Chapter 4: “Open for Business”
The Bouffant Salon had finally opened its doors for the public, a few days had passed since, and new clients were beginning to arrive and as such, Miss Bouffant decided to hire some new part time employees, mostly manicurists and a receptionist that could book the appointments and receive the customers in the lobby. Her name was Ellen; she was senior college student that wanted to make some money in her last summer before graduating.
As Ellen arrived to the salon, she could see the hairdressers were already getting everything ready before opening.
“Good morning” said Ellen towards Katie, Claire and Pamie
“Good morning dear” said everyone in a well-tuned chorus.
Ellen had a good relationship with the three of them, at the beginning she thought they were a bit weird, after all they were always happy and dressed exactly the same: pink salon uniform dresses that matched with the color of their lipstick, mani and pedi, open toe white sandals heels, even their hair were styled identically in a short kind of afro perm; the only thing that could set them apart were their hair color. But after a few days working in the salon, Ellen figured that it must be an inside fashion code between them, they seem pretty close and she never saw them giving any customer that kind hairstyle.
“Well it seems we are ready for today girls, Ellen dear any new appointments for today” asked Katie
“Just a couple Miss, the others are regulars”
“How Exciting, just a few weeks since we opened and we already have regulars” Claire was squealing excitedly as she finished her sentence.
“Well, it’s clear that town is picking notice of the hottest new salon and of their talented stylists” said Pamie in a sassy tone.
Just as Ellen took a seat behind the reception’s desk, the door open and saw Allison arriving alongside the other two manicurists, Carla and Juliana. It was Allison who got Ellen her gig, after all she was her best friend and after finishing beauty school she wanted the help her out as next year she would be looking for job and Ellen wanted to be prepared saving some money.
Allison approached the desk and ringed the little bell.
“Morning sunshine, ready for a brand new day”
“Morning Al, yeah pretty much, you seem in a good mood” said Ellen
“Well I got some good news yesterday, apparently Miss Bouffant will be visiting the salon this week, checking how everything is going and hear this, Miss Katie told me that maybe, she will be offering the manicurists full time contracts” Allison was eager to share this with Ellen.
“My god, that’s great Al, I know you’ll get it, you’re the best manicurist” said Ellen cheering her up.
“Thanks El, we were getting nervous after the other two nails girls were cut, but Miss Katie told us we didn’t need to worry, it was just that her performance and attitude didn’t match the salon’s standards” said Allison whispering
“Yeah I know what she meant, they were kind of jerks”
“Well forget about them, with their asses out of the way those sweet deals are ours” Allison was eagerly celebrating.
“Congrats, you girls deserve it” said Ellen to all them as Carla and Juliana were getting close.
“Thanks Ellen, really excited to get the full time gig” said Juliana
“Who knows, maybe Miss Bouffant offers you one too” said Carla
“I don’t think so; I would be pretty busy with the last semester”
“Well maybe Miss Bouffant can adjust your turn so that it matches your school schedule, after all it would be great if you had already a job secured once you graduate” Allison really liked the idea of continuing working with her best friend.
“Could be, but I won’t be getting my hopes up, hey looks like today’s first clients are here” said Ellen, as the manicurists went to get their stations ready.
“Good morning, welcome to Bouffant Salon, do you have an appointment?” Ellen was attending the customers as she checked the salon’s book.
The day transpired pretty much normally, clients getting their hair or nails done. Ellen shift was about to end, when a lady entered the shop and approach the desk, she was sporting the very same hairstyle that the hairdresser ladies and a similar fashion choice.
“Good afternoon dear, you must be our receptionist Ellen, right? My name is Rose Bouffant, happy to meet you” said with a happy voice
“Good afternoon ma’am, yes I’m Ellen, happy to meet you as well” after they exchanged pleasantries, Miss Bouffant went directly to the manicurists.
“And you ladies, must be our soon to be full time manicurists, Juliana, Carla and Allison, if I not mistaken”
“Yes that’s us, pleased to meet you Miss Bouffant, and thank you so much for the full time contracts, we really appreciate it” said a very grateful Allison
“Well, you certainly have earn them, and as my ladies tell me, you are quite a talented trio” Miss Bouffant praised them.
“Indeed ma’am, the clients love them” said Katie
“I think they already have some regulars, don’t they Pamie?” asked Claire
“Yes, even one of mine was looking to have a manicure done alongside with her next appointment” Pamie pointed out.
“Marvelous, looks like business is booming then, and you are to be thanked as well, excellent job girls” said Miss Bouffant
As Ellen was getting ready to leave, she could see how happy the girls were, especially Allison, they worked so hard since day 1, she was proud of all of them.
