It is the dream of every child to grow up and secure a job in a well-paying organization. I was no different as my childhood was filled with dreams of becoming a successful and wealthy salon stylist with my hair spa. As a result, I worked hard in school, both at the lower level and college level to attain the required skills to start my job. Fortunately, I secured a position immediately after school at a hair spa in Manalapan NJ. However, my first day on the job was an experience that I will never forget for the rest of my life because it opened my eyes and showed me the reality on the ground and what was like working in the corporate world.
Fresh from college, I had different ideas of what I was required to do and what my job description entailed. Having graduated with first-class honors, I went blazing gun thinking that it was an easy job, but this was not the case. The first task that I was given at the spa was to wipe the floor and cleaning the tools of work. However, I felt that my supervisor was undermining my ability and creativity when it comes to hair styling. Rather than humbling accepting to perform my duties in humility waiting for further directions and instructions from the supervisor, I went over my head and complained to him that I was too qualified to perform such duties. Little did I know what was coming.
Full of anger because of my arrogance, the supervisor asked me to take one of the plastic heads in the facility and perform makeup application on the subject while at the same time coloring the hair. With my head held up high, but with little idea of what I was doing, I slowly began applying the makeup following no particular order. It took me three hours to complete the make up application and immediately I started to change the color of the hair. After a total of five hours, I was confident that I had done the right thing and confidently walked to his office to present the work. First glance at what I had done with the subject, James, who was the supervisor burst into an uncontrollable laugh telling me that I did not have an idea what the job entailed and what a salon stylist should do to get the best results while at the same time enhancing customer experience and satisfaction. Feeling a little bit humiliated and hurt, I waited patiently to be dressed down, and I got exactly what I deserved.
James simply summarized my work as shoddy. He asked me to describe to him step by step what I had used detailing every step of the way. Patiently, he listened to what I had to say as I explained where I began and why I used the products that I used. My first step in the process was the application of foundation all over the skin and blending it onto the neck. To him, the first step in makeup application should focus on cleaning the subject and moisturizing before applying any product to ensure that the surface or the face was clean enough to hold the make-up for an entire day. After carefully, cleaning the skin, the second step that would have followed would have been the application of primer with my fingers to ensure that it was evenly spread across the face before applying the foundation using a duo fiber brush. While I correctly applied the concealer below the eyes, I, unfortunately, used a rectangular shape rather than a triangular shape. According to James, triangular concealer below the eyes ensures that there is a natural looking coverage, that brightens up the face of the customers and draws attention to her eyes. At this moment, I had lost all the interest in what I had done, and my mind was miles away even though my body was present in James’ office. My face was entirely covered with shame and humiliation considering that I thought I was experienced and pretended to know exactly what it took to be a successful hair stylist but this was not the case.
Once I was able to take control of his criticism, I realized that he was doing his job and he had the best interest at heart and wanted me to become one of the best hair stylists in the business. I realized that all the critics were not personal and it was just business. Large amounts of money were at risk, and everything should be done correctly, or the firm would lose their clients. I finally understood why my supervisor broke me down mentally. They did not mean to hurt me neither were they cynical, but he was preparing me for the reality I was about to face in this business. Dealing directly with the client was not an easy task, and it needed courage, and I needed to be prepared for anything. I went home that day having; learned a fundamental lesson.