying for the service, you’re paying for the time they invested in mastering and building the service.
The business could’ve been more empathetic and given her a discount, but they’re not required to. More importantly they told her ahead of time they weren’t going to and she accepted the service anyway. I feel bad for her, but any empathy I had went out the door when she used Facebook to try to destroy a business she chose to do business with. She didn’t get her way so she trashed them, and whenever someone attempted to point this out they get destroyed by her mob.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. I’ve never been a fan of outrage mobs, and if I were running the business I probably would’ve given her a small discount (not half), but they’re free to do business as they please. Vote in the poll to share your thoughts.
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