The salon is insane. We’re busier then we’ve ever been.
Tis’ the season. It’s Spring and everybody needs to get tan. Most people think that the busy season would be the Winter. It’s cold, dark and Seasonal Affective Disorder kicks in for most of us here in Philly.
But that simply isn’t true.
Sure we have our regulars and the folks that come in to prepare for winter vacations and SAD, but Spring is our Christmas fourth quarter at our tanning salon.
People going on vacation, prom, formals, weddings, formals, and just getting your base on for the summer are in high demand. We have 140 people roll through here a day on our 10 sun beds and one spray tan unit.
Sun Myst around the corner is a failure. Old city Tans died a year ago. Hollywood Tans vanished years ago. We’re the last and best tanning salon left in Philadelphia with the best most modern equipment and best pricing.
But… for some reason, this year I have the greatest part-time staff ever.
I’ve worked my butt off month after month maintaining this salon’s excellence with my partner Achilles. We’ve been through a lot and if you’ve been reading phicklephilly you know we’ve been through the ringer with staffing.
Hell, that’s why I came here in the first place. I did his advertising when I worked at the now failed Philly Weekly. I was looking for a fun part-time gig because I like to work. I saw the lithe clients and thought it’d be fun.
I was right.
Achilles was always complaining about his staff. But you get what you get for the price you pay in the hospitality business. Staffing was the bane of his existence until I came along.
I worked a lot of shifts and brought the salon to its current level like any job I’ve had in the past.
That’s all I can do.
If you’re going to do a job, do your best. Period.
I’ve spent 30 years in the rat race and mired in corporate America and it sucks. Sure the money’s there…but what a price we all pay.
I see bright-eyed college girls tanning for their events and then I see them a year later pale and broken in a corporate job. $50,000 in college debt starting their lives in some shitty job.
Not the vibrant students I met a year ago.
Shit. I was in L.A. working as a short order cook and playing in a band when I was 20.
My own daughter Lorelei doesn’t even want any part of collegian life. She’s lived with me here in Rittenhouse for the last three years and has a great job in the restaurant business. She’s kicked it since high school. She’s been promoted three times since then and is killing it in the industry. That and being in a solid relationship for the last five years with her boyfriend. I’m a huge friend of this boy. He’s a good man.
Baby’s doing well.
My staff is amazing this season. Amelia and Eileen. I couldn’t have dreamed better employees.
Amelia with her smarts and charm. Her work ethic simply lights me up. She’s so forward thinking and industrious at 24 yrs old. When I work with her I feel like shess an extension of me in the salon. The things I’m dealing with… laundry, customers, maintenance, new intakes, cleaning… Amelia’s on it. When I work with her it’s like working with a better, version of myself.
I’ve worked in corporate America my whole life. I’m a deadly sales guy. I’ve done every job and I’ve murdered it.
But the biggest problem I have always faced was being a sales manager.
I’m a salesman.
Like my mother’s father before me. I live to go out and sell.
I know what makes a good salesman.
I’ll correct that in a minute…
A good salesman serves his clients with quality products that meet their needs.
To me that’s a rep.
A great salesman is a guy that gets off on closing the deal while he’s meeting the needs of his clients desires but still meeting their needs.
I was a financial broker in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I remember my boss asking us why we all got licensed to sell brokerage. It was during the Clinton administration and the economy was booming. It was a great spot to be in. (I like Bill, fucker that he is, but he had nothing to do with it. It was just the cyclical scale of commerce in the world and Clinton lucked out. Don’t fool yourself America.)
He said it was so we could make a lot of money.
Every guy in the room agreed with him.
I liked my boss but I silently disagreed.
I knew from my 20 years of selling VCRs,TV’s, liquor, and whatever else he was wrong.
Sales isn’t about money.
It’s about getting off on closing a deal and not about making money. It’s about providing a quality service to your client and building a relationship with them. Providing long term wealth for their family was paramount.
The wealth you amass is not about making that money. It’s incidental to the hard work you did to provide your client with a valuable service.
That was always my goal.
I always knew, that if I did good honest work by my customer the reward would come, and it always did… automatically.
I made thousands and thousand of dollars at every job I ever I did.
Sadly, my poor life choices sucked my efforts from me.
An ex-wife I had to pay child support to for 15 years, and all of the other bills that come with wealth and possessions.
But I never minded. I paid my bills and I soldiered forward.
I love to work and I love all of the good people in my life.
Sure I worried about money, but we ALL do. That’s just part of life.
But I always knew I could make more. I can always generate more revenue. That’s what I do.
My father retired at 62.
He did zero after that.
I would have loved to seen my dad working in a deli, or a wine store or an antique store. He would have killed in any of these businesses.
Pablo Picasso was found dead at 92 working on a sculpture.
I don’t want to be that old, (I’m sure everything hurt by then!) But I want to be that.
I’m 58 years old. If I get 20 more trips around the sun I’ll consider myself blessed, but I’m cool with less. (Who gives a shit. Phicklephilly lives forever online!)
This piece was originally supposed to be Chapeter 7 for Eileen, but we’ll get to her in a second.
I never know when the blood is going to gush good emotions.
I’m going to write about Eileen and Amelia because as I said they are the best girls I’ve ever employed at our salon.
I’m so proud of both of them and cherish their dedication and friendship.
We’ve obviously got new Sun Stories to tell… so stay tuned.
Thanks. I hope this was helpful. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece.
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