That's right. I'd found a hair stylist who could do my hair just right. After tons of research online, I settled on a style called tree braids. I'd never known anyone who wore them but I thought they were cute, and always one to set my own trend, I went for it. A few hours more research later, I found a salon near my home.
At that salon was a hair stylist who did the damn thing when it came to my hair. So much so that I referred countless people to that salon for the same style. It's safe to say that I'm far from the only person I know wearing tree braids any more since I started rocking them last summer.
Problem was, the hair stylist I loved worked for a backwards-@ssed salon owner. Want to make an appointment? Don't count on it being easy. The process went a little something like this: A week prior to the appointment I wanted to schedule, I'd call the salon owner--who required that all appointments go through him, via his cellphone. He might answer, he might not. If you left a message, he might call you back
Sound painful? It was. And I did this every 6-8 weeks from August 2009 through January 2010. Then I got fed up. One day this month, when I called the salon owner to confirm my appointment--and he told me he'd have to call me back after talking with the hair stylist--I decided to get back on my research grind to find another hair salon.
Didn't take long. I'd done some preliminary research already and knew who else did tree braids in my area. There's a particular way I like them done that is different from the way most places do them, so after confirming the new salon could hook me up, I made an appointment there. It was that easy. One phone call, appointment confirmed. WHALA!
So when the owner of the first salon finally called me back (over two hours later) to confirm my appointment, I told him I was canceling. And I told him why. In a nice way (I swear I was polite and cordial), I told him that his scheduling process is jacked up and (because of that and his tendency to be rude to customers when they call) had driven me and all of my referrals away from patronizing his business. He seemed to take it well... at first.
But apparently he had second thoughts. And that got me to thinking, maybe I should've read this advice or this advice about breaking up with your hair stylist before I spoke with him. Ah, hindsight.
Witness the voicemail he left me about a half hour after our phone conversation. [Full background: In addition to patronizing his business and referring my sister and friends, I also started a Facebook fan page for the salon at his request. But when I asked him to answer questions via e-mail from people who asked about pricing of various styles on the fan page, he couldn't be bothered.]
Play this in your head in the most smart-@ssed, irritated voice you can muster:
This is Salon Owner. I wanted to call you back and let you know I fully understand your position. This is my business model. And I work and the braiders do have to go through me because I still have to run this business and they don't go there and sit. I made it convenient for them as well so they don't just go there and sit. And I know I'm losing my customers to the braiders. There are not too many braiders who do tree braids. I know that I lose some of my customers to the braiders. There are not too many people in this area that do tree braids very well. When I'm not there I notice that I lose customers to some of the braiders. And it's highly possible that I've lost you and your sister to Hair Stylist and I wouldn't tell her that either. But I have nowhere else to go, nothing else to do. This is the way I run this business model. I'm also very disappointed in those who would come to the shop and then move themselves into working with my braiders, and that is very disappointing as well because I work very hard to try to get customers in there. I had to go out and get a job and that's one of the reasons I haven't been responsive to facebook. I can't be responding to everything on facebook. I'm disappointed and I know that you're going to Hair Stylist, and Hair Stylist has to deal with that. So that's my message to you. If you care to call back, fine."
[*Names have been changed because I decided not to put Salon Owner on full blast, even though he
So in other words, dude is accusing me of stealing his stylist? The thing is, I did NOT do that, but Lawd knows I would if I could. But sadly, I don't have Hair Stylist's number. Later that evening, I got a long, rambling, unprofessional e-mail from the salon owner basically making the same points. #FAIL.
Anyhow, the new salon I went to is great. Takes a bit longer to do tree braids because they're smaller, but I've been told they look better. They have lots of braiders available for walk-ins at all times, and that = Lots of business. They stay busy. And it's much easier to make an appointment.
TALK BACK: Have you ever had to fire your hair stylist? How did it go?