Sometimes when I’m deep in conversation, I’ll cut eye contact and glance away, maintaining my train of thought, but focusing on a distant object. Perhaps this helps me carefully compose my sentences or aids in the narrowing down of my word choice.
You’ve done this, right? Looked away while telling a story? Maybe you see the story better when gazes are broken and images stream vividly in the head.
I totally support this conversation style.
I do NOT, however, support this style when the object you’re focusing on is my pedicure in progress.
This afternoon, for the first time since my brother’s wedding in September, I treated myself to a mani and a pedi.
Considering that I was the ooooooonly customer in the entire establishment, you’d think that I would get the royal treatment, pampered beyond belief, fussed over like the queen.
Instead, my nail technician, Tina, decided to spend nearly my entire pedicure deep in foreign conversation with another woman who was seated right next to her.
Being that Tina was scrubbing, filing, lotioning and exfoliating my legs and toes-ies, where else could her friend stare, but right at my feet?
When I asked this friend if she worked there, she said no.
Wait. So you’re just hanging out? Just enjoying the sight of my old, chipped polish? Just taking in the view of my dead skin rolling off my feet with the aid of a pumice stone? Oh, this would never fly at one of my appointments. I can’t even imagine how rude that would be for me to spend someone else’s entire haircut talking to a friend over my shoulder. I’ve got to share this on Square Piece.
I got my camera phone out and pretended to be checking something. I turned the phone to silent so that they wouldn’t hear the camera click while I captured evidence of this unprofessional behavior.
Alas, I forgot to turn off the flash.
So they knew something was up. (Brian made me blur their faces.)
Tina, “What happen? You take picture? Don’t take my picture; I ugly!”
No, she was not ugly.
But that’s about 50% of the conversation we had this afternoon. Once her friend left, the other 50% was spent with her grilling me for info on my skin care regime. Apparently my skin is wonderful. That’s nice to hear when you don’t have a drop of makeup on. (Except the lips. Always the lips!)
The thing is that my nails and toes look fabulous.
Why, I wondered, was it so important that my nail technician pay attention to me? The truth is, I usually prefer to rest in silence anyway. If she can do just as good of a job on my nails while catching up with a friend, what’s my problem? Why should I want her to sit in silence, too? I’m thinking this has something to do with my pride and entitlement. ‘Cause – let’s be honest – I’d give the same great haircut whether or not I was being silent, conversing with a client or catching up with a friend. My fingers go on autopilot. I’m sure hers do, too. In fact, wasn’t I once offended when a client insinuated that I couldn’t color her hair and answer someone else’s question at the same time?
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”