2009 was probably the worst year of my life.
i took a job that i didnt want to, because devin had to move in with me full time. but thats what being a parent and being responsible is about, right? making sacrifices for your happiness in order to take care of your family? my grandma told me that her husband had worked a job for over 30 years that he hated every single day, but he knew he had to do it. i never, ever want that to happen to me or anyone i love.
i remember leaving the job interview, and my eyes welling up in tears. i was so disappointed before it even begun.
i began working at the school in Huntington Beach (ive decided to leave the names of the establishments and certain people, just in case. i have asked my team of lawyers what exactly constitutes slander, just to cover my ass) on October 28th, 2008. it wasnt so bad at first, except for the completely incompetent director and scary as fuck looking freshman teacher. the shopping center that the school was in was only 5.5 miles from my house, and had a variety of food places and stores within walking distance, including an awesome record store and pizza place.
i was the only teacher for about 30 juniors and seniors, people who had between 400 and 1600 hours. i was to take roll, teach theory, class, and be 100% responsible for their education. i also had to order supplies.
within my first couple weeks, i had a run in with a client that the director of the school didnt back me up on. the client was mad, backed me into a corner and got in my face. she was probably about 70 years old. she was wrong, i was right, and the director awarded her a free service.
i had many run ins with the freshman teacher, who looked a little like Lucious Malfoy, and a little like a burn victim and acted like part of her brain had been destroyed in that fire (or by a spell gone wrong). tensions between us escalated to a boiling point a couple of times, which resulted in me being written up, but i may get into that later.
the director was taking care of two campuses, and it was clear that our campus was not her priority, and eventually she left. the job of director was not offered to any other employees, but was instead awarded to a woman that she had worked with before at a different school (not a beauty school, neither woman had any experience in this field), who shall henceforth be referred to as The Elephant. not because she was large, but because of something she once said, and because its funny. i was upset that i was not afforded the opportunity to become director, which is the position that i had initially applied for, mainly because of the pay. a director of a beauty school makes over 50K a year, as opposed to the 19 per hour which i was hired at (and was told that i was being hired at a significantly higher rate than usual).
yes, that's right. i know someone who works in the back room at apple. he makes 18 an hour. one dollar an hour less, to carry computers around, than someone who is responsible for the future of over 30 people.
anyway, the Elephant came on board, and it was fine and dandy for a couple of weeks. then, all of the sudden, she became a monster. a huge raging bitch who was on a mission to take everyone down. nobody was safe from her wrath, and she continuously talked shit behind other employee's backs to other employees. she told me repeatedly that she wished The Burn Victim would just quit so she wouldnt have to fire her, and told others repeatedly that it was her mission to get me fired.
at some point in the year, i was called upon to go to a haircutting training. there was to be a team of teachers from across the company, whos job it would be to teach everyone else this new haircutting curriculum that they had come up with.
now, this is going to sound like some serious ego masturbation, but its 100% the truth.
halfway through the first day, after i had spent the morning challenging the person who was teaching the class about every aspect of their new curriculum, i was called into the office with another guy whom i had known from san diego (we will call him Loose Cannon), to tell us that we were the only people on the team, about 12-16 people, who had any clue about hair cutting, and that after this "training", we would be the only people to continue on with re-writing the curriculum and training the rest of the fools.
that night, Loose Cannon went out for some drinks with the rest of the team, and they sensed that something was up, and expressed their displeasure and annoyance at my constant challenging and know-it-all attitude about hair cutting. Loose Cannon got drunk and told everyone that they didnt know shit, that the company was shit, and other offensive and supposedly anti-gay statements.
he was a liability, and let go a couple of days later, but the fact that i had known him became a millstone around my neck.
within 2 months, every other person except 2 on that team had quit the company.
i was asked to travel to Bell two to three days a week, to work on the haircutting curriculum, and to devise new curriculum for hair color and freshman classes. i spent a couple months driving back and forth, 35 miles and 45-60 minutes EACH way. sitting in an office, heated discussions about dynamics of hair, lots of googling. i probably downloaded 2000+ songs sitting in those offices, because i had lots of free time.
now, this entire time i was still receiving 19 dollars an hour. no bonus for writing something that would effect an entire company. i asked for a raise, and they couldnt afford one, but reminded me that i was earning an extra 100 or so dollars a paycheck as a result of travel, which hardly covered gas.
at one point, i was asked to teach a class in City Of Industry to people who were teacher trainees. i was to devise a haircut and teach it to them, then asses which people would be good candidates for working at corporate. one person out of about 30 had any sort of clue. this person would eventually be brought on the corporate education team.