“Well ladies, I have your new contracts right here, let’s give it a quick read, have them signed and then all give the three of you a surprise” said Miss Bouffant excitedly. “Leaving already dear?”
“Yes, I’ll have to be excused for today ma’am; I have to get going for an appointment at collage for the inscription this semester” responded Ellen
“Well, I wish you good luck then; Katie tells me you also have done a magnificent job, thank you very much for your hard work dear” said Miss Bouffant shaking her hand.
“Thank you so much Miss Bouffant, I’ll come back at Monday first hour at the morning, goodbye everyone, congratulations girls” Ellen waved at everyone, as she was exiting the salon.
Later that night…
“Hello?” Ellen answered her phone
“El, is me, I have great news for you?” said Allison
“What is it?”
“After you left, and we checked our contracts, I asked Miss Bouffant if she would consider hiring you full time, taking in account your classes hours of course”
“My God El, why would you do that? You just got hired; you shouldn’t go around asking a favor like that” Ellen was concerned for Allison
“Easy girl, she told me that she was already thinking on offering the full time job anyway, she said that now it would be easier to convince you, so bring your school schedule on Monday at work, your contract will be there for you to sign” said a very proud Allison.
“Al, I don’t know how you did it, but, thank you so much” Ellen was relieve that Allison didn’t catch any heat, but also grateful for the opportunity now at reach.
“Don’t worry about it, that what BFFs are for, got to go to sleep now, I’ll need to be at the salon early in the morning”
“But tomorrow is Saturday”
“Full-time now remember? Besides, it turns out the surprise Miss Bouffant was talking about was a free salon treatment for the three of us! She said it was a tradition for the new employees to receive one, and now that we are officially signed we were long overdue” Allison was excited
“Wow, what a nice gesture by her”
“I know, I was going to get it done today, but I had to leave because my mom needed help ASAP back at home, but Miss Bouffant said I could get my Bouffant Deluxe treatment tomorrow”
“Well, enjoy your salon day Al, you’ve certainly earned it, I still have to finish some papers for the inscription, so I’ll be seeing you on Monday and thanks a lot for everything, you’re the best friend someone could ever ask for” said Ellen gratefully
“Well don’t you ever doubt it, I’ll see you Monday, perhaps you’ll also be in line for a salon treatment, bye girl love you” Allison hanged the phone and went to sleep, she could verily hold her enthusiasm for the next day.
Ellen arrived early at the salon, as she entered she was surprised to see not only the hairdressers there, but also Miss Bouffant had also arrived.
“Good morning everyone, Miss Bouffant I didn’t expect you to be here so early” said Ellen with surprise and bit of nervousness
“Why wouldn’t I be dear? After all it is a big day for you and all of us” responded a cheerily Miss Bouffant
“Thank you for the opportunity ma’am, but you didn’t have to go to such lengths; I’m only the receptionist” said Ellen shyly
“Nonsense dear, your position is as important as any other in the salon, and I know how responsibly you have committed to the job, you’re always on time, the book is excellently organized and you’re always nice to our customers, I’ll be a fool no to hire you full time” praised Miss Bouffant
“Thank you ma’am, I guess I’m nervous because of the way Allison brought up the issue, she is a bit spontaneous like that”
“Don’t worry dear, she made very good points about balancing your schedule with school and I could tell she cares deeply for you, and I admire and respect those kinds of friendships. Well let’s give those school hours a look”
“Yes, here they are”
“I see, well we definitely work with this seems most of your classes take please in the afternoon and at night, so what you think 9:00 to 4:00 Monday to Friday and the weekends 11:00 to 6:00?” proposed Miss Bouffant
“That could work perfectly for me Miss” Ellen was perplexed at how convenient was.
“Excellent, then just sign here and you’ll receive the full time benefits, including a salary increase and health insurance”
Ellen signed her contract, after giving it a quick read; she was so excited to be able to balance school with her work, counting on the benefits of full time and also to be able to keep working alongside her best friend.
“Well now that the paperwork is ready, it is time for your surprise, the Bouffant Deluxe Treatment” said Miss Bouffant with eagerness in her voice, while Katie, Claire and Pamie clapped and cheered.
“Right now, what about the clients?” asked a confused Ellen
“Don’t worry dear, I’ve checked and our first appointment it is until midday, so come on and get changed into this robe, we also have some new attire for you, but that’s’ another surprise for later” said Miss Bouffant as she gave her a pink salon robe for Ellen to put on as she guided her to the bathroom
“Thank you so much ma’am, I’m speechless”
“Just enjoy it dear, now I hope our manicurists arrive before you get ready in order to started”
“The girls will be here for this?”
“Of course honey, they asked us to” said Katie
“They loved it so much, that they wanted to be here to help” said Claire
“Especially Allie, after getting done one day after, she said the least she could do to return the favor to the others, was to be here to get you all pampered up” pointed out Pamie.
