Nikki Mallon owns Brownes & Co. in Miami, Florida. At one time the salon was wildly successful… now Nikki is just wildly insane and driving her business into the ground. Dispite being a Nikki is a pessimistic, rude, insensitive ogre, she’s beckoned Tabatha back to Florida for episode six of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.
Just the kind of nature grace you would like to see in your beauty professional.
Tabatha greets Nikki outside the salon, and upon meeting her, she is very sympathetic to Nikki.
She seems harmless… harmless-ish…
She brings Nikki in to sit with her and watch surveillance. Nikki tells her side of the story — in her opinion Brownes & Co. is in trouble because everyone who works for her is incompetent. They’re losing money faster than she can lose her integrity on nation television.It’s not doing much for her complexion either, she’s looks a little hard… like Katherine Heigl as a rugby player… or a Viking… or something.
That’s certainly a Viking scowl…
B&Co. has a full spa and yoga studio, but the salon portion is in trouble. Nikki was once a stylist, but has given up hairdressing to focus on the management. However, her efforts seems are futile, as she still runs into more problems with her staff than she can manage.
Tabatha has been watching a “typical” day in the salon and turns to Nikki to account for the chaos. The first batch of footage finds Nikki in her home kitchen spying on her staff through surveillance cameras.
This is the closest reality television will come to adapting Escher…
Nikki explains that she felt that she was doing more harm than good by being in the salon in a foul mood, so she has installed cameras and an instant message client to communicate with her staff. About 50% of her communication is digital messages and she can go as long as a week without actually entering the salon. Which isn’t a bad thing, typically people of her disposition drive away business… or at least that’s what I’ve learned from Capital One commercials.
Tabatha thinks Nikki has abandoned her salon. Nikki says that maybe she has, but her management style is not to constantly employ positive reinforcement. She’s European. So she insults them, invades their land and loots their villages. Duh.
In the next crop of footage, Nikki enters to see her employees congregating and immediately gets annoyed with them. She says she catches them loitering all the time and when she does, they scatter like rats. The varmints she has on payroll seem to know when she’s in the salon and they know how to avoid her. She’s probably easy to sense. She probably smells like mead…
and pickled herring.
Nikki continues with the pity-fest. She has to clean up after her staff, she has to beg them to work, she cannot reason with them. We see footage of manager Suzee (seriously) actually managing, but Nikki challenges the evidence saying that’s not how she usually acts.
Why would she just be pretending today?
That footage is bullshit. Suzzeee is not really an effective manager, as they have not found anyone who can successfully manage this salon. It’s too much for anyone to handle. Even someone with big, meaty paws like Nikki’s.
Next up, Nikki is talking to assistant Albana, and she seems to be pleading with her to clean up a nail station. Petulant Alabama refuses to do someone else’s job. Tabatha is not happy to see that an assistant would be so mutinous and refuse to complete a task. Nikki is delighted to see her staff portrayed this way on video and is happy to encourage Tabatha’s perception that they are nothing but brats.
This ends the surveillance review as Tabatha has seen enough. She’s ready for the takeover. Hostile as it may be.
Back on the salon floor, Tabatha enters Brownes & Co. and the staff assembles. Previously targeted Albania arrives late, as Tabatha is ready to start calling out the staff on their shortcomings. Tabatha has seen laziness, backtalk and disrespect towards Nikki. Meanwhile Nikki is smirking and is not-so-secretly elated with the presence of her new bouncer.
Nikki thinks Tabatha is going to motivate the staff. As far as Nikki’s concerned, they’re nothing but a ball and chain dragging down her longship…
On the tour Tabatha finds a broken mirror and a decimated station, a sink covered in caution tape and filthy combs. Ms. T is less impressed. Nikki follows Tabatha’s lead and pretends to be embarrassed at the state of the salon, when we see the first bit of dialogue amongst the staff. It seems that Nikki was aware of the state of the salon, and she’s just playing up to Tabatha.
