Help! I have the client from hell!

Help! I have the client from hell!

Magnolia, I don’t know what to do! I am the girl behind the scissors and have this client who has become increasingly piss-taking over the last few years. She pays late, asks for deals, wants me to bump other clients and is so fussy. What do I do? Oh my sweet Tress Goddess. What a dilemma you face. I know your struggle with this issue has brought you to me. I read it and wept for you, truly. http://girlbehindthescissors.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/i-need-your-advice You might want to sit down, because you aren’t much going to like this next part. This woman will always seek out people like you. It is you, not her. Don’t get me wrong, she is a weasel and human detritus. However, like all parasites she needs a host. You have let her in and now she has latched on. Something in you has given her permission to treat you this way. This isn’t so much about her strength, but she smells some kind of weakness in you. People like that are very finely tuned, although they pretend not to be. She knows ABSOLUTELY that you get all jammed up about her, and she doesn’t care. After all, you keep accepting her business. You have tacitly agreed to the relationship. Like the removal of any leach, it isn’t going to be easy. Fortunately, this is not a marriage, or a family break up. She is a client and her money, when she does remember to pay you, isn’t worth it. You have talent, and customers don’t care what people say about stylists, they care about the skills they have. The best way to prepare for something uncomfortable is to have a script. Here are five things you can say in response to her next request for a hair service (even if she walks in). They are in order of decreasing subtlety. I am sorry Griselda, I won’t have time to get you in for what you need this week. You know how I love doing your extensions, but I am booking shorter procedures right now to fit in some more clients. Of course you understand. I am fully booked, sorry. The last little while I feel I haven’t really been that motivated for you. I think it might be time for you to get a fresh perspective on your hair. I am going to refer you to “so and so” at  ____ Salon. Here is her card. I feel that our business relationship has run its course. I am going to refer you to  ___ Salon. “So and so” is there and she is great. Two main tips with this Scissor Girl, you DO NOT have to justify your statements with  rambling...
Are You Scary?

Are You Scary?

Regular readers will have some idea that your Magnolia is not only opinionated, but rather outspoken about it. There are many women out there just like me. Maybe loud, for sure smart, perhaps even tall, certainly not shrinking violets. We make people uncomfortable as hell. I haven’t figured all this out really. Is it because society has expectations around women’s voices or more correctly, our demure whispers? Is it because we somehow unman the lads because we laugh loudly and behave like… well… men? Notice how media portrays women who have something to say? Angry… feminists (the other “F” word).Women who want to speak out on the internet or in front of a camera get pelted with abuse that inevitably slides into language of sexual violence. It is all a bit confounding. Why is our world view somehow judged more harshly? What if we know what we are talking about and have some ideas on how to fix shit? Shouldn’t we speak? That is all a much bigger issue, and will have to be addressed by society eventually. However, this post isn’t about solving the backasswardness of the world, it is about personal interactions. It is about guiding a bigger personality through the sensitivities of the glass shop that is other people. The key to knowing how to move through career and relationships for women of confidence is simple. You must have an exact understanding of your own scariness factor. Your ability to establish communications with others, is directly related to your ability to gauge how you  make that person feel. Although it can be taxing on your patience, it is always good to start off a little softer with people who may get bent out of shape in the face of a huge personality and lots of words. That is if you care. If you don’t then just barrel on and leave them sputtering in your wake. It is less work to disregard them early since they aren’t going to end up being able to deal with you anyway. Invest in people who appreciate the side show that is the loud girl. If you end up in an interaction where you do have to care, then it is time to “Check your Privilege”. Are you coming from a position of perceived power? People use very fast judgement indicators about who you are. Your age, status, clothing, car, body language, vocabulary and if you are female, your body. This is particularly important in business environments but also true in personal interactions. You have to practice wielding it or dialing it back. It shouldn’t be accidental. Never let it be a mystery as to why somebody doesn’t like you. It is also...
Your Relationship with Magazines for “Women”

Your Relationship with Magazines for “Women”

The only time I look at some of the rags they print for “female” consumption – ironically – is when I am waiting for my annual mammogram. So there I sit… mentally preparing to get my fun bags jammed into an unnaturally large and painful pancake, perusing the latest publications for chicks. Here is some of the vital information I picked up from 15 minutes worth of reading: Apparently some starlet gained and lost 50 pounds and got her body back. There are over 52 ways to please a man and none of them have anything to do with making him some fine gazpacho. I can have abs of steel in 6 weeks with only ten minutes a day effort My family can have great and nutritious meals in under 30 minutes right after I get home from work Some actor has the best beach body and is in some show I have never seen A famous family took their weird-looking children for ice cream at an elephant reserve in Africa A designer put out a new line of really ugly cheap looking clothes that contain some “fun pieces” I have to buy this season Let me start by saying what was going through my mind. BOOOOOOORIIIINNNGGG. Who reads this crap? Worse yet, who pays to buy it? Some of these magazines have 80% of their content geared to making women feel inadequate in some way. Where are the quality stories? The journalism? The pictures of Channing Tatum in a thong? (Oh wait sorry, wrong magazine). To the people who making the content decisions for some of the most insipid publications, I would like to say this: Get some new ideas, please. Magazine covers compared from prior months and years, cover the EXACT same material. Young women read your crap because they often don’t know better, give them something that lifts them up, not something they can’t hope to compare to or keep up with. Do not assume we spend all of our time worried about the right lip gloss or how to please a man. Some of us look for ways to challenge our men so they can be worthy of us, not looking for new ways to keep them happy. Stop printing stupid unrealistic exercise “advice”. Nobody but already thin people get visible abs in 6 weeks… nobody bitches. I could have abs of steel but you would never see them under the 15 pounds of left over baby love. Tell some stories about women who have done amazing things not about their outfits. Surely you could have 10 years worth of content if you set out to interview even just the women who speak at TED talks. Just talk to them....
Help? Our families are eating up our vacation time.

