Racism At The Nail Salon

20150801_180111xIt’s taken me 2 weeks to summon up the strength to write about what I endured at a Chinese owned nail salon in the East Village, just below 14th Street. I was a loyal customer for well over 3 years with a habit of going only during the week when the foot traffic is usually slow and I could get the most attention during a mani-pedi. I made an exception 2 weeks ago to get my nails done on a busy Saturday. It’s the worst time to visit a nail salon because most places usually want to get through the customers so fast in other to sit the next person. I always request the same person to attend to me because I like his work.

I noticed shortly after Ebola broke out, all of the nail specialist started wearing gloves when working on customers. However, on this very busy Saturday, my favorite person was busy working on a white female prior to my arrival. I decided to wait for my turn by soaking my feet in the basin. For the first time, I paid close attention to their weekend working environment. I noticed he wasn’t wearing gloves while working on the white female. So I thought perhaps things were changing. As soon as he was done with her, he slapped on a pair of gloves when he came over to me. I was shocked! I asked him and the owner why he wore gloves for me and not her. The guy, without missing a beat immediately got up and started working on another white customers without bothering to even answer me, and yes he took his gloves off for her! The owner answered saying that it was not up to her to tell him when he can and can not wear gloves. I asked her if what he did was right though. She said, oh they are regular customers. I said that’s odd, I have been coming here for over 3 years. She was dumbfounded and the guy in question couldn’t look me in the face but simply kept working on the new white lady’s nails. On that note, I announced my departure and vowed to never return again. And to think I usually tip this guy at least 20-25% after every job!┬áSo much for my loyalty.

NYC has nail salon’s on just about every block. I went to the competition next door to get my nails done. They were much nicer, no gloves, bigger, cleaner and even cheaper!

I have endured my fair share of racism in America but never thought the nail salon of all places would be the next breeding ground for such prejudice!

Lesson learned!

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