We open in Douglasville, Georgia, at Pat’s Hair Shoppe. According to their website, the salon was formerly Pat’s Hair Shack. I think “Shack” works in conjunction with “Bait and Tackle” or “Poutine”. Doesn’t work too well for a sophisticated salon experience. I also see that Pat has apparently dropped the “pe” part of “Shoppe” since the ep aired. That’s a shame. When I want my hair done, I usually go to a place that reminds me of Ye Olden England, known for centuries as the home of expert haircutting.
Well, wouldn’t a beheading involve haircutting, even inadvertently?
Six months ago, half of Pat’s staff walked out, and one side of her salon is empty. Although we hear plenty about how devastated Pat was at the defection, we never get to know what actually caused it. Surely just adding more stylists wasn’t the sole reason, particularly when it appears the former staff are going around town saying Pat is “crazy”. There has to be a huge backstory there, and why Tabs didn’t press Pat on it, I don’t know, especially when it likely was caused by management style/lack thereof, which are the things Tabs is there to fix.
Now it’s Tabs’ call to the salon, and yet again we have a salon owner who professes to be shocked that Tabs is there. Again, the camera crew, the release you had to sign, the fact that you are standing at the front desk waiting for a call . . . yeah, you’re super shocked. “Really?” says Pat. Tabs, instantly irritated, shoots back “Really”.
Undercover! Pat expanded 4 years ago – which again brings up the question, why did her supposedly disaffected staff wait 3 1/2 years later to defect if the addition of new stylists was so traumatic? She had 10 stylists and brought in a further 10. Pat is upset because the former staffers have ruined her reputation.
Here’s my next question. In a town where everyone knows everyone else, just who are the 20 stylists working on? Is there enough work for 20 stylists in the entire town? Leave out for a minute the oldsters. Yes, they’re regular customers – until they aren’t. And that’s a pretty final ending.
By the way, what the hell is up with the Menopause Haircut? Why do women going through the “change” decide that they are can no longer be feminine, stop dyeing their hair, get it chopped off in a fugly cut that has never looked good on anyone, stop wearing makeup, and essentially look just like a guy in pretty much all respects? And when
someone me calls you “pal” you get all upset. I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em, sir or ma’am as the case may be.
Now of course lesbian gals can rock a short cut and make it work. Look at adorable Adrienne from the Ripples ep.
Totally making me rethink the team I’m on.
But I digress. Back to the ep. And now we meet Mandy. She’s always doing one of 2 things: doing her own hair in front of clients, or standing staring into space.
What Mandy sees all the time.
We see Tracy, the manager. Pat says she can’t count on Tracy and that Tracy is naive. I think you’re a b-tch, but let’s move on.
A client comes into the salon, and is ignored. Tabs points out that’s nice Southern hospitality. Pat says the clients “help themselves” because they feel at home. If I’m at home, then I shouldn’t have to pay to get my hair done. Also, if clients are “helping themselves”, they don’t like it, you idiot. Although ignoring people does make me feel right at home, since that was used a lot when I was growing up. Memo to self: send therapy bills to mother.
We see a client immediately being assigned to the shampoo sink as soon as they enter the salon. Apparently the salon doesn’t do consultations with most of their clients, because they want the same things over and over and over again. And from the looks of them, have for the last several decades. The techniques we see, like that pulling hair through little holes in the cap, are really, really old. We also see perms. Why do women who are oldsters want perms? How is that supposed to make them look like they have more hair, because P.S. it doesn’t. Same with teasing. Have you noticed that I have super particular opinions on hairstyles? Well, I have super particular opinions about everything. Can’t imagine why I’m still single.
We then see a stylist slamming older women, in earshot of some older clients. Who, I point out, appear to constitute the majority of the clientele so you kinda don’t want to alienate them.
Tabs comments on all of these scenes, and Pat just keeps nodding her head and saying yes. Yes what? Yes, you hear? Yes, you agree? Yes, because you really don’t know what else to say and are sort of scared of Tabatha?
Oh, and now there’s a client drying his own hair. Apparently he has a special way of doing it. Right. Because taking a towel and blotting hair is a completely specialized and complex maneuver, not to be trusted to hair professionals.
So to sum up, Pat’s Ye Olden Hair Shoppe is a veritable bastion of Southern gentility, just like Twelve Oaks.
Frankly, my dear, I — oh, to hell with it, you know the rest.
Takeover! Most of the staff seem happy to see Tabs. And then there’s Mandy. Clearly terrified, also doesn’t seem to “get” most of what’s going on. Mouth perpetually open. Not sure if she has a deviated septum or just never bothers to close her mouth.
The pain is calling, Mandy.
Inspection! Part of Pat’s Ye Olden Hair Shoppe charm is that she is using dressers as styling stations. There are paint swatches on a wall that was never painted. There are a lot of old-fashioned gimcracks and geegaws. The wall to the annex (closed because without those 10 stylists, Pat can’t afford the utilities, although she’s still paying rent for it – and has 14 months left on the lease) is just sheetrock. Tabs pronounces the place “grandma’s attic” and “mumsy”.
Commercial. We return to the Staff Meeting. The staff say Tracy is not an effective manager. Tabs again mentions (she brought this up in Inspection) Tracy’s shorts and sneaks attire. Tracy says she won’t change, and Tabs says oh yes you will.
Tabs asks the staff why the other walked out and they say because they were brought in. Do they believe that? Apparently Pat has never discussed the walkout with them, never told them about any new direction for the salon, nothing. She does, though, call them twisted steel magnolias.
Not. Even. Close.
The staff talk about the clients’ age range, and Tabs makes the point they need younger clients, and says she’s brought in models who want modern, fresh looks.
Assessment. And we start with Mandy still:
Standing on the edge of time.
