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Dear Diary: Breaking down the language barrier

Michael Suba

Dear Diary,

It was one of those things that just spins out of control. A client called to book an appointment. She is undergoing chemotherapy and has a wig from us. She had arranged earlier for a wash and style next Thursday and called to get a trim on Friday. She is very difficult to understand because of she does not speak English very well.

Our receptionist, Elfi, was trying to explain to her that there were no stylists available next Friday. We are fully booked. Could she have that done on Thursday? Well, no, her cousin was going to drop off and pick up the wig for that. Poor Elfi tried to explain that we cannot cut into a wig unless it is on the client. That is Standing Order #1. But then it fell apart. The client insisted that we were not wanting to help her and that it was a mistake to come to us and we didn’t care. Elfi, a liver cancer survivor, was almost in tears.

She came into my office and told me what happened and was visibly distraught. I offered to call the client and see if I could make some special arrangements (maybe ask one of the stylists to stay after hours). Then Elfi said something that rang a bell. “She was sent here by a relative that is a regular of ours so I am so surprised at this.”

Ding! “Elfi, call our regular client and explain the situation and what we can do. They can tell her without the language barrier and hopefully we can get her into a nice place.”

What’s the Jewish saying? “Sometimes a little good luck is the best plan?” It came out all right.

Author Info

Michael Suba

Owner and President of Continental Hair.

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