Today's Evil Beet Gossip

The Women who Work at Coast Nails All Have Names

Unfortunately, I appear to be the only client in the place who doesn’t know any of them. I’ve been going there for years for the same fill-and-French (that sounds kinda dirty), and at least a few of them seem to know mine — they greet me by name when I walk in — and I haven’t the foggiest idea how. Did they get it off of my checks? I have never introduced myself by name to any of them, and I don’t really talk to them much while I’m sitting in there. In fact, every time I go in there, no matter which young Vietnamese manicurist I’m paired with, we have the same conversation:

Manicurist: You want French?
Me: Yes, please.
Manicurist: We do gel?
Me: Yes, please.
Manicurist: And cuticles?
Me: Yes, please.
Manicurist (noting that I’m wearing business attire): You work today?
Me: Yes.
Manicurist: Ah.

It goes like this every. Single. Time. I think they like to confirm that I am still employed and then, with renewed faith in the check I will later write out to cash, focus on my nails and engage in subsonic Vietnamese-language conversations with their coworkers (honestly, I will hear what sounds like brush rustling at the other end of the salon, and the woman working on my nails will nod, pick up the third nail file from the left, and walk it over to someone who I swear is fifty yards away from her, yet clearly just requested its delivery — it’s unbelievable and raises all sorts of embarrassing points about how incredibly loud we are as Americans, but I won’t get into that right now).

All of this is beside the point. The point is that, on cursory inspection, all the clients in the place seem to have a relationship with these women similar to the one I have. No one is having an animated conversation with her manicurist; there is an obvious language barrier and, to our crude American ears, most of what these women say is inaudible anyway. Everyone has her face buried in a magazine or is talking to a friend. But I noticed something today: they all know the names of the women who work here. A client will walk in, be greeted by name, and say hello back, by name. Here is my question: when does this name exchange happen? I am not unfriendly, I am not cold, I am not stupid, I am not forgetful, but I have absolutely no idea what the name is of a single one of the women who work here. Is there a Coast Nails facebook that someone forgot to send me? Am I not on the Coast Nails happy hour email distribution? Not a single one of them has introduced herself to me. They do not wear name tags. I tip quite generously. What am I missing?

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