If you are struggling today (or any day)…reach out for help.
And also, this article is helpful:
As I noted in my comments on the previous post, I contacted Ulta Corporate about the whole incident. I got an email in return the next day saying my complaint had been forwarded to the local salon. Another day and I get a call from the local Ulta Salon’s manager, asking me for pictures of my hair. I told corporate and her that I’d spent more than $100 on getting my hair colored in advance, and that the stylist at Ulta had ruined my hair.
So I sent the salon manager the inspiration picture and my hair when completed (previous post), and told her where I thought the burnt section was. She said she’d get back to me after she got the pictures (and after I explained that no I didn’t go somewhere else to get my hair fixed after the incident, that I’d spent money PRIOR to going to Ulta–that they ruined) and let me know what they could do. She said corporate had told her that I went and got my hair fixed AFTER the Ulta fiasco, but I forwarded her the communication from Ulta showing what I’d said. WTF.
The salon manager calls me back and says they’ll refund me the money for my updo, but that’s it (I had given the stylist a cash tip, so that was GONE because I had no proof of that). I said fine, go ahead and refund my credit card.
NO, I had to go into Ulta so she could print something out from the salon that I would then take to the front to have refunded. She told me to come in the following day (this was yesterday) at 3pm, when she would be on duty. And she said I had to go back to the salon area to meet her, I couldn’t just go up front to the registers.
So I go to the store today at 3pm, and I look back toward the salon and guess who’s working? Yeah, the guy who ruined my hair. Why would the manager ask me to come in when she knew he’d be working? When she knew it would be uncomfortable for her customer? Because she doesn’t give a shit about her customers. Just like the stylist on Sunday, this was never about customer service or the customer’s good experience, it was about them and their issues. I steel myself and walk back to the salon area and as I’m approaching a woman comes forward. I ask for the manager by name and she says it’s her. I give her my name and she tells me to sit and wait…despite the fact that she’d been doing NOTHING when I arrived. She stood around and asked about someone working on the floor, then came back and told me to follow her to a private office in the back of the store. I have no clue why…but I figured maybe she’s going to apologize? To say SOMETHING customer service related?
She tells me to sit in the other chair in the room, then says, “I want to see your burnt hair.”
She’s already said she’s going to give me my money back, so WHAT-THE-EVER-LOVING-FUCK?! My hair was up in a clip, so I pull it down and tell her it’s the under-layer as far as I can tell. She looks through my hair, rolls her chair back and tells the woman who just appeared, “You can take her up front and use her receipt to give her a refund.” Then she says to me, “YOU DID BRING YOUR RECEIPT, DIDN’T YOU?”
Despite her not having told me to bring a receipt prior, I did in fact bring my receipt. I whip out the receipt and she argues over the fact that the receipt says $38.25 (we had a coupon) and I had said $40. In fact, I had said $50 because I had included the tip, but like I said the tip was loooooong gone because it was cash. But she’s arguing over the fact that I said $40 when it was in fact $38.25…WHO IS THIS PERSON?!
I’m dismissed with the staffer, who takes me back past the stupid stylist again, and we go up front. She takes me right to a register, asks me if I have my credit card, then realizes the system will just credit the card automatically. *sigh* Then she asks me to sign and then says, “I’m sorry for the issue you had.”
I said thanks and left the store.
Who are these people? I mean, what kind of customer service is this? Hub told me not to bother to get my money back, but they need to be held accountable. It’s not right that they should get away with things like this. People trust them, they should pay attention to their customers. And if no one calls them on their shit…
I need a nap. And a cold pack.
Because I need validation. I NEED VALIDATION.
(origin story post)
The pic that Hub took of my hair:
Makes me so mad that I paid for the above mess ($50 with tip). And see how in the above picture the side is sort of softly swooped away from the face in sections? I got none of that. He just pulled my hair back in a flat comb-back (don’t have a good picture of that part). And I got no soft curls, no romantic fall of hair…I got a bird’s nest. I wanted it up off my back because my dress had a kind of low back and I wanted it to show, but I didn’t get that either. And for the record, I told him all of this…and showed him the damn picture.
I know, I should have said something, but I couldn’t see ANY of my hair until we were done (he had me facing away from the mirror)…and by then we were already running so late that when we got home, I had thirty minutes to dress and do my make-up. I couldn’t stop to have him re-do, and I honestly was so freaking exhausted at that point that I didn’t care. But the more I think about it the angrier I get. I spent my time and energy not only finding someplace to go with my SIL and nephew’s girlfriend, but then I spent my waning energy by going there and having my hair done.
