4.23.2012

*rubs temples*

So, I was  bad girl and didn't get my nails done for a month, missing my appointment with Will.  So I go in on Saturday specifically to get him, but I miss getting him literally by about a minute or so.  I wound up sitting right behind him with another male tech, and once I heard him say, "Hey there, stranger," I got ticked all over again about the fact's he's married.  He has this really nice voice and laidback personality...but I digress.

Anywho, I though we'd just resume our chatting over our shoulders, but he wound up getting assigned the pedicure from hell.  At one point, the male tech I got (we'll call him "Ray") and I didn't even bother trying to converse because this woman was so loud - and so offensive - we had to just stop and marvel at what she was rambling about.

Now, before I continue, let me remind people as to why I write about these particular experiences.  A nail tech is a person - a living, breathing, sentient being with ambitions, emotions, and knowledge.  I keep saying this because when the techs are non-Asians, folks have no trouble remembering this.  When the tech is Asian (or Asian American, born & raised), however, their humanity is suddenly unfathomable to their non-Asian clients.

The fact that there's often a language barrier doesn't mean anything; they're not stupid, they're not backward, and if they don't own their own salon, odds are they're just doing nails to pay the rent for now.  This was not what they dreamt about doing for a living when they were kids; this isn't the great hope their parents had for them when they were born.  Some of you might recall Will got into the biz because he was a bad boy in college, and while he was in school, he found himself strapped for cash.  Now he's back in school and working part-time (remember, that's 45 hours/week in nail tech world), while trying to support a pregnant wife, a small child, and two elderly parents, and he's trying to support them working the job from hell.

Ray, the tech I was speaking with, said in the five years he'd worked at the salon, the one thing he'd learned was that they never know who's going to walk through the door.  They're a very clean, well-organized business with several male techs, and I think the healthy gender balance, along with the presence of small children, has helped keep the place quiet (for the most part, anyway).

Not Saturday.

On Saturday, a white woman walked through the doors to get her feet done.  At first, no one really paid her any mind because she was quiet - at first.  She got lucky and was assigned Will who is, as I've mentioned before, an easy-going, conversational kind of guy who speaks English fluently.  So after he made her laugh a bit and asked her a few questions about herself, she suddenly thought they were BFFs and that she could get "comfortable".

I don't think I need to explain to any POC about what happens when white folks get too "comfortable" around folks of color.

*rubs temples*

First, the woman started interrogating Will about Asian stereotypes, and she nailed them all.  And because Will remained a very cool, professional individual, she continued to be "comfortable".  She started talking faster, and her voice got louder until it carried all through the salon.  So you've got a bunch of women and their very small, bewildered-faced kids trying to get their nails done the day before church, and this crazy woman is talking about dick size (and wanting to see Asian porn to confirm "the rumors"), and she's going on about that ish at the top of her lungs.

Oh, yeah, she went there...and she was just getting started.  I looked at Ray like, "Oh, Lawd" but he didn't even flinch.  He just shook his head and said it was going to be "one of those days".

Now in customer service world, you're supposed to attempt to control customers without their knowing it.  If they're talking too fast, you're advised to speak slowly and calmly to get them to adapt to you.  You're also encouraged to do conversational control, to steer customer dialogue with hints and cues to keep them from getting off track or overall veering into a no-no zone.  I noticed that Will tried this and failed at first because it was too late; the woman was "comfortable"; she had questions and opinions and folks were going to listen, by gum.

So she brought up the language barrier, and Will - I'm guessing - thought this was an opportunity to educate the woman on the difficulties of learning a new language, especially one which is completely different from yours, and why it takes some people as long as it does.  Unfortunately, she wasn't really interested; she hastily interrupted him to launch into a rant about how when drivers pass the Beltway (leaving the salon), they wound up in "Chinaville", where all the signs, "you know, are in y'all's language."  Houstonians may recognize the area as Bellaire; many of the street and store signs there aren't in English, but they do have English translations either beside or below them (for the most, part anyway).

Some signs are in Chinese, some in Korean, some in Vietnamese, and so on, which brought up the issue of differences.  You already know where that's going.  When Will easily mentioned that yes, most Westerners having trouble differentiating Asians.  To which this woman replies - and I quote - "It's not that we have trouble telling the difference, it's just that it's so hard to tell y'all apart."

At this point a part of me is like, Really?  Seriously?  This is what's on your mind when you're talking to a guy like Will????  Why aren't you asking if he has a woman and what he likes to do when he's not working?  Why aren't you flirting with the dude and trying get his number?

Turns out, she currently dates women...but more on that later.

She brought up eating cats and dogs, and Will - the gods bless him - managed to maintain, answering her questions in light-hearted voice.  I'd have broken one of her toes by now, but that's just me.  *shrugs* But here's where things got really interesting.  Somehow, Will finally managed to flip the conversation and make it all about her.  That's when I noticed the drastic drop in volume in her voice, and the occasional stammer.  Ray and I, eavesdroppers to the end, had to strain to hear what she was saying.  Apparently she came to get a pedicure because she this thing about feet; she said she only dates women who take care of their feet, and then went on about feet for quite a bit.  When Will probed further, she revealed she was divorced/estranged/something or other from a dude, and then she went on a low-voiced rant about she'd never forgive him for taking "the child support money and buying 'Roman' noodles."

Me and Ray: *blink*

It's hard to say what they talked about next; the more Will kept asking about her life, her kids, her ex, etc., the lower her voice got so Ray and I stopped trying.  We instead paused to reflect on why some Americans have so much trouble with the word "Ramen."  It's two friggin' syllables.

Next time, I'm going to move heaven and earth to get Will.  We have much to catch up on.

