Tag: labor

How Can You Make A Living?

Today I went on an Interview for the “Hell of It”, to a new business in the Orlando area.  I am currently employed and have my own business. But from time to time I go out and see what the industry is offering in the industry employment wise that is.  Today I went to a new business it is a “Blow Dry Bar”. And my appointment was at 11:30 so I arrived 20 minutes early and the manager took me and started the interview with me. She was very nice and informative, the decor of the salon was beautiful red and grey colors. When I was told to take a seat the salon chair was ready to fall apart. This is where services and clients are seated on. Not a good sign for me, right off the bat.

My interview started off with the familiar questions, “How long have you been in the industry, What are you looking for, Blah Blah. I was informed the salon is open for only one month and there are 12 employee’s in the salon. There are three shifts and the salon opens at 7:00am to closing which is at 9:00pm. The salon offers blow-dry’s, makeup, and keratin treatments. The manager told me we are a “Finishing salon”. No other services are offered. So if you are hired you are expected to clean, clean and fold towels. There is no wages only a cut of you $39.00 blow dry. Which was only $15.00 dollars. HOW DO YOU PAY YOUR BILLS? How? While is was being interviewed there was only one client in the salon. I asked the manager “If there are twelve employee’s in the salon they all need to be built up, client wise. So how can I offer you my loyalty if I am being used to clean, promote and do makeup without any formal wages. So If I go to work and I do nothing, I get nothing. CRAZY.” And then on the flip side of it all. How does a salon employer expect to keep professionals. And of course keep motivated driven people. Theirs no way at it. Its like a candle lite on both ends, sooner or later the business is gone. Crazy.

I went to see their makeup counter and there was hardly anything to work with. And cleanliness was something to be wanted in the salon. They teach you for 3 days how they want the hair styled and there are no other ways to do except their way. So there are only six looks you can leave with. That’s it. No makeup training at all. And a very somber atmosphere in the salon. So if you want to go in debt try this place out. So many professionals in my industry are not paid a minimum wage for their time, the salon owners want free labor.  They want to have a love overhead. At the expense of the employee’s. Which is so sad. And so many people come and go in the industry. I have seen so many talented professional leave and get discouraged. In a constant worry of how they can even get gasoline money and food. Basic housing is another story. How can you concentrate on your work if you have no way of paying your basic needs. The industry is famous for it.

A college graduate will get a job and receive a wage, if you walk into Burger King you get a wage, WalMart will give you a wage. Also sick day pay and vacation pay. When will this start in my industry.  But in my industry there is still the old Gothic way of paying you. Commission that’s it. This has to be changed.

This can no longer be. This is FREE LABOR.

 

Salon Employment Structure Is In Default

In this day and time going to Cosmetology school is not very cheap. You are looking at a minimum cost of $14.000 – $19.000 for tuition and thats not all the costs. A student leaves the school and wants reliable employment! Simple college students come from a four year school and leave on their own to get employment. Today a college graduate will get entry positions in his/her profession offering, insurance, weekly pay, 401k, paid holiday, etc. But the picture for the graduating Cosmetology student is not brighter than it was forty years ago.

A salon owner will open the store, add employee’s, and offer the products, chair, all you need to be a hairdresser in there salon. And might I also add you will be given a schedule, and no hourly pay, not insurance, no paid holiday, NO 401K, NOTHING ONLY A CHECK. And that’s is if you get that at all.

Individuals say to me, ” I am a salon owner, it costs a lot to run a business”! I normally reply,” I didn’t tell you to open it”

Dont fall prey to the normal offerings you get when seeking employment, look for wages, benefits, this is a time when in the next Fifty years a lot of individuals will not stay in the profession because it is an unrealistic profession, pertaining to the subjects of wages, and benefits. If I went to school today and was offered 50% commission , after the fact I just spent close to $14.000 dollars I would have another look at a more stable profession. This is the year 2009, going onto 2010 and the commission structure is way out-of-place in this time period. Students cannot get a decent entry-level position in this industry and be able to afford there BILLS. How can you go to work everyday and worry about your rent, and basic needs. If the salon owner is not giving you a wage consistent to the economics of this time we are in. Then you are throwing your money away. There needs to be a change not a verbal response to cool the present misdeeds, but a nationwide charge to accept this ever growing cancer.

