Thursday, November 18, 2010

Drama at the Salon!

It's been a while since I wore platinum hair and I really miss it. I stopped wearing it so light because it was really high maintenance, relatively expensive to maintain, and I thought my hair could use a break from the repeated bleaching. But after trying out most of the colors of the rainbow I've decided I would like to be platinum again. Having just moved to NYC this requires salon shopping.

I like Aveda products because they are more gentle to my scalp during the bleaching process and they are plant based and more natural than many other chemical based brands. But they aren't cheap! So imagine my surprise when I came across a salon offering a $65 single process in their "New Talents" division. I am familiar with the New Talents concept because my salon in Atlanta had this distinction. They are hairdressers with less experience who generally do great work at a greatly reduced price. I was excited to find such a place in New York City.

I made my appointment for Wednesday afternoon with Christian. When I arrived, I was told that New Talents was "downstairs" and I was led to the basement. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice place, just very different from the spacious upstairs area with lots of windows and light. But it a good price, so I'm not complaining. YET!!

I stand in a very narrow hallway for a few minutes with no instruction and clearly in the way of everyone. Finally, Christian, a young, tall, lanky guy with tatoos and piercings from head to toe appears, calls me Susanna, and sits me in his chair. I tell him I want him to bleach it all out and apply a blue/violet toner. Simple! He acts as if he has never heard of this process. Nobody gets out of cosmotology school without mastering the bleach and tone. Instead, he offers a very elaborate plan involving 2 separate mixtures which is going to cost a little more money than I was quoted when I made the appointment. I ask how much more and he goes to "make sure" of the cost.

He comes back and informs me that my $65 color will now be $130 because it is corrective color and a double process. They always get you on that "corrective color" when you first go to a new salon. As if every other salon has screwed up your hair and they must now repair the damage. I mull this over for a minute while Christian continues to re-explain what he plans to do to achieve the color I want. So I ask him what the "maintenance" process will involve including the cost. He says, "Well, I really can't tell you that until we see how it grows out. I mean you may need a gloss, for an extra $30, you may not. We just have to wait and see. It could be $65, it could be more, PROBABLY no more than $95." That doesn't include tax and tip so it's really more like $115 final cost.

I am NOT happy. Christian does not know what to do at this point so he suggests we invite another stylist over for a 2nd opinion. I say that is fine and he goes to find someone. A few minutes later the salon manager is standing at my chair asking what the problem is and if I want someone else to color my hair. I tell her there is no problem. Christian suggested the 2nd opinion so I agreed to get one. She leaves to find my a 2nd opinion.

Several minutes later the manager comes back and says that Christian is now uncomfortable coloring my hair because he feels that I do not trust his judgement and he needs for his clients to completely trust him in order for him to work on their hair. OMG really? Christian needs a mediator to deal with a client who calls him on a bait and switch?

I decide this drama has gone on long enough and I tell her to send Christian back over. He comes nervously skulking back over looking like an abused puppy headed for the gas chamber. He apologizes to me for anything he has done wrong and tells me how uncomfortable he is feeling. I try to play nice and tell him I was just surprised by the cost and that it is not his colorist abilities that I am worried about. I did feel kind of bad for the guy. He obviously takes his "art" very seriously and I have really rattled him. I tell him I am going to need to think about it and do not want him to do anything today. We blame it on the front desk and part amicably.

As I leave, I can't help thinking if this guy can't handle a high maintenance southern blonde, how is he going to make it as a hairdresser in New York City?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Old Men in NYC

Old men in New York are pretty bold. I guess they figure they have nothing to lose. I often have old men walk past me only to smile or say hello. They are for the most part harmless, but on certain occasions, they go above and beyond to get your attention. This was the case twice last weekend.

I am walking along the Upper West Side with my friend Ira on Saturday afternoon, yes, I am actually with a man when this old guy, probably 70 or so and about 4'6" tall walks past me and says, "Hi! What can I do for YOU?" It was so amusing that I turned to look as we continued walking. He had stopped to stare at me. I guess he was waiting to see if I would take him up on his offer. Perhaps I should have asked for a bank statement and health records. Might have been a good gig for June!

The next day, I get on the subway. Another old man, this one probably 70+ puts his hand over his heart and sort of bows toward me. I smiled and looked away, but he keeps trying to get my attention. He's mouthing all sorts of things I'm trying to ignore, mostly things like "you're beautiful" nothing lude or disgusting, but he's clearly a little off. I was WAY uptown headed home so I had a while on the train. Finally another lady gets on the train and starts to sit down next to him. He was sitting across from me. He tells her as she goes to sit down that she needs to offer that seat to the men who are standing. She did and we all had a good laugh.

She sets about reading her magazine and he starts asking her questions about the article. She decides he is more entertaining than what she is reading so she engages him in a little conversation. He is still trying to reel me into this conversation. Next thing I know he is telling her how much he loves the blonde sitting across from him on the train. "But she doesn't love me back," he says. I say, "Oh, you say that to all the girls." He looks all hurt and looks at the lady next to him who says, "He didn't say it to me!" Then he starts talking about how I must know how to have a good time because blondes have more fun. About that time we get to my stop, which happens to be his seat mate's stop as well. He bids us a final farewell and delcares his love for me again. She and I got off the train and had a good laugh. Her commment, "That was totally worth putting my magazine down."

