Eileen – Chapter 14 – What’s Water Ice? – Part 1

“The air conditioner guy is supposed to come tonight. Because this place has been a blood pit.”

Spring 2019

I had to come in at 2pm today. I have no idea why my partner had to leave. I thought he had a new fitness client and he had to spend time with them, but he said no, he just had to go. I’m fine with coming in early, I love being at the salon.

On top of that the air conditioner has been busted for a week.

But I’m so happy to be away from sitting in a cubicle among a bunch of loser rubes that have no idea who they even are.

It’s Thursday and I assume I’ll be run over by clients. but it’s early and I figure I’ll be okay for a while. Normally, I can survive until 5:30 until Eileen get here late after class and we’ll make it work.

Today was not the case.

I came in early because I was asked to. I have a flexible schedule for things like this.

I could never have expected that I would be absolutely run over by the number of people who came to the salon.

From 2pm until Eileen showed up I was absolutely murdered. It was as if they had all concocted a plan to destroy me on that lovely Wednesday evening.

It was busy beyond words. I literally ran for 4 hours. Opening new accounts, tanning ladies, running, and the endless sea of dirty towels that creates.

As I ran through the salon all I could think about was, “What if Eileen bailed on her last class and came in?”

Eileen’s studies are paramount, but I can still hope. But baby never came. She needed to focus on her studies and her future degree. I admire her so much for what she’s doing and love what she’s doing here but I’m on my own for now.

I even forgot about the Rice Krispy treat I had brought in for her because I want my co-worker to have a snack while she helps me deal with all of these people desperate to tan.

I think this is the most busy I’ve ever been since I’ve worked here. I’m getting killed. I am literally doing load after load of towels.

I think around 5:30, I was scrubbing down the sun bed in #9 when I heard a familiar, lovely voice say, “Hello” to me.

I think Eileen has finally arrived!

Thank God.

I’m getting killed!

My savior is here!

Eileen doesn’t realize this but in that moment, I’m so grateful that she’s arrived I’m loving her as an employee!

I’ve been rescued from the 120 degree nightmare that has been my life for the last 4 hours!

The air conditioner guy is supposed to come tonight, because this place has been a blood pit.

The stand up units are so hot you can’t even put your hands on the handles inside the units, without being burned. That’s how bad it is. He was supposed to come two nights ago but totally failed.

We’re doing the best we can under bad conditions, but Eileen has been a love all through it.

She’s stranded at he counter dealing with all of the new intake. I retreat to the back to handle cleaning beds and managing laundry.

Eileen is handling all of the non-stop people with a smile and I so appreciate that.

It’s just another night at the salon, and I bask in the fact that I have the best staff this year.

It’s so hard to find good employees for jobs like this and I’ve been gifted with the very best.

“Is there a good water ice place around here?’

“Rita’s. It’s like two blocks away. Amazing.”

“I want that.”

“Yea, it’s a Philly favorite. Now I feel like I want water ice.”

“Do you wanna get some after work?”

I absolutely love that Eileen has asked me to have water ice with her after our little pizza date last night.

We finally finish all of the horrors of all that is the salon and finish everything there. It was a super profitable day.

 

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Amelia – Chapter 9 – Marathon

Amelia tells me if we are stuck at the salon beyond 8:45 she’s going to bail and go home. She just flew back to the States from Japan and surely she must be tired. (Air Force Reserve)

I get it.

Of course it’s so busy at the salon we get fucked on that time scale. I tell her tomorrow is my buddy Church, and after that I’m drilled with work, so tonight we tell we catch up or it has to be next week.

Amelia relents, and even though she’s exhausted and so am I, we agree to hang.

We manage to get all of the stragglers and line steppers out of the salon and do our best to clean up and close out.

We know this is the only night we can hang, and even though we’re both exhausted, we march over to Marathon around the corner.

We exchange stories as always.

She tells me a lurid tale of a tryst she had while she was abroad.

All I can think of is what a liberated soul my Amelia is.

That’s it. No judgement. I just want her to be happy.

But there is something else.

I’ve really missed Amelia.

I wrote about about this before but I have to say it again.

I have feelings for Amelia.

It’s different.

It doesn’t fit into any dating, relationship, bucket.

I just have feelings for her.

