My dear friend,
How have you been? Thank you for staying with me.
I'm sorry to have kept you waiting for an update on this whole facial debacle. I know some people will tell me I don't really have to apologize because I am entitled any length of time to recover, but as a blogger with a story who has touched the lives of many, I feel responsible to keep you guys updated, especially when I get asked about my case all the time.
But it is as difficult writing this as not writing this, if you get what I mean.
Every day as I go about my daily life and every night before I fall asleep, I weigh my options, I calculate consequences, I feel vexed. Underneath a cheerful exterior breeds tumultuous dark waters, suppressed only because my mind is strong enough to dispel negative thoughts. Most of the time, at least.
You'd think that by simply narrating one's personal experience and sharing thoughts of anger, frustration, fear and moroseness is akin to writing a journal.
But NO, every single word that you read is borne from weeks, and for this particular post, MONTHS, of brainstorming, imagining best and worse case scenarios, conceptualizing angles, writing, editing, writing, deleting, writing, and wanting to give up.
*sian = slang for saying one is feeling despondent
SIGH. I am so tired of the salon's nonsense. Are you tired of keeping up? Coz if you are, I totally understand. But this should be the last of my marathon of a case. More than anyone else in the world, I want to end this.
If you're up for the last chapter of this story, let's carry on. 🙂
(Note: I will switch between using 'them/they' and 'it' because sometimes I refer to the salon as an entire entity (it) and sometimes to the people working for the salon (them/they). Different context calls for different naming. You'll get it somehow, I'm sure.)
I wish I knew who is the person/people behind all these, instigating the salon to give me never-ending trouble. They can't all be that bad, right?
These people in the company, they have wives, daughters, girlfriends, or are women themselves. Have they not a single cell of empathy in their body? Or are they all blinded by undying loyalty to this salon and must slit their throats for showing remorse and understanding?
I have, from the start, emphasized that it is no fault of anyone that I had an allergic reaction.
Time and again, if you read all my posts, I have shown them mercy and and hoped only for them to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.
Here are snippets from past posts, of me trying to show that I am not out to defame them; I sought only to get back what was taken away from me after I had the facial and extractions. I wanted to remind the good in them.
I feel so stupid for having said good things about them before. They only went with me once to Dr Joyce's clinic, and I thought they would continue to take responsibility. I tried to evoke the good in them by dropping subtle hints. It was also to show that it's imperative to work together and not against. I did not see going to court beneficial for either party.
I kept giving and giving.......
....but you know what?
The people from the salon disclaimed responsibility, denied negligence and despite the promises of C &D, ultimately threw me away like a used piece of toilet paper.
When I received their letter of reply to mine, I was extremely hurt, angry and vengeful. I mean, what did I do to deserve all these???
To Sue Or Not To Sue
Even till this day, many people ask me why I don't disclose the salon's identity.
I'm glad I didn't - despite my highly emotional state then - because judging from the way the salon has decided to turn tables on me, I should be eating jail food (吃牢饭 - meaning serving a sentence) now.
Then again, I've let people who know law read through my posts and they say the salon has no case for defamation against me. But better to be safe than sorry!
Letters, Letters, Letter
So yes, I finally engaged a lawyer, and had him send a letter to the salon seeking compensation.
First and foremost, let me clarify that I was not paid a single cent as I was initially promised for a facial review required of me. Okie, I did not write a review on them so I should not get paid. But it's only wise to not write it given the state I had become, no? I really wouldn't mind writing a full review for them now and have them pay me. WISHFUL THINKING, Juli! BAHAHAHA!!!
Instead, I have spent thousands of dollars to recover from all of this. I didn't even get reimbursed for my taxi fare when I was feeling drowsy and ready to faint all the time from medication but had to press on to negotiate with the salon, seek help (from others) for my skin and this case. They didn't even want to reimburse me for taxi (less than SGD170)! Can you believe it! =.=
Along with the letter, we attached all supporting documents - receipts from the GP, taxi claims, and even my income tax - to show the amount that I should be rightfully compensated for not being able to work and function as before during those months of suffering.
Justice Prevails Only For The Rich
When I received the salon's reply letter, I wanted to puke. I was disgusted and enraged by the salon's attitude towards this whole matter.
Let's go back a little in time for a while.
This is my story, put simply.
They invited me to their salon,
I let them open my pores,
I let them do whatever,
Couple of days later,
I looked like that.
I went back to them,
The beautician immediately performed extraction.
I looked like that.
I went back again.
The beautician immediately performed extraction again.
I looked like that.
And then the barnacles blossomed. BOOMZ! Like popcorn.
I couldn't go out, I couldn't function as before. I lost an advertorial I was engaged for because I couldn't take photos of myself. I lost many other job opportunities in the interim. I cried, I felt disgusted by my appearance. I had mild depression, I had suicidal thoughts.
Being drowsy, tired, stressed and sad all the time caused me to be unable to focus on Doll To Doll Cosmetics as well. ='(
Everything was crumbling.
The salon said all that has happened is none of its business. Clap hands, whistle in the air, dust dirt off their asses.