“Well then I’ll be happy to oblige” said Ellen
As she was changing, she heard some voices entering the salon, “Must be the girls” she figured, as she was stepping out of the bathroom and heading towards the chairs area.
Ellen saw two young girls approaching her, they were dressed simalary as the hairdressers, pink manicure, pedicure and lipstick, open toe white sandal heels, only exception was a clear pink blouse, pants that matched their makeup and the signature short, tight, curly, spherical perm. At first she couldn’t recognize them, until she heard their voices.
“Good morning darling” said the one with chocolate brown color
“Ready for the Bouffant Deluxe?” asked the one with butterscotch tone.
“Juliana? Carla? My God guys, talk about a makeover, I didn’t recognize you” said a flabbergasted Ellen
“We know, is a big change after all, but we love it, don’t we Carly?” said Allison cheerily.
“Absolutely Julie dear, these curls are to die for” said an equally happy Carla.
Ellen couldn’t believe it, Carla and Juliana were dressing as if they were hairdresser’s clones, and their attitude seem off too, she has never heard them called each other Allie or Carly.
“Let’s get you to the washing station while we get ready to take care of your nails” said Julie
As the girls seated Ellen and went to get the equipment, Ellen kept wondering about their makeovers, when suddenly she heard a voice:
“Morning sunshine” said a singing voice
Ellen was astonished, as she realize it was Allison, but she was most different, she was wearing the same clothes that Carly and Julie, clear pink blouse and bright pink pants, open toe sandal heels, matching make up in pink nails and lipstick and the cherry on the cake, was her tight perm in a clear brunette color.
“Allison, or should I call you Allie now?” asked Ellen
“That’s right honey, Mrs. Bouffant gave us the nicknames, they had a good ring to it don’t you think?” said Allie very cheerily
“Kinda, I guess, so you all girls went for a big makeover, bit of a big change”
“Well, Miss Bouffant wanted us to feel part of the salon, and nothing says Bouffant Salon like pretty pink and curly perms” said Allie as she patted her perm.
“So how do you feel? Do you like it?”
“Like it? Baby I LOVE IT!!! I feel in cloud 9, granted at first it was quite a shock when I saw Carly and Julie, but after Miss Bouffant did her magic, I felt in love with the look right away, specially the hair, come on give it a touch” Allie guided Ellen hand into her hair.
“Wow, is really soft, feels nice and it actually smells pretty good too” Ellen said surprised as she started to relax
“See? Told you it was wonderful, you gonna love it as well after Miss Bouffant is done with you” whispered Allie seductively at Ellen’s ear.
“That’s right Allie dear, we all ready to go, so let’s get to it Ellie darling” said Miss Bouffant as she approached to Ellen. Right away she started washing her hair with the signature pink goo shampoo, the massage in her scalp was precise as always and Ellen was getting very relaxed. Miss Bouffant talked to Ellen about the school, getting her a full time job after she graduates and about how much she is going to love her new curly look, all to which Ellen assented to and agree with it. Meanwhile the hairdressers where putting her on rollers, when she was under the dryer Allie, Julie and Carly started with her manicure and pedicure, they were all laughing and giggling saying they couldn’t wait to see Ellie with her new look.
Later that afternoon…
“Good afternoon dear I’m here for my appointment, wait a minute, Ellen is that you?” asked a woman that just entered the salon.
“It sure is Mrs. Watson, I just got this makeover as a present from Miss Bouffant for officially working full time as of today” said Ellie happily
“You sure caught me by surprise, I didn’t expect to see you with the signature salon look, but I must say, it fits you very nicely”
“Thank you very much Miss, you know us Bouffant girls, we are all about the pink and perms” said Ellen with a big smile on her face
“You know, last time I was here Claire tried to persuade me to go for the Bouffant treatment, I wasn’t so sure if it was for me, but after seeing how good it looks on you, I having second thoughts”
“Oh I assure you would look lovely with a beautiful perm head, In fact let me tell Claire that your appointment has now been upgraded to a Bouffant Deluxe treatment”
“Dear you are too kind, well I guess I’m leaving with a new look then”
“You’ll love it Miss Watson, I sure do love mine” said Ellen as she patted her perfectly curled honey auburn perm
“Right this way Miss Watson, you’ll be a whole new you when I’m done, Oh Ellie dear, I need you to book another Bouffant deluxe for next week, is time to pay back that favor to my dear friend Amanda, she is going to love it” said Claire as she guided Miss Watson towards the basin.
“Sure will do Claire, after all is like Miss Bouffant always says, the best head is a perm head” said Ellie as she happily typed Claire’s appointment into the computer.