I just love being around her and it’s so fun to spend time with her. (We’re paid to be together)

Okay…. I was sitting at dinner at Marathon with Amelia and we were exchanging stories. We’re so honest with each other. We really safely release to each other. (I like that)

I told Amelia I loved her.

She said it back.

I don’t know.

She’s 24, I’m 55. That’s a spread, but I love Amelia. I’m so happy when I’m with her. I feel like we could run a business together, and still laugh over drinks and enjoy each others company.

But I could be wrong

She’s young, and she has so many choices and I never want to interfere in that.

We had a nice dinner together, and I know she was tired, but I was just so happy to see her.

I’m happier in my life than I’ve ever been. I love that I have so many opportunities and I get stay busy at my age, but I really have been blessed to meet some new people in the real world instead of swiping on Tinder.

She’s my employee so I have to be careful…

But I’ve fallen in love with Amelia.

(AS A FRIEND!) 

 

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Sun Stories – Zoe – Chapter 5 – My Lovely Number 1 Finally Returns! – Part 2

A stupendous beauty.

I get to the salon at 3pm and so does Amelia. We’re instantly slammed by clients because every one on Earth needs to get their base before Memorial Day weekend.

I call it being “Run Over”.

We can handle it. But where the fuck is Eileen? I’m pissed and really worried about my girl.

Amelia, between customers DM’s her on Intagram and I decide to email her. I feel like this is the one fucking day, that I can’t be here, because of my new job, and Eileen (who I love) has been killed or been in an accident, or lost her way, isn’t coming into work on the ONE day I really need her)

I’m angry, (pissed) and I end up calling the owner of Mac Mart and just leaving a message. No details just a notification because I don’t know how this day is going to go down.

I’ve called Eileen twice and it’s gone straight to voicemail. I’m flipping out.

The ONE day I have to slip out of my shift, (but I’m supposed to have full coverage and it’s about to go down in flames.)

Amelia Instagrams Eileen and I email her in a moment of desperation.

We’re getting slammed at the salon. I’m angry, and doing every I can think of to maintain the place. We are being over run. It’s 4pm in the afternoon. Don’t these people have jobs? We’re getting crushed.

I need Eileen.

I’m loading towels into the dryer when I get the message.

The email says: ” My phone is broken, of course I’ll be in at 4:30″

I want to kiss Eileen I’m so happy. Amelia knows about Mac Mart, but Eileen doesn’t.

“What happened?”

My phone reset and isn’t working but I’ll be in at 4:30.”

Okay, I’m no longer losing my shit.

At this point I’m cleaning beds, and doing laundry. But Amelia and I are being run over, and I have to be at Mac Mart in an hour.

I was collecting dirty towels from the hamper when I saw lovely Eileen climbing the stairs at the salon.

“Ladies and gentleman, put your hand together, coming to the stage, is the lovely, Eileen!”

I was just so grateful at this point.

I was just so damn happy to see her, and that I could go be the manager at Mac Mart for the first time.

I was standing at the counter with Amelia doing what we do when suddenly SHE appeared.

I turned and there was Zoey.

I gasped exactly the way when I saw Alessandra Ambrosio for the first time. (I hope Zoey appreciates that!)

I’m overjoyed to see my number one. My favorite girl who comes in here. It’s been over a month. I’ve had a special facial lotion for her hidden in the back.

But I have to go.

I’m needed at Mac Mart.

My future.

But Zoey is here.

I announce to Amelia and Eileen that Zoey is my number one and they comply.

My staff always senses that when I want to spend extra time with a special client. They always step it up and do everything, because they know that the boss is distracted.

The great thing is, the girls do this instinctively every time this happens. They just know that I’m interested, and they have to do everything.

I like that.

I have to go to Mac Mart. No one knows that but Amelia.

“Do you have a date? Asks Eileen.

“No.”

The girls feel sad for me.

Zoey is in Number 1, I tell Eileen.

This is a rare event. All three of us are here. I know the girls will be great together, but my queen arrived and they know to stand down and do what I say for Zoey.

I’m overjoyed Zoey has appeared. I make sure she’s scheduled for the best bed in the house before taking her to the back of the salon.

I go into my secret drawer and pull out a plastic bag and hand it to her.

“What? What is this Charles.?”

“Open it, Zoey.”

