In the third episode of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, Miss T visits the ritzy Houston neighborhood where Salon Vendome is tanking like Ke$ha at Lilith Fair. Despite having five owners, they’re lacking any idea about what is keeping them from making any real money. The leader of the witless pack is Jack, he’s been writing the checks to keep the doors open, but hasn’t been as effective at collecting revenue — because several people are behind in their rent payments and now the salon is $60,000 behind in rent. Jack is wearing “most of the hats,” and most of the floral prints. He’s one of the owners and the only one that sees many of the problems. He tries his best to collect the rent and pay the bills, but it’s still failing.
Sometimes you can see the problem right in front of your face, or atop your head.
Tabatha put surveillance cameras in Salon Vendome. Upon arrival in Houston, she calls the number listed on the door, but that line is out of service. She looks up the number on the Internet, she’s still unable to get through to the owner, because no one answers the phone. They do not employ a receptionist, none of the staff nor any of the owners reach for the phone.
Voicemail works 24/7 and doesn’t require medical benefits.
So Tabatha is left outside, stood up by the owners. Miss T sets an example as a prime problem solver, and breaks protocol walking into the salon and posing for attention.
Takeover time, BITCH.
Stylist Janiece Dickenson sees Tabatha and is surprised she’s really here.
I wonder if that means the flying monkeys are real too…
Tabatha calls the group to account for the lack of communication. She called one number it’s disconnected. She looked up another number and it went to voicemail. Owner Lacy shrugs and tells Tabatha they have no receptionist.
It’s a land line… they just don’t bother answering it.
How important could the phone be? It’s not like people would just call them to schedule a time to arrive at their business when they will hand over their money. It wasn’t a priority, they have been without a receptionist for some time. They were considering attaching a Speak and Spell to a Roomba to fill the position, but the owners could decide amongst themselves who would purchase the components.
Who has another idea?
Tabatha asks the assembled crowd for the name of the owner, instead she gets a show of hands — or a lame attempt at a mini-wave in honor of her — because there are five owners.
Tabatha calls the owners forward, she’s taking them into her viewing room to watch the footage she’s captured today.
Owner Angel is about to cry upon the arrival of the Wicked Bitch of the Best, he tells himself that he has to be strong, so he picks his head up and follows his fellow owners into the viewing room to discuss the state of the salon.
Once TC has all the owners seated she asks them “How is it working out, having five owners?” All the owners are able to agree that it’s everyone for themselves. Also, they’re behind on their rent, about $60,000. They’re a rental salon, so each of the stylists, including the owners, pay a weekly rent for their stations. Several people are behind on her weekly rent, including Janiece Dickenson, world’s first super failure.
Owners Susan and Angel owe back rent as well. Angel goes on to explain that he has mounted a mini-protest. He doesn’t like some of the policies/decisions/procedures in the salon so he has withheld rent from the salon, where he is management and in a position to change the way the salon is run. Is that sentence as repetitive as I intended it to be? Angel’s protesting his own choices, by not paying himself.
I’ve been a bad boy.
He might as well start cutting himself with his shears, it’s more productive behavior and more likely to get him on a crossover episode of Look What Happen Live from rehab.
Once Tabatha stops twitching from the protest logic (?), she directs the collective attention of the owners to the monitors, where she’s playing a batch or survaillence footage. A client has arrived at the front desk, but no one is there to greet her, the stylist look at her and look back to their cell phones.
Next batch of footage shows Janiece bitching about her tardy (for the party) client to another stylist’s client.
When the footage rolls again, Angel is telling his client that Captain Jack is the owner of the salon. Angel doesn’t take any responsibility for being an owner of Vendome. He’s not proud of his business. Not one of the owners seems proud of themselves.
“What are you? A bunch of hillbillies? You have no respect for the salon, not respect for each other, no respect for the client, no respect for your profession…” Tabatha says to the Vendome 5. You’ve already sacrificed your (symbolic) balls, hand over your keys too.
TC rolls into the salon and is ready to start calling out the Vendome stylists on the selfish behavior with in the salon.
But first — strike a pose.