30 comments:

  1. O_O If you expanded your CSR diaries to include people working in the service industry, you'd have enough for a bestseller.

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    1. And by the end of writing it, I'd be a bona fide alcoholic.

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  2. That was ridiculous. Especially the stereotypes and talking about adult themes in front of children. I commend Will for holding his peace. God bless him!

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    1. That floored me. I couldn't believe that was happening. There were really little kids hopping and skipping through the salon, waiting to get their nails done, and I could see their moms looking at that crazy bitch like, "WTF????"

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  3. Man oh man. Will is better than me by far and away. The older I get, the less tolerance I have for foolishness. SMDH.

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    1. I'm with Joyful. I would have tossed that trick out of my salon. No one deserves that kind of flat out disrespect. Will is a saint as far as I'm concerned.

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  4. I guess its when your business is out on front street volume control is no issue... *Side eye* Oh how a little comfort can turn people into fools. Will should have been tipped by ALL the patrons that day.

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    1. Mm-hm...she didn't want to broadcast all that ish.

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  5. Had it been me instead of Will, I'd have been still whuppin' that rude bitch's ass. Clearly, dude has skills beyond the nail tech.

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  6. Maaan, Will has the patience of a saint! Then she got the nerve to get all quite once her business is now put on front street. I can't with some people.

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  7. anonymous J

    Wow! Just wow! Loved how Will turned the conversation around on her.

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  8. I forgot to mention...she brought up the educational stereotype too. I mean, she crammed it all into one convo.

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    1. Wow. It's like she had them all bottled up and ready for when she finally encountered an Asian.

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    2. Did she ever throw in the standard "But I'm not racist or anything LOL" comment into the conversation? If not, was it ever implied?

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    3. Wow. I am also surprised she never said the "Not to be racist or anything, but..." before her word vomit session.

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    4. @ Cece D

      No, and I'm guessing she didn't bother because she was "comfortable." She was expressing something she'd clearly bottled up for a long while, and she was determined to get it all out.

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  9. Gawd damn *smh* You sure she's not a distant relative of Alexandra Wallace? Because it seems like she was just bursting to let all that verbal diarrhea out. I'm surprised the chair she was sitting in didn't give way from shock.

    And I totally <3 Will.

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  10. That was somewhat humorous to me, I don't if its because I've been in that situation before, or if its just my nature to find the humor in things but this was my chuckle for the day.

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  11. OMG! she had to go there. She should have kept her mouth shut while she had to chance to do it.

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  12. Oh my God! <3 at Will. That heffa knew exactly what she was doing! i mean lowering the volume for her own private ish??? WTF!!?? wHITE SUPREMACY KNOWS NO BOUNDS! How can you stroll into an Asian establishment paying for a service and be confident enough to denigrate the staff???

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    1. Exactly. She knew exactly what to be boisterous about and when to lower her volume. That shit was pre-meditated.

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  13. I'm so not surprised with this story. I was helping my cousin out by taking her daughter school shopping and we went to either Justice or Gap Kids I can't remember. This White woman (let’s call her April) walked up to another White lady (Jessica), who had a biracial daughter, and started to ask her very inappropriate questions. Like "so is your daughter part Black?" "Are you two still together or did he leave you to raise the baby yourself?" "Does he have a big dick?" "You know I once was about to hook up with this Black guy but it didn't work out, but I would so do it now because I heard that they are all packing." April was loud and you could pretty much hear her throughout the store.

    No one tried to get her to stop. Not the workers, other parents, not even Jessica. When my 6yr old cousin asked me what a dick was I knew I had to shut it down. So I kindly asked April to shut her mouth and if she wanted to know if the rumors were true then find a Black guy and stop talking about it to random people in little kid stores. She acted like she was offended that I was “eavesdropping,” but we didn’t hear anything else from her. Now I’m not saying that only White women do this kind of thing, but really who talks about dead-beat dads and penis sizes to strangers in a kids clothing store?

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    1. When my 6yr old cousin asked me what a dick was I knew I had to shut it down.

      Oh...my....*shudder*

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  14. You know what. The more I think about this, the more I realize how full of shit this female is.

    I've got plenty of white friends, loved ones, who I have known for years. My BFF and I were just chatting the other day about how we don't even consider each other friends anymore but just family. He's my ride-or-die 24/7 365. We've gone on vacations, stayed at each other's homes, talked about our sex lives, have confided some serious deep shit with the other. And in the near decade that we've known each other, he has NEVER felt "comfortable enough" to show his ass like that.

    The same goes for my other white friends. We've known each other for years and they have NEVER felt "comfortable enough" to come out of pocket like that.

    So where in the blue hell did this chick feel she had authorization to show her whole ass in such a manner to complete and total strangers?

    Tell me that wasn't some pre-meditated shit.

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    1. Exactly, To an establishment owned and staffed by asian men no doubt!!! Totally pre-meditated.

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    2. It was pre-meditated. You've the captive audience, and you've got the people you're paying, who are thus less likely to kick your ass.

      Either way, Will knows her drama now, and whenever Will learns the drama of the Rude & Loud, he brings it up in every conversation to shut them down. I'm onto him.

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  15. My question is if she's dating women (I'm assuming she's not bi-sexual) why does the size of Asian male genital concern her? It's not like she's planning on have sex with a man (Asian or not) anytime soon.

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    1. Haha I know right? She was just a b**** plain and simple. They musta let her out of the zoo early for good behavior. Pity they forgot her muzzle! Kudos to Will for keeping his cool though. If she had said that to me it woulda been open season on her ass!!

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    2. I think she's bi. She bitched about her male ex & the kids, and she talked about dicks for a while.

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