There is too much supply than demand in my industry, and thoughtful consideration to all salon owners in the profession are not all alike. There are some really good business minded owners, and a lot I truly respect. And then the chain salons ruin the atmosphere for the small business owner. There are so may storys I have received from ex-employes of the REGIS corporation that would make your blood curl. These large conglomerates make millions of dollars every year and cannot offer there employees decent pay, or benefits. And the turn over is so great. They will say in their employment packages that they offer this and that but don’t be fooled by their LINGO”. If you are getting out of the Cosmetology school and have a wonderful education stay away from these corporations for employment.

So you sit there waiting on a client, and lets say your schedule is from 10am-5pm and not a person has walked through the door. You have spent a whole day in the salon without pay, being given commission, and not making any profits for the day. And can I also add in you folded towels, swept the floor, answered the phone, etc for the salon also. So if the salon owner hires you he or she should have the business to give to you. Not everyone wants to hear, “Well Juli it was a slow day, here take some cards and pass them out”. Or I love this one,”You gotta pay your dues Juli”.

If a salon owner hires you they should hire you to build you up, not to have you here to cover hours, or wait until a (WALK-IN) comes through the door. This problem did’nt expose itself like a Florida sunrise. The salon professional is still languished in the poverty of prior decades of ill management. And bad business practices. But believe me the bank of justice is not bankrupt anymore. There needs to be a justice for the professional, and not words of, WORDS DON’T PAY THERE BILLS!

I never hired anyone unless I had the business to take them on, and I expected a commitment from them also, I started them out part-time. and also set up product knowledge class’s for them. Photoshoots were next on the list, and I also showed them how to set up a website, and teach them about internet marketing. I have a dress code I pay for the first four uniforms. I send them to schools, I pay for the school, they pay for plane and hotel. I send them away twice a year. Not to a class. But to 5 day class’s. Also two weeks paid vacation. And I also give them clients. But they also have to help themselves.

I run a business, and I have certain requirements. Just Like other corporations. But you have to find the right person to take and bring into the salon. Some salon owners will hire anyone just to have coverage of hours. And a lot of really great young stylists I have seen I have turned away because I did’nt have the business for them. I WASN’T GOING TO USE THEM.

These are human beings, young minded professionals and one bad turn from a salon owner or a corporation can leave a mark on these people. I consider myself fair when adding on an employee, and offer them benefits, education and most off all I TEACH THEM TO STAND ON THERE OWN TWO FEET”. To be self-sufficient and keep the passion of the craft. I suggest Unionization for our industry. To look out for the employee, salon owner to offer more just compensation for both sides of the record. Salon owners these days also have to deal with non-committal from there employee’s, lack of professionalism. Lack of want.

A more structured industry will also cleanse the have’s and the (INNER CIRCLE) that plagues the industry. The manufacturers will not longer be in a decisive mode to oppress the profession. But to give to the true professionals in my industry the right and the equal cause to be more assertive and produce, and to grow. Isn’t this also in the constitution. Thats is why I feel the industry professionals, wether it be employee, or business owner there needs to be some form of representation.
In a legal manner. And when these words are spoken and also written It makes the INNER CIRCLE, laugh, to see a speck in the glass all to easily to wipe away. But this speck cannot be wiped away because it is a ongoing problem. That is manifested its roots every so deeply in my profession.

See I am for both sides, the employee and the salon owner and there must be a common place for both entity’s. Only to give a more balance in our lovely profession. Professionals in my industry want to have some form of balance, commitment from the salon owner, and likewise for the salon owner also. But there must be some form of give and take on both sides of the fence. This profession will not make it for another hundred years with this unbalance, injustice, and FREE LABOR.

Joseph Kellner