Pat is in a “consultation” with a client, but she’s just barging on and won’t let the client answer. When Tabs confronts her on that, Pat says she hasn’t done a consultation for a long time. So you’re saying you’ve had no new clients in how long? Or you consult with a client once and then after that, never again?
We meet SueEllen or Synthetic or – some other stylist. We also see Tracy, who’s being asked to give a Rhianna-style haircut and is super nervous that the client – who has asked for the style – won’t like it.
And then we get to balayage. Oh, you mean the freeform application of highlights. Which I know even though I am not a stylist. These gals? Out of 4 Tabs questioned, only 1 knew the answer. Ever hear of continuing education? Or, oh, a computer?
Here’s a demo, for all you Pat’s Hair Shack gals.
Oh, and Pat doesn’t know the difference between highlights and lowlights. 2 seconds on a computer . . . and again, this is not my job! Why would you not know terminology that’s been around, oh, decades? In your chosen profession?
Back to Mandy. Guess what she’s doing. Just guess. Come on!
Kiss me and stop me from shaking.
Sunday or Siddhartha or whatever doesn’t know, or forgot, to color underneath the client’s hair. That’s attractive. Tracy made the “Rhianna” style into a bob. Tabs comments that the client walked in looking cool, and now looks “mumsy”. Pat actually did a good job on her color. I’m as surprised as you are.
Afterwards, Tabs comments to the staff that they are all stuck in their ways, and that complacency is the kiss of death. Well, so is arsenic. And cyanide. And a mack truck at 65 MPH. But yes, complacency is one of the kisses of death.
Commercial. Now’s as good a time as any to point out that almost no one in this ep actually sounds like they’re from the South. Why? Are they all transplants? Didn’t seem like it. Did they go to some kind of accent-dropping school? Surely there’s something in between Aunt Pittypat and a yankee. Some middle ground of delightful drawls and sweet tea and cool breezes off the bay and –
Oh, we’re back. Unlike the last 2 eps, this one does not feature any clients talking about their views of the place. We return to Tabs and Pat talking, again with the walkout. O M G just get over it. Tabs says that she once lost 7 people from her salon, only 3 days after she asked the person who ended up being the ringleader, if they were happy and they swore they would never leave. Tabs makes the point that she thought, well I built my business once, I can build it again. That seems to have an impact on Pat. The next morning, everyone gathers in the “annex” and Pat tells her staff she will step up and be a leader, that they are the team she always dreamed of, that she’s proud of them, that she’s thankful and grateful. She then calls them her peaches. I then barf. Pat then reads a message about letting the old shop go, and then she sets the note on fire.
And then the whole building burns down. The End.
Oh wait, no. Tabs takes them to the Whitlock Inn to have tea and an etiquette lesson from Barbara Hickey, from the Etiquette School of Atlanta. Tabs has a rack (get your minds out of the gutter – a clothes rack) of antebellum-type gowns, and the gals each put one on. Pat’s favorite movie is – no, not Steel Magnolias – GWTW, of course. Bless her heart. Tabs makes the point that in her salon she serves beverages in china. Mandy looks like Tabs just said she serves drinks out of human skulls. Barbara says a good conversation is more about them than you – listening. Pat says she wants her shop mannerly and charming. Good luck to you.
Commercial. Now let’s discuss teeth. Look, I know not everyone has gobs of money for expensive cosmetic dental work but good grief, these people looked like transplants from Birmingham or something. Birmingham England, that is. Are there no dentists in Georgia? Maybe some of these thousands of hairdressers clogging up small Georgia towns could go to dental school. Just sayin’. Not you, though, Mandy.
We’re back to a charming redone salon.
It’s super retro-cute!
Tabs talks about reopening day being about great work and rebuilding their reputation. She’s asked members of the Junior League to be clients.
And we’re off. Pam, one of the stylists, is doing a new technique, and doing it well. So it’s going ok until Mandy and Leann, another assistant, are standing at the shampoo bowls. Leann says she wants the next client because she “has to make money’. This is all in earshot of a client. Tabs tells Pat, who says to ask Tracy to deal with it. Tracy meets with the assistants and tells them to never do that on the floor again. So good for her except — Tracy has left color on a client’s hair too long. I guess in the rebuild, Tabs forgot to get them timers? Tracy goes to Tabs for help, and the color is fixed. Good thing it was a dark color, and not bleach. . .
Tabs also notices Mandy is doing more work. Yes, in between literally fleeing from Tabs at every opportunity. As a tall woman, I hate it when shorter people are frightened of me because I’m tall. Well, I’m also a bitch so there is that. But still.
Final recommendations! Tabs says she talked to the landlord, who is willing to work something out with Pat. They discuss Mandy, and Pat supports her getting into a barbering course. Pat feels Tracy still needs focus. Ya think?
Commercial. And we see Mandy yet again staring into space, and then running from Tabs. Tabs tries to make a joke at her (Tabs”) expense, but Mandy clearly doesn’t understand it. I wonder what it’s like to go through life that way, just coasting on waves of nothing, never bothering with that pesky thinking and understanding.
Now we’re really back, and Pat tells the staff Mandy is going to barber school, and she wants Tracy to step it up management-wise. Pat gets the keys back, and then we see Pat hug her “peaches”.
Well, MOST of them.
6 weeks later!
Business has picked up, some old customers have returned. Pat has an arrangement with the landlord for the unused space. Mandy has submitted her application for barber school. Pat is managing since Tracy doesn’t want to do it. We see a satisfied customer:
Is that Tammy Faye?
And we have another successful turnaround. Next week, a frozen yogurt shop which, from the previews, has some mighty tasty treats – or not.
In the meantime, go practice your Mandy faces, and be sure to give without taking or I’ll send you away.
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