raid at the nail salon?

13 Aug

Yesterday I did something I rarely do – I got my nails done at Nail Citi in Westlake Village. I’m also pretty amped on the colors (Essie’s St. Lucia Lilac on my fingers and their Funny Face on my toes), but that’s beside the point.

A couple of weird things happened while I was there – toward the end of the pedicure a short, intense, bald man walks in holding a digital camera. He furiously demands to see all of the manicurists’ licenses and photo identification and takes photos of all of them in quick succession. Before he can do this, the young guy painting my toenails quickly hands the bottle of polish in his hand to the person standing closest to him and tells me has to go because “he just got a phone call.” After that, he rushes out through the back door and remains there for a longer time than most emergency phone calls would ever take. Such a weird experience.

On my way out, I noticed a list of about 15 things that, if they happen, make your service free. At the top of the list, in bold, was the declaration that “if we are chatting in Vietnamese at all, your service is free.”

I thought this was pretty interesting – sure, the unintelligible yammering can be grating and borderline obnoxious, but should it really be banned? Working at the salon probably gets tedious after a few hours, and side chatter is inevitable. It also sort of made me sad to think about all of the local women who probably complained and raised a fuss about hearing Vietnamese being spoken – this could be part of a larger lack of cultural awareness and understanding and a feeling of superiority and entitlement among individuals who frequent these places.  Is nail salon side-chatter really something so terrible it must be banned?

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