Tabatha then taps Albino to give her the tour of the staff quarters. Since Abracadabra is Nikki’s number one target, Tabatha wants to hear her perspective. Albany brings Tabatha to see the staff quarters and tells TC that the staff’s tips are always held overnight. Ms. T thinks this is shady and is ready to hear more of the dirt… Albie tells her that Nikki doesn’t act the way she behaved today. She’s as nasty as she looks…
And sometimes she walks around with this HUGE hammer…
Meanwhile, Nikki is upstairs gloating that Ms. T intends to fire people.
The dancing comes after the final kill…
The next morning is the staff meeting. Nikki and Suzzzeeee are not invited to the meeting, so that the staff can freely discuss Nikkulas Wartooth and her Norseman-inspired style of management.
The staff tells Tabatha that Nikki the Barbarian can be on the floor for an hour, and in that one hour she can threaten and harass all of her employees. Colorist Kristina says her hours were cut because Nikki didn’t approve of her appearance. More stylists chime in and say Nikki attacks their appearance in front of clients. They also tell Tabatha that Nikki sends nasty messages to all members of the staff. She’ll even send IMs that appear on all the monitors in the salon, insulting employees and clients alike. She’s been known to call them hags and accuse people of trying to rip her off.
The staff goes on to tell TC that Suzzzeeee is Nikki’s puppet and she won’t last long. They’ve all thought of quitting, but they’re bound to the salon by a non-compete agreement they signed when they accepted the job at Bitch & Co.
Show of hands, who didn’t read their employment contract?
Tabatha wants to assess the staff’s work, so she’s ready to bring in clients. Adding another dimension to her assessment phase, Tabatha decides to add in a role playing opportunity for much targeted Alba and Nikki. AliBaba will play Nikki during the assessment and vice-versa, so that Tabatha can see how the staff sees her and how Nikki interprets her staff’s behavior. Nikki is happy to take the opportunity to slander her powerless staff… grinning, she agrees to the exercise.
First up is colorist Kristina, Tabatha thinks she gave a simplistic and incomplete consultation. The remaining staff members also score no points with Ms. T. Tabatha finds one stylist telling her client that her face is too wide for the cut she wants. The next the stylist is giving a decent consult, but is so nervous that she can barely finish her sentences. 0 for 3 for the B&Co staff.
Tabatha leaves the stations to watch the “Nikki vs. Albana” act going on near the sinks. Albana starts to criticize Nikki and Nikki, acting as she believe Albana would, throws a full scale hissy. She pouts and eventually stomps off muttering profanities and cursing her life.
Tabatha asks Suzzzeee is that is an accurate portrayal of how Albana acts. Suzzzeeee agrees that Nikki’s act is extreme and Albana is being too nice in her portrayal of Nikki the Plunderer.
Off the floor, Tabatha is ready to hear Suzee’s opinion of the salon’s problems. The first question Tabatha asks Suzzzeeee is what she thinks Nikki thinks of her. She’s pretty sure Nikki thinks she’s incompetent. Suzee feels like she may need to walk away from her job at B&Co. Nikki doesn’t allow Suzee to make any decisions.
After her rounds on the floor and meeting with Suzzzeee, Tabatha asks Nikki to rejoin her to review the staff’s work. The cuts are sloppy, the color is subpar. Colorist Kristina gets defensive with Tabatha’s critique of her work. Tabatha was not impressed with the effort, and she thinks they are all lazy.
Tabatha dismisses everyone, except Nikki, Suzee and Albana. She sits them down to discuss the role-playing exercise. Albana says she doesn’t think she’s as bad as Nikki portrayed. She wouldn’t keep her job if she was. She tells Tabatha that Nikki has called her the worst. Nikki just thinks Albana, who is now in tears, says that she’s just craving negative attention. Albana is dismissed and Tabatha tells Nikki that she’s scaring her staff. She’s aggressive and rude and they cannot please her. Nikki’s as unapproachable without her spear and chainmail as she is when she’s armed…
Nikki says in the interview that Tabatha is not getting it, and if she doesn’t see it her way, then she’s just a bag of wind.
