When I began my hair apprenticeship eight and a half years ago, I was very modest, very humble, very unsure.
Well, now I have a backbone complete with a set of standards. Most of my clients know my standards as Suzy-isms. In fact, I’ve got them posted at my station.
The first Suzy-ism came following one of the most uncomfortable salon experiences I’ve ever had. Without going into detail, let me assure you that if you tiptoe into the salon at noon and implore me to hack off a good four more inches of hair on my five o’clock client than he would prefer, your request will most definitely be falling on deaf ears. I do not make deals behind my clients backs. I don’t care what your relation is. It’s hair. It’s not drugs, alcohol or even “bath salts.” It’s not devil worship. It’s image. And if you want to control someone’s image behind their back (heck, even in front of their face), then I’m clearly not the stylist for you. It feels incredibly violating and manipulative to try and persuade (or outright defiantly perform) a service that is unwanted. I. Won’t. Do. It.
My second Suzy-ism is an encouragement to plan ahead. If you’re calling to get in today, I hope that works out for ya. Odds are, however, that you’ll be put off for a couple months because everyone else scheduled this week’s appointments four to six months ago. Don’t blame me; I’m on your team. Just pick up the phone and plan ahead. If you don’t like planning ahead, I’m probably not your stylist. We can still be friends though.
And finally, the third Suzy-ism. I believe this one needs a Part A and a Part B.
- Part A: If you’d like a service that your hair isn’t presently in the condition to withstand, then I’m going to have to ask for your patience as we prioritize the strength and condition of your hair. No, I will not go ahead and perform the service if I believe that it might melt your hair off. No, I will not provide a waiver for you to sign.
- Part B: If you get the sniffles, a fever, pneumonia, the flu, etc. and stilllllllll choose to keep your hair appointment… Okay, I get it. According to Suzy-ism #2, my schedule is so unaccommodating that you don’t want to risk having to wait another two months to get in once you’ve canceled.
But consider it this way: Say I catch your flu. Say I have to take three days off. Say I have to find somewhere to put 24 hours worth of appointments that I’ve had to cancel because I’m sick. Well, quite frankly, I’ve got nowhere to put them. This means that my reward for considering the immune systems of three days worth of clients is that I then have to come back and – in a weakened, still recovering state – work many 12 hour shifts and potentially my weekends.
Cancel your appointment instead.
Out of sheer respect and gratitude I will likely move you to the top of the waiting list and prioritize your quick return. I might even work my off hours to get you back in once you’re well. It’s a LOT easier for me to make up one appointment than to make up 30 appointments.
It’s okay to make standards in your life. I’ve found that the people you want to surround yourself with will respect your decisions when they’re in black and white. My clients are the most wonderful, most caring, conscientious people!
Just figured I’d share this today as I’m taking my Suzy-isms out of the frame and replacing them with a baby shower notice. 🙂