Robert and Jody own Tantrum Salon in Covina, CA. They have been partners for about 5 years, but it’s not all gravy. The business is in trouble, Robert can offer nothing but excuses for the shortcomings of the salon and Jody has become adept at avoiding the problems, more than she avoids Robert. Tantrum has called in Tabatha to rescue them from the edge of bankruptcy…
…and the state of decay
When we meet Robert and Jody, they are in the shit. Jody is living off credit cards, Robert is sinking farther and farther in debt. Their salon is falling apart and they don’t really know why. Oh, and they have bugs. They’re infested with cockroaches and bloodsucking relatives. Robert’s sister Margie runs the front desk and she’s more effective at keeping away business than a bug bomb. Robert gets the call from Tabatha to meet him outside. As he and Jody stroll around the corner they get their first view of Tabatha …
And are obviously entranced.
Tabatha invites the two of them to sit in on surveillance footage.
Robert feels that his partner Jody has entered Mommy-mode and has given up on the salon. He’s looking to Tabatha to help get Jody to reinvest in the salon.
Jody thinks that’s crap. Admittedly her life has changed dramatically in the last 5 years, now she’s trying to please everyone and she just can’t keep up.
Tabatha says their first problem is communication.
But I can only REALLY talk to you…
In order to help the salon, first Tabatha needs to find out how the salon is truly being run. She asks the dueling owners how they split up the responsibilities. Robert is in the salon every day, while Jody is in and out.
But those are not the only problems, they have issues with the staff and they are deeply in debt. Robert estimates that they are $50K in the hole. Robert is selling off his possessions, Jody can’t afford health insurance for her family and she’s living off credit cards.
Her life is out of balance, and she feels… not so fresh.
Time for Tabatha to roll the footage she’s shot in the salon that day.
Surveillance shows Jody entering the salon and ignoring her staff. They don’t treat her like the boss or the owner. In fact Robert is the first to treat Jody like an assistant.
Don’t make me say it twice.
Next, a client has found bugs in the salon.
And in the first of Robert’s more notable excuses, he says they are surrounded by restaurants and that they get bugs. Tabatha doesn’t flinch at that stunning piece of shit-craft, but continues on to point out that receptionist Margie walked around with the bugs on a napkin and showed them to stylists and clients alike. What’s next? Is she going to try to burn them with a magnifying glass and ask the clients to pull her finger?
We turn back to the monitors to find Cory, a stylist newly promoted to the floor. She has obviously just completed a color service and Robert is caught telling another stylist that she missed a spot on her clients scalp, and that “she shouldn’t do blonds.”
Apparently one of Heather Locklear’s L’Oreal color commercials does a better job of illustrating a bleach job than Robert, and he allows Cory to finish her crappy service.
Jody and Robert are blaming each other for not checking their stylists’ work. Tabatha isn’t buying any of their excuses and returns to the undercover footage.
Margie is the front desk manager and Robert’s sister. She’s also a friggin’ pig. She’s woofing down some tacos while clients are coming in and out.
But she offers them a bite, seriously…
Robert passes the buck to Jody and says that Jody sits on the side near the desk, so she should have noticed and disciplined Margie.
Tabatha is ready for her takeover and bursts through the doors of Tantrum. She makes her usual announcements, when she’s finished disciplining Tantrum some people may have jobs and some may not.
Margie is the first to be targeted and while she’s being told she sucks at her job, she is chomping away on gum. Tabatha is not pleased to see this and tells her to toss it. So under Tabatha’s stern glare, Margie takes the piece of gum from her mouth and sticks it on top of the reception desk. Because as Margie has clearly reasoned, Tabatha thinks chewing gum is gross, but leaving your gum on public surfaces in the next wave in home dÃ©cor.
That’s right, you may want that later.
Of course Miss T doesn’t let that slide and calls her “f*cking disgusting.” Sing it sister. Now if she can just scare this woman away from the leggings rack in the junior’s section, she’ll have a shot at changing doing some real good.
There are more problems in the staff than Margie torturing the seams of her clothes and leaving behind half-masticated mounds of candy, there is also laziness and unprofessional behavior.
Time for the tour. In the retail section Tabatha finds dust and asks if they clean often. Robert must have more training in bullshit than in hairstyling, because he doesn’t miss a beat. “This area used to be all citrus groves and everyone’s house is dusty.”
Those seem like two entirely unrelated statements… next time I forget to make my boss’s travel arrangements I’m going to stay, “This whole neighborhood has area code 201, so no one will be traveling on the 19th.” I’ll see how that goes over, I’ll report back.
Tabatha moves on to find a sign forbidding children in the salon. Robert is poised for his comeback,”We don’t promote children coming here.”