Janiece is in the line of fire for her venting session, Miss T thinks Janiece acts like that a lot. Jan says she “really, really” doesn’t do that all the time. She just chose the day she knew she was being filmed and assessed to act this way. She would skipped putting on underwear too, if that would have gotten her anymore airtime.
Ready for her mugshot.
Tabatha is ready for her tour of the salon and the first thing she notices is the lack of continuity in the salon décor. The lighting has been changed on the stations. Tabatha wants to know the reason for the change, and Lacy speaks up to say that people only think of themselves, so they’ll change around whatever they want without the consent of the other owners.
No one lashed out at the Barney-purple walls, however? Weird.
Tabatha continues to look around and find that cleaning is also one of those pesky chores that fall under “absolutely no one’s responsibility”. Susan has a set of rolls that look like they’ve been used to clean the cushions at Yogi Bear’s house. They’re crusty and old and gross. Luckily right next to her is Janiece, who is also grosser than the bathroom stall on Celebrity Rehab.
Tabatha asks for an explanation. More conciliatory (I think) than sassy, Janiece says she’s lazy. She doesn’t clean “regularly”, like she doesn’t pay rent “regularly”, or have return clients “regularly”. This woman sucks at life, but doesn’t deny it.
Tabatha makes her way to reception where a beat-up old chair with the batting exposed is left out of clients, they also have a bench with an ill fitting cushion and some assorted seats ripped out of scrapped Chevys… Tabatha reiterates that this is a high end area and this salon “may be the definition of low rent”… she dismisses the staff before she discovers lawn chairs and a canoe in the waxing room.
Tabatha welcomes the staff back for a meeting the next morning, she’s hoping to get a fresh perspective from the staff. The staff tells Miss T that the salon is a free for all. Rachel Dratch speaks up to say that she’s lost clients because the customer service is terrible. She also has heard the owners say that the salon is not doing well.
Contributing to the owners’ debt is the fact that people owe back rent. Tabatha addresses this issue, and asks who still owes money. Janiece raises her hand and says she’s hasn’t had enough clients come in to cover her rent. But she said it’s her sense of loyalty that keeps her working here, she thinks it’s going to turn around and she’ll be able to pay back the 6 months of back rent with her next big perm contract.
Tabatha points out that sitting around with her thumb up her ass does not show loyalty. If she was going out and bringing in clients or contributing to the salon in another way, she would be loyal… she’s just hanging out and making people uncomfortable. She’s not a loyal solider, she’s the ghost of a dead career, they haven’t been able to exercise from the salon.
Janiece thinks Miss T take hairdressing really seriously and it would be nice if she could lighten up. Take a joke. JanJan, That’s my job, let’s not make us both obsolete, ‘kay?
Tabatha tells the staff it’s time for the assessment, she needs to see the skill level in the salon. Tabatha wants to get the staff and the owners to care about their clients and their customer service, so she brings in wigs that will be styled for a group of cancer survivors.
All of the owners step up to the task and Tabatha is happy with the work they do for the women. Susan gives a nice consultation and a nice cut.
Janiece is busy haunting her station telling the client about her biggest “oops” – shes is spinning the tale of overprocessed hair that even sends shivers down the spine of a woman who has faced months of chemotherapy. Tabatha is not happy with Jan’s professional demeanor.
Angel looked very nervous to have TC over his shoulder, but he gave his client a nice cut.
Tabatha calls all the staff together to tell them they do good work, they have skilled hairdresser in Salon Vendome. It’s the customer service that is the most serious issue in this salon.
The next day Tabatha has assembled the Vendome 5 to hear feedback from the clients that Tabatha had sent in on surveillance day. These are professional women and they all say that the experience was bad, but not because of the skills of the stylists. It was hard to call and get an appointment, the chairs are ripped-up, in general the salon looks like crap and they wouldn’t come back. This brings Angels to tears.
My professional opinion? LOSERS!
He says he’s suffering on referrals because people don’t want to refer a shoddy looking salon. Captain Jack chimes in and points out that Angel doesn’t pay his rent which is part of the reason that improvements cannot be made. Angel says he’s angry about how the salon is co-owns is being co-run, by him.
Tabatha thinks all of this bickering is ridiculous and they don’t see how working together will benefit them all. She says that she has the exercise to get all five owners working together, she’s going to have them handle their own renovations.
