(Please read Part One if you haven’t done so already; it’ll make Part Deux a much more enjoyable read 🙂 ).
As you can imagine, in this particular field bravado goes a long way. Just a few years my senior, the owner was visibly impressed with my gutsy cold call. After a few minutes of conversation, I learned that he was in business with his brother and father, the latter an accomplished, albeit now retired, marketing pro. His client list was impressive, he had worked with the "big boys"–clients with national name recognition. Now, he was all about the business of helping his son establish his own mark in the industry.
"C" skimmed my resume and he quickly discovered his wife had gone to the same college I had (small world). The conversation progressed and it was revealed she had graduated the year before me (the world is shrinking). As our tête-à-tête continued, the world shriveled to head-of-a-pin size–we had been in the same sorority and were friends who, living eight hours apart, had simply lost contact after college! A completely credible reference dropped in my lap and a sign that things were going well. Extremely well.
Within days, perhaps the next (time has blurred the details) C called with an offer. On one hand I was thrilled! Because this was a small business, there would be opportunity to work in a lot of different areas; on the other remained the stark reality that this was, in fact, a small business. The salary was less than half of what I was making in Atlanta. Less than half….:/
Tad and I talked it over. After much consideration, we concluded he was earning a GREAT salary and the experience I would gain was "worth" the cut in pay. I knew it was stretching C financially to hire another employee. By this time his wife and I had re-connected and she gave me the personal side of their story; this was an enormous step for him, it directly affected his income to hire me, but he had decided it was necessary to grow his business.
Not long into my employment, I decided it was time for a perm. As I hammer out those keystrokes, for the life of me now, I have NO idea why I thought it was necessary–I HAVE NATURALLY WAVY HAIR, for heaven’s sake! Even back then, getting a perm was expensive, and somehow I had a hard time justifying the expense. About that same time, I saw an ad in the newspaper. It was a "model call" for a company that was hosting a hair show in our area. If selected, women would receive free products and services, and in return, agreed to serve as models for the show. Almost as good as cash, it sounded too good to be true.
Famous. Last. Words.
I talked my friend, the boss’s wife, into going with me. It sounded like a fun girlie thing to do. We met with the company’s reps, they looked us over, asked some questions, examined our hair, and determined we were good candidates for the show. They planned a simple cut and color for my friend. For me? In addition to a perm, they waxed poetically about "what a great red-head" I’d make. I balked at that, I wasn’t very adventuresome when it came to my hair; they razzle-dazzled me with words that sounded like "blond highlights", and soon they had my cooperation.
The "show" took place that weekend.
And guys, I’m sorry, but I’m STILL not done, and I gotta head out again, so I’ll finish this up later tonight and I promise, Part Three will include the pictures!!! PLEASE come back!