Then you really don’t promote Mommies coming here either, sly guy…
Well tough shit, cause they’re kind of in the ‘burbs and children rule the ‘burbs. Tabatha recommends that they reach out to the family-friendly neighborhood.
Robert’s station is the next stop and it’s dirty. Roberts says his assistants should be cleaning his station — a citrus-infused dusty station that should be kept child free, but welcomes bugs? C’mon guy, you’re a fool and we all know it.
In the back of the salon is the break room and stock room. It’s probably the worst one we’ve seen all season, for no other reason than it’s infested with cockroaches and there’s a pile of dirty towels taller than Tabatha. Robert doesn’t seem too ashamed.
“This room is in the North end of the salon, so we have dirty towels.”
Margie doesn’t even blink as she tells TC that there are cockroaches coming out of the phone. Obviously being an effective problem solver was not a valued skill in their household, as much as heavy-handed makeup application and an immunity to shame was prized.
I just gave them a bite of my burrito.
The next day is the staff meeting, although Margie doesn’t bother to show up, TC starts the meeting.
The staff says that Jody and Robert don’t interact or manage much. They must discuss things behind closed doors, but it’s Robert dictating a plan to Jody — and obviously, he’s not to brilliant.
“I have Derek Zoolander hair, so Jody listens to me.”
Robert is “chicken with his head cut off” kinda boss, he runs around the salon, but never gets anything done. He starts tasks that go unfinished. On the other hand, Jody is not in more than 1-2 times a week. She’s not here enough to be a boss and has lost the passion for being the owner, although she’s still happy when she’s behind the chair.
Margie got to be front desk manager because she’s Roberts sister. She is a crappy worker and the staff is over her. They are all in agreement that she needs to act more like a manager.
Jerry in his best boys’ wear from H&M and steps up to tell Tabatha that he has to handle his own shit because management doesn’t. He contributes to all aspects of the salon to keep his job, and his clients.
I tied my tie myself, too.
Tabatha needs to check that Tantrum’s work is quality — Time for the assessment.
Margie wanders in and Tabatha asks her about her tardiness. She says she just couldn’t get “it” together. When she says “it” she must have meant her spine and her brain stem, because she proceeds to get behind the desk and meet clients with no movement and a blank stare.
Tabatha has to ask Margie to move her ass and help the client. Margie stood there like a pillar, well if pillars were supported by strained leggings and faux-Uggs.
You ignorant slut.
His consultation is incomplete, he says he has been doing it for 20 years, he knows what he’s doing he doesn’t have to ask certian questions anymore. Well I’ve been watching television for 26 years now, and I know something, too — Robert does not belong in Hi-Def. Woof.
At Cory’s station she is discussing a shorter cut for her client. Tabatha follows the consultation by telling Cory she knows she’s a young stylist — a sapling of a stylist, a sap-list or a sty-ling. Wow, I didn’t think that one through — But she need to stop being crappy. She asked a couple questions, but she never actually touched the client’s hair. She has to run her fingers through the client’s hair to truly get a sense of the natural texture of the hair.
Tabatha checks back in with Robert who is fumbling through his set of highlights. He has become accustomed to having someone help him with his foils. So I guess he uses his assistants mainly as a dispenser and a hair clip because he is really struggling to actually use both the foil dispenser and the hair clips. Tabatha is a little smirk-y at the sight of Robert fumbling around the client’s head, and she’s more than delighted to tell him she’s noticed that it’s been a while since he’s had to hold his own foils.
I own your foils now.
Robert runs off to complain about Ms. T, but the door to the break room hadn’t closed before he starts screaming that Tabatha is a bitch, and Tabatha runs to confront him. When the door swings back there is Tabatha a whole platter of Robert’s words for him to eat.
Start with “bitch,” please…
Tabatha confronts Robert and tells him again that she’s only here to help, all he needs to do it put away the ruler and open his mind and she’ll help him.
It’s not a scissor measuring contest, yaknowwhattemsayin’?
He is nothing more than a pile of excuses with a Zoolander haircut and now he has made Tabatha an excuse. He says that he appreciates her help, even though he called her names.
Back in the break room, the towels are piling up and all the stylists and assistants have their hands full.
However, Margie is out front doing nothing but hogging oxygen. She’s finished her mid-late-morning pizza and is back to do nothing, but striking fear into to the heart of elastic waist bands everywhere.
Tabatha approaches Robert and Jody about the mess in the break room and suggests that Margie help out. Jody feels empowered and decides to take the bull by the Bump-it and tell Margie to throw in a load of laundry. Margie says it’s not her job, they have assistants and they have a cleaning service. She’s has been employed to pollute the reception area — that’s all. Seemingly, Jody backs down from Margie’s steel gaze, but Jody could have also been standing in the sightline of the donut box.
