It's Really Just Psychology
Because I am so
Apparently, the instructor told my stylist and all the other stylists that when you have a new client come in for a consult, if s/he cannot figure out what s/he wants within the course of a 10-minute conversation, it is time for your calendar to suddenly become full-to-bursting. You are not accepting any new clients - sorry, but you just realized that right this very second.
"What's the logic?" I asked, completely intrigued. "Well," she replied, "Someone who cannot decide on a haircut or style within 10 minutes of discussing it will never be happy with anything you do. Ne-ver. With anything. And I learned that years ago and never forgot it because it is 110% true." Now I was absolutely hooked. "Really? It's that simple? You can tell if someone is going to be a huge pain-in-the-ass within 1o minutes!? That's a miracle!" She shook her head. "Not really. Don't you think that's true in life in general?"
I thought about it. I realized that I know a lovely business woman who owns a catering company and has managed to determine in a single consult if a bride will ruin her life and somehow then steers the bride to another caterer.
My advisor told me last spring, after about my third or fourth run-in with Inappropriate Sister (do I really have to link to her?) I should have expected it. "Why?" I asked, again mystified by things that people seem to know that I don't.
She has been teaching college for 30 years. "Didn't you tell me that she e-mailed you the first week of the semester, begging you to add her brother to the class?" This was true, I had made the fatal mistake of adding her brother to my roster. Then she (Inappropriate Sister, not my advisor) traipsed in late the first day of class and then spent the remaining minutes of class giggling and talking with her brother until I gave her the stink-eye and finally, the verbal bitch-slap.
But how did my advisor know that would happen? Here was the Yoda-like answer: "I have found - fair or not - that students who have problems at the very beginning of the semester - just getting into the class - will be a problem all semester long. I know it seems harsh, but it always seems to work out that way. Now, when my class is full and someone is begging me to add them, I just say no. It's never worth it in the long-run. It's basically a fool-proof way to determine who is going to drive you nuts all semester long with an endless array of problems and issues."
I thought about this today because when I opened my e-mail I had about a three paragraph plea, explaining some kind of problem, begging me to let her into my (already closed) class. The semester hasn't even started. Ordinarily, I would just e-mail her back and write, "Sure, no problem. People usually drop anyway - not a big deal." But then I thought about my very recent conversation with my hair dresser. And my not-so-recent conversation with my advisor who has been doing this a helluva lot longer than I have. And now? Not so sure . . . I will you keep you posted.
On a similar note, anybody else in education or any other field have a "fool-proof method" for determining if a student/client/customer is going to be a nightmare? I find this stuff fascinating!
Labels: Inane Ramblings