Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Watering the Lawn With Crazy

by Maggie Franklin | July 22, 2011

So I was reading the comments left on the "Perfect Timing" post a few days ago (and it never ceases to boggle my mind which posts will collect so many comments while others go unnoticed) and I just don’t have enough time, space, or bandwidth to fully address Jenny H’s story.


Suffice it to say, Jenny, we all have a crazy salon owner in our past.


Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to hurl the "crazy" accusation here. I suspect that your salon owner’s version of the story makes her sound much more sympathetic and altruistic; but I’ve been there/done that myself and watched a lot of colleagues struggle with similar situations, so I have to admit, my default setting is to take Jenny’s side.


If you ever get a chance to sit down with me for several hours, and a drink, you can enjoy the live version of my "Why are so many salon owners crazy?" rant. But you’ll have to settle for a quick version of my personal anecdote for now:


I once left a secure and comfortable work environment to go work for a crazy lady. At the time I’d only been doing nails for about three years. I was just beginning to build a clientele and just beginning to feel like I had any business whatsoever asking for money for my work. But I worked in a tiny booth rental salon in a very independent situation. I felt like I wasn’t advancing fast enough and I wanted to work in a salon where the owner gave a crap about my success.


So after several conversations with a vivacious woman my mother’s age who’d been doing hair for 30 years and assured me that she knew nothing about nails and was looking for a serious, career nail tech for her salon — I thought I’d found a promising new path for my career. Three months later, she fired me for refusing to use products that contained MMA. Then she stood in front of my desk and literally jumped up and down screaming at me and calling me "insubordinate" because I told her I wouldn’t use MMA. Even though the whole "I’m not going to use MMA" speech was part of several of our initial conversations. Trust me, it’s a much longer story than I have time for.


Point is, we all rack up serious learning experiences from early attempts at grazing in greener pastures only to discover that that greener grass has been spray painted to look good from a distance, or that, in many cases it would seem, crazy makes a very effective fertilizer.


I feel for you, Jenny. And I applaud your ultimate resolution to not let this get you down. I can’t imagine why any salon owner with half a wit’s knowledge or experience in the salon industry would have ever promised you the moon without considering how far away it was. It seems like such a no-brainer to me that a salon owner looking for new talent would have taken time to assess that talent prior to offering the job. Costing you a job where you were doing well only to decide you didn’t meet her criteria seems a little ... well ... I’m guessing the lawn in front of her salon looks really nice, doesn’t it?


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