Help? Our families are eating up our vacation time.

Help Magnolia, I need advice! My husband has LOADS more vacation days each year than me. Our families live far away and so we feel obligated to travel to visit them each year. And then they also want to come and visit us, expecting that we will be able to take time off to spend with them . Are you starting to see my dilemma? How do we balance our own needs and let our kids know their grandparents? Any suggestions? (And please feel free to provide alcohol-fuelled advice here. I like out of the box/bottle thinking). LOVE YOU! Oh my dear, that is a tough one. A theme in most of the advice I give is all about boundaries. Knowing them, setting them and saying them out loud to the people who need to respect them. This situation of yours with the mismatched holiday time and the long distance family exists in my house too. So first and foremost, let’s turn things around a bit. You need to make yourself the priority. Yes YOU Mother, are the priority. (How is that a shift of perspective?). Your needs and wants should be paramount in the minds of everybody on the stage. Mom needs to be well, and happy and beloved in order for you to continue delivering the high quality services your family has come to expect. To be clear, it is time to go all diva on their asses. From now on, husband can take the children to visit the relatives once a year on his own. When the grommets get old enough, send them on their own. And by old enough I mean out of diapers. Let the flight attendants deal with them but send snacks. The relatives happy to visit you? Excellent, write them a to do list when you leave for work in the morning. Scribble a recipe and pin it to the dirty laundry with a $50 bill so they can get dinner ingredients. Day trips out are fine, they can take the kids along, and pick up the dry cleaning while they are out. Clearly you have been too accommodating in the past that they would expect you to take time off when they visit. It is high time to change what the visit looks like. Another idea: If you want a nice vacation somewhere other than back home where the family is, offer them the chance to meet you for PART of your time at a holiday destination. Built in child care arrives and you can go out for dinner with your man. Set up cots for the babies in Grandma’s room and you can even get your groove on. Women are always too nice, putting everybody else’s needs first. T’is the season...
Kid Party Advice: Are Siblings Invited?

Kid Party Advice: Are Siblings Invited?

Guest post: A very warm welcome and jaunty wave to Meredith Gordon – blogger, funny girl, BluntMom and fun at parties (unless you don’t RSVP). badsandy.com When I throw my kid’s birthday party, do I have to invite everyone’s siblings? Am I obligated to entertain AND FEED the whole family, or can I just invite the kid I know? On a recent Monday, I received a call from a good friend in crisis. In attempt to give her second child a friend of his own, as opposed to always following in his brother’s shadow, the boys’ Mama was throwing him a toddler party to die for: a private tour of a chocolate factory followed by a pizza party in the park. The invitations went out and an rsvp deadline was given. One by one, the responses rolled in, “Tommy AND his two brothers will be there.” “Rachel and her little sister would LOVE to attend.” “Chloe AND her bother and BOTH her parents would be honored to attend.” My friend was thrilled that all her little ones’ buddies wanted to and could attend, but was a bit conflicted about siblings since THEY WEREN”T ACTUALLY INVITED. She had nothing against the siblings, but didn’t actually know them and figured neither did the birthday boy. More over, the chocolate factory had a limit of how many people could attend, anyone over that was an extra charge if there was room at all. By parents inviting their other kids, they doubled the party number and doubled my friend’s cost. So natch, my friend called, text’d, emailed, and even sent a facebook carrier pigeon asking, “If a kid is invited to a party, are his siblings his automatic plus 1’s?” ABSOLUTELY. THE TRUTH IS: Your kid’s buddies will be busy playing and competing for your child’s attention, but the siblings won’t have much to do except ask a grown-up what thier, “I wasn’t invited to this party but I showed up anyhow T-shirt” says. While extra children may at first seem like an extra party expense, bored children are actually a cost saver as free non-unionized labor. PERFECT JOBS FOR SIBLINGS FOR UNINVITED SIBLINGS: 1: Holding your drink 2: Finding the Xanax you dropped on the floor (this is also great for kids who need extra help on fine motor skills) 3) Bringing the presents that aren’t for them out to your car 4) Taking all the choking hazards out of the gift bags or piñata. THE ADVICE YOU DIDN’T ASK FOR: Clearly raised by wolves who never got invited to a kid’s party, baby shower, wedding, or bat mitzvah, parents seem to forget their manners when it comes to kid’s parties. Just...