Sun Stories – 2016 to Present – I Can’t Believe We’re Open in Rittenhouse!

The entire front of the building looks like a construction site, or a bomb site.

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We closed the old salon for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We were open for business at the new location that Tuesday. We moved and entire business in three days! Achilles and the boys had been doing the build out on the new address for the last month, but it was an absolute herculean task doing what he accomplished.

We have had some setbacks and growing pains. No internet. No phone. New number that no one can call yet. The hamper disappeared. A new phone in the box disappeared in the move as well. We can’t take credit cards because we can’t get on any network yet. There is no sign on the door downstairs or an address. So almost no one can find us. The entire front of the building looks like a construction site, or a bomb site.

However, we do have all of the rooms up. They’re just sheet rock and doors right now, but three of the sun beds actually work, and people that can find us are actually able to tan. They are the two premium beds and one stand up unit. So we’re letting anyone who can find the place tan in whatever bed is available. The best thing about this is, the folks who don’t have the premium package get to tan in the premium beds for the first time. So they love it.

Sawdust and detritus are everywhere. I just keep sweeping, mopping and wiping things off throughout the night. I know it will all come together in time but we’re going to be at least a month or so in this condition. It’s a mess, but we’re all soldiering through it.

I’ll keep you all updated as the new place comes together.

 

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Sun Stories – 2016 to Present – The Move

I just start grabbing anything that’s not tied down and tossing it into boxes or bags.

Five guys tearing apart a business and breaking down huge, complex tanning beds and moving them to another location was so brutal, Achilles says he’ll never move again. I can’t agree more. We’re going to a better location and the new salon will be beautiful… eventually. I couldn’t think of a good image to show what a mess the salon is now so I’m sticking with “hot chick in a sunbed.”

I closed on a Friday, and that night the crew came in with Achilles and started dismantling the sunbeds. Great thing was, I didn’t have to sweep or mop the place, because we would never be open for business again at this address.

I went back in Saturday morning around 10am and the crew was in full swing. Achilles, his brother Zues, and two other big strong dudes. They’re all taking things apart and carrying them down the back steps to the alley outside. The beds are huge and have tons of parts.

I just start grabbing anything that’s not tied down and tossing it into boxes or bags. I carry them by hand and walk the three blocks down to walnut street. I carry them up the 30 stairs, unload, and walk back to the old salon. I do this over and over until 4pm.

My whole body hurts when I get home. It’s that moment when you finally sit down for a bit and then have to get up to get more ice for your drink or something. Once on your feet the pain and stiffness kicks in and I groan like an old man.

And the worst part? I have to go do it all again tomorrow. This move has been brutal!

 

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Sun Stories – 2016 to Present -Two Steps From the Move

The place is a mess. I just keep the clients rolling and sweep up the dust and debris.

This Sun Story is not about some cute blonde in a sun bed. It’s about the salon itself. So why the cute naked blonde? Why not? Look at her! She’s a doll!

So if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that we are moving the tanning salon down to Walnut Street. Lease was up. Building sold. New owners. Rent was going up. It’s been a great ten years, but it’s time to move to a better address. Where the new location will be is probably the most upscale shopping district in the city, so that can’t hurt.

It’s the last day at the old salon and they are literally ripping the place apart. The premium beds went first, then the rest will go over the weekend. We don’t have to be out until the end of the month, but the weather is going to be really nice this weekend. So we want to get over to the new spot now.

I’ve been working from open to close every day leading up to the move. That’s from 10am to 8pm on your feet. I really don’t mind it, because I like to work and our clients are great. Achilles and his team are dismantling the machines, and I’m running the store. It’s Achilles, his brother and two other big guys. So they’re all of the mind and muscle. Just four dudes and a pickup truck. I’m holding down the fort until we close.

We’re down to just three beds in operation. The premium lay down in Room 10, the all access lay down in 3 and the stand up in 2. The place is a mess. I just keep the clients rolling and sweep up the dust and debris.

The best part is for the clients. I have to tan everybody in whatever is available under the circumstances. Which means if you paid for a medium package, and the premium bed is available, you get to tan in the premium bed. It’s not the client’s fault that we took most of the beds from their package to the new site.

Here’s the reason that moving is going to payoff for us at the new location. For the last few days we’ve been letting everyone tan in whatever is available. So the clients that have never experienced the premium beds are getting a taste of something they can’t afford. The best bed in the house. 600 watt face tanners, 200 watt tubes, Vitamin D P2 lamps, 3 levels of tanning, (Basic, Mediterranean & Caribbean) and most of all aqua misting! They’re all coming out of this bed raving about it and asking about pricing, and how it’s “THE experience.” So now that they’ve gotten a taste of the very best, when they re-up their packages I’ll tell them it’s only $10 more for a 5 pack and just $15 for the monthly plan. So now that they’ve had the best, how can they go back?

So we’ll probably get some clients that will be spending for money for the better experience. We’re also offering a $20 discount for students. So that’ll help us as we come into our busy season.  So I’ll help them move all of the small stuff that I can gather tomorrow, and we’ll take it one day as a time.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Sun Stories: 2016 – Sleeping Beauty

It’s  Saturday. I’m off from all of my jobs on Saturdays. Unless I’m not hanging with friends or doing something with daughter or family, I’m off. Trish works at the salon every Saturday. She was relatively new to the job back then.

I’m home just doing some writing, and my phone rings. It’s Trish at the salon. She never calls me when she’s working. If there is a problem she would call Achilles. I answer and ask her what’s going on.

“There is a guy in bed #9 and he’s not coming out.”

“What do you mean, he’s not coming out?”