Bags of wind do not push the sails…
Tabatha continues to try to break through to Nikki and discuss Suzzzeee’s role in the salon. Suzzeee wants to step up and be empowered to act as manager. Nikki would love Suzzeee to lead, but her staff is unmanageable. Nikki continues to insist that she’s not heinous, she just doesn’t coddle her employees. Nikki thinks her interaction with her staff, including aggressive torch waving and growling, is a legitimate governance tactic.
The next day the staff arrives for a session with Dr. Woody, who is employed by Tabatha to mediate a meeting with all the members of B&Co. salon. Nikki comes in thinking it’s a fancy opportunity for her staff to take her on. Nikki continues to insists that she’s just a strict manager after her staff repeatedly tells her they are frightened of her. If they want to speak to her, they have to fight with her. Nikki insists that she’s a manager and is not concerned with people “liking” her… “respecting her”
… wanting to “shoot her” with a tranq gun.
Nikki only hears that her staff doesn’t get enough recognition. She doesn’t see why she should congratulate them for showing up for their jobs. Nikki says that “she doesn’t treat her staff badly, they treat themselves and their jobs badly.”
Tabatha tries to convey that the staff wants to do what’s good for the business… the only way to succeed is to have a mutually beneficial relationship and it’s not beneficial for the staff to be treated like captives.
Back at the salon Tabatha is ready to close the salon for renovations. Nikki is asked to kick it off by taking down the cameras. She’s pissed about it and doesn’t see the merit in it. She doesn’t want to change the way she manages the salon. She thinks Tabatha is just appeasing the staff.
Nikki goes so far as to give T a sarcastic response about her leadership techniques. Tabatha says that it’s shocking that Nikki treats her staff horribly and they are all trying to support Nikki and make the salon better, but Nikki refuses to hear it.
When they return after the renovations she wants Suzee to manage. Nikki is okay with this, her staff doesn’t matter to her and she’d rather have less to do with them.
Renovations are complete and the staff returns to B&Co. The salon as been repainted and the reception area has been updated.
Before and After
The salon is now lavender and Nikki hates it. She hates purple and she tells Tabatha that she hates it. The staff is upset that Nikki is so fast to ruin the mood.
Grace and charm never crushed a village in 10 minutes flat.
The staff is happy with the changes. Tabatha ignores Nikki’s snarky remarks and forges ahead. She asks that everyone focus on being positive today.
I am positive today is going to suck.
Tabatha takes Nikki aside to address her foul mood. They get into an argument about the renovations. Nikki says all the changes Tabatha made are cosmetic bullshit. TCoif failed to do what Nikki wanted her to do — motivate the staff by finding the core problem. Tabatha tells her that she is the core problem. The big, scary, ruddy problem.
Nikki says nothing has changed, everyone of her employees fundamentally sucks and they will always suck. She will not change her approach with them. Tabatha recommends that if that’s what she thinks, she should close down.
Nikki seems to play her part in the final assessment phase by stepping aside and letting Suzzeeee run the floor. Tabatha makes the rounds and helps all the stylists. TC demonstrates new techniques and the assistants respond nicely to all the positive attention.
The day is wrapping up so Tabatha pulls Nikki aside to give her the final recommendations. Tabatha says that the employees responded and Nikki says they all suck.
They comprise on giving the key to Suzzzeeeeeee. Nikki will never be able to effectively manage a salon, a group of people, a mission without the sole purpose of “slash and burn”…
When they rejoin the floor Tabatha commends the B&Co staff on the good effort and doles out some positive reinforcement. Kristina improved and Albana was interested in learning. Finally Tabatha returns the keys of the salon to Suzzeeeee, who will be stepping up as manager, with Nikki’s blessing. Nikki lies through her teeth and “commits” to keep the camera down and motivate the staff.
Six weeks later Tabatha returns to Brownes & Co, to find Nikki hasn’t given up the reigns. Suzzeee has been demoted, all their cosmetic changes have been reversed, the cameras are back. Nothing has changed. Nikki is looking to change over the whole staff.
What do you think of Brownes & Co. Would you cross the street to avoid a woman like Nikki?