About a month ago, I got my hair cut and colored. The hairdresser who did the work has colored my hair one or two other times...adequately-ish.
After the appointment about a month ago, however, the color looked terrible. I get high and low lights, so when my natural hair starts growing in, it blends much better than if the color is uniform. Unfortunately, the color after this appointment looked like a single, dirty beige tone. I mentioned it to the stylist at the time and she generously offered to re-do the color at no charge if I still did not like it within a week. I thanked her, waited a week, then called to re-schedule corrective color for my single-tone beige look.
Important point: I am a very generous tipper. I lean toward over-tipping and made sure to tip both the woman who shampooed by hair and the hairstylist very well even though I was not happy with the color.
Because the hairstylist works a 9-3 schedule, I was not able to reschedule the corrective color appointment for another three weeks, when I had a break in my work day and was able to go.
On the morning I went back for the corrective color, the stylist had to re-color it twice. It still looked monochromatic and very beige-y in a very unappealing way. And it took two hours, which means I had to take PTO from my job for this appointment. When she was finished, I left the salon and immediately sent the shampoo woman a tip through Venmo but could not decide if I should tip the stylist again since the color was her error and it actually cost me a lot in time/PTO to get it "corrected." As I like to tip, I even reached out to friends to ask their opinions on what to do - and almost everyone (including another hairstylist) said, "It's really up to you."
Dear readers, I ultimately did not tip. And because I'm me, have obsessed over whether this was the right decision ever since.
Yesterday, I got my answer when karma found me.
I stopped at the grocery store in the afternoon to pick up ice cream and pretzels for my sick kid, as it was all that sounded appealing to her. While in the store, I also added a rotisserie chicken to the cart for dinner. With my three items, I headed to the self checkout to complete my purchase.
<cue foreboding music>
As I was making my way to the self checkout, I looked up to see none other than the hairstylist I had stiffed a few weeks ago coming toward me. I put my head down, turned down an aisle, then made my way to the checkout line as quickly as I could with the intent of quickly scanning and purchasing my three items and leaving before she had a chance to see me.
And this plan worked great with the ice cream and the pretzels - it looked like I was going to make a clean getaway as I confidently reached for the rotisserie chicken in the bottom basket of my cart.
Which is when I picked up the rotisserie chicken and it burst open, dropping the whole chicken and about eight gallons of grease on the floor where I stood. If my plan was to unobtrusively finalize my purchase and get out of the store, I was doing the exact opposite of that.
I decided the best course of action was to tell the employee who floats around that area to see if he could assist me in figuring out what to do, but as I took a step toward him, I slipped in the grease and did what felt like a very graceful slide to the floor. The employee and the manager came over and tried to help me, covered in grease, looking pathetic, and creating quite a scene.
And in was in this exact moment I looked up and saw the hairstylist, standing at the next register over, looking down and smiling, wryly.
(This was all true until the part about me slipping in the grease - that part and everything after is completely made up. It's just how I imagined karma should work. In reality, the manager and employee were so nice and watched my cart while I went to wash my hands, then helped me finish checking out. Then another employee came over with a mop. I never saw the hairdresser after the initial sighting.)
And this afternoon, I'm heading to a new stylist at a different salon. One I'll tip generously no matter what.