It started out as a simple mistake. The nail tech filed too much on the side and the plastic tip cracked. Filing it down so it was straight across made the nail 1/4 inch shorter than the same nail on the other hand. Unfortunately the nails were on the hands of a woman who had made up her mind to be deeply offended by the mistake.
Sitting two chairs over I had a ring side seat for the facial expressions, the deep sighs, the eye rolling and the squirming that went on for the next half hour. The whole time the tech worked patiently to fix the nail and build it up to the same length as the others. The owner stopped by every 10 minutes to check on the client and the progress. Each time the client rudely told how the tech had screwed up her nail and that it better be fixed to her satisfaction.
As I listened, I felt sorry for the two women holding hands across the workstation from each other. I felt sorry for the patient tech who was able to correct a simple mistake but in order to fix it had to sit within arms length of the one offended.
I felt sorry for the woman who was so worked up over 1/4 inch of plastic finger nail. Even after it was fixed she still was visibly agitated. What was going on in her heart, mind and life that would cause this kind of behavior over a finger nail? As she paid for her services she informed the owner that she would not be returning. I have to think the owner and the tech were both relieved to hear that.
Fixing the original problem wasn’t really a problem at all. After hearing “It’s your attitude” for the better part of 40 years I finally got it yesterday. I saw it in action. The focus on the offense even after it’s been made whole is more of a problem than the original problem ever was.
So many lessons learned yesterday.