back at HB, things were getting heated. i seriously HATED going to work every day. i began to bring my laptop, sit in the corner and watch youtube videos and download music for hours. when The Elephant would come over i would act like i was looking at Hair Brained or something educational. things got so bad that there was eventually a meeting between me and The Elephant, in which i started YELLING at her, telling her that i hated working for her and she had no clue, etc. she sat there and took it.
a week or so later, we had a meeting between all of the teachers, in which The Burn Victim started talking shit to me and telling me to shut up. i got up and walked out, and was later written up for both instances and told that one more outburst and i would be fired. the write ups were fucking ridiculous, but i went along with it because i needed a job.
back at corporate, i expressed interest in a position as Creative Director for the company. i wanted to move up, i wanted to grow, i wanted out of HB. i drew up plans to build an in-house photography studio because 100% of the images that this company used are purchased, there is nothing created BY the company. it was shot down.
when i would ask about a future permanent position with corporate education, i was never given a direct answer. i think that the outbursts at my home campus, joined with the fact that i was generally viewed as a liability because i didnt hold my opinions in, held me back.
i eventually told them, if you cannot guarantee me a position, and a raise, then i will have to step down. they never replied. the director of education repeatedly ignored my requests for an answer. i had to call the human relations department to complain not only about the treatment that i was receiving from The Elephant, but now from the Director Of Education for the entire company.
the haircutting curriculum that i worked on for MONTHS was eventually butchered down to a few pages, and no plans for pictures or videos to go along with this came to fruition. at one point, it could have rivaled the training provided by other, larger, more prestigious schools in southern california, but the company fucking blew it.
The Elephant gave most of the employees a sub-par job review in or around september. i know that my attitude wasnt the best, but NOBODY could fuck with the content of my classes, yet i was scored an overall 2.5 out of 5, which meant that i didnt even meet company standards. at least 3 or 4 other employees sent complaints to HR and corporate about our reviews.
one morning the Regional Director came in, and within 10 minutes the Elephant was gone. fired.
they brought in another director to smooth things out, to "whip the school into shape" which actually consisted of fucking nearly everyone over in SO many ways.
two weeks before my one year anniversary with the company, i decided to leave. i was fucking through. i gained access to some money that i could use to live on until i found a new job, but i was just fucking done with that company. such a fucking disappointment. i really had aspirations of turning the company around, of making NOT the fucking Pee Wee Herman of the beauty school world, but in my opinion the only thing the company cared about was growing in numbers, and not having the education to back it up. there is no creativity, no soul.
i did have some good times at that school. i was allowed to be as creative as i wanted with some hair, i got to fuck around a lot, try crazy science and hair experiments, and i learned a fucking LOT. i learned a lot by asking questions, by stepping outside the box and by constantly challenging what they teach to us as "truth". 10 vol + 30 vol does NOT equal 20 vol.
as i mentioned in a previous post, i have had a sort of "awakening" and realized that i have been forced to act like someone im not for years. thats what you do when you have certain jobs, you have to act like someone youre not. sure, people can smell an asshole from a mile away, and no matter how much cologne i put on they would still know that im not NICE.
by the way, someone who read my part about "be nice, or else" contacted me, and informed me that only people with a BE NICe attitude were allowed to work at their company. what a fucking JOKE. anyone who knows anything about the inside of THAT company knows that its just as FUCKED as any other, if not more. they only thing that keeps them going is the name behind it and the fact that they have some talented people on board. but talented people tend to be the worst characters. just saying.
since october 31st, i have not had a job. its been hard.
the past two months i have been talking to someone about taking an existing rental salon, and turning into a commission based, education oriented salon. yesterday, that dream was shot down and im now at square one.
do i still want to do hair? yes.
do i think that there is a place in orange county for me to do what i want to? i dont know. honestly. i dont know if anyone would be on board with my crazy fucking plans to promote a salon, and the ideas i have for a salon culture.
have i looked very hard? no. why? because i feel like i know what is out there. why the fuck would Christopher Perry or Toni and Guy hire me? because im talented? sure, talent is great, but it only gets you so far. after 10 years im not as willing to sit up and beg, to roll over, to play by everyone's rules.
could i create the most successful, creative salon culture that orange county has ever seen? yes. i may be deluded in think so, but i truly believe that my ideas could fucking BLOW AWAY any that have come before me. and i truly believe that starting something new is the only way that i will be both happy and successful, not by trying to fight against what somebody else already has. is that foolish? to be so stubborn about my beliefs? maybe.
so what's stopping me? money. i have none, and nobody else really does either. whos gonna throw 50,000 dollars my way? who has that right now?
i have the momentum, i have the ideas, i have the drive. but it wont last. i know it. soon, i will be jaded and angry and broke.
if youre reading this, and you think you can help, or would just like to share something with me, email me.