BITCH. I MIGHT.
THINGS MY FIRST REAL JOB IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY TAUGHT ME
I’m on month 2 folks, and I’ve learned so much so be prepared to be edumacted person who thinks I got picked off the street, got given a brush, and told to paint your nails because this shit is not easy.
1. Studying for it means nothing
Yes, while I did go to a college for three years for my qualification, along with getting the accompanying international qualifications during my time there, having those certificates mean next to nothing once you’ve actually been hired.
And why? Just like every other job, your experience says it all.
While most places are more than willing to take in fresh-out-of-school-leavers (because you’re -assumed- to have picked up no bad habits relating to industry standards and are willing to take shitty pay in exchange for job exposure), once you’re out managing your own column and dealing with clients, you better be willing to be called out on your shit.
Almost everyone in the industry has the same qualification, it doesn’t matter which college you come from. It doesn’t matter which international exam you did. It doesn’t matter how many product houses you’ve been introduced to. IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH EVERYONE HAVING PMS FITS ON YOU ON YOUR FIRST DAY OF THE JOB, dontcrytooloudbecauseitupsetsclients.
2. This is physical labor ya’ll. I knew that when I signed up, but also didn’t
The nature of this career has always been to provide a service. Make clients feel special, treat their concerns, and make sure they leave with the knowledge to improve their concerns.
Yes. We do facials, we do manicures, we do pedicures, we do massages, we do exfoliations, we do spray tans, we do reflexology, we do any number of things to help clients with their concerns. All of which require our physical powers to provide.
While many would think that would mean we don’t need gym as it seems we’re on our feet almost every hour, you’d be very very wrong because I swear I’ve never felt as old as I did when at the tender age of 19, with no previous medical conditions, I muttered, “I think I threw in my back.”
And: What are lunch breaks on a busy Saturday? You don’t need fifteen minutes to eat, you need it to clean the room and get your next client on the bed. But make sure your stomach doesn’t talk during your treatment, your client doesn’t need to hear the mating calls of orcas.
Also, between running in the passage to fetch water (which, no-no, don’t spill it, it’s expensive even though it came from the tap!), try not to pass out, pant or bump any number of therapists who are doing the same because it’s distracting, obvs.
ALSO. Greet clients when you see them, don’t be rude. SMILE. YOUR DAY IS GOING GREAT AND SOON YOU’LL HAVE A 5MINUTES TO LICK SOME FLAVOR OFF YOUR SANDWHI- WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE ANOTHER TREATMENT?
3. You may never recover from the emotional turmoil
I’ve literally found myself contemplating a wall and regretting my life choices. Not that my life is particularly hard, and my career all that terrible – I’m sure every job has its crosses to bear, but…
Just this week, I was in a treatment with a couple who were dabbling in an affair (“Does he know where you are? Who did you say you were with? I mean we could go to yours if he’s still on that business trip, she’s still sulking at her mother’s…”), had to smile at the husband of another whose wife had just confessed to being glad she lost their baby (if only asking if someone was pregnant wasn’t necessary for legal purposes) and also had to deal with a male client with a stiffy who wanted me to help rub one out (….).
And that’s just the clients.
Wait until the receptionists decide they’ve had a bad day, and you’re making it worse by existing. It truly is an experience.
Which will likely be repeated regularly.
4. You thought you worked in the service industry, but really, you’re in sales.
Look, Client, I know you might not be able to afford anything even though you’re here for a treatment. You needed a spoil, and that’s your right. I won’t ever get in the way of you relaxing.
But I kind of need to try and sell you shit because it’s my job. If you happen to be a mystery guest, I could fail and then have to pay a penalty. Do you know how much I make? Not a lot.
And for my therapists who aren’t retail, you’re gonna have to be.
While some places may tell you that you can push services (add-on things during the treatment for an additional fee), the chances of you even getting a client during a quiet day are pretty slim, and if you work at a place that has columns arranged in such a way that they fill the “front runners” columns first before handing out other treatments (like me), you’re shit outta luck.
5. If you aren’t particularly bothered by the little things, YOU WILL BE.
So, you aren’t the type of person who looks at their nails and thinks, needs to push back the cuticles more, the sides aren’t painted enough, the paint feels uneven then I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’ll probably get clients who are.
Painting may be the easiest thing to do, but doing it well is another story, and once the complaints come in – guess who’s paying for that client’s next treatment?
So, this is my life now. If I haven’t been writing, it’s because I’ve had multiple emotional breakdowns, and am currently considering entering into a permanent coma.
On the plus side, there’s always wifi.
And clients that tip.
Seriously, if you’re a client, you should really look into doing that because, for someone not even getting paid minimum wage, I still qualify for tax somehow, and also – deductions off other clients taking a chance of getting a freebie, and actually getting it, who do you think ends up paying for that? Definitely not the company.
Excuse me while I cry in my pedicure bowl, and a towel I’ve successfully folded into a swan.