“The door of the beauty salon opened, and a modestly dressed young woman named Natalie walked in. The receptionist squinted and rolled her eyes, showing that she was disgusted with the visitor.
The young woman nevertheless came to her desk, and the salon employee had to put the phone away. “Do you have an appointment?” she asked for the sake of propriety, looking in the register. There weren’t many clients signed up in advance, and the receptionist was well aware that this young, but apparently not wealthy, woman was not signed up anywhere.
“Isn’t it possible to do without an appointment?” the customer clarified, looking at the one vacant chair. “We only have two hairstylists working today,” answered the receptionist, disgruntled. “You can see that everyone is busy. If you have time, then you may wait until someone will be free.”
Natalie noticed that one of the hairdressers had already finished cutting and styling hair. It seemed that she would not have to wait long, and if they offered to wait, it meant that the next client would not be here for a long time. The woman said that she would wait, and the receptionist shrugged and went back to her phone without even offering the visitor to sit down.
Smiling to herself, Natalie went to a soft sofa and settled down on it, noticing another unhappy grimace on the receptionist’s face. She pretended not to comprehend it, although such an attitude made an unpleasant impression. But she was not going to refuse the services of the salon. Soon, the hairstylist finished working with one of the clients. The receptionist immediately jumped out of her seat, smiling broadly, and began to compliment the richly dressed woman. The woman paid, leaving a generous tip, and left the salon.
Natalie looked expectantly at the hairdresser who was already finishing cleaning her workplace. Strange, usually this would be an opportunity for the administrator to offer the waiting woman, for example, to take off her coat because the place was vacant. But the hair stylists, having finished cleaning, left the hall, and no one paid any attention to Natalie.
Ten minutes later, the second hairdresser finished another client’s hairdo and left after the first one to the back office. Natalie looked at her watch. She had purposely chosen the time after lunch break, but it seemed that working hours here were arranged in their own way. After another 10 minutes, the young woman couldn’t take it anymore and asked when they were going to take care of her.
“Do you not see that we are on break?” snarled the irritable administrator. “Hair stylists are on their feet all day. They also need rest. They’ll finish their tea and take care of you.”
The administrator sighed with such a look as if she was interrupted from a vital matter and thought to herself that this client did not come to the right place. It would be necessary to announce the prices, but the woman decided not to bother herself and then went to watch how the visitor would get out of it when she would not have enough money to pay for the haircut.
The receptionist occasionally discreetly glanced at the waiting woman – young but minimal makeup, sloppy hair, clothes not branded. If she would make up and dress up a little more decently, the attitude would be different at once.
The weight was beginning to irritate Natalie. She noticed the coffee machine and decided that since the hairdressers were on break, why not take the opportunity to drink a warming beverage. Of course, in good salons, usually, the administrator offers the drink to the visitors, but here it seems to be different since there are disposable cups. It means that it is for visitors.
A young woman stood up and went over to the machine but was stopped by the receptionist’s shout. She declared that coffee was for regular customers only and continued muttering about the lack of manners of some women who behave as if they were at home. Natalie shrugged and sat down on the couch. At least it’s not forbidden to sit, she thought. The salon certainly looks decent, but the staff is treating in a humiliating way.
Soon, a lady in an overly large amount of gold jewelry and a fur coat came into the salon. The receptionist smiled warmly and rose to meet her. Natalie felt sad. Is it necessary to put on a fur coat made of killed animals and a kilo of gold to be treated well?
Natalie thought that this visitor would also have to wait, but both hairdressers immediately jumped out of the back room. The lady was right away seated in a chair. Natalie was about to open her mouth to inquire about her fate, but then the third hairstylist came out and in a hoarse voice asked if anyone was here for her. The receptionist carelessly nodded at Natalie. The hairdresser seemed nervous and awkward; she kept pulling Natalie’s hair while cutting it but apologized immediately.
Natalie decided to make the woman talk and asked her how she was working here. She heard only complaints in reply. “Not many decent people come here. The salary is small, and how could I only afford branded clothes on discount and old collections.”
Natalie said that not everybody can buy brand clothes, but the hairstylist only laughed. “This is the mentality of beggars. If you can’t afford to live in normal human conditions, you shouldn’t be looked up to.”
Natalie was silent because, like any other person, she felt uncomfortable being called a beggar literally to her face. The hairdresser, carried away by the conversation, began to tell how they were sometimes lucky and managed to cheat people with little experience in the procedures of salons to pay for all kinds of massages and gels and how they were able to raise the price several times. “But you can lose a client that way,” Natalie wondered.
“There’s nothing much to lose. I don’t feel sorry for them,” chuckled the hair hairstylist.
“Then who’s a good customer?” asked Natalie.
“Well, they’re like that lady over there,” whispered the hairstylist and nodded to the chair next to her.
Natalie watched in the mirror as the two hairdressers worked on the second client as if over a rarefied vase. The hairdresser once again yanked Natalie’s hair. “Excuse me, my hands are a little shaky. Yesterday I was at a bar late with a friend I have not seen for a long time. You do not have enough money anyway for a good hairstylist. You would sit for another half an hour until the other will be free. They have enough customers of their own.”
Natalie was shocked by the hairdresser’s revelation, but seeing her client’s confusion, she hurried to justify that she was a good specialist, but today was just a bad day. Meanwhile, the door opened, and a man walked in. He was dressed modestly, but suddenly all the employees were frantic.
The administrator quickly put aside the phone and jumped up to him, smiling broadly. Stylists around the rich client bustled even faster. Natalie’s hair stylist stopped talking and started to brush her hair very delicately. A man was talking to the receptionist about something, and the hairdresser whispered to Natalie that the man who had come was the owner.
The owner looked around, confused. When he saw Natalie, he smiled affably and asked, “How do you like it here, daughter?”
There was silence in the beauty salon. All the employees had rounded eyes, and Natalie’s hairdresser, it seemed, almost had a heart attack. She turned all white, looking into the mirror at her client. Immediately, the receptionist ran up with a verbose apology and assurances that the young woman was served by the best hairstylists. Natalie turned out to be the daughter of the owner. Her father was going to leave for a long period of time to another country and decided to leave the business to his daughter.
The young woman had never been involved in such a business before; she was a housewife raising a child. However, she took her father’s assignment seriously. Before taking on this responsibility, she wanted to see how things worked from the inside, and as it turned out, not in vain.
Of course, she was deeply perturbed at how the salon attendants treated clients. The salon was not a cheap one; there were high wages, and all clients were entitled to coffee, and such a blatant neglect of the clients and drinking tea while they were waiting was completely unacceptable.
Natalie took over this beauty salon. She had to change many things, first the attitude of each client. Natalie introduced discounts for seniors and students and organized free haircut sessions for the poor.
The administrator resigned immediately, and the staff of hairstylists also underwent changes. But the popularity of the beauty salon has grown, and the number of clients has increased. And the main thing, now a person, and any clothes, not only expensive fur coats, was welcome here.