The following is a true story of an incident that caused me to realize that I can’t let other people’s problems make me crazy. As you all know, being in the beauty industry we deal with so many different people and personalities. The amount of energy that exerts from us on a daily basis is unbelievable. We have to be ON all the time throughout our days in the salon, and sometimes we get overwhelmed….keep reading!
Its Valentines day 2012, I’m one year into my licensed career and the salon is BOOMING! Typically V-day is one of our biggest revenue days, so we were ready to take anyone and everyone who wanted to get cute that day!
I had a schedule FULL of guests! Its 10am and I have a ‘haircut only’ scheduled on my books for a new guest. I head to the front to wait for her and when she walks in (10 mins late) I promptly walk her to my station and she has a seat. Her hair was fine in texture and she had a medium density. As she begins to tell me how she wants her haircut, I got really confused because I couldn’t quite follow. She had hair about to her waist and she said she wanted “long layers” but pointed to her chin and said “about here for the first layer..” So clearly that’s not a “long layer” if your hair is to your waist. She continues to say that she doesn’t want a lot of layering and wants to keep her length as long as possible. I was still confused and definitely didn’t feel too confident being the young stylist I was at the time.
The personality of the guest was very forward and I could tell she was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to deliver what she wanted. Being fresh out of beauty school where I was used to the instructors dealing with confusing situations, I’m getting very worried MYSELF and fear that I’m not going to be able to do what she’s asking me to do. Once self doubt sets in, its hard to bounce back…check out You Are a CEO to learn more about dealing with fears, it really has helped me!
I can tell that she is “one of those people” who will not be cool if everything doesn’t go perfectly, so I just hope within myself that I’m wrong and I reach for my shears to begin the cut. All the while I’m thinking, “this is going to be terrible and she’s not gonna be happy,” yet I begin the cut the best way I know how.
So, remember, its valentines day and SUPER busy. Our salon is open concept so everyone can see and hear each other…Five minutes into the haircut the woman yells “STOP!” ..so I froze, as did the people around me. Next, she began to pick up her hair and check the lengths by pulling each side to the front to compare and lift up random pieces, I could tell by the look on her face that she didn’t like it. By this time, we’ve acquired a subtle audience, you know the kind that look at you and listen but if you look toward them they act like they’re minding their business? lol yeah, that kind.
So she begins to say, “This looks terrible! This is not what I wanted! Do you even know what your doing? Look at me, Im going to cry! This looks awful, oh my God…” .Ok y’all, I wasn’t even done with the cut…
My heart is racing so fast, I feel like Im going to cry, and my hands begin to shake. I set my shears and comb down and try and talk to this lady calmly and let her know I wasn’t done with the cut and ask her how I can fix this. Well, she apparently doesn’t want me to continue because she keeps saying very loudly, “Oh my God look at my hair, this is horrible, are you new?” I let her know I have been with this company for years and if she wants, I can have a more seasoned stylist come over and help. She clearly can’t hear me because she keeps insulting me and finally I just couldn’t do it anymore…
The last time she said “Look at my hair I’m going to cry!..” I said, ” So am I if you don’t get out of my chair. You don’t have to pay but you do have to leave”
This was the FIRST TIME EVER that I told someone to leave, and I could literally not feel my toes…When she leaves I walk into the break room trying to hold back my tears but I just can’t. I started to cry, then I started to hysterically cry, next thing I know I can’t catch my breath and I’m in a full blown panic attack!
My coworkers came in and were FREAKING OUT so of course, being the hypochondriac that I am (we’ll talk about that later) , I started freaking out and it got WORSE!!
My fingers literally froze in this upward curved shape, the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen, and I couldn’t stand up straight and more importantly COULD NOT BREATHE!
At this point, I’m thinking ‘surely I’m about to die..’
My coworker says “I’m taking you to ER!” , she puts me in her Chevy Camaro and we speed off! Driving over 100 on the SHOULDER OF THE FREEWAY!!! Once we go to E.R, the staff was very calm which was helpful and assured me that I in fact, was not going to die but that I was having a panic attack. They quickly admitted me and gave me some sort of “medicine” to calm me down, and once that was in my system, nothing else mattered for a few hours.
And that was that..
After the episode subsided, I was able to go home and reflect on the situation…
WHAT I LEARNED FROM THAT CRAZY EXPERIENCE!
That was clearly one of the weirdest and scariest things I’ve experienced in my career to this day, but it taught me so much! I realized that 1) Your consultation is ESSENTIAL to a great service, so if you go in lost, your result will suffer 2) Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone, NOT ALL MONEY IS GOOD MONEY 3) Trust your gut! If something feels off, don’t move forward until your 100% comfortable, if ever at all. 4) Don’t let your mind and emotions get the best of you, you can’t take things personally! That lady was probably just having a bad day, maybe her man broke up with her and she was taking it out on me? And finally 5) learn to WOO-SAHHHH (that’s for you Bev)
Obviosusly, I still carry this lesson with me and remember it every time a familiar situation arrises. Always look for the good even in the tough situations!
We’ve all had experiences that stand out! Tell me yours below!
If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! Until next time !
~Molly K. Carter