We had appointments for two of us at 1pm and the third person at 2pm. When they called to confirm on Saturday, they only had the first two appointments, and my appointment at 2pm was suspiciously canceled (they couldn’t figure out why or how it got canceled). The person on the phone re-added me, said they had plenty of time for me in the schedule, and that all was well. When we arrived at Ulta at 12:45, they had two stylists on duty and one of them was knee-deep in a wedding updo and makeup job. So they started with the SIL (who had to leave earlier than we did), and when the other stylist freed up (over an hour late), he started on my hair. He saw my inspiration picture, asked to see it again after a few minutes, then seemed to just go and do whatever he wanted. I suspect he has ONE style, that he then either puts UP or leaves half down, because I watched him do basically the same thing he did to me to the other person in my party, but he put her hair up instead of “curly”. HER hair looked pretty good, my SIL’s hair (done by the first stylist) was nice enough. I got a mess of a blobbly, sloppy pony tail with my hair wrapped around the base of it. WTF.
I kind of just want to go somewhere else with the pretty inspiration picture and ask them to do my damn hair so I can enjoy it. Boo.
I guess on the positive side, I had a lot of people compliment my dress and how I looked. I don’t handle compliments very well, so I felt awkward every time someone said something, but oh well. Amusingly enough, my SIL said she had picked out the same exact dress for her daughter’s wedding several years ago, but ended up wearing one of the other options she’d bought.
I’m in a bad mood. I shouldn’t post this blog but I’m gonna anyway. I wrote a review about the Ulta salon on Yelp, because I feel like the stylist just didn’t give a shit about what I wanted and people should know that.
I had a whole list of things I needed to do today, but other than PT this morning and packing up some purses to go back to Amazon (I ordered a “sampling” to go with my dress and kept one), I did none of it. Bleh.
Bleh bleh bleh.
Oh lordie I think he burnt my hair. I thought it was the smell of the product he used in my hair, but I have just washed and conditioned my hair and it STILL smells bad/burnt. OMG what the hell did he do??
One of my brothers lives with my father. He has always lived with my parents, though I have no idea why he decided to do so. He’s fifty-three and was born profoundly deaf due to my mother getting German Measles when she was pregnant with him. He’s been wearing hearing aides since he was a baby, and my parents made sure he went to a regular public school so he could learn to live with hearing people. The school system he was enrolled in offered individual assistance for him so he didn’t fall behind in his classes. He’s lived a pretty normal life, went to college, worked retail jobs, got his degree, and has been working in the government for many many years. He maintains relationships with lots of friends–hearing and deaf–and participates in all kinds of activities. He helps arrange and run racquetball tournaments for both deaf leagues and hearing leagues. He travels, stays in hotels alone, drives daily to work, works among his colleagues, goes to a gym, sees his doctors…etc etc. He’s a pretty smart person, though sometimes his communication skills lag a bit. Most people deal with it pretty well, and so does he.
But he’s never had a romantic relationship that we’re aware of, though he has tons of friends. He’s never wanted to go away for any long period of time, never wanted to move out, and often relied on my mother to do things for him. Things he could do–though they might take some extra effort from him–but for whatever reason he chose not to do them. My mother did the things for him out of love, I’m sure. My brother helped (and still helps) take care of their current house and the property it sits on. He would cook occasionally and would stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things when my mother asked. He’s terrible at cleaning, but he takes good care of their dog. Now that Mom is gone, he handles the majority of the bills at the house, does all the taxes for him and my father, and he helps my father with most of the technology in the house.
There are times that he lets things slide that normally my mother would have handled. He and my father, living together like bachelors in their house now, often overlook things because they don’t want to deal with them. I have tried very hard to stay out of my mother’s role, because I do not want to be her. I don’t want to follow them around and make sure things get done, or be called upon when they don’t want to handle things. When things fall by the wayside, they scramble to handle them but it seems to be okay the majority of the time. One of the last issues I have struggled to step out of is their dog. I hate to see their dog suffer because they aren’t staying on top of things, or because they aren’t paying her enough attention. She was really my mother’s dog, her companion and her shadow, especially during Mom’s cancer. My father doesn’t pay the dog too much mind, and his memory is pretty shitty. I often worry that he lets her out into the yard and then forgets about her. It has only happened once or twice since my mother’s death, and neither time did she suffer too much discomfort before I discovered the lapse. Fortunately, their dog barks hysterically if she wants to get back in the house, so there have been times when I hear her barking and I call my dad to remind him she’s outside.
