I spent all of last week in St. Petersburg Florida for work. Now if you buy the city's advertising, St. Pete's boasts Florida's best beaches, and a great and friendly marine life (including manatees and dolphins) which often comes to shore..... Not that I would know, I saw little more than the inside of the hotel and my office.
It thunderstormed every single day that week, and the humidity kept climbing - even when you thought it couldn't get any higher. It was stifling, and I feel like that's an understatement.
I had some trouble sorting out a flight home, and ended up staying through to Saturday. So I found myself late Friday afternoon bored out of my mind, with work completed and stuck in the hotel because of the storm outside.
To pass the time I decided to make use of the Spa located in the hotel, and get a manicure. It was a very expensive manicure ($27) which I anticipated as a Spa located in a Hilton Hotel. So despite the fact that it's about twice the price of a manicure at home, I went ahead and booked it.
I arrived for my manicure, and was introduced to my manicurist. She was completely covered in tattoos, including one on her bicep which I thought was Freddy Mercury, but it turns out it was Burt Reynolds. Not a problem or anything, just an unusual look for a manicurist in a Spa in a fancy hotel. She also had a ring through the middle of her nose, which looked like the ring you find in a bull's nose. And to top off her look, she had several piercings in each ear, with her primary piercing having spacers in, and the hole was looking big enough to carry the nail polish bottle in it.
Normally when you get a professional manicure, there are numerous steps include a hand and wrist massage some cuticle clean-up, and a soft filing of the nail bed itself, not just a sharing of the nail. I got a very quick soak, nail shaping file, and then the polish. That's it. I paid $27 dollars for less care than I give myself at home for free.
So putting that aside, I was of course chatting with my manicurist. I have no idea how we got on the subject, but she mentioned that she was ineligible to vote, because she was a felon. Not the typical thing you expect to hear form your manicurist. Then she went on to explain that it's not a big deal, it was only a DUI with a drug possession charge. Trying to take it all in a stride, we continue our conversation. So we get on to how she can in fact go through a process to have her record expunged, that it takes 10 years and that it can get expensive. When I suggested that she might want to start the process sooner than later, since it is a 10 year process....she said she had started it, but you have to have a clean record for that 10 year period, and she was recently arrested again for a DUI.
At this point in my experience I was at the tail end of my pretty crappy half service manicure, but I had a strong conviction to smile and say it's great, and tip well. I was most definitely not interested in incurring the wrath of my felon-manicurist.
She was in fact a nice girl, who had obviously gotten herself into a bit of a cycle of trouble. In retrospect, I wonder if this is an intentional strategy on the Spa's part to ensure good revenue. Not a bad plan if you ask me - it most definitely worked on me.