This time, for a change, I will not talk about me, instead I will try to help some of you. As you know I’m not here a long time, only 3 months so far, but I have a specific, in demand occupation that complies with the human desire to change and fix one’s appearance in the name of vanity. In five days I managed to get a job, quit and find a new job, so I think I’ve been given a lesson in some important things. I have received a lot of e-mails with various questions and I’m trying to answer all of them. There is something that wasn’t of much importance to me that turned out to be very important in the end….
Employers judge you by your clothes. Sad but true. I believe that it is not practise everywhere but in two different areas on opposite parts of the city it actually is. The first salon was mediocre and nondescript but that did not stop my boss of three days from spitting on my way of dressing, three days in a row. Because of my tight black jeans and because of me wearing too little makeup on my face. The same happened to me in this present, posh salon. So lesson number one: leave jeans at home, or wear them on your leisure days.
Well, my experience shows that I’m not allowed to wear some colours either, though some of my colleagues are complimented wearing the same combinations. It is safest to stick to blacks or anything that resembles black, or dark grey, dark blue…. Maybe they are more lenient when it comes to men’s shirts but in Dublin, in most boutiques, perfumeries, shops and hairdressers, most of the employees are dresses from head to toe in black.
I hope no one happened to appear at an interview wearing sneakers?! If have done that and managed to get the job congratulations, but I think that is so clearly inappropriate I should not have to write further about it.
My attitude is always “I am the best, be happy if you get me”. I do not know why, this is my attitude since the first interview I went for when I was seventeen years old. It is incredible but true, I have never been rejected. Every time when I was invited to an interview, the job was mine, a total of nine times in my life. It may not be much but it scores 100%.
Not an arrogant attitude but definitely a confident, dignified one and I never worry about the outcome because you cannot force someone to employ you. An employer immediately knows if they want you or not. I know that from my personal experience during last ten years, I had a chance to evaluate and conduct the process of employing others in my own capacity. Immediately I knew, sometimes because of trivial things.
If you need to brighten up your CV a little, its ok, just do it without lying. In my experience, it is so easy to figure out. If you want to be a waiter and you have no experience, simply ask what would you do if you were in your home country? Personally, I would go to a coffee bar, asked if I could work for them for free two weeks or a month, so they could teach me the basics and then ask for a recommendation. If this idea seems lame, to work for free two weeks, then it may be better not to move country. I’m not kidding. Because here it requires dedicated work. Actually everywhere, in every country but in the consumer based and richer societies the expectations are higher….
My working day in Zagreb looked like this: customers enter and I would ask “Hi, how are you, have a seat, what would you like me to do today? Blah, blah”. I would have fun chatting, hairdressing, having free time between clients. Here it looks like this: I log into the system, check when I have my first client, if I have a gap I do anything to look busy, even if I already did everything I pretend to do something. My break is one hour, which is pre-determined and entered into the computer time table. When a costumer enters the salon area the dialogue is always similar: “Hi, how are you today, what’s your name, blah blah, with whom do you have an appointment with? Let me do a quick check of your name…”, “May I take your coat, you may sit down here please, xy will be with you in a moment” “Would you like a coffee or tea? milk, sugar?… no problem…”. So I rush into the staff room and kitchen, to make the perfect cup of coffee by rubbing two sticks together. Hahaha. So, we go back to my old post, you remember, everything is lovely, great, thanks a million… only flowers and no serious issues. Forget openness, forget loud talking, forget too much spontaneously or mimicking. I’m trying not to lose my uniqueness completely but when the boss is there, there is no joking….
Of course there are cameras everywhere. In the staff room we have a screen which shows the entire salon from all four corners, so if you’re not on the floor one eye should be on the screen, in case someone enters by chance or if any of my colleagues needs assistance. They will not tell you everything, you have to figure out what someone might want from you.
Let me demonstrate. The other day a manager started a conversation with me saying:
“You know that day when your client asked you something? At exactly that moment xy was mad at you, they did not want to interrupt the client until the end of the story and you looked in the direction of x so we were not able to tell you that we needed you for 5 minutes and for a minute it was too late…” True story. I was like Whaaaattt?
I could not see my fault because of course it was nowhere. In this kind of situation you should simply ignore such nonsense. In a similar situation, my dear Irish colleague gave me advice, “Let it go over your head, walk away and just do your work…”. In other words do not get hung up on it and keep up your work standards….
I hope somebody will find this post helpful. Good luck : D