Tabatha resents that she’s in the “fairy” role. She won’t make the changes that need to made. The owners need to take responsibility and take action. TC ponies up $2500 , if they owners can decide on what they need then they can make the purchases as a team.
As a team they decide they first thing that needs their attention is the retail section. They make a decision about the floor plan and head to the hardware store.
The Village People, or the village idiots?
At the store they decide on gray paint for the wall. Lacy doesn’t want such a “serious” color, but she’s out numbered, the four other owners like the color. Once they move on to shelving, Lacy decides to renew the argument and says that she feels like everything is going to look so tacky.
Says the woman in the denim romper.
So all the stylists (clad with bright yellow hard hats, being followed by a camera crew and a Aussie headmistress) have a fight in in front of the shelving section. When Lacy melts down and runs from the debate, TC tells them to bring her back into the fold, they have to learn to make decisions together.
They try to reason with her, but Lacy doesn’t seem to ever get on board with the owners’ choices, Jack walks away in a huff, “Stupidest thing I’ve witnessed in my entire life…” he says as he stalks away with the remaining owners in tow.
The Divine Miss T has escaped from the tumult and waits for the feuding (professional) family at the check out.
The 2000 election was decided in a more orderly fashion…
Once they return to the salon, Jack returns over 1/3 of the budget to Tabatha. TC points out that if they were organized, they could have planned their purchases better and used all of the cash for the salon, instead of handing her money back. Instead they clawed at each other like the new cast of The Bad Girls Club.
Lacy continues to defend her case, but Tabatha is sick of listening to the owners be unable to make a decision. She wants the ferocious five to put down in writing what each responsibilities will be. Tabatha wants the owner to now make a plan for the management of the salon. How will they they break up the management responsibilities?
Tabatha once again allows the owners to speak so they can each take a portion of the responsibilities. Captain Jack will remain in charge of the bookkeeping, Susan will be in charge of education, Angel with helm customer service, Lacy will be in charge of the staff and (the previously unheard from) Juanita will take charge of inventory.
The returned back to the salon on the short bus.
The staff re-enters the salon, as they will assist in the renovation effort.
TC wants the owners to get more comfortable managing their employees and Susan does step up and start to delegate tasks to the employees. Everyone gets their hands dirty, including Janiece Dickenson who is happily painting, sniffing the fumes and babbling nonsense into any microphone within 3 feet.
Tabatha only makes the Vendome employees responsible for the priming, she announces that her team will take over the renovation from there. She also expects that when the salon reopens,all the stylists will supply a check for their back rent. Cheers all around as the staff are dismissed. They return days later to find an updated salon and a newly hired receptionist (with salon experience) to complete the renaissance of Salon Vendome.
Tabatha asks for the checks and everyone has one, however Janiece’s check is only for her weekly rent, not for the 6 months she owes. Tabatha says that doesn’t make her happy, and Janny takes he retort with a crook of her eyebrow, as much as the Botox will allow.
Tabatha is ready to see how the stylists of the new Salon Vendome behave. Most of the stylists have a great day, Jack says that he’s never seen the staff so excited about anything.
Janiece is still a problem, she’s treating her customer like he’s Dr. Drew and there to save her from her huffing problem. She’s telling her client about what a rough year 2009 was and how she’s unstable… and using a razor inches from your face.
Tabatha pulls her aside to tell over… OVERSHARE! People want their services to be about them, not Janiece’s group therapy. Janiece says she’s just the whipping boy.
Miss T is ready to giver her recommendations, so she gathers all the owners and tells them she thinks they can pull the salon out of the red if they all continue to be professional and hold each other responsible. Janiece was unprofessional, she gave out too much information about her personal life and the salon.
Ultimately the owners decide to dismiss Miss Dickenson.
When Tabatha returns 6 weeks later the salon is doing well, everyone says it’s a more positive environment, and they’re on the upswing, but Janeice still hasn’t repaid the six grand.
Lacy is more subdued. She doesn’t feel like she’s fighting to be heard, she’s mellowed.
Happy, not yappy.
Ok, Houston-ians — what did you think of this episode? Was Tabatha too easy on this group? Was it fair to fire Janiece? Has anyone passed by the salon to get a first hand look?