Friday, November 10, 2006

      ( 6:50 AM ) teahouse
Looks Can Be Deceiving

Over the weekend I was hanging out in the suburbs, waiting for my mechanic to do some routine work on my car.

Since I had an hour to kill, I wandered around a local strip mall, and decided to get my nails done. So I walked into a nail salon.

As soon as I walked in, the woman who was standing at the front counter looked at me and snapped angrily, "Sorry, the manager isn't in today. And we're not hiring!"

Then she glanced over at a coworker, snorted and rolled her eyes. As she turned to walk away, I called after her, "Uh...well, actually I'd like get a manicure and a pedicure."

She turned around, and her face turned totally red. She was so embarrassed. She quickly apologized.

I could have been angry or offended by what she did.

But I didn't get angry. I just laughed.

She felt so bad about it that she ushered me to a pedicure chair quickly. She made sure I got a special spa pedicure for no extra charge. And she gave me coffee and cookies while I was waiting.

And I saw her appraising the the generous tip I gave the nail lady. And glancing appreciatively at the American Express Gold Card I handed her for payment.

Right before I left, she confessed to me that she actually was the manager.

Some of my friends said I should have been meaner to her, or told her that her actions were prejudiced and rude. Or gotten her name and written an angry letter to the owners. Or walked out the place and refused to give them my business.

But I think I did the right thing. I was nice and friendly. Maybe that accomplished more than getting angry would have?

And maybe she assumed I was looking for a job not because I was Asian, but because I was dressed down (casual, with jeans and a t-shirt, instead of in my usual intimidating lawyer suit). So I should actually be flattered that I look younger than I am?

I have no idea. I feel weird about the incident, but I'm not sure it was a big deal. I still can't decide.



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THIRTYSOMETHING (!!) year old Asian American New Yorker, lawyer, amateur musician, curious girl taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Don't mess with me - I'm short and I look demure, but I carry a big purse. And I've just embarked on the journey of married life in Manhattan.

Currently Reading
The Labors of Hercules by Agatha Christie

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Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante

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Poirot: The Clocks

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