It makes me sick knowing that the people from the salon were going about their daily lives, merrily lunching, spending happy weekends with their loved ones, receiving their monthly salary while I was crying by myself at home, out of job for 4 months, digging into savings to prepare for lawyer's fees, and hoping the world would come to an end.
= End of my sad story =
Every cell in my body wants justice to be done.
But as you will read below, the salon states they will only act upon 'STRICT PROOF'. There are no fingerprints of the beauticians who performed the extractions left on my face, there is no evidence of the room where they played with my face being unsanitary, there is no way without spending thousands of dollars on tests to find out which specific ingredients in their products used that caused my allergic reaction, I couldn't possibly turn back time and let the facials and extractions happen all over again. I wouldn't even if I could.
Here are excerpts from the salon's extremely lengthy letter that keeps repeating the same points - very LOH SOH (long-winded).
I chose only certain points to address coz some points are so... -.-" I can't even.
I failed to disclose I had an allergy.
This was what went through my mind when I walked into the salon:
"Hell yeah, I am totally allergic to XXX but I'm so gonna hide it from them coz it's gonna be so fun to have a million pustules grow on my face overnight! Hooray! Death to me, please! -__-"
Yes, I have PCOS. And so does 1 out of 4 women. It's actually very common but not many women who have it know it unless they go for a medical checkup. I had three gynae coz I am a paranoid health junkie and wanted a second opinion and the third was because my TCM doctor asked for my report and I didn't know where I kept it.
WHY AM I EVEN EXPLAINING?!! SHEESH!!
It matters not whether I have acne or PCOS, right? Have you heard of the Eggshell Skull Rule? A reader alerted me to this tort law, which states that 'if the victim is more susceptible to injury than an average individual would be, the defendant is still liable for all the damages that occur'.
Besides, how does having PCOS have anything to do with my allergic reaction? In their letter they said 'renders her prone to acne'.
Can anyone tell me if this looks like ACNE?
Acne that grew OVERNIGHT by the dozens and was extremely ITCHY?!!
I wonder, to what extent do we lay all our medical conditions to a facial salon?
Next time when you guys go for facials, please tell them everything - blood pressure, blood type, whether you have back problems, constipation, hairline fractures, piles, thyroid disorder, sinus, migraine, gastric problems, piles, meningitis, urinary infection, etc. Best is if you bring your full medical report along.
Never in my more than ten years of having facials have I faced any problems, yet when something happened, it's my own fault for not having a 'perfectly healthy body'?
If someone wants to blame shit on you, they can think of ANYTHING.
How do I even rebut this? LMAO. I try to see the logic behind them using this as an argument but the joke's really on them.
And acne, again? Tsk tsk.
I REQUESTED!?? They saw my face, told me to lie down and extracted the life out of me. What was the alternative? There was none given. They NEVER advised me to see a doctor until I after I asked them if I should. Of course I was free to do so!
And do you see from Points 10 and 11 how they try to push the blame back on me again?
Point 10: Our clients' therapist notified your client.. to remove the pus from the acne by extraction
Point 11: It was your client who then specifically requested for further extraction
They gave me one option - extraction. And then they twisted it to become that I requested for it. Er... wokie~~
They wanted strict proof.
I gave them strict proof of my income tax and medical report and all other claims.
They no like my strict proof. =(
'It was your client who seemed to be stalling any consultation with a dermatologist and not insisting on consulting a dermatologist'
How preposterous! Seriously?? I had barnacles all over my face and I STALLED CONSULTATION?!?! I was furious when I read this allegation!!
I was asleep from having taken drowsy medicine and replied immediately when I saw their message. Why do they keep pushing all the blame on me, the victim?
I feel so disgusted. *gags*
Firstly, I had only one medical report and I submitted that to the salon. Dear salon, please do not malign me.
Secondly, can anyone tell me what do they mean by 'it is your client's own skin allergy condition that caused the acne breakout suffered?"
- My own 'skin allergy condition that caused the acne breakout'. Wait, what? When did I have an 'acne breakout'? (Actually it should be 'outbreak' and not 'breakout' right? A prison breakout, a skin allergy outbreak. Just sayin'.)
- I'm sorry I did not disclose my skin allergy condition to the salon. I really wanted to have a shot at being Ms Barnacles!
- How many times must I repeat that's it not the cause, but how they handled the aftermath when I trusted them to put things right? Omg I'm so tired of repeating!! =.=
"Our clients are a beauty centre and do not profess to be skin allergy specialists"
Their beauticians all said they have never seen a skin reaction like mine before. And what did they do? They asked me to lie down and extracted the pustules. Since they do not profess to be skin allergy specialists, why did they perform a normal procedure on an abnormal skin reaction?
I have had SO MANY beauticians and spa owners and people in the beauty industry write to me saying it is very obvious from my pictures mine wasn't a normal reaction. We've done our research, and learning to diagnose skin conditions and allergies is part of the syllabus taught in beauty schools.
'Our client also denies all or any negligence on their part as alleged or at all'.
No matter how many times a pig tells itself it looks like a unicorn, everyone still sees it as a pig.