It’s just a plastic Wawa bag to hide my gifts for my loves. She produces a tube of an amazing facial tanning solution. I know Zoe worries about her skin and her blemishes because she’s young. This lotion will take care of all of that. It’s called ‘Oohh La La Face’.

I went on our site and searched for something that would be perfect to protect her lovely visage. It’s what I do for my number one.

I like to give them little gifts.

Zoey is ecstatic. I know she’s been looking for a special lotion for her lovely face, and I’ve just presented it to her after not seeing her for a month.

I’m not after Zoey. I’m just happy she’s in my life.

“Thank you so much. This is perfect.”

“I’ve missed you terribly, Zoey.”

Zoey hugs me and I kiss her shoulder.

She giggles like always and I love that.

“When are we getting a drink? I’m available Tuesday on.” She says.

My mind swoons but I have to figure the hookup. Meeting Zoey for a drink will be such a wonderful experience.

I’m busy with work but I need to figure out her schedule but this is really happening.

Could I actually have a drink with my Number 1?

 

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Sun Stories – Zoe – Chapter 4 – My Lovely Number 1 Finally Returns! – Part 1

A stupendous beauty.

Zoey had been a top 10 for me at the salon for over a year. She rose through the ranks of beautiful women that come in the salon to top 5. Zoey s one of the sweetest people that visit us. Zoey listens to all of my crazy stories, and laughs at all of my jokes and is an all around lovely person.

I have no drama in my life anymore because I’ve cleared out all of the bad/crazy women from my life. But I do create a little drama at the salon between the clients. I always have a list of my favorite women that come in and if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that the Number 1 spot has changed many times.

I’m so fickle and the winners come and go. It’s all nonsense but it makes the job fun and I enjoy the competition and so do the girls.

But after awhile, I realized that Zoey had become Top 3 and then my favorite.

So when you hit number 1, I have to do things for you. I upgrade you to better beds, I get you little gifts. I love it, and the girls go crazy over the attention.

I don’t want to date them or anything else, I just like doing things for these girls because I can.

It’s just something in my kind personality, and I feel that after all of the years working in grinding corporate life, I’ve been rewarded with solid work where I’m surrounded by lovely young women.

They get it. I’m a good dad to Lorelei and they all know I’m not after them in the slightest bit. It’s just a fun activity that actually enriches our client experience and most of them upgrade to more expensive packages after I turn them on to the better beds.

They’re beautiful and charming girls, but the bottom line is to make money for the salon. So there’s always a method to the madness.

But in this lovely mundane job, I create an energy to make it interesting.

If you’ve been reading this, I’ve almost phased out the whole “Number One” nonsense, because fickle me loves them all equally and there are so many regulars and new ones that come in that I adore, it’s just phickle heaven for me.

Especially now that it’s incredibly busy in the salon. It’s a sea of beauty. The dopamine saturates my brain.

I love them all.

As the temperature increases, there is non-stop traffic of lovely women and well turned tan legs.

It’s our busy season and the place in insane. But I have the best employees I’ve ever had. I love Amelia as a friend and comrade, and Eileen is so amazing with the clients. We’re truly in a renaissance at the salon and my partner Achilles has no clue. He barely knows their names. I’m here working every night, with these girls and we’ve all built a solid relationship.

It’s sooo good. Read about Amelia and Eileen. I’m honored to know these girls. I couldn’t be happier.

I’ve worked for so many loser fuckers, and now I’m surrounded by good people and good work.

But tonight is like no other.

I get a text from my Number one, Zoey, and she tells me she’ll be in this week.

I’m shocked and elated. Zoey is finishing college and now working as an intern. (Standard young life fare) Since making her my Number 1 she hasn’t been in so I was butt hurt about that because I want to see her, but the girl has a real job and I need to check myself.

I tell her not to come in on Wednesday because  I won’t be in and I tell her I will cry. (Kidding. She gets it)

I ordered an expensive face lotion for her. Zoey worries about her face like any young lady. I get her the best, and it actually has elements in it that will clear up any blemishes she has. I ordered it a month ago and hid it in a secret drawer I have at the salon where I keep bags so Achilles wouldn’t find it and ask questions. (We don’t carry it. I got it especially for Zoey.)

