When I first got to hear about work experience, I was quite excited, a whole week off school what could be better? I skimmed over the choices, tree surgery, fish farming, ah hairdressing there’s something I could do and enjoy. It’s also creative and artistic which are things I’m really interested in, it’s also another side to fashion which as every other teenage girl I’m interested in. I also thought about hairdresser’s personality they’re normally bubbly, chatty, bright and friendly so I thought I wouldn’t mind working with these people for a week.
So I put that down as my choice and completely forgot about work experience. The day came when I was to get my placement through, I was excited, when I opened the letter. I was ecstatic. I. Yes I. Sarah Kinnear. The most misfortune person in the world had got what was possibly the best placement ever. I was going to be working in Toni&Guy in Farnham, with one of my close friends. I could hardly believe it; I’d had nightmares about the grottiest, smelliest salon in Britain. Where they still did dodgy 80’s perms and all their clients smelled like mothballs.
But Toni&Guy even I had heard of them and I’m the last to know about anything interesting or fashionable. I could just picture myself now gliding round the most pristine white, modern salon, getting trained by some of the trendiest people in Farnham. However I soon found that reality was somewhat different from my dreams. As I walked along the road that morning there was a down pour of torrential rain, at this point I’m glad that I’m not superstitious as this would be a perfect warning sign.
I arrived at Toni ; Guy in Farnham 15 minutes early on Monday morning, I was excited and nervous, but I thought if it was anything like my part-time job it would be a bit mundane but bearable. The great thing about my part-time job was the people, happy, funny, polite and usually severely hung over. As I walked into the salon I could feel the butterflies in my stomach doing overtime, I hate the way I get so nervous. Calm down I told myself, be confident, they’ll be nice to you. I walked up to the receptionist and she looked at me, no words just stared blankly at me.
Okay, didn’t quite know what was going on here. ‘I’m Sarah, here on work experience’ I said trying to sound confident and not at all intimidated. ‘Oh, in that door, up them stairs, put your bag away and come back down. ‘ Well I think to myself it could have been worse, couldn’t it? I walked up three flights of stairs and came to four doors. I pushed one door and it appeared to be a toilet, maybe it’s not that one. I tried the next, I peered inside it appeared to be a staff room then I looked round and noticed five people staring at me. ‘Work experience?
One of them asked me. ‘Yeah, my name’s Sarah’ I said in a rather weak tone, I could feel the blood rushing to my face already, what a dazzling first impression. I went back downstairs and I met two other girls who had work experience there, one of whom had already done a week there. When Portia finally arrived, we were given a tour by one of the juniors and shown what jobs to do. These jobs included sweeping up hair, making foils, putting products back on the shelf, cleaning sections, washing towels, washing bleach and getting clients drinks.
I was told to go and stand of the salon floor and look for jobs that needed doing. So I stood there, that’s all I did just stand there, every time I was a job that needed doing it was already being done, I felt completely useless. My break came and I was glad I would be able to sit down, at long last it had only been a few hours but my feet were killing me. I went to sit outside in the courtyard with some of the staff. I sat there for 15 minutes, nobody looked at me, or made any acknowledgement that I was even there.
The rest of the day continued in much the same fashion. The last few hours of the day really seemed to drag on and I couldn’t wait to leave. I was out that door at exactly five o’clock, and it wasn’t a moment too soon. I hated the first day, but I know it can take a while to settle into a new job, so I wasn’t too worried about the remainder of the week. I didn’t arrive so early on the second day, the thought of waiting around in the pokiest sweatiest staff room in Britain didn’t really appeal.
As soon as I got there, I was asked to do towels, I’d been shown how to do these the previous day. As I opened the tumble dryer the stench of damp was unbelievable, mixed with the hot, sweaty air of the staff room the smell was intoxicating. When I returned to the salon floor, there was nothing to do, between four work experience girls and four juniors the jobs were few and far between. When Portia and I returned from our lunch break there were piles of washing up, sections to clear, hair to sweep, the towel bin was overflowing and spilling its contents all over the floor.
We worked frantically for the next half hour trying to return the salon to order, on one the hottest day of the year, working in oversized cupboards and running up and down three flights of stairs was not the most pleasant experience. Standing there folding what seemed like hundreds of towels, I could feel my feet aching, my legs felt like they were going to give way, my head was throbbing and I was swelteringly hot. I was secretly dreading the next three days, today had been even worse than the first