December 22nd, 2010

"His turn to die a martyr was yet to com

Special Christmas Delivery – a cautionary tale

Britain’s bright red cast iron letter boxes, many dating from the early 19th Century, are a staple of traditional Christmas card designs, often pictured dusted with snow, and with a cheeky robin perched on top.


There is one in my aunt’s village, which she has used every week for 30 years, and it is a pleasure to walk the 100 yards from her door to the box, on a crisp winter's morning, well wrapped up under sparkling blue skies, to post one’s Christmas cards, and to contemplate those messages being carried by the Royal Mail, by van, train, plane and on foot, from one tiny English lane to the friends and family scattered across the far corners of the world.


Which is just what my aunt was doing, last year, as she stood posting her cards in the slot - until the mail van approaching to empty the box backed up, mounted the curb and crushed her against the Victorian iron, breaking both her legs.


My aunt and I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday!

James Franco

Bad Hair Service at An'jels Salon

I moved to NYC a few months ago and have been looking for a good stylist that isn't exorbitantly expensive. I found out about An'jel's online and it had great reviews so I decided to give it ago. Apologies for the long, drawn out post & cross-posted to yelp all rating sites I could find so that no one else makes the same mistakes that I did.

I had never been to An'jels before but read all of the great reviews so I set up an appointment with Jamie (the owner). When I got there only one person was in the salon and after a few minutes she let me know that she was Brenda and that Jamie had left early (my appointment was for 5:30pm). It didn't bother me that much since I'd never been there before anyway and so we continued on (which I seriously regret now). Strike 1: not giving me the stylist I requested

I went in for a relaxer (it'd been 9 weeks since my last one) and was immediately met with resistance from Brenda. She told me that instead she would like to do a protein treatment and that I should come back in 2 weeks to do a relaxer. I told her that wasn't what I wanted to do and that I needed a relaxer, but she persisted on, her voice and demeanor becoming more and more aggressive every time I said no and tried to explain why I didn't want to go that route. After about 10 minutes of her trying to up-sell me I told her that I really didn't want to do it and wasn't comfortable anymore and asked her to give me my coat back (they hang your coat up for you when you first come in). She told me NO! And then lowered her voice and tried to explain more calmly what she wanted to do. I really needed a relaxer (going on Christmas vacation tomorrow) and so I told her that I would do both treatments at the same time (I figured the protein treatment couldn't hurt and I needed to get a relaxer). Strike 2: Berating me into buying more products

The next problem happened when Brenda was actually doing the relaxer. At one point some of the product ended up on my face next to my hairline and I tried to rub it off with the towel. Brenda stopped me and told me it was fine because it wound up on the base protector that she had applied. I let it go. As she's washing the relaxer out of my hair my face near my hairline starts to BURN. I point it out to her and she tries washing it out again -- it takes a few washes and application of aloe for it to stop burning. She then tries to sit me up to do the protein treatment and I tell her no because I didn't want to risk worsening the irritation and didn't particularly trust her at this point. Strike 3: CHEMICAL BURN

She starts blowing out my hair and the receptionist that had returned while Brenda was applying the relaxer comes over to me and tells me that she's closing out the register and leaving so I need to pay now. I tell her I'm not comfortable tipping Brenda when she hasn't finished yet (I was paying all on card and didn't have that much cash) and she tells me that that's the only way. I pay and leave a tip and the receptionist closes out the cash register and leaves. Strike 4: Payment before seeing the end result (which really bit me in the ass later)

Brenda starts trimming my hair. She points me away from the mirror so that I can't see what she's doing. I ask nicely if she could turn me so that I can see and she tells "just relax, I know what I'm doing". I say ok and now realize that I should have just stood up for myself. When she finishes flatironing my hair she finally turns me and asks if I like it. The first thing I notice is that it's not even (I had a bob that ends at my chin) and I say that to her. She flips out and says that I asked for a trim and that's what she gave me. I point out that normally when people trim, they make sure that they do so evenly. She told me that I wasn't going to be happy no matter what she did and said I should just leave. I got angry and told her that she was the most unprofessional stylist I've ever met and that I want my tip back and she told me that I'd have to wait until tomorrow when Jamie, the owner, is in to do so. Strike 5: Uneven "trim" and horrendous customer service for $150.

I will definitely be there tomorrow to complain to Jamie and get my tip back.

Taxi fail

I was recently flown over to Melbourne for a job interview. I arrived the night before, got ready the next morning in my fine 'job interview' suit  and called a taxi to take me to the meeting.

Now I am from the other side of the country and I don't know where anything in Melbourne is. But I'd looked at google maps and it looked to be about a 20 min walk up some major hills. In high heel 'interview' shoes.

Also it was POURING with rain. And had been for some time. So taxi it is. No one wants to arrive at a job interview looking sweaty, puffed out with acheing feet and soaked right? So anyway I got in the first taxi and was greeted with a big smile and "Hello! This is my first day ."  I am thinking "oh-oh" but smiled and had a chat with the driver. It turns out his brother in law is the normal taxi driver but he is off sick today. I gave him the address and off we went, until, of course, he got lost....very, very lost. He did have a Tom Tom but he didn't know how to use it...He kept asking me if I knew which street to take. Obviously, I didn't.

He pulled over and called someone up, I presume to ask for directions but since it was a foreign language I couldn't tell for sure. After about 2 mins of him talking I noticed that the meter was still running. I pointed towards it silently since he was still talking and he ignored me. Another few mins passed and I'm starting to get irritated that he didn't, at the very least, turn the meter off while he was lost. I pointed at it again and asked him to turn it off while he is parked. He doesn't. It seriously climbed up about $10 in this time.

He pulled away from the verge and kept chatting, even though its obviously illegal to talk on a mobile and drive at the same time. He seemed to be having some sort of argument with the other person on the phone with much gesticulating and shouting - the whole way to a street where he stopped and told me we were at my destination. I looked at the address and the big vacant block he had stopped at.....I pointed out that it was the wrong street than what I asked for. He said it was just around the corner from the right one and I just had to walk there. I asked if he had noticed that it was still pouring with rain and having only packed carry-on luggage I didn't have an umbrella. Also IT WASN'T THE DESTINATION I WAS PAYING TO GET TO.

He SWEARS at me, goes "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck" and pulls out sharply. At this point I actually started to get scared but wrote down his taxi number. He drives around the block to another street that isn't the right one and tells me to GTFO. I point out (again) that this isn't the address and besides, he had pulled up next to a huge puddle. He told me, again, to GTFO. I'm like "but huge puddle....interview....pants getting wet up past my ankles!". He then THREW the phone at the drivers side door . I panic and brave loads of traffic coming the other way and risk life and limb so my pants don't get wet by getting out the other side.

The fare comes to $22 after this and I just gave him $15. He threatened to call the police on me for the other $7. I told him fine and walked off down the street. I have reported him to the taxi company since but who knows wtf that will do, if anything.

TLDR: Taxi driver takes first day stress out on me - drops me at the wrong destination, swears at me, charges me extra for getting himself lost and then tries to make me get out at huge puddle.

ETA: Yep, did get offered the job in the end but decided not to take it. Nots ure I can stand the weather in Melbourne ;)