Chapter 2: “Recruiting a New Staff”
“Come on girls hurry up, or I’ll be late for my meeting with the new boss’” Claire called her daughters from downstairs, while she finished cleaning after breakfast.
She was a bit nervous, she was going to meet her new boss for the first time, and she could not believe that the salon called back after she had sent her application last week. It will be the her first time back to being a hairstylist after taking a leave for more than over a year, and now that her husband is working as a travels agent and their two teenage daughters are going to be spending summer at camp, it will be the perfect time to be kept busy and making some extra cash in the process.
“We are ready mom” said Lidia
“Can’t wait to get going” replied Cassie
“Al right, on our way then” Answered Claire while they packed everything on the car.
“I’ll leave you girls with Amanda and Vicky, their house is on the way to the salon, she’ll drop guys at the station with the others”
“Wow mom, you are really nervous aren’t you? Didn’t you already got the job?” asked Cassie
“Well yes, but it will be my first day and not to mention the first time meeting my boss in person, I want to give her a very good first impression and being punctual is expected from me”
“We get it mom, but didn’t you told us the new salon has not open to the public just yet” said Lidia
“The more reason to be early, there must be lots of details to take care of, inventory, suppliers, cleaning the place and that sort of thing” responded Claire with determination. She was that kind of person, taking her responsibilities very seriously, both as a worker and a mother.
Claire parked the car outside a house in the suburbs, a woman and her daughter came outside.
“Hi Claire, hi girls, ready for the summer?” asked Amanda
“Hi Mrs. Roberts, yeah pretty excited” said Lidia
“Glad to hear, Vicky give the girls a hand with their luggage so we can be on our way”
As the sisters and Vicky were putting the bags from one car to another, the moms were having a little chat of their own.
“Thank you so much for taking the girls Amanda, I really own you one”
“Don’t even mention it Claire, I know working again is very important to you”
“I just think is a great opportunity to take now that the family will be out of the house for a couple of months, I’m excited to work again, but first I need to cause a good impression”
“Yeah, as the say the first impression is the most important one”
“You know it, that’s why I’m serious, I owe you a favor, won’t accept no for an answer”
“Well, if you really meant it, I guess I have something in mind…”
“Considered it done, what you need?”
“Could I get an appointment once the salon opens?”
“Ha-ha, of course girl, even better, you’ll be one of my first’s clients”
“Really? That’ll be great Claire, I’ve wanted to change my look for a while now, but I haven’t had the chance yet”
“Then say no more, I’ll make sure you’re in safe hands. Well I better get going, goodbye girls, text me when you arrive at camp, take care of each other, love you.”
“Bye mom, love you too” The sisters waved back as their mother took the road towards the salon.
Claire parked her car right outside the place; she gave herself a last look at her mirror to make sure her jet black hair bun was in order. She walked towards the building and read the big sign in cursive font “Bouffant Salon”.
She entered the shop and gave a big look, everything was impressive, the quality of the equipment, the cleaned stations and she liked the vintage vibe that the decoration gave.
“Oh my, you are already here, didn’t expect you this early dear” said a cheerful voice.
Claire turned around and saw a lady in a pink salon uniform dress, that made match with her lipstick and perfectly manicured shiny nails, well displayed both in fingers and toes, wearing a white open toe low heel sandals. But the feature that most caused an impression on Claire was her hair; it was a blonde short tight perm, the little curls covered all her head in a sphere. This was the first time Claire had seen this kind of hairdo in person.
“Good morning, I wanted to be on time on my first day Miss Park”
“Well you arrive perfectly punctual at 10:00 sharp, pleased to meet you finally on person dear”
“The pleasure is mine”
Both women exchanged handshakes and took a seat on two chairs from the lobby’s waiting area.
“Well Claire, how are you feeling on your first day?”
“I’m excited to be back at work, once again thank you so much for the opportunity”
“Don’t thank me dear, it was your talent and résumé that earned you a position, the only thing I did was give your file and recommendation to Miss Bouffant”
“She is the owner the salon right? What kind of person is she?”
