Monday, October 26, 2015

So, You "Forgot" Your Appointment?

It is a glorious Saturday afternoon. The sun is shining and I have finished early for the day. You might think this is a good thing except I did not get paid to go to work today.

The reason I did not get paid was because three clients did not arrive for their scheduled appointments. I don’t know about you but when I go to work, I need to get paid. It is, after all, the main reason any of us work at all.

I love my job. I truly believe I have the best job in the world. I am extremely lucky that my choice of career is one that means I look forward to going to work each and every day. However, at the end of the month there are these amounts of money that disappear from my bank account – bills.

Like anyone else, I have all sorts of life items that requires paying for and try though I might, I can’t put off paying for these things. These are the things that mean my husband, children, furbabies, and I have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and a standard of living that is somewhat comfortable.

Of course, being a business owner, it is not just my house and living expenses that need paying for, I also have all of the expenses of my business that all need paying before I even get a sniff of a wage to cover my own personal expenses.

Three clients not arriving for their appointments in a single day actually means that not only do I not get a personal wage for the day, there is actually a deficit which means that a part of the wage I might have earned yesterday has to go into today’s pot to cover today’s overheads. I went to work today and earned a loss.

I don’t know how anyone else would feel about having deductions from their wages but I’m sure it’s not too dissimilar to how I feel. Pretty darned fed up. I lost over $100 today. I could have filled those three slots many, many times over and not lost that money. That $100 is a very real and personal loss to me.

This week, three other appointment commitments were not met. Three other clients did not arrive for their appointments. That’s a further $100. That’s a very real and personal loss of $200 this week alone. Two of these appointments were forgotten about because they had gone out of town for the weekend and forgotten to cancel their appointments with me. I totally understand the excitement of an unexpected weekend trip. I would love one of those...

I am self-employed. If I am not servicing clients, I am not earning any money. It really is that simple. I don’t get holiday pay or sick pay. Your individual nail appointment worth, for example, $50, may not seem like a lot to you but I’m pretty sure that if your employer deducted $50 from your wage packet, you’d notice it rather quickly. Consider also that the $50 loss is only for one single appointment missed; multiply it by six as I had this week alone and you get the idea of how big an impact this has on a small business. Just one missed appointment per week adds up to $200 per month. That’s over $2400 a year personal loss. I could do a lot with that. Yes, a family weekend trip sounds delightful.

On my FaceBook page, in my salon, on my brochure, and out of my mouth directly, there is a message that says “failure to give at least 24 hours notice to cancel/reschedule an appointment may result in a missed appointment fee”. Please do not be surprised or upset when you call me after missing your appointment and are reminded of this additional charge which will require payment before I schedule you again. You become a high risk client. If you complain about the charge and threaten to go elsewhere then I will wish you well in all future endeavors and hope that your new tech is as good, kind, and diligent about sanitation & excellent customer service as I am. If and when you call me back a year (or two – yes this has happened on numerous occasions) later, that fine will still be on your record card and will still require payment.

It doesn’t matter how much I like you as a person. If you miss a few appointments then you will become a client I cannot afford to keep.

We are an awesome salon. We work hard and we do a great job. I am an awesome nail tech. We are an awesome team. This is why you have chosen us for your beauty needs. Our appointment slots fill up weeks in advance (some of us - months!) and so you can imagine how many potential clients are turned away. Those potential clients would have very happily taken one of the appointments that were missed this week.

If you have an appointment with us, please make sure it is written in your diary, on your calendar, in your phone, or wherever it is you keep your life organized. If your memory is shockingly bad then tell a friend and ask them to make a note of the appointment or set an alarm reminder on your phone/e-calendar.

If, for any reason, you cannot make your appointment then please have the courtesy to call us and let us know. It really isn’t asking a lot.

Incidentally, phoning me on the morning of the appointment to cancel it because you cannot afford it isn’t going to make me drop the fine simply because it most definitely means I cannot now afford something. I’m quite convinced you would have known before that time that finances were tight.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I'm going to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal... It's a good thing I like oatmeal because my grocery fund is now nonexistent for next week.

Inspired by this blog Brittany, Dog Groomer, and real events. Side note - I know some of my clients believe that because I don't have a mortgage (paid off when my MIL died and left us a small inheritance), and my husband has a "well-paying" job (I use quotes because they obviously have no idea what he does nor what he makes nor what our expenses are), that I don't *need* to work. It's just not true.

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