I was only doing what I saw her do a couple of days ago. She must be getting insecure by my excellent handiwork!
"Are you sure about this?" she pulled back and stared at her reflection critically.
"Of course, I'm sure. I am going to make you so beautiful, you won't even recognise yourself." I replied coolly.
Now, I'll admit I had not done this before, but hey how difficult could it be? After all, I'm used to blow-drying my own hair and adding a bit of colour to my eye-lids every now and then!
I smiled assuredly at the fifty-something lady I was giving a make over to.
It was my third day on the job as assistant to Sue - one of those foreign-qualified beauticians who have become so popular in my country nowadays!Sue turned to inspect my handiwork from the other side of the room. The look of horror on her face made my hand freeze in midair. She walked over and took the eye-shade kit from my hand with an exaggerated casualness.
"As a special treat, I'll do this make-over myself, for no extra charge." Sue said to the client and put on her sweetest smile for the client's benefit. For me, she reserved a discreet censuring scowl.
"What...?" I frowned. I was only doing what I saw her do a couple of days ago. She must be getting insecure by my excellent handiwork, I gathered!
"I like this colour...what do you think?" the elegant lady to my left addressed me, as she pointed to the burgundy shade of hair-colour on the shade-selection card.
"Lovely", I assured her with a smile. She wanted to get her hair streaked.
She settled back comfortably.
I covered her with a sheet to prevent the hair colour from dripping onto her spotless silk blouse.She looked up from the magazine she was browsing through. I smiled, as I mixed the colour. I put away the protective serum provided in the packet, just as I had seen Sue do.
"Aren't you going to put that on my hair to prevent split-ends?" she questions.
"Nope...Sue uses another serum that she makes herself," I said.
"What?! Why?" the customer stared at me perplexed.
I coolly replied. "Her's is much better...a special recipe. This is just trash, you know...she gives it to another woman who comes collecting every few days - hmm, mighty generous of her to pay some money in exchange for collecting useless items!"
I went on mixing the colour trying to look and sound as important as I felt with that little piece of privileged information that I had acquired from Sue recently.
"But this is imported stuff...one of the best available in the market!" cried the exasperated client.
"Really?" I replied, "That's what they make you believe, these fancy cosmetic companies. Why don't you just relax and let me colour you beautiful!"
I said giving her a patronising look. She sat up abruptly.
"I'm not staying here a minute longer."
"But...but..." I spluttered, not understanding why she would want me to use the bad serum and damage her hair!
"I've mixed the colour now... it'll go to waste!" I wailed, pleading her to stay.
Sue looked my way quizzically, from the far corner where she was doing the make-over all over again. I frantically pointed to my watch, mouthing: 'She's in a hurry...' Sue relaxed and shrugged. Phew! That was close!
After an hour or so, she had finished the makeover. Sending her client happy, and stashing away the thick wad of bills in the locker, she yawned and told me to keep an eye on the parlour while she took a nap.
"Sure", I didn't smile as I uttered the monosyllabic reply. I just knew I could've done a better make-over.
As she left the room, a young girl entered.
"I need a pedicure." She announced.
"Right." I said and proceeded to get the pedicure kit. As I took the stool to sit in front of her, I noticed her dirty feet. "Oh my God...look at your feet! Don't you ever wash them?" I blurted out before I could stop myself.
Honesty is not always a virtue, I quickly discovered as she glared and replied acidly, "No, that's what I have you for! Wash them, clean them and make them gleam." She gave me a scathing look.
I could feel red hot boiling fury rising inside of me, threatening to explode. I clenched my teeth...and then...let go! A loud scream erupted from my mouth followed by a barrage of incomprehensible sounds that I couldn't translate if my life depended on it!
She got up abruptly, kicked the stool I was about to sit on and threw the nearest bottle of lotion at me. I immediately caught it and threw it back at her. Ah...it landed squarely on target. Our throwing and catching continued for some time. Sue's expensive creams and lotions, hairbrushes and combs, makeup kits and towels were flying across the room.
We created total chaos...but, hey, I was not to be insulted - that is something the visitors of this outlet had better understand. The door opened unnoticed by either of us but when a bottle crashed against Sue's nose, the scream that came out of her mouth shattered my ear drums.
I froze in place, while the girl stormed out. I grabbed an icepack and gave it to Sue and helped her sit down comfortably while detailing the girl's despicable actions and my bravery that helped save at least half of her parlour's stuff. She didn't look too pleased I could tell, but was very grateful that I took a stand for her.
"Shall we report it?" she asked uncertainly. "Oh, no...why get into all that? You know how the system works...we'll only get more trouble!" I discouraged her vehemently. The poor thing was too shocked to argue - my lucky day!
I've already started cleaning up...and re-arranging. Sue can always get more stuff to replace the damaged items with the amount of money she earns fleecing her clients!
And perhaps it's also time to discuss the raise I've been meaning to ask her for. She does not look up to an argument! Wish me luck, folks!
Published July, 08; You magazine, The News.