Eileen – Chapter 16 – Helicopters and Pizza

Spring 2019

While Eileen have been busting or butts killing it at the salon, our dear co-worker, Amelia, has been serving our fair nation in the air force reserve for the last two weeks.

Eileen’s picked up all of her shifts and is killing it at the front counter as usual.

I’ve been here for two years and seen it all. I’ve done every job imaginable here. Once that occurs and it gets crazy busy, Achilles and I both agree it’s time to let go and let the staff take over intake and we’ll just go run and clean and clear sun beds all night.

The girls are so much better at hosting the clients and being calm and sweet. I would rather work in the background. Manage the laundry, clean beds, and stock the bathroom.

It really comes down to doing everything all of the time and having the opportunity to just do one thing and maintain it. The girls are so much more calm and so much better at managing our clients.

Back home in St. Louis, Eileen, summers as a hostess at an Olive Garden. She’s 18 and has already grasped the concept of great client service even when all of your clients are all morons.

It’s called the service industry and we need to hold their hands and walk them through the entire process and be sweet about it. Eileen is a great actress and gets the job. That’s what she has to be. Because these people have the disposable income to go tanning but most of them you’d never want to even have a drink with, but Eileen gets it and is sweet to every singe one of them, even if she has loathing in her sweet heart.

I miss Amelia. She’s been in Okinawa for the last two weeks and it feels like forever because I adore her. I have been blessed with such great staff this year. It’s truly like a blessing based on the garbage we’ve had through here over the last ten years.

I mean I’ve loved the few that have been solid but for the most part, in any low end retail business where you pay less than ten bucks an hour you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I can’t wait for Amelia to return so I can buy her a drink and hear all of her stories from her trip. Eileen and I both agree it feels like she’s been gone forever and we miss her at our salon.

I feel like I miss her more, because while we work together there’s something missing. Eileen and I carry the whole ship every night. We get killed here and overrun with people needing to tan. It’s just the two of us. Achilles, leaves at 3pm and hopes we never call him with a problem.

That’s how it’s been for the last two years. Every spring we get run over with people who need to be tanned. Weddings, Proms, bachelorette parties, the arrival of summer, formals, graduations, honeymoons, vacations, etc.

It’s insane.

But it’s when this company makes it’s money. It’s our Christmas season.

I miss Amelia, but my girl Eileen has been deadly every night at this salon.

The air conditioning is failing and the salon has become like the inside of a volcano. The stand up units are so busy that the metal handles inside them are too hot to hold. (which sounds like a shitty Bon Jovi song) Room #4 cuts off because it always overheats. #9 has a bad board and if you touch the fan button, it turns off much to the dismay of a naked person hoping to tan. So we have to deal with those fails. Don’t even get me started on the aqua misting in #1 and #2 failing all night long.

But through this, Eileen is on point with every person that comes through the door. She’s 18. A young girl. But she greets every person without attitude. She’s always charming and cordial. Truly an amazing actress.

Achilles doesn’t even realize the renaissance we have entered with this current model.

I get that. He’s been doing the damn thing for over a decade. The bullshit he’s have to put up running this business has been crushing and very disappointing most of the time. I get it.

But in this moment we have the best.

I see it.

I wish he could too, but I feel he’s jaded and only sees the staff as cattle that roll through and do the job.

The air conditioning unit is failing, and the salon is like an oven. It leaks into room 3 and I joke that we should charge our clients more for the rainforest experience.

The retail outlet below us complains about the gym we opened here that kind of never happened.

They complain about the noise of weights being dropped. The fitness place above us sued us for putting a gym in. We’re the meat in a shit sandwich in rittenhouse.

I see the writing on the wall and it’s very clear.

But despite all of the things we tried to do here, the salon is killing it. The cash is rolling in.

But for who?

I thought I’d be a partner in a fitness center a year ago, but now I see that I’m the greatest clerk in one of the last tanning salons in the city and that’s all.

It’s all going to work out because I have a massive back up plan.

Let’s get back to my subject, Eileen.

Fantastic employee. My hire. Want her everyday.

We’ve hung out. I do the things that Achilles is incapable of. Take your employees out and reward them for their service. I’m great at that, Achilles. Not so much.

We’ve been killed in the last week and I don’t have Amelia. It’s been Eileen and me getting run over by clients.

My relationship is different between both girls. But I adore them both for their personalities and work ethic.

We all joke about so many things like all co-workers do.

But the one that Eileen finds the most delightful is the scenario where I’m hanging out and having a meal with Eileen and her boyfriend gets super jealous.

I have made jokes about this about how maybe we are sitting at Honeygrow or MacDonald’s and her boyfriend flies in on a helicopter and comes in and kills me.

I, as the stand up comedian and the funny dude I am, have come up with many funny scenarios about how her boyfriend gets pissed off and comes to kill me in a helicopter.

Eileen loves these funny stories, and literally squeals with delight when I spin these tales. But like all 18-year old teenage girls wearing promise rings, they’re going to share everything with their significant others.

(Oh…. sidebar here, apparently her boy cheated on her and slept with another girl during this elegant promise ring relationship) I feel bad for Eileen that this happened because it shows his weakness and Amelia and I both agree he’s a thumb and doesn’t deserve a queen like Eileen.

They share everything non-stop on social media and apparently Thomas is getting pissed off that I have been taking is girlfriend out to nice restaurants for ice cream.

Of course I can imagine at his age. But really dude. I’m an old dad that is just happy I got some good staff.

I told Eileen I don’t want to cause her any problems.

She says, “he an kiss my ass.”

“What do you mean?”

He’s being and asshole. He can kiss my ass. He doesn’t understand who you are. I told him when he meats you he’ll like you. I told him we work together and we have a relationship.”

I love that she told her boyfriend that she’s developed a relationship  with me.

I know what you’re all thinking… settle down. It’s nothing. She’s my employee and a teenager.

It’s all in good fun!

 

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.

 

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Philadelphia, PA, USA

Author: phicklephilly

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