This means that should I ever publish their name, THEY WILL SUE ME. (Please don't email/facebook/tweet/instagram me for it!)
50% of medical costs!! What an insulting, unfair and ridiculous offer! I'm sure they know it's a disgrace to their company's tagline (I cannot say coz they will sue me)!
For all that I've been through, my tears, anguish, depression, they are only worth a ridiculous SGD1000+.
Yes, 1000+ is still money and I did consider taking it because I have spent money on lawyer's fees, transportation, medical fees. But I eventually chose integrity over this puny monetary compensation. I mean, really, it's only a measly 1000+ compared to what I have spent and lost (at least 10 times more, I'm serious). If I should take their 1000+, they will get me to sign an agreement with ridiculous terms and I won't have the freedom to write this post at all.
I never wanted to profit from this mishap. I gave them everything I had - medical report, transport claims, income tax report - all factual and evident. But right from the start, they never thought of compensating me.
I say 'right from the start' because we met to negotiate once (before I had my lawyer) and they were difficult from start to end, thinking it ridiculous of me to think it's any of their fault and said they only wished for me to 'get better'. Anyway they abandoned even me before I got better. So, I don't know. *shrugs*
Salon, You Win
Some of my options:
- Fight the salon
- Drop the matter and silently move on
- Drop the matter, but give myself and everyone a proper closure
If I still looked like Ms Barnacles, I guess I might go for Option 1.
It would be uncharacteristic of the writer DNA in me to go for Option 2. I had to write.
I wrote this post not to anger the salon (how ironic is it that I am worried about making the salon angry when I'm the victim! LOL!) nor invite a nasty letter from them. I wrote this post because it's been such a life-changing experience that it's worth writing about.
I did this for myself, to get it off my chest, to stop having thoughts of what other stupid things this salon can propagate. Writing is always cathartic for me.
What you're reading is probably the 147th edit. HAHAHA! It's a tough balance to keep - safe and boring VS truthful and dangerous.
I'm sorry I cannot say the salon's name. You can say that I'm selfish for not naming the salon despite having a seemingly strong case against them. But I really cannot afford to play this game with them anymore.
As much as I want to protect my readers from visiting such an irresponsible salon, I need to protect myself from the evil forces of this salon too. I don't want to go through another round of letters and time-wasting and throwing away money that can be otherwise used for far more important things in my life.
Besides, in every case, nobody can say for sure who will win because at the end of the day it all boils down to whom the judge believes. This episode has taught me that there are no real consumer rights, you can have your rights only if you have money to fight for your rights (disclaimer: unless it's a criminal case?).
I hope I don't sound bitter, because I truly am not, but this is the reality of life - money makes the world go round. Some of you kind souls have offered to donate to my legal fund. Thank you very much, but no, let's not let throw good money after bad.
If the salon can tell a convincing story and win the case, I would be in deep shit with money received just for a chance to see if justice prevails; I wouldn't be able to live with myself.
So yes, the salon has won this case without me even putting up a fight. I tried my best, but they have continued to treat me unfairly. So what can I do?
I don't want to waste anymore money nor time to fight them. I can almost hear them cheering and clinking their champagne flutes in jubilation from not having to compensate me a single cent, getting me to remain silent forever, and being able to carry on with their practices.
The thing I wish most for is to move on with my life.
So despite what you have read above, I actually harbor no hatred in my heart towards the people from the salon. What's the point of hating people who don't give a shit about you? I forgive them....... but maybe I cannot forget. HAHA! I just want to move on.
I want to start blogging again like a normal blogger, without thinking about whether such heavy posts will look odd among makeup tutorials and product reviews, without thinking about this facial salon case all the time. I want to go out and not have this heavy, dark cloud hanging over my head threatening to turn into a thunderstorm any time.
I haven't had an income from my blog for four months. I need to pull up my socks! Please give me business!! BAHAHA!!! XD
I don't want to waste any more time on people who don't deserve my time and effort. These should be spent on people I love, like all of you reading this, my business and this blog.
I wouldn't have been able to emerge so much stronger from this episode if it weren't for all your love and encouragement. I had the opportunity to engage with so many people I would otherwise never have gotten to know; I had true friends being there for me when I was vulnerable and helping me so much at every step of my journey; I could never thank my mum enough for being so understanding and loving me regardless, and Mr Mode for being all that he is to me.
It has been... I would say, an educational journey. Not only for you, but for myself. I feel happy knowing I have helped so many people in the world, I've gained knowledge about skin conditions and depression, and I begin to see myself in a different light. Looking back at pictures of my terrible skin, I am impressed by my own fight and determination to get out of it, no kidding. *pats own back
You know what, maybe I should even thank the salon for..... (erm... need to think of a word that is not defamatory...) for everything (LOL!), because I have gained so much from this episode.
Okie, this should be the last of such lengthy posts. I'm seriously over and done with it.
Always a beauty blogger. =)
Keep calm & love life,
I'm so excited to re-start blogging! Will you walk with me? 😀
Traumatic Facial Experience Series:
Post 7: WOOHOO! I Have Depression!