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ESL Story: How to start a beauty salon?

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Kendra unlocked the door to the beauty salon, turned on the lights and gave a contented sigh. Her salon was just what she had dreamed about those many years ago in beauty school. At the time, it seemed like a huge about of hours to spend in school. But the time quick flew by. When she completed the mandatory 1150 hours required for hair design, it seemed important to add the extra 350 hours required for becoming a nail technician. By then, staying in school to add another 250 hours for esthetics was like ''frosting on the cake.'' How very fortunate she was that the school offered scholarships! Her friend, Mandy had spend $10,000 when she went to beauty school in Boston. But in the smaller cities, it costs a lot less to graduate with her certification. Then I had to pay to take the exams. I was so nervous!

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But all of that was in the past. She adjusted the framed certificate above her station. Life was good. Mandy would be arriving next week to work in the shop. Although, she had gone to cosmetology school in another state, reciprocity had made it possible for her to work in Oregon. This meant the board of cosmetology required additional courses and tests. But Mandy passed everything and they would begin working together on Monday.

Just then, the bell above the door rang. Kendra turned and smiled at the woman pushing a stroller through the door.

Woman: I'd like to get my hair done right now, if you have an opening. My little girl could just play on the floor while you work.

Kendra: I'd really like to help you, but it would be too dangerous to have an unsupervised child in here.

Woman: Well, she wouldn't be unsupervised. I'm right here.

Kendra: I'm sorry, but you wouldn't be able to watch her all the time.

Woman: I'm sure you have other staff people who aren't busy. Could they watch her?

Kendra: No, that isn't their job. They have many things to do before their clients arrive.

Woman: I don't know why you are being so difficult! My husband just told me about a very important function we need to attend tonight and I need to have my hair done. My daughter can just sit in the stroller.

Kendra: I would really like to help you, but the law is very strict about children being in a salon. They could grab a bottle of chemical, or touch a hot curling iron, or even try to drink something harmful.

Woman: I never thought about those things. I'm sorry for the way I acted. Could you fit me into your schedule in the afternoon? That should give me time to find a sitter.

Kendra: Yes, I can. How is 4:00?

Woman: Thank you so much! I'll be here at 4:00. Good-bye.

Kendra watched the woman leave. Why did some clients have to be so demanding? I guess it's like any profession, some are great customers, and others are not. The doorbell rang again as she was folding towels. Julie cheerfully entered the shop.

Julie: Good morning, boss!

Kendra: You don't have to call me that you know.

Julie: I know. It's just fun to hear you laugh when I say it!

Kendra: OK, Julie. What's on your schedule today?

Julie: Lots! I have to give a perm to Mrs. Jacob, highlights to Susan Ray, haircuts to the Mitchell twins, eyebrow and lip wax for Samantha Jones, and...

Kendra: There's more?

Julie: That's just the morning jobs!

Kendra: You're terrific!

Julie: Thanks, ''boss!'' How about you?

Kendra: (laughing) I have to meet with a salesman at 10:00 to order more supplies, call the newspaper to place an advertisement, attend a community business meeting at 12:00, make a reservation for all of us to attend the cosmetology conference next weekend, and take care of 6 clients this afternoon.

Julie: Wow! I'm sure glad Mandy is starting next week. There's plenty of work for all of us.

Kendra smile contentedly. Her business was steadily growing. She loved her work as a certified beautician.

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