Help! If you work in a beauty shop, I need your advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2007
Help! If you work in a beauty shop, I need your advice.
2
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 7:19pm

I work as an assistant in a beauty shop. I can't cut hair because I have had 3 mini strokes and my hands are not totally steady. We have about 50 % senior citizen customers. Some of them are very pleasant, wise, funny, and polite. However, a lot of them are demanding and complain excessively. It is especially bad when they are getting a perm or color, which mean they will be in the shop at least 2 hours. Some of them go into gross detail about their medical problems when I ask courteously how they are, up to and including bowel movements, etc. Some will insist of telling me every medicine they take, how much it costs, and every side effect. I have health problems, too, but prefer not to talk about them. I have tried changing the subject, walking away for a minute, tuning them out, and other things. Please someone out there must have some advice to get them off of this subject. I also have to help them in and out of their walkers, from under the hair dryers, etc., which I don't mind, but the complaining really stresses me out. And most of them at least have health insurance, which I don't. One lady kept on and on and on about this surgery and that surgery and this pill and that surgery, that all I could think of to finally say was, "Wow, you must keep your doctor very busy!". Hopefully someone who has been in the business awhile can give me some hints to change the subject i\or tune them out or at least discourage inappropriate sharing. Why do some people think anyone other than their doctor finds their ailments and medical history fascinating?

Avatar for lizmvr
Community Leader
Registered: 06-06-2001

Have you tried to direct the conversation a bit more?  I know people are usually taught to ask open ended questions, but if you really want to steer the conversation, maybe ask about something you'd like to discuss, perhaps grandchildren, senior center activities, etc.  If you can't get a particular customer to focus the chat on a more positive topic, then please realize that it's likely that such a person really hasn't had the opportunity to vent to anyone else, and as a provider of good customer service, try to let it go and tune out anything that's too grossly medical if it's bothering you--you are probably doing way more for these people and their sense of worth than their hair when you let them talk even if it's not your cup of tea.

Good luck!

Liz


Clinical Research Associate


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2007

Thanks, Liz. The suggestion to try to direct the conversation more is very good. And also thanks for giving me a new way to look at my job. At least I can think that I am serving a good purpose to allow people to vent.