I Miss Jena

The other nail tech at the salon has left us. She moved out of state with her parents a few weeks ago, leaving me the only nail tech in the house.


Jena was (and still is, actually) 17 years younger than me, and the way the salon is set up, we didn't even work in the same room. It's not like we spent a lot of time bonding. We worked different schedules and rarely even saw each other. Still, it was nice to work with another nail tech.


Ironically enough, I recently found myself sympathizing with a fellow tech via Twitter who went to work one day not too long ago to find that she was no longer the only nail tech in the salon, which was not the deal she thought she agreed to.


I remember going through that once too. My own story was that after 2 1/2 years renting a booth in an excruciatingly small salon as my first industry job, I accepted a commissioned employee position at another local salon.


Yeegads, did that ever turn out to be the worst idea I've had — and I've had a lot of bad ideas!


During the interviewing process, the owner promised me that she wouldn’t hire another nail tech until I had built my clientele to the point where I wanted help. Within two weeks, that same salon owner hired another hairstylist … who proceeded to set up her nail table in my private room with me. Turns out, she really preferred doing nails to doing hair and the owner agreed to let her do nails instead.


Never mind that I was nowhere near booked and the new girl was new — as in no clientele of any sort.


But since I'm not that kind of competitive, I welcomed her into my space and figured we'd work together to build our clienteles.




Within a few weeks, that whole situation boiled over and I was onto the next adventure in my career. I didn't then, nor do I now, have anything against that other nail tech personally, but I worked at that salon for three months and it was a nightmare.


So I really felt for my online comrade when she found herself dealing with a salon owner who re-neged on her verbal agreement. But it struck me as funny: Once upon a time I, too, hungered for an opportunity to be the only nail tech in the salon. To not have to compete with a colleague for new clients. To reap the rewards of working with established hairstylists by gleaning from their clienteles. And now, 18 years later, I find myself the only nail tech in a salon with four established stylists and all I want is another nail tech to play with.

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