Howdy, Gasmii! This week we were at Salon Bridgette in Swedesboro, New Jersey. As I mentioned in the Minicap, there is no way the owner is actually “Bridgette”, so let’s just call her by what is undoubtedly her real name, Bridget. Her mother, Peggy, is apparently the salon’s bank due to her “loans” to Bridget, and is also the unpaid salon cleaner. Chelsea, Bridget’s daughter, is the “receptionist”. Bridget tells us that it’s “Salon Bridgette” because “it’s French”. Oh, you mean in the way this is “French dressing”?
Tabs makes the call to the salon, and Bridget immediately forgets, 2 seconds after Tabs told her, what to bring to her meeting with Tabs, which predictably p-isses Tabs off.
Y-o-u-r k-e-y-s a-n-d y-o-u-r p-h-o-n-e. Americans!
Undercover. Bridget says her salon is unorganized and unprofessional, and that she wants – but doesn’t get – respect from her employees. She’s $489K in debt and picks and chooses what bills to pay. So do I. When is Tabs coming to my house? Bridget says her parents “help” (which I’m sure means “are the sole means of keeping the salon open”). Tabs asks if Bridget thought about closing the salon, and Bridget says yes. She says it’s “draining” with a lot of employees. Poor overworked Bridget. What a cross to bear.
Don’t mind ME. You have it WAY harder, Bridget.
Oh, speaking of crosses, Bridget has a slight cross-eyed problem. That’s the second stylist/salon owner this season. What the hell is up with people with crossed eyes going into professions that require hand-eye coordination? What’s next, cross-eyed air traffic controllers?
Bridget says she has 2 rules – be on time, and put the cellphones away – and nobody obeys either. Tabs asks if Bridget has a manual and Bridget’s response is dismissive. She doesn’t think a manual would help, and if she had a manual “what do you do, fire people?” Tabs responds yes, if you have to.
Tabs asks if Bridget has regular staff meetings. No, because no one listens. Bridget says she doesn’t ask a lot. Tabs interjects that maybe she should. Again we hear how draining running a salon is, and that the employees need to step up. Tabs says it seems like Bridget has given up. Bridget says “absolutely”.
Again, Bridget? AGAIN?
In the hidden camera footage, we see Jason coming in late. According to Bridget, he’s a “5 year old” who uses the backroom as his bedroom, and takes naps during the day. Apparently Bridget has never bothered to ask Jason what his problem is, or require him to stay awake all day. Chelsea, the so-called receptionist, is texting. In fact, everyone’s using their cells. Tabs observes that the staff, who hang out in the breakroom a lot, gave more thought to the lunch order than clients.
In all fairness though, Subway’s selection of tasty and low-calorie sandwiches IS amazing!
We see Bridget with one of her 2 dogs. She has a horse too, apparently. Not sure what the Bridget/dog shot was supposed to convey: as we’ll see later, Bridget doesn’t get any respect from animals, either. Then we see Rachel, an assistant, washing a client’s hair, and being criticized by Bridget. Tabs says you can’t manage staff from a place of negativity and low expectations. Bridget doesn’t respond. Now we see people yelling their lunch orders on the salon floor, and Bridget calling staff “retards” in front of clients. So this salon is pure K-L-A-S-S.
Takeover. Tabs strides into the salon and tells the staff “would you like to get your asses out of the breakroom. You’ve spent enough of the day in there”. At home, I immediately stand and applaud.
Inspection. The place is dirty. Chelsea shares that she “doesn’t know” how the entrance floor gets dirty.
Well, here’s how you should be dealing with it.
Tabs inspects Jason’s station and he pulls an aw-shucks kind of act. Tabs shoots back that the “little boy act doesn’t work with me. You’re a man so you may as well stand up like a man and take some responsibility for this pigsty”. That shuts him up. Bridget’s “office” is a plastic container. What would be an actual office is Jason’s nap room.
Staff Meeting. The staff tell Tabs that Bridget doesn’t run a tight ship. She’s sarcastic. She’s inconsistent. There are no consequences for bad behavior. Rachel says she has to walk away from Bridget so she (Rachel) won’t cry in front of clients. They think Bridget is at the end of her rope. When Tabs asks about Chelsea, the staff say they can’t talk to Bridget about Chelsea, because she’ll get angry since she’s protective of Chelsea. And not surprisingly, Chelsea doesn’t do a very good job.
Evaluation. Tabs has brought in models for everyone, including the assistants.
Chelsea is just sitting at the front desk, letting others handle clients, including one standing right in front of her. Tabs says she doesn’t let her receptionist sit down. Then we hear the first complaint that Chelsea’s feet hurt.
Standing . . . is . . . sooooooo . . . hard . . . .
Bridget is doing a consultation, and corrects her client’s use of a term. Tabs tells her never to do that and shares she’s giving Bridget feedback in the form Bridget gives to her staff. Tabs then has to get staff out of the breakroom. And really, how stupid are they? They know Tabs is a tough boss. Why do the very things that would anger her? Case in point, Chelsea is trying to get stylists to work on her hair during the workday.
After speaking with Peggy and telling her she’s an enabler, Tabs takes Jason aside. He admits to using drugs, after trying to blame his tiredness on his children. He how says he now won’t “get high” the night before work. Thanks for that concession, Jason.
We’ll be waiting for you . . .
