As if picking up ten years of my life (moving from New York City to LA) wasn't hard enough, the "shear" thought of first finding - then trusting - a new stylist for my precious coiffe was almost as daunting. I mean, you all know how hard it is to secure a good hair person. It's almost the equivalent of dating! How often do you find someone you actually like? Not very.
After scouring Yelp and cross referencing my results with other websites, I chose "B" at A.T. Tramp because 1) I saw that he specialized in color and received decent reviews, and 2) the salon was located merely blocks from my new apartment.
Upon my first visit to the salon in June, I was thrilled to have my ridiculously high standards nearly met (points deducted for not serving wine/champagne during service): Aside from doing an excellent job, "B" and I could not stop talking. I felt like I'd known him for years! What's more, I observed a few customers with small dogs in tow and, upon informing him that I would have loved to have brought mine, was told by "B" that Lucy could accompany me next time.
I had my second appointment last Thursday night at 6:30pm. Nothing major was scheduled, just a simple single process. At 6:32pm, I received a call from the receptionist, "Hi ma'am, 'B' wanted me to call to make sure you were still coming." Huh? Was this chick for real? I informed her that I was just around the corner. I mean, I get running 15-20 minutes late but, for god's sake, since when did 2-minutes past set off alarm bells? Especially in LA? After all, I was told that "Thursday's are our late days, so a 6:30 appointment is perfectly feasible."
When I walked in, the receptionist was shocked to see that I had my dog with me. She said that only service animals were allowed. While I totally understood that, recall that "B" told me I could "bring my pup next time." After informing her of that little tidbit, she begrudgingly let it slide. "Just remember that (only service animals allowed) for next time, ok?" When "B" came to fetch me for my appointment, he did not seem to recognize me. Not that he absolutely should have, or that I'm so unforgettable, but still! We spent hours together upon my last visit. I guess he wasn't the only one; the receptionist asked if this was my first appointment at the salon.
During the color application, "B" was radio silent and made no attempt at conversing. He seemed hurried and very preoccupied; certainly not the same, jovial person I had interacted with just a month prior. I couldn't help but feel like I was a burden. Before he left me alone to color process for 35 minutes, he randomly perked up and offered me magazines and a beverage. "Your dog is so cute and well behaved!!" But that was the last I saw of him; 35-minutes later, his assistant came to wash my hair and, when she was done, I was left to my own devices, not sure whether to sit and wait for "B" in his styling chair, or…? Wet hair and all, I approached the receptionist, who then informed me that "B sent me a text. He left." REALLY?? What kind of stylist leaves before their client? What if my color looked like crap? What if I wanted a cut? Or a blowout? I was completely shocked, insulted, and disgusted. I have never, in my life, been made to feel more invisible, worthless, or small. Well, at least not since junior high...
When I got home that night, I couldn't help but wonder how a reputable salon, almost 40-years strong, could have such a careless employee. This kind of crap wouldn't stand a chance in NYC! I felt my heart sink to my stomach: I was homesick and heart broken.
The next morning, I was able to get in touch with one of the salon's owners. "This is an isolated incident...I pulled "B" aside and spoke to him. If you decide to come back to the salon, ask for me, and I will give you a free conditioning treatment." Gee, thanks. A free conditioning treatment? Yah, that'll solve everything.
Whair do I go from here? Looks like I'm back to square one: Desperately searching for my mane man.
P.S. Do you have a hair person that you love? Send your recommendations my way!