YO HR: Is It OK to Ask Your Employees to Give You Manicures?

Is asking for a manicure the lady-boss equivalent of sending a young female employee to fetch coffee?
Publish date:
April 9, 2013
career, manicures, professionalism, office culture

I am not good at crafty things.

I have a serious sense memory of being in kindergarten and just staring at the other kids happily cutting with safety scissors while I struggled to understand the directions. I am just super shitty at doing things that require a steady hand combined with aesthetic sense. I can't even cut a straight line, seriously.

So obviously I am THE WORST at doing my own nails. Every few years I decide to give it another shot and fail miserably. Two Fridays ago, I tried twice with two different colors and both times the results looked like an infant chimpanzee had come at me with Morgan Taylor's Hot Hot Tamale and Zola's Tao respectively.

Defeated, I approached xoVain's Annie, who is like the anti-me when it comes to this stuff. She is awesome at nail art, and flicking on a perfect cat-eye, and making elaborate cakes that look like Chanel Bags and such. She's nutso artistic. (Check out a sample of her amazing artwork here.)

"Annnnnnnnie, will you do my naaaaails?" I whined.

She kind of gave me a look that either meant, "Sure, that's what I got my college degree for," or, "I can think of nothing I'd rather do at 5 pm on a Friday."

I asked her to give me "what the young people are doing," and she did a combo of polish and nail stickers and even glued little pink jewels into a flower on my left index finger. My nails looked barely legal! I could not stop lovingly admiring her handiwork all weekend.

So when the next Friday rolled around, I turned to the other nail art master in our office, Social Media Manager Madeline, and asked her if she'd make my nails look as cute as hers always do. She went with a combination of "tattoo-print" nail stickers and a light purple polish. It's Tuesday and they still look really good!

At this point, I started to feel a little guilty about asking junior staff to attend to my personal grooming needs. I mean, a lot of the time at xoJane, it's kind of like we're all just slumber party BFFs and hanging out and "What's a little French-braiding between bros?" but in actuality I'm like 8 years older than these two and something of a boss-like figure.

Is asking for a manicure the lady-boss equivalent of sending a young female employee to fetch coffee?

Like maybe they felt like they HAD to paint my nails even though I was really just asking it they had time and didn't mind doing it? They both said it was "fun" -- to my face. Does it make it better or worse if I gave Madeline 20 dollars? Do you think Annie's gonna be pissed when she finds out I gave Madeline 20 dollars? Do I have the nails of a preteen or what? Please don't tell me I have to stop.