A resolution to….conflict resolution.

So if you’ve been following my blog for a while now you’ll remember the mess of a situation with the keratin treatment I had back in December.   Well I didn’t just give up or forget about the $300 I wasted on the treatment.  I’ve actually been running in circles dealing with the owner.  Since I first went into the salon to explain to her what had happened with my hair, I’ve been back to pick up three products she wanted me to try, and I’ve had two hour-long phone conversations with her.  In trying to resolve the issue she has taught me a lot of things—namely, how NOT to treat my patients.  She did a very poor job of listening to me (see letter below—I told her I use to use Neutrogena products that made my hair feel clean, apparently she thought I hadn’t followed directions and was using them after the keratin treatment) and she didn’t even meet me halfway to say, you know what, we should have had a consult with you before the treatment (which is now standard).

I’m so impressed with how I handled myself in dealing with her—I was polite and collected…and I said everything I had to very diplomatically.  I think she eventually got sick of being bitchy finding excuses for why she was not responsible for the failed treatment, because today…today I got a check in the mail.  The owner finally begrudgingly threw in the towel, and sent me some money back.  Amen. The letter that accompanied the check was anything but polite or apologetic, but I don’t think she possesses the ability to be either of those things.  Regardless of how unhappy or disgruntled she was to give in, she gave in.  I didn’t get rude, I wasn’t snappy, I didn’t even cry….in front of her.  But, conflict resolved.  Though she never apologized or admitted fault….it was resolved to my satisfaction.  I started to feel a pit in my stomach that her letter had a very accusatory undertone to it, but you know what?  Some people aren’t capable of admitting even partial responsibility when things don’t go swimmingly.  Unfortunately, try as I might, I’m not going to be the person to change her.  So today I’m “keeping calm and carrying on” with almost all of the money back in my pocket.  Cha-ching!

And if there is a bright side to this mess, I think I might have learned something from her.  I had a patient that had a very discolored tooth due to trauma.  I attempted an internal bleaching procedure that worked, but not to his satisfaction.  It usually takes two appointments, but I dragged it out to four, seeing if we could optimize the results by re-bleaching a few times.  In the end, he had paid $300 and though it was slightly improved, he didn’t get the results he had anticipated.  I gave him his money back.  Not because I had to—but because I knew how he felt.  You know what ended up happening?  He ended up paying to have the tooth crowned to improve the color.  The case came out beautifully, and through good customer service he ended up coming back for an even more expensive alternative.  So—maybe after all of this I should call in a thank you to the salon owner.  No?  Too soon?

Before:

After:

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