now what?

19 Apr

Last week I graduated from beauty school. My girls at school did it up big with the decorating and the balloon-getting and the flower-giving, as evidenced below.

Graduating was much-anticipated, obviously, but also bittersweet because I no longer see my friends 5 nights a week, guaranteed. I went out with my ladies that night and then spent a fair chunk of the ride home from work the next day trying to rework “Beauty School Dropout” from Grease into “Beauty School Graduate” – but other than that, school pretty much just….ended.

It’s sort of odd having something you do every week day for 2+ years suddenly disappear from your calendar. I imagine this is what it must feel like to retire. I get home after work and kind of just putter around the house, trying to decide what to do. I’ve been cooking a lot, which is nice. I see my mom more often. I need to clean – I’ve got hosting duties for our next Cookbook Club AND my dad’s coming to visit for my brother’s wedding. None of this is happening until May/June, but, knowing me (and the state of our apartment), I should probably get started now.

I’m also back to internet daydreaming, which I haven’t done in awhile – I spend a lot of time looking at houses on Zillow.com, and dogs on Family Dogs, and I’m actually able to regularly catch up on my Googlereader feed, too, now. Someone at school asked me if my graduation would mean the potential for the pitter-patter of little Emis anytime soon – but all I’ve done lately is order books on Amazon titled “Beyond Motherhood” and “Families of Two”, so chances aren’t looking good. Then again, I like to do this thing wherein I alternate between reading those kinds of books and reading the “getting it out” birth stories on offbeatmama.com (and not as a deterrent) – so, clearly, I’m still conflicted.

Really, I’m just anxious to get started already (cutting hair, not having babies). As could be predicted with the mass disorganization at my school, there were some hitches in getting my transcripts transferred over to Oregon Health Licensing Agency so I can test and get my license – “hitches” as in they still haven’t been transferred. So I signed some papers and dropped them off, did my online exit counseling, etc. – and now hopefully they can be transferred, but when I said today that I am hoping to take my tests this coming Monday, the woman who works in financial aid gave me this kind of “hrm” face that, in one facial movement, succinctly expressed sizeable doubt that would, in fact, happen. So, we’ll see. But I really would just like to be licensed already, and even better, cutting hair – for paying customers, even!

Assuming all that works out, I’m slated to start behind the chair May 1st. I’ve got new clippers, a bunch of new combs and brushes, and then all my perfectly-adequate old stuff, too. I’m weirdly excited about claiming my chair at the shop – I mean, specifically about setting my station up, it’s funny. There’s an empty chair, it’s right by the front desk, it’s mine, really – but not yet.  I stare at it every day thinking “soon, my darling….soon”. I also stare across the street at The Container Store thinking “soon, my darling…soon”, since I will probably end up going there so I can spend too much money on a couple plastic containers to hold my combs and such – any excuse to make a trip to organizing heaven, really.

The night before the day I graduated I was kept up thinking about all the asshole customers who have ever come into our shop and the likelihood that I would have to deal with them. Beyond that very real, and specific fear, there’s been a more general unease about the whole “hey, I know the last 4 years you’ve been coming here, I’ve been the receptionist, but now I’m gonna cut your hair, k?!” thing, too. But lately I’ve become less and less concerned with either issue.

Asshole customers fluster and confuse me – I’m great at customer service up until the point at which someone becomes irate, belittling, or unreasonable. I keep my head, and I don’t think I ever make it obvious how upset/angry/annoyed I am, but I also kind of just lose all my steam and direction, and I’m pretty sure neither me nor the customer leaves the conversation with any sense of satisfaction at all. This is because, while I’ve never been the type of person to just be like “well fuck ’em!” and even just the basic act of standing up for myself is a skill-set I am still evolving, I also am not the type of person to just be like “yes, sir, whatever you say sir” – something in me just rebels at that, at least as it pertains to people making silly requests or being outright rude. So what happens is this weird inbetween thing where I very politely tell you why I won’t help you – it’s like I’m trying to plant this little flag of defiance but I’m using a toothpick and the whole time I’m kind of apologizing for putting it there.

However, one thing I’ve noticed over my years in customer service is that assholes are (usually) only assholes to the people at the front – as soon as they get in the stylist’s chair they’re little angels, maybe because you have scissors, I don’t know. But, I can’t count the number of times when I’ve said to a stylist after the customer left something along the lines of “that guy sure was rude to me” and the stylist has been absolutely dumbfounded at the idea that we could be discussing the same customer that sat in his/her chair. Also, as my coworker, Chris, frequently reminds me, “hey, you only had to deal with him for 10 minutes, he has to walk around like that all the time”.

Secondly, most of our customers are pretty chill. I try to remember that when having these unbidden panic attacks about the few-and-far-between assholes that frequent our shop. I like our customers and I think most of them like me, too – the ones I know anyway. Will they maybe be taken aback when I come to get them for their haircut? Will I have to go out of my way to prove to them that I know what I’m doing? Sure. But I can’t control or help that initial reaction and I was going to do that anyway re: the working hard bit, so I’ve officially decided not to freak out about that.

Basically, I’ve totally psyched myself up at this point so now, for the first time in the two years since I started school, the waiting around and watching other people cut hair is actually kind of unbearable. Combined with the surplus of free time at my disposal, there really is just a huge “now what?” hanging over my head.

Oh well, I’ll just cook some more, and figure the rest out later.

 

One Response to “now what?”

  1. Trina Lorenz April 19, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    Tonight as we were leaving school I ran a checklist through my head of “the girls” it’s as though I needed to make sure all were accounted for. So it begins my motherly checklist making sure not forget anyone in the building 😉

    Kaya…left already, Jessie… she left too, Heidi wasn’t here (shocker I know- see what happens when you leave). All this as I’m walking behind Jill and Lisa who I’m also checking off – I literally got stuck…..hmmm, ummm the list is incomplete…..Emi, where’s Emi been?? Oh yes she’s abandoned us, kidding! But the good news is we all had a big sigh and whine about the realization once again that you aren’t walking out with us in the evenings. You are missed dearly And I serious have already missed your side comments about 100 times in the almost week since you’ve graduated and we all feel somehow partial. But alas days go on and the good news is, while you don’t see us every day now, we will be the ones a year from now calling you for advice once we are out in the “real world”. And only one things for sure, you will do GREAT even with the assholes, I just know it. 🙂

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