We are all heading to the wedding next weekend. It’s being held less than 30 minutes from our home(s), but it’s an evening wedding. It starts right before dinnertime and we need to be there early enough to get parking and walk to the venue. That means our dogs will all need to have someone come in to feed them and let them out after dinner. Hub and I have been talking about this for weeks, and we finally interviewed a couple of dog-sitters from Rover.com. We’ve used dog-sitters before, but we didn’t really like their service as they were ONLY drop-in and they would only promise to stop in on the dogs in a two hour window. So we interviewed a couple of people and found someone who will come in and stay with our dogs for the whole evening. They have a pretty active evening routine (including dinner), so we figured we’d pay the person to stay the whole evening. It’s not terribly expensive and we’re over-protective owners, so we went ahead and hired someone.
I said nothing to my brother or my father about their dog. They’re grown men, they take care of their dog, they knew the wedding was coming up for six months. If they were concerned about their dog, they should have done something. And I didn’t want to put my nose into their life and ask or suggest they make arrangements. It sounds petty, but I don’t want to be their mother or their wife. GROWN ADULTS.
Hub and I decided to have the dog-sitter come in once before the wedding so the dogs would have a chance to get to know the sitter. We hired her for a drop-in visit (30 minutes) to let the dogs out and play with them while we were out for a longer-than-normal dinner with my family. We all drove together to the restaurant, so when we got home, the sitter was still at our house (dinner didn’t take as long as we expected). Immediately my brother wanted to know who was at our house when he saw the car parked in front of our garage. So I told him we were trying out a dog-sitter in advance of the wedding. He sort of frowned and started to ask me questions, but I only said we’d met her a few weeks prior and then we went home.
Two days later–this is now ten days before the wedding–my brother sends me a message via googletalk to ask me how the dog-sitter had worked out. I said she was good, the dogs seemed to like her (but they like everyone!), so we were set for the wedding. His next question was, “Can she handle three dogs?” Because he hadn’t made any arrangements and he figured he would just leave his dog at my house and so he’d be all set without having to do anything! Again, I felt petty, but I don’t want him thinking that he’ll just let us always handle things and he’ll tag on. I told him that it wasn’t appropriate for our sitter to take care of his dog when she hadn’t met the dog. This was exactly why we had interviewed people in our house to see them with our dogs, and then did a trial-run before the wedding. Also, his dog is not the easiest to handle, especially when she’s in OUR house versus their house. And I told him all of that. I said he needed to find his own sitter, who would come to his house and take care of his dog. So he said there was no time left (TEN DAYS), and so he’d just have to come home early from the wedding to take care of his dog. Guilt and manipulation…because he hadn’t bothered to do the responsible thing for his dog and his plans. Six months they’ve known about the exact time and date for the wedding.
I felt badly. I had guilt so built up that I didn’t sleep that night thinking about it. I knew he was mad at me, but I didn’t want to teach him that if he didn’t do what he was supposed to, I would clean up after him. I didn’t want him to think that he could let things slide because he figured I would step in. Teaching people how to treat you is important, and I was teaching him to treat me like his sister, not his mother.
TWO DAYS LATER he asked me to help him get a dog-sitter. I had already given him the Rover.com website, so I didn’t understand why he needed my help. He opened the app on his iPad and through every step he asked for my input. HE’S A COMPUTER PERSON. He’s been in IT in the government for probably 25 years…why the hell did he need me to stand over him to help him with an app that I’ve NEVER EVEN USED. Hub and I were using the Rover.com website, not the app, so I’d never seen the app before. *sigh* We contacted several people, set up two for interviews, then he wanted me to be there at the interviews. As it turns out, the first person who came the very next night was the person he hired because the second person flaked out on us.
So he’s got his dog-sitter. We’ve got our dog-sitter. I persist in teaching him and my father that I am not their mother or wife, and that I am not going to step in and take care of things for them. I persist in reminding myself that I am teaching them to be independent human beings, capable of handling their lives. Obviously, if they seriously need me, I am there for them. But these simple, every-day things? They need to learn to handle their business like adults. And if they don’t handle their business, they are going to have to deal with their consequences.
Still, I feel petty and mean. And guilty. And I resent my brother’s attempt at manipulating and guilting me into doing what he wanted. The sooner he learns that he needs to handle things on his own, the better our sibling relationship will be. I hope.
In preparation for the wedding, I am getting my hair color fixed on Tuesday. I have my fingers crossed it goes well, because I’m not sure I could get it fixed again in between now and the wedding. I also have PT for my impinged (and frozen!) shoulder along with a neurology appointment this week.
And then I see a psychic medium on Friday. Should be an interesting experience and I’m not entirely sure I believe in them. I hope to report back on all the goings-on next week.
Yeah, I look normal. Fat, but normal. Short, but normal. Brown-haired, brown-eyed, but normal. Rosacea-faced, but normal.
