Have you ever had one of those experiences when something unexpected shines out from underneath a seemingly dark, dank, pile of the proverbial brown stuff? Well that happened to me today.
I had a feeling of quiet anticipation this morning. The reason for this was I was going for my very long awaited facial. TCM bought me a voucher for my local salon for my birthday back in May for a Shellac pedicure and for a facial. I'd managed to cash in the pedicure part of the voucher in June and had never gotten around to having the facial due to the difficulties over the last 6 months. When I booked the appointment I mentioned to the person I spoke to that I was using part of a voucher and that the details of what I was having should be on my file in the salon, my understanding being that this was logged on my card in June.
When I arrived this morning to have my wax and facial I mentioned this again to the girl who was doing my treatment. Her response was that the vouchers were only valid for 6 months so I probably couldn't use it. I told her I was unaware of this because I gave my voucher to the person who did my nails back in June. I reiterated that I thought the details should be on my card. She said she'd check after my wax. I could feel some tears welling. I had moved heaven and earth to get the time for this appointment and it felt like so much more than a facial. It was a few hours to myself being treated with care and kindness at a time when life is very stressful and I have been feeling very alone and isolated and low.
After my wax she asked me to get undressed ready for the facial and she would speaker to the manager about my voucher. She then returned to say that they were unable to give me the facial using the voucher because there was no record of it. I explained again all the details and that I wasn't making the story up to get a free facial. She asked me if I would like to go ahead with the facial and pay for it. I think you can guess my reply. I told her I had already paid for the facial so wasn't about to pay for it again. She asked me to speak to the Manager to try and resolve the issue.
The Manager of the salon confirmed that they would be unable to offer me the treatment as they had no record of my credit note. I felt so upset I could barely speak. It felt like the universe was pelting me from a great height. I felt so embarrassed at being told all this initially as I lay semi-clad on a massage table and then have to re-dress to speak to the Manager. I felt embarrassed that they thought I was lying, particularly as I've been a customer of theirs for at least 10 years, even using them for Katie's birthday party recently. I felt like the universe wouldn't even let me have that one hour of relaxation, just for me, like I wasn't worthy of that. All those emotions were an over-reaction. A sign that things are all getting on top of me. In the great scheme of things this isn't the worst thing in life that could happen. However, I feel I was treated abysmally and uncaringly by the salon.
I left the salon in tears and sat in my car sobbing. I phoned TCM to tell him what had happened and I drove home. As I drove I asked the universe what the message was for me because I felt totally embarrassed and so very upset and worthless. Was that what I was supposed to learn from this experience?
And then some magic happened, although I didn't realise it at first.
I posted a message on my Facebook page about my experience. It was quite a raw one for me and included the word "bastards", which surprised most people as I'm not really a sweary person. I just needed to vent my emotions.
Suddenly there was an outpouring of outrage on my behalf from many of my friends. People wrote messages on the Facebook page of the salon and several friends rang the salon and complained vociferously on my behalf. I asked this of no-one and I'm still shocked and amazed at the reaction. I'm sure the salon were as surprised as I was and I do feel sorry for the Manager who probably also had a bad day as a result of her decision this morning. People think I'm confident but it's all bravado with me. I can pretend very well and am confident in some situations but I know I would have scuttled off to a corner to feel sorry for myself over all this. I did plan to write to the owner though as I wasn't sure I could speak my outrage without being emotional. To see my friends rally round to take care of me in this manner moves me to tears as I write this post.
It then occurred to me. Here was my message from the universe. People care about what happens to me. When I needed it a wall of support formed tightly around me and people had my back. Words cannot express my gratitude to all of the people who supported me today.
I received a call from the Manager of the salon tonight. I wasn't able to take the call as I was putting the children to bed (as you know that's not a quick task in our house). She left me a message to say she had found the credit note and could I phone her back to come to a resolution about the issue this morning. I'm pleased to have some time to think about the issue before phoning her back because I need some time to compose myself before asking for a refund. Sadly I do not feel I could lay on their massage table and have any form of treatment ever again. Such treatments are intimate. You allow someone into your space and let them take care of you. The salon didn't take care of me today but my friends did. I will take my custom elsewhere but try and hold onto the love and support I was shown today and see this as a positive experience.
To all the wonderful people who looked after me today I am very grateful. Overwhelmed and emotional but grateful. This is an experience that has brought me more of a gift than my original voucher and I'm touched and feel a lot less alone than I did.
The universe moves in mysterious ways......