“Yeah, the one and only, she is marvelous, she has a great sense of style and is an absolutely professional expert hairdresser, I’m really proud and happy to be working under such a fantastic mentor”
Claire could perceive the glee and admiration in Miss Park as she described the owner of the salon.
“But don’t you worry dear; you’ll meet her just as soon as she arrives”
“She will be coming today?” asked Claire very surprised and a bit nervous
“Well of course, she wants to get close to all of her main hairdressers and you my dear will be one of them”
“Oh my, I was not expecting it, I’m so honored”
“You’ll fit perfectly here, I just know it, and besides she will also give a very special treat, you are going to love it, but I will let her explain” Miss Park pointed with her eyes at the front door as Miss Bouffant made her entrance.
Claire observed as the middle age woman approach towards them, she was wearing a white blouse with a pink cardigan, a black skirt that reaches her below knees and low orthopedic open shoes. Her nails were manicured in the same shade of bright pink that her sweater and lips; but once again the most unique feature of her look was her hair, she was wearing the very same exact perm hairstyle that Miss Park, the only difference was the brunette color.
“Well hello, good morning dear, you must be our new hairdresser”
Claire immediately stood up to greet her and shake her hand
“Good morning Miss Bouffant, very pleased to meet you, I am Claire Richards, at your service”
“My goodness what manners, then allow me to introduce myself, name is Rose Bouffant, owner of this lovely salon and let me assure you, the pleasure is all mine.”
“Thank you so much for the opportunity Miss Bouffant, excuse me if I’m a little bit nervous, but I did not expect to meet you today”
“It’s all right dear, after all I would like to get very familiar with my staff, specially my hairdressers, so you don’t have to worry for a thing. The other reason I am here is to give you a surprise”
“A surprise? For me? What could it be?”
“Well, I want to make sure you feel just in home here with us, so that’s why I will personally give you a deluxe bouffant treatment, how that sounds?”
Miss Park clapped her hands with a big smile across her face, while Claire opened her mouth in astonishment.
“Miss Bouffant, I do not know what to say”
“Don’t say a thing, every one of my employees are special and it is my duty to make them feel like so. Sweetie, why don’t you take Claire to the station and get everything ready while I prepare myself”
“Right away ma’am, right this way Claire” Miss Park guided Claire towards a styling chair and got her caped.
“Didn’t I tell you she was marvelous?” Asked Miss Park
“Yeah, she caught me completely off guard, maybe this is a little too much for me to accept, and I wouldn’t like to take much of her time”
“Relax dear, she loves doing this kind of thing, she wants to make sure you feel part of the team, think of it like your initiation” a delicate smirk appeared on Miss Park face.
Miss Park untied Claire’s bun and calmly started brushing her raven hair, which reached a little bit past her shoulders, making Claire feeling a bit more at ease.
“Feeling better dear?”
“Yes, thank you, I don’t want to seem ungrateful or anything, is just that, an spontaneous salon treatment wasn’t what I expected on my first day; I don’t even know what would I look like at the end” Claire expressed her concerns
“Oh I assure you that you’ll love your new look once Miss Bouffant is done with you, I should know…”
“Ladies, shall we get started?” Miss Bouffant was ready, sporting with her signature salon uniform gown.
“Let’s go dear, your treatment awaits you” Miss Park guided Claire towards the washing station, once she rested her head on the porcelain basin, Miss Bouffant began to massage her hair with the pink goo shampoo.
Claire was beginning to get very relaxed; Miss Bouffant nails felt divine, as if she knew precisely were the sensible points of Claire’s scalp were located.
“So tell me dear, what is your mind as you’re about to get started to work with us?”
“I’m really excited to work again, I wanted to make a very good first impression by arriving early and get started right away, helping with whatever you need it…” Claire said completely sincerely and entranced.