Lay off me, I’m starving.
Tabatha is checking Cory’s cut and it sucks. She needs more training, she hasn’t blended her cut. At all. Jody’s cut is great, the color is great, but she’s not embracing her role as owner. Back at Robert’s station, his cut is not to Tabatha’s liking. He has gotten scissor happy and now his client’s hair has suffered.
Robert is embarrassed by his crappy performance and tells the camera that he willing to take Tabatha’s direction.
Tabatha takes the owners aside to discuss their partnership. Robert is in the salon, but isn’t effective — Jody is never around to even attempt to be an effective leader. Furthermore, when both stylists are present, Robert speaks to Jody like he’s her assistant. Robert cops to that, saying she was once his assistant and he may still be in the habit of speaking her as if she was his subordinate.
She’s always my bitch… Bitch
Tabatha points out how ineffective that is. Tabatha wants to open the lines of communication. Robert says that honestly, he needs more from Jody. He needs her there and needs her to be more passionate about the business. Jody thought that they’ve been just splitting the duties down the middle, and making it work (almost). But Jody is seriously unhappy and Tabatha takes them to the front door of the business to ask Jody to make the decision — finally Jody admits that she doesn’t want a deeper commitment to the salon. She wants to be at home with her kids, she decides to be a stylist and sell her half of the business to Robert.
They next day the stylists are gathered to hear Jody’s decision. She has decided to step down. The staff is surprised but supportive.
Time for the marketing event. Tabatha wants to hunt out new business and since Tantrum is in the ‘burbs and Robert loves children, they are brought to a playground for a cutting event.
We’ll get you my pretties.
The stylists set up their chairs to provide children’s cuts and consultations for the mommies…
Today Tabatha thinks Jody is much happier, Margie is also more productive, it may be because she’s carrying around a bag of candy and is more amped on sugar than the kids are.
Back at the salon Tabatha brings the stylists to the staff/break room to clean. They have a roach problem and they’re going to clean it out. After several bouts of screaming the bugs are gone and the room is clean.
Margie is indulging in a little GTL…
Tabatha is ready to start her renovations, so she sends the staff home, first asking them for enthusiasm when the salon re-opens.
Three days have passed and Tantrum Salon has been updated…
Before and After
In the reception area, the floor has been painted and the walls have been lightened. Tabatha has added a section for children to sit and wait, conveniently located next to a new retail section for the little poppers to climb on.
Robert is happy with the new reception area, new light fixtures and light wall. The office is painted and organized and Robert is touched. He’s overwhelmed by the change. This is what he’s always wanted.
It’s time for the final assessment… Tabatha hopes she’s stripped Robert of his excuses as the clients begin to enter. Plenty of mommies funnel in and the Tantrum staff is on the ball, and ready to receive them. Margie hasn’t even ordered in any food.
She may try and eat the children.
Robert is working the room introducing himself to the clients, Jody is behind the chair doling out kids cuts and Ms. T is up front making children grateful they live in California and not anywhere the scary lady is from.
The mayor of Covina even stops in, who Robert doesn’t recognize, but they are still happy to accommodate him. Jerry is working diligently and is passionate about the salon.
Tabatha decides to sit down with Robert and Jody, to make sure that Jody is taken care of financially. Robert promises to be fair when buying her half of the salon.
Cory is struggling with a blowout and Tabatha has to interrupt to instruct her. Jody’s work is going well, the mayor is getting a nice cut, and promises to shout out Tantrum at the city council meeting. I bet that gets big ratings on public access, which is why the mayor was instantly recognizable.
Don’t tell me — Uncle Ben, right?
In the final recommendations Robert tells Tabatha that he’s ready to lead. Tabatha suggests that Jerry would be a good manager. Robert agrees that Jerry shows his enthusiasm and dedication every day, he’s ready to make him a manager.
Tabatha says that initially Margie was a disaster, but they both agree she’s improved. Cory has not.
Time for the announcements. Robert names Jerry as manager, and asks Cory to take a demotion and become his assistant again. She needs to take a step back… although she’s not happy about it. Margie is much improved and has behaved well.
Six weeks later Tabatha returns and Tantrum Salon is in good shape. Jerry feels like the team has gelled and he’s trying to keep them on track. Robert says that Cory didn’t last, but Jerry is great, Jody will be taken care of… He’s happy. It’s the best thing he’s ever done.
How did you like Tabatha’s kid friendly renovations? Did Jody make the right decision, would you want Robert to have complete control over your place of work?