What a character! You meet them in New York. No where else in America could you have that experience without being afraid for your safety. Here it's just a Sunday afternoon.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A New Level of Intimacy at The Office

Everyday from 9-2 I travel to the east side to a residential building where I work in an apartment that serves as an office for a very wealthy 75 year old business tycoon who we'll call Mr. A. Mr. A is a very nice man, and a great boss. He pays me well for what I do, which is practically nothing. Mostly, I print his e-mails as he never learned to use a computer and I send faxes and FedEx packages for him. He travels a lot and when he's on the road I get to knit, read, play on the computer, or do whatever I want while I field the phone calls. We don't get many when he's not in the office.

When I first started working for Mr. A, we were in a studio apartment on the 10th floor. A studio apartment is a one room space. This one was about 20 x 25 feet with a small but separate kitchen and a couple of closets. There was a small hallway, about 4 x 6 feet, between the main room and the bathroom. That was my office.

A couple of weeks after I started the job, Mr. A announced that we were moving to a bigger apartment on the 17th floor. We moved into the new apartment about 2 weeks ago. It is really nice. It is a 1 bedroom apartment and is MUCH larger than the studio on the 10th floor. The bedroom is my office. I have a nice view of the east side of Manhattan and a bridge crossing the East River that I have yet to identify. It's a big step up from the narrow hallway where people had to crawl past me to get to the bathroom. Mr. A's office is the living room area. Only the 2 of us work here except for his housekeeper who comes in the morning to make him a bagel, coffee, and fresh squeezed orange juice, then comes back in the afternoon to take out the trash and tidy up. So you can see how I think the new office will afford us both more privacy. That is USUALLY the case. Until yesterday......

Mr. A likes to answer his own phones. It's not that he doesn't think I can do it or doesn't trust me to give him his messages, he just likes business to happen fast and answering his own phones is just faster. So unless he is out of the office, I do not answer the phone at all. Until yesterday......

Yesterday, Mr. A must have been having a little tummy trouble or something because he spent a lot more time than usual in the bathroom. When a person has to climb over you to get to the bathroom, you get real familiar with their schedule. Most of the time he is real quick in there, he doesn't like to miss a minute of phone time. If the phone happens to ring while he is in the bathroom the door goes flying open and he runs across the room to answer it, often before the second ring and always before the third. Did I mention he is 75? I sure hope I have that kind of energy when I'm 75.

His third trip of the day took a little longer........and of course, the phone rang.

After 2 rings the door doesn't open so I decide I should answer the phone and take a message for him. I have no sooner said hello and determined who it is when I hear the bathroom door open. I assume he is finished and will be taking the call. I am wrong. From the bathroom he yells, "Who is it?" He still has not emerged. I call back to him with the message. He says, "ok," and the bathroom door slams shut. In this moment, to my horror, I have the full realization that I have just had a conversation with my boss, without benefit of a closed door, while he was on the toilet. Talk about a new level of intimacy. I'm not sure June is ready to handle all of this!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm such a slacker

Ok, ok, ok, I know I am a total blog slacker. I just forget. But thanks to all you inquiring minds who keep reminding me to post. So here's what's going on.

NYC is still just awesome! I'm so glad I moved here. It is by far the best thing I have ever done for myself. On one hand, I wish I had moved here sooner. On the other hand, I would have missed so much if I had. I guess everything happens at the right time.

I'll post some good dating stories later, maybe while June is bored at work, but for now I'll just fill you in on what's happening in my life.

I have several jobs now. My absolute favorite is my Sunday morning singing gig at Church of the Ascention on 107th street. Thanks to my friend Jamie Shiell in ATL for hooking me up with Preston, the choirmaster/organist. We do really great music every week. It's a fast paced setting, so I can't get bored, and the people are just lovely. Plus there are some real hotties in the congregation! And they pay me to be there!!! I have always felt so blessed to be able to do what I love for a living, but actually getting paid for singing takes the cake! So much fun!

I have 6 students in my studio now and several more who are going to sign up soon! I met this one mom who has hooked me up with all kinds of kids from PS 163 on the Upper West Side. They are some of the sweetest girls I have ever worked with. They all love to sing and play the piano. We're planning a recital in December. I've also made some good connections at my church job. I think that is going to lead to lots of students too!

If you've been following my Facebook page, you know that I have a job in the morning as an Administrative Assistant where my boss sometimes calls me June. I had worked there for 2 or 3 weeks when I walked in one morning and he said, "Hi, June." I looked puzzled, but he has a pretty heavy New York accent so I thought maybe he said Sue as he normally calls me Sue or Susan. He had a guest in the office that day, so I just went on about my business. A few minutes later, his friend needed a copy made of something and I hear my boss say from the other room, "June will do that for you." His friend came over and said, "June, would you please make me a copy of this?" I said, "sure, but my name is Suzanne." I stuck my head in my boss's office and told him that my name is Suzanne. He said, "oh, ok" and that was the end of it. Or so I thought. I was Sue and Susan for a while and then one random day I walked in and heard, "Hi, June!" And here we go again.......Most of the time now he calls me Susan or Sue, or if he's in a really good mood, I'm Suzie. His daughter-in-law's name is Suzie and he adores her so I consider this quite the compliment. I can't complain though, it's a REALLY easy job and it pays very well for what is expected of me. I get in a lot of knitting time there. I guess I really should put down the knitting and update the blog. LOL I'll try to do better.

Meanwhile, thanks to my loyal followers. I appologize for making you wait so long. I will post some interesting NYC stories very soon. You know I have some!

Thanks for reading!