I thought she’d come in and get it, but weeks went by and I didn’t see her. I actually started to think why did I make her my number one if she stopped coming in like the rest of my candidates?

But she always kept in touch and I knew she was getting killed at school and at her new job.

I kept the lotion buried under a pile of plastic bags in my secret bags for a month. I checked on it periodically to make sure Achilles hadn’t found it and either disposed of it or called me out on it.

I’ve been moonlighting at Marc Mart because that’s an amazing local company that’s growing. The owner as expanded to Delaware and I’ll be the manager of their Rittenhouse store going forward.

I texted Eileen to remind her to come in and work with Amelia on Wednesday. I’ve never done this before, and I haven’t told Achilles that I’ll be working with them less at the salon.

It’s been a long time coming, because I wanted to grow with the salon and the gym but it hasn’t happened. The salon is doing well but not growing. Mac Mart  is opening a new store in Delaware at a University and we now have our sites on Temple University and beyond.

I want to be an integral part of that growth.

I see the elegant face of this brand, and after working in corporate America for so many years, it’s refreshing to bring my talent to the next Starbucks.

So the owner at Mac Mart has scheduled me to close. That’s 5 to 10pm. It’s my first one. I have to do it. I had asked Eileen to come in and work with Amelia for the night. Baby was fine with it.

Perfect.

I text her Tuesday night to remind her that I need her at 4:30 tomorrow.

Crickets.

No big deal. It was late night.

The next day. (Crickets)

Now I’m worried. Eileen is 18 years old, her phone is her life.

Hours later I text her again.

Nothing.

This is weird. Did something happen to her? I’m really worried!

I call her. Goes straight to voice mail.

Horrors.

This is the only day I ever have to go work a night shift at Mac Mart and now I can’t get a hold of my girl at all.

To be continued…

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Eileen – Chapter 10 – International Restaurant

I love Amelia. She is Megasun personified. Best employee ever. Achilles is completely oblivious because all he does is deal with the salon and the fitness center from 10am to 3pm.

After that is when the magic and the money happens.

He has no contact with me and the girls unless something goes wrong at the salon. My job is to make the salon sing and never call him.

I have the best staff I’ve ever had in the history of this company.

 

Achilles has lived his life with $9 an hour marginal garbage for years. But you bring me in and you’ll get better staff, because that’s what I do.

Does he appreciate it? No. He’s Greek, They work and grow and run businesses. They never trust their staff because most of them are shit and can’t be trusted.

But something magical happened in 2016. Achilles suddenly got a $50k corporate guy to come give him the fuel that professional, in the rat race, gave to corporations every day. But I drove that into a tanning salon. I was sick of corporate america and working for a bunch of weak assholes.

I can use all of my powers in this retail outlet.

What if we invest into a fitness center ?

Lets do that.

Sadly, never happened.

Let’s open another salon on the other side of Broad.

Never happened.

I’m the greatest employee you’ve ever had, and you’re still just running the last tanning salon in the city of Philadelphia.

We’ve faced our struggles and it’s all good, but here we are in our busy season.

I’m grateful for Amelia and Eileen.

They are hands down, the greatest employees I’ve ever had.

How is that possible?

Amelia, great with the clients, calm, cleaning, fun, charming, the extra stuff. Eileen, always charming, calm, and beautiful but willing to jump in whenever necessary.

I’ve some how been blessed.

Amelia and Eileen are beyond great.

I love them both in their earnest and elegance.

They run the front counter and get it right every night, and I get the luxury to run around the salon and just clean beds and do laundry. (Love it!)

That shows me that the most masterful member stands down while his best runs the ship. They’re ready and they’re better than him for this job tonight.

I have hired the best and this progression shows me that I’m right. They work independent of me and Achilles barely knows who they are. I would find that odd but I know him. He’s dealt with garbage employees for ten years, and can no longer tell the difference. I think he’s even losing sight of his very finest.

I want no credit in this, Amelia and Eileen are my best hires, and I am so very proud of them. I simply trained them and these lovely birds flew.

Oh darn…. I’ve been so caught up in how great my staff is… I promised Eileen if she got three compliments on her make up (Which is always amazing) I’d buy her dinner.

Sadly, she only got two but we did go to McDonald’s, and she loved it.

We did a group text to Amelia that I took my hire to “An International Restaurant for dinner Friday night.”