“I see, I think I can get kind of an idea of the person you are”
“Oh sure, I’m quite a good judge of character you know, my guess is that you’re a responsible kind of girl, always making sure to have everything in order and in check, a natural born hard worker that is always up the challenge, maybe sometimes a little bit strict, but is all because of your passion and care for your job”
Claire was extremely flattered with Miss Bouffant kind description, but more than that she was captivated by her words and deeply identified with everything that said, going deeper on her entrancing state of mind.
“Thank for your words Miss, I just hope to meet your expectations”
“You will dear, you will but, if making a good first impression is what you were looking for, I might have a little suggestion…”
“Of course Miss Bouffant, anything…” reassured Claire with decision
“I think you could use a new hairdo, something different, distinct, you know? A style that sends the message that you are now a Bouffant hairdresser, one of us…” Miss Bouffant seducing words made quite an impact in Claire’s suggestible mind as of now, appealing to her wish to be accepted among her superiors and to be part of the salon.
“That sounds lovely Miss Bouffant, just what I might need…”
“Precisely my dear, will you let me work my magic in you?”
“YES, without a doubt” said Claire with a serious but ecstatic tone
“Excellent, bring out the curlers Katie, we have a perm coming right up” said Miss Bouffant with excitement.
“I’m on it ma’am, Claire you’re going to have such fun as a curly” said Miss Park with a great sense of joy in her voice, as she patted her own perfectly styled perm.
Back at the stylist chair, Miss Bouffant and Miss Park took their time as they cut and set Claire’s hair in tiny pink rods, all while they fed into her head the benefits and pleasures of having a tightly permed hair. Claire took in all the information she was receiving from her superiors, assimilating the fact the she will be leaving with a head full of curls.
Once the curlers were set at every inch of her head, Claire was taken to the hooded dryer. It was a new sensation for her; it was the first time being subject of its heat and warm, but she was founding the experience comfortable and with each passing minute, she was getting eager to having her new hairdo done.
The phone started ringing; Miss Park went to answer while Miss Bouffant was giving Claire a manicure characteristic of the salon’s hairdressers.
“Bouffant Salon, how may I help you?”
“Hi Sis, working hard? Hope that I not interrupting”
“Jackie! What a delightful surprise, it’s alright, just giving our new employee a touch up, she is the dryer now, so I have some time”
“Don’t worry I’ll be quick, I got a couple of weeks of vacation from work, and I was thinking to visit you for a few days”
“That sounds great, I’ll be delighted to have you as my guest; now that I remember we might be in need for an account for the salon, you think that you might help us out?”
“I don’t see why not”
“Wonderful, I’ll be sure to give a deluxe bouffant treatment in exchange”
“That’s an offer that I could take. I’m glad you took the job sis, you sound like you’re having the time of your life”
“You have no idea sweetie, I love what I’m doing, and I feel like I’ve finally found my place”
“I’m really happy for you sis, I’ll see you soon, love you Kate”
“Love you too Jackie, bye-bye”
“Who was it Katie dear?” asked Miss Bouffant
“My dear sister ma’am, she will be staying with me a couple of days, but guess what? She is an accountant, I asked if she could help us out and she accept it”
“Those are some great news dear, well done”
“But that is not the best part, I promise her a deluxe bouffant treatment; she’ll look divine with a perm head!” Kate could barely hold her excitement
“That’s the spirit dear, I’m sure that you will put all your training in to good use, come on let’s finish with this bun on the oven”
Back at home, Claire checked her phone; she had a missed call from Amanda.
“Good evening Amanda, sorry I didn’t pick your call, I was quite busy”
“Yeah I figured out you had a though first day”
“Not at all, it was very fulfilling”
“So I guess you made a good first impression”
“You could say that, but it was them who left an impact on me…”
“Well I’m glad, I just wanted to let you know that girls arrived at camp safe and sound, they asked me to tell you to check your inbox”
“I’ll be on it right away, thank you so much for your help Amanda, don’t forget about that favor that I own you”
“I’ll take your word for it, let me know when you have a date to squeeze me in”
“Oh believe me, I will, and I think that I already have the perfect style for you…” said Claire ominously as she touched her freshly curled do.