“He’s been in there for like a half hour. I don’t know what to do.”

“Did you knock on the door?

“Yes.”

“Did you call his name?”

“Yes. No one is answering. What if he’s dead?”

“I’m coming down there right now.”

I get dressed and jump in a cab.  Of course traffic is snarled as usual. I probably could have walked faster than the cab was moving. I finally get there and run up the steps to the salon. I talk briefly to Trish and then head back to room #9. I was really worried at this point. I know people have fallen asleep in the beds before, normally once the bed cools down they awaken. One guy woke up after his phone fell out of his hand, and hit the floor.

The guy had been in there for over forty-five minutes by now. Normally it’s a ten minute session in that bed. I knock on the door. Nothing. I say the gentleman’s name that’s in there. Nothing. I use a special key to slowly open the door. I am concerned about just lifting the hood of the bed. So I walk down to the foot of the machine, and peek down the cylinder. Inside, there is a fit, tan, young man in a little speedo. I’m grateful for that speedo because I really didn’t want to see anything else in there. He appears to be breathing.

I gently lift the lid of this large, powerful sun bed. I reach out and touch him on the shoulder and say his name. He awakens with a start. Wide eyed and disoriented.

“You’re okay.” I say softly, “You just fell asleep. You’re okay. Take your time.” He sits up on the edge of the bed. He looks groggy.

“How long was I asleep?”

“Forty five minutes.”

“Oh my God…”

I quietly back out of the room and close the door.

Within a few minutes, he scampered out the door, and down the steps. He must have been mortified, poor thing. He stayed away for about a month out of sheer embarrassment. But he’s been back in since then, and has managed to stay awake for every session.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Sun Stories – Achilles – 2015 to Present – The Bronze God

Part of the Wednesday series will be called “Sun Stories.” That’s any interesting things that happen at the tanning salon.

Here is another friend of mine, that I wanted to introduce to this story. So when I’m writing about my adventures and they are involved in the process or the dialogue, You’ll know who they are.

Achilles was a client of mine. I reached out to many clients that were in the system where I formerly worked selling advertising. He was one of the ones who got back to me. I went to see him at the time. He owns a tanning salon/spa and it was his slow season. Late Summer to early Fall. He hadn’t advertised with us before and I convinced him to give us a try. He gave me some ad artwork, and we went over frequency and budget. We ran the ads for about 12 weeks, but after a while we felt it wasn’t working.

He was ready to not renew the contract with me, but I came up with another idea. I came up with some really good ideas for ads to promote the salon. Instead of the standard coupon type ad, I created some really catchy copy with some great images, to capture the spirit of the place. So he decide to give me one more chance and ran for another 3 months.

During that time I would go into the salon on a weekly basis and chat with him about the copy and some ideas. We also became friends. He would tell me all about his challenges with his younger girlfriend. Achilles is a low-key, simple man. When I say simple, I don’t mean simple-minded. He is incredibly smart and talented in many ways. He just wants to live a simple and uncluttered life.

Born to Greek immigrants, he came to America when he was 6 years old. None of the had much and none of them even spoke English. But if you know anyone who is Greek, they are a great proud people. The Greeks had built their own civilization when many of us were still swinging from trees. They work in restaurants, stick together as a family, save their money, and then open their own businesses. Achilles was running around the city at age 10 delivering pizzas. He’s worked his entire life.

But he’s so much more than that. He can fix anything. Build anything. He’s got a head for mathematics and design. He’s good at running a business and making money. He can build structures, like housing. He can fix your car. He can take apart most mechanical appliances and repair them. His motto is, “Why should I pay someone to do it, if I can do it myself.”

Oh and did I mention he’s in great shape. At 47 he is muscular and really fit. 5’10 180 lbs pure muscle. He owns his own business. Has a beautiful house. A few nice cars, money in the bank, and a motorcycle. It seems like the perfect package. (It also almost seems like Phicklephilly is taking a turn with the other team here doesn’t it?)

So I would go into the salon every week, and Achilles would always be either complaining about his hot young girlfriend or his staff.  His girlfriend of 8 years is always creating arguments and fights out of nowhere. We have discussed this several times and we don’t know why she does it. She just does. He even came so close once to asking her to marry him, and he pulled back and didn’t because of her nonsense. If she could just be cool and just enjoy the calm life she has with him, he’d probably take a chance with her. But only time will tell.

One day for like the fourth time he’s complaining about his staff. This one doesn’t clean the place right. That one calls out because she has anxiety. This one is hung over. Weekend guy’s mom is dying again. I tell him maybe he should hire people who are a little more mature and a bit more reliable. I say this as the 10th beautiful, tan young thing walks by me in the lobby. I tell him that I like to work, and would love to work there as a part-time job at night. So after us building a business relationship for over 9 months his response was: “You’re hired.”

I started working 2 nights a week, and then I occasionally got the weekend schedule. When some people left and the schedule shook out I had most of the shifts. I worked Monday through Friday at the advertising job from 8:15 to 4:45, and worked every evening from 5 to 8 at the salon. Sunday I worked 11-4pm. My only day off was Saturdays. I was working 70 hours a week and loving it. I actually really love working at the salon. The clients are nice and it’s a fun and easy job. I’m a good sales guy, so he actually pays me commission for selling accessories.

I’ll probably stay in advertising as long as possible even though it’s a grinding thankless job. But Achilles and I are looking to open a gym or a spin bike studio somewhere in the city. If that happens we’ll be business partners. So stay tuned!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday at 9am EST.

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about related characters, such as male and female friends and acquaintances on Wednesdays at 9am EST.