I’m not “normal”. I have invisible illnesses. I have issues that most people wouldn’t understand. I have to do things and live in ways that most people can’t understand.
I loathe being judged for how I manage my life. It’s rude, it’s insensitive, it’s unkind. If you don’t know what someone is going through, consider giving them the benefit of the doubt. Consider that someone outside your tiny world is living their life the way they have to for their own reasons.
Once again, our air conditioning is not working right. We have an upstairs system and a downstairs system. It almost seems like our upstairs system is FINALLY working properly after years of instability due to refrigerant leaks that no one could find the source of. But now, our downstairs system is acting up. It’s been tripping our circuit breaker randomly. Seems to be at the end of long, hot days, so we assumed it was being overworked. Then it started happening more often recently. This morning, it was tripped when I went downstairs first thing this morning. So I went to the electrical panel and reset the breaker, assuming it must have tripped last night because of the humid weather. Before I could leave the room where the panel is, I heard the circuit breaker trip again, almost immediately. I went back to reset it, but again it tripped right away.
We’ve already had an electrician out to check the breaker, which is fine. Last week, we had an a/c guy out to check the system because of the repeated tripping of the breaker. He found nothing, but suggested that based on the symptoms, it was likely our compressor was going bad. It’s not even six years old. But he wasn’t confident that was the problem, so he left with the suggestion that we consider a maintenance contract, but because we’d already established a potential problem, the contract wouldn’t cover that. So WTF was the reason to get the contract? Now, today, the breaker wouldn’t stay on, it kept tripping, which meant a call to another a/c company to see what THEY had to say. Which also meant in today’s hot and humid weather, we had no a/c on our main floor.
I have incredible heat intolerance, and my body does not regulate heat/cooling very well. That means if I go outside and it’s hot and humid, when I come inside it takes me hours to cool off, even when our house is well-climatized. In addition to the heat intolerance and regulation issues, I also now have hot flashes to deal with. If you have hot flashes, you know that for some reason your body does not dissipate that heat very well. It’s like you are being boiled like a lobster without any relief. I wear sleeveless shirts every day, all year round. I overheat so easily, it’s ridiculous. And once I overheat, it can linger. I keep ice packs in the freezer to help me when I get desperate for relief. Also, parts of me get cold from being in the cold (fingers, toes, arms), while the rest of me is hot. WTF.
The a/c guy who came today did all his tests, got the system running, but couldn’t find the actual problem. Could be X or Y or Z. Potentially Z could be the compressor, which turns out to be almost $1300 to replace, not including parts as those are under warranty. The a/c guy, as he was taking my money for the visit, asked what we normally keeping the house temperature at. I told him 65 degrees (although upstairs it’s lower) and he looked like he wanted to pass out or throw up. He told me that’s probably why the compressor is giving out so soon. He told me, “you’re killing your compressor. you really need to have the house set at 70 degrees. a normal setting would be 72 degrees.”
When the house goes up ONE degree, I can tell. When it’s 2 degrees over what I’m accustomed to, I get hot. I know when the a/c has tripped the circuit almost right away. This person, who has no idea about my life, my pain, my heat intolerance…he has no right to judge how I keep my house. Of the things that I have to live with, this one I at least have some ways to help myself. I keep my house like a refrigerator because I have to. I don’t have a choice. I didn’t choose to be this way. I didn’t ask to have these issues. I am living the way I am because I have no other way to live.
I can’t even tell you how difficult it is to be this way and have to be somewhere other than home. Heat can trigger a hot flash, which exacerbates the problem. Even at my dad’s house–where he keeps his a/c at 72 degrees–I am incredibly uncomfortable. In restaurants, I am always hot, which really ruins what could be a good meal and a relaxing evening. Go to someone else’s house? The doctor’s office? A store? A movie? A concert? The library? The hair salon? Even in a cotton tank top, I overheat. It SUCKS.
I’m still feeling crappy. Almost all my joints hurt. All my muscles feel weak. I’m really tired. Next week, I have an appointment to see a neurologist because my primary has no clue what to say to me. She went through the suggestion of virus, sinus infection, allergies. She told me to move around more, to drink more, to rest more. I have trouble getting up on my feet, standing on my feet, walking, sleeping, sitting, bending, moving…I’m going to have to explain all that to the neurologist who knows nothing about me. I’m hoping for compassion and understanding and open-mindedness. I expect none of it based on previous experience with doctors.