We all had a good laugh over it and I can’t wait to take Amelia for gelato as soon as possible!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Sun Stories: Pamela – Free Tanning Card

“Do you think I’m a prostitute?”

I was in a bar one night having a few drinks and seeing my friend, Prova. (See: Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) I was giving out free tanning cards to the girls working behind the bar, and I gave one to Pamela.

About a month or so later she came into the salon with the card I had given her. She seemed a little crazy. Just fussing over her face in the mirror and chattering about her job.

I take her back to the best bed in the house and show her how the bed works. She seems really into tanning. She’s excited to have a session in the best bed in the house.

When she’s finished she comes out and says she loved it and is going to buy a package. (The Free Tan Cards really work!)

She starts telling me how she’s going to see this guy she met on Tinder in New York. I tell her to be careful, and to let a friend know when she’s going, where she’s going and how long she’s supposed to be there.

Then she shocks me that she’s going there because the guy is paying her.

“Oh.”

“Yea. I’m kind of a sugarbaby.”

She went on to tell me about how she has a guy in Florida that pays her $2000 to come down for the weekend. He flies her in and pays her $2000 cash twice a month. She showed me a picture of him on her phone and he’s a fat half Asian, half Hispanic guy. He’s probably an IT computer guy with lots of money and no game. But hey, if he’s willing to pay…

“Do you think I’m a prostitute?”

Technically, what she’s doing is prostitution, but we’re at the salon and she’s a paying client with a premium package.

“No. You’re an adult and you can do what you like, Pam.”

“Ok. I just don’t want you to think I’m a whore.”

“You’re fine. Pam. No worries.”

“I just got this new phone. Do you have a charger?”

“I do.”

“Can you charge my phone while I go tan?”

“Sure.” She hands me the phone and I plug it in. I notice that there is no code to lock the phone. “Pam, you should put a code on this phone to protect people from looking at your stuff.”

“I don’t care if you peek.” She gives me a sly smile and heads back to the room.

Should I go through her phone and look at her pics?

Of course not! That’s an invasion of privacy. I’m employed here to protect my clients and take care of them.

Did I go look at her pics once she was back in the room?

Of course I did. She did say that she didn’t mind if I peeked.

So I looked.

There were many nude photos of Pam, of a graphic sexual nature. It was exciting to see her nude, but it was also a little gross.

When she came out of her session, she came to the counter to retrieve her phone.

“I put it in Airplane Mode. It charges twice as fast.”

“Thanks.” She gave me an approving smile. She knows I looked at her pics.

On another occasion, she was in room #10 at our old location, and I was next door in room #11 doing a demonstration for a woman who wanted to get a spray tan. Pamela must have heard my voice and opens the door of her room, and asks for an additional towel.

She was topless.

I hate my job.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Sun Stories: Haley – Rules and Lists

You used the last of the toilet paper on the spool and started the new roll that I left for you on the back of the toilet tank. But please don’t replace the toilet paper by simply putting it on the spool. Just set it on top of the spent spool! Lazy fuckers! Doing something courteous in a public restroom doesn’t instantly turn you into a janitor you piece of shit!

This is one of my all time favorite posts. It was fun to write and I’m sure the whole gang at the salon will love it!

Enjoy!

While working at the salon, Haley and I came up with a lot of funny bits we used to do. I can hear her giggling right now in my head as I write this.

We would lock the doors at closing time, and sometimes people would show up trying to get in and tan. There’s always people who can’t manage their schedules or the clock or the calendar and are always late for everything.

Do we come to your bar and want to order a bunch of stuff when you’re trying to close? Then don’t pull that shit on us. We didn’t want to deal with the cast of regulars that would try to pull this and sometimes we would simply hide from them as they banged on the door and/or started calling the house phone. We would be behind the wall or under the counter laughing.

There’s this one girl who comes in and she’s super hot but dresses provocatively. She knows she’s hot and likes to flaunt her body, but actually that’s not good behavior for a woman. But if she wants all of that attention that’s her business. I just liked her because she was hot. She’s really just a vacuous bubblehead.

So I would come in, and Haley would say, “You just missed your girlfriend!”

And I’d always say, “Which one?” (Because I loved so many of the hot girls that frequent the salon.)