Back in the salon, Tabs tells Rachel she did a good job on her cut. Chelsea is again sitting down.
Dingo ate your toes, Chelsea? Otherwise GET OFF YOUR ASS!
Tabs reviews Bridget’s work, which is an awful mess – really a sloppy, half-undone dye job. Roots 3″ from the client’s scalp undone, the dye job is completely unprofessional.
Remind me to stop by the next time I’m in town.
I really hope these clients don’t have to pay for the work, and that they can get it corrected (by Tabs?) the same day. Bridget says Tabs distracted her. Right, because in every other salon in the world, there is no bustle, no noise, no one talking at all, just stylists working in absolute silence.
Afterwards, Tabs tells them all that there is a lack of leadership. She also says she gave Bridget the same type of feedback she’s been giving her staff to see what effect it had on Bridget. Bridget seems surprised by that. Tabs tells Rachel to be proud of her good job.
Tabs asks Bridget how the day went. Bridget thinks it went well. She thinks Chelsea is good with clients. Tabs says Chelsea is spoiled and doesn’t take her job seriously. She must follow the rules. Bridget says everyone ignores the rules. Tabs says if your daughter won’t follow the rules no one else will. Bridget shares she wants Tabs to S T F U.
You’re so mean!
Tabs says Chelsea should be an example. Bridget says she “hopes it works out that way”. Tabs says she has to do more than hope.
Next day, Tabs and Bridget go to see Bridget’s horse, along with Suzannah, the horse trainer. Not surprisingly Bridget can’t control her horse. Tabs tells her to take control from a place of positivity. Finally Bridget gets the horse to lope. For some reason, they all pronounce it as “loupe” which I assumed meant train the horse to assess gemstones. Now, that’s what I’d like to see, a horse gemologist.
This is a horse CALLED Gemologist, so that’s a start.
Tabs observes that animals like rules, and to know what’s expected, and encouragement, just like humans. Bridget says it starts today.
Hooray! My new career – oh wait, you meant managing your salon, not me being the world’s first horse gemologist. C’est dommage.
The staff show up, and Bridget says the new rule is everyone must clean the salon. Now, they’re going to clean chicken coops, horse manure, etc. There’s predictable bitching by Chelsea and others. At first I thought I’d seen this before, and then I realized last season’s A-List:Dallas had a “let’s clean the farm” scene. Because horses, or at least horse poo, is apparently bonding and healing.
It’s also miraculous. That’s Chelsea, STANDING!
The staff do get the job done, and Tabs compliments Bridget on her leadership.
It’s the reopening, and the “French” salon is now done in French Provincial.
And it’s lovely.
There’s a real office for Bridget. There’s also a rulebook. Tabs meets with Bridget and Peggy, and tells Bridget she needs to pay back Peggy. Peggy says she’ll hold Bridget to it. I don’t believe that for a second. As we’ll find out later, I have good reason to feel that way. Tabs then sends Peggy to the beach.
Tabs feels the salon is calmer. Bridget does a better dye job. Chelsea says she’s “ready to do this”. Work? No, “stand up all day”. Tabs tells her not to talk in an “incredibly high and irritating voice” and Chelsea responds that everyone loves her.
Crikey, I don’t!
Chelsea then goes off to cry. Tabs follows her and asks why here. Chelsea says she doesn’t want to cry at the front desk. Tabs says the issue is don’t cry at all in the salon.
Tabs, Bridget and Jason talk. He admits to Bridget that he was “eating pills” at night. Bridget says he has no more chances.
Tabs tells Bridget to keep being professional. She also recommends that the assistants be made junior stylists in 6 months, since they will do better work and be more motivated if they know there’s a plan to put them on the floor. She asks Bridget if it might be better for Chelsea to work elsewhere.
We’re back – but we’re not. Chelsea tells the staff she thinks everything’s fine with her performance, doesn’t think anything will change or that she’ll get fired (love the looks on the staff’s faces at that!), and “it will be exciting to see my mom yell at people”. What a delusional, foolish little girl she is.
Tabs and Bridget announce the plan for the assistants. Bridget says to Chelsea that she’s Bridget’s employee in the salon. Chelsea protests she’s Bridget’s daughter. Bridget says only be an employee in the salon. Chelsea then says in a teenaged “I’ll show her” voice “so I’ll call you Bridget”. Tabs says it’s not funny, and she doesn’t think Chelsea gets it, and that there won’t be any special privileges for her anymore. Chelsea shares she wants Tabs to f-ck off. Guess what I want Chelsea to do?
Tabs hands the keys back.
Now it’s 6 months later. Bridget says the salon is more organized, cleaner, and they’re working as a team. Rachel is doing very well. Jason is still off the drugs. Chelsea is still there, and Bridget says Chelsea no longer breaks down and runs away. Bridget has not yet started repaying Peggy, but claims she’s almost ready to start. They really don’t mention whether she has increased traffic since the re-launch. I’m assuming so, but it’s odd they don’t touch on that. I also completely do not believe that Bridget will ever repay her mother or, if she does, it’ll be some partial, token, one-time payment. Bridget is managing better, but I get the sense she’s only doing what she absolutely has to. Just like her daughter.
And so with that heartwarming ending, our ep comes to a close.
Next week, we’re at another salon, hopefully without a cross-eyed owner.
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