People who look at me don’t see my pain. They don’t know from looking at me that I have a shoulder impingement so I can’t lift my arm, or pick things up, or weed my garden. That random movements of my arm sends shooting sciatica-type pain down my arm. Sometimes petting the dogs hurts. I can’t put my clasp bra on normally anymore. Pull-over bras are almost as difficult to get over my head. Pulling shirts over my head hurts. Opening doors with that arm hurts. Reaching for soap with that arm hurts. They don’t know from looking at me how much harder it is getting every day for me to wash my hair. I can’t shave my armpits because I can’t lift the bad arm and I can’t reach the other pit with the bad arm. They don’t know that standing on my feet hurts my ankles and my knees, or that bending over hurts my shoulders and my neck. They don’t know that sometimes (but not every time) turning my head can instigate imbalance. They don’t know that when I stand up (or sit down even) it feels like the muscles in my legs might not support me, and/or that I feel like I’ve run a hundred miles (but really I can’t even walk a mile). They don’t know that I can’t pick things up because my arms feel weak, and I often worry I’ll drop whatever I’m attempting to pick up. They don’t know that I worry that I can’t take care of myself during the day, let alone take care of my dogs, because of these things they can’t see.
I look normal, but realistically I am anything but. You can’t see it, but it’s true. It’s anything but easy, but this is the only life I have. I already know that I have to spend more, do more, prepare more, worry more because of how I am…you poking at me for having to do those things is cruel. You judging me for how I have to live my life is shitty. Don’t do it.
(obv this isn’t aimed at my readers, so take no offense, I just needed to rant)
Do you listen to yourself talk? Do you have an internal editor who sifts through what you say before you say it? Do you tell people the truth when they ask you questions?
I don’t remember when this happened, but one day I remember listening to myself talk as if I were watching the conversation from outside of it. Not in a derealization kind of way, just in a way of WTF am I doing? Someone had asked me something and I was answering them, and the words coming out of my mouth were–technically speaking–lies. I wasn’t lying with malice, I was lying because I didn’t want the person to know how shitty I was feeling. I was lying because I didn’t want to have to deal with the eventual questions of why and have you seen a doctor and have you tried x. I was lying because I didn’t want the person to pity me, or to worry about me, or to think less of me for my health issues.
I’m in pain almost every day, from various parts of my body. Possibly from my mind, who knows. I feel lousy the majority of the days in recent years…not pain specifically, but sometimes it’s anxiety, sometimes it’s due to a known illness, sometimes it’s what my mind conjures, and sometimes it’s some unknown ailment. I get tired of telling people how I’m feeling when they ask. And for the most part, it’s not about them, it’s about me. I don’t want to deal with whatever the blow-back is, as I said above.
And on this particular day, I came to a realization of how often I lie (without malice) to people. Clearly I do it without forethought or planning…and in some cases it seems to be an automatic response. I try not to do it with Hub (he can often see through me anyway) and I definitely try not to do it with my therapist. Sometimes I will edit the “truth”, even though I suspect both of them know it. But with everyone else? I lie. I give fake answers. I edit the things I’m saying to meet the person I’m conversing with.
I hate how are you? I despise how are you feeling? I always feel put on the spot to answer in a manner that the person asking can understand or respond to in a manner that works for them. I absolutely abhor when Hub asks me what hurts or does something hurt? Again, no one else’s issue other than mine, but this is the truth.
I don’t remember a time when my body didn’t harbor pain. I don’t remember a time when my body didn’t report some form of illness–real or anxiety-induced. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t lie to people about those things.
How are you? Shitty.
How are you feeling? Shitty.
What hurts? Everything.
Giving those answers…what does it do for me or for the person asking? Nothing. It puts me on the spot to explain, clarify, defend, respond…and I don’t want to anymore. I would very much wish that I wouldn’t need to anymore, but in lieu of that, I lie.
How are you? Fine, thanks.
How are you feeling? Good days and bad days.
What hurts? Nothing new or different.
If you can’t beat ’em, fake ’em?
So Hub went to his orientation today for his new job. And those…the new employer doesn’t allow you to start on their health insurance until the first of the month following your start date. For Hub that means we won’t be covered on their insurance until May 1st. What the hell is that? I’ve never heard that kind of thing before. So now we have to pay through the nose for Cobra from his old job for a month to make sure we are insured for the month.
Also, their information on their mental health coverage is written up weird, so I have no idea whether or not my therapist is going to be covered. Or if I have to have pre-authorization for my mental health coverage, which I’ve NEVER had to do before. Are they going to put a cap on how often they’ll pay for me to see T? I hate this shit, I really do. I just don’t have the energy or patience to deal with this stuff right now. Really, I don’t.
And post-orientation, Hub has no idea what he’s supposed to be doing tomorrow or who he’s reporting to. What kind of orientation is that?