She’d say, “Alexa! and you would have loved her because she was looking extra slutty today!”

I love Haley. She’s hilarious.

 

Achilles told me some things I needed to follow when I first started working there. These were just some fundamental things that I should do if I wanted things to work smoothly. I have so much enthusiasm for everything I do, I decided to actual make a real list. So I’ll show it here and break down the rules and explain what they mean.

1. No shared memberships (You can’t come in with your friend or spouse and buy a monthly package and share the tanning sessions. Like she can’t come in on Tuesday and then you come in on Wednesday. You also can’t come in on the same day and go to separate rooms.)
2. No shared rooms (Only one person to a room. Because who knows what two people could do in a room together when they’re naked?)
3. You’re available but not available (You can’t date the clients. What if I start dating some girl who comes there and then we break up and she won’t come to the salon because it’s awkward? Achilles loses revenue because of my dalliances. Off limits.)
4. It’s not clean until it’s mega clean (Job #1 in any business that serves the public is cleanliness. If you have a business where multiple people lie naked on the same acrylic sun bed over and over, the bed better be sanitized like crazy)
5. Last tanning session is at 7:50 (We talked about this. If we close at 8pm we can lock the doors at 7:50 so we can get on with our lives.)
6. We clean our own beds (The staff goes tanning. You shouldn’t work at a tanning salon and look pale. But I don’t want Haley or Summer or Trish wiping the sweat off the bed I just tanned in. And vice versa. Gross!)
7. When in doubt, throw it out (If you’re not sure if a towel is clean it goes in the hamper. Rather safe than sorry.)
8. Cash is king (Achilles loves cash. If someone pays cash you can knock 10% of the price if they’re on a budget)
9. You can’t leave your lotion here We’re not a storage facility. (people actually ask if we can hold their lotion for them under the counter)
10. No strollers! (This isn’t a real rule. We just worried about them carrying the strollers up 30 steps. It’s just unsafe. But there is another reason I’ll discuss below. You’ll know when you see it.)
11. No extensions! (If someone buys a month and then they go away for a week, we won’t put their membership on hold so they can start it up upon their return and get that week back. Mange your life better!) (However, we did this once for a good client when her mother died.)
12. No discounts unless it’s on the website and they mention it first! (We do 10% for cash if they ask and 20% for students if they ask. Summer, a girl who works here and formerly tanned here, said to me the other day, “You never gave me 20% because I was a student!” Me: Did you ever ask? “No.” Me: “We’re in business to make money, Summer. Now you work here… you can tan for free!”)
13. Never mention that we replace the bulbs in the beds to the customers. (Achilles always changes the bulbs on strict schedules. It’s just something that needs to be done on a regular basis to maintain the strength of the beds. But we don’t discuss that with clients because they could think that they’ve been tanning all month on weak bulbs and now in the last week of their package there are good new bulbs that are in the bed now. It’s just not the case and we don’t want to open that can of worms.)
I created a Love List. This was basically a list of hot women. It’s ridiculous, and I no longer do it. I created it when I first started working there because I was new and overwhelmed by all the beauty that comes in to tan at the salon. If I made Love List today it would look far different and probably consist of men and women who are nice people who are a pleasure to serve.
Haley had a Love list too. But hers consisted of nice people, and grandpa type old guys that came into tan. “They’re so cute, like my Pop Pop!”
And where there is a Love List, so must there be a Hate List. The Hate List is only about six people who come in at closing, are weird, or when they come in there’s always some sort of problem.
Which brings us to our favorite list of all. We all agree about every one of these and the list is always growing. We love it so much that I read it aloud to the staff at our Christmas dinner! Enjoy!
Things That Annoy Us. 
1. People that come in at 7:49. (We close at 8pm)
2. People that leave lakes of sweat on the bed.
3. People that close the bed and the door. (don’t make it look like you’re still in there! That makes us nervous!)
4. Trash strewn room.
5. Taking forever to choose a lotion packet when there’s a line.
6. When people come in and complain about things beyond our control.
7. When 7 girls come in and only have basic packages. (We only have two basic beds and two girls go in and then the rest of them have to sit around and wait in the lobby. It takes forever)
8. Hey client… to get the lotion on your body, not the table, floor, mirror and walls.
9. I’m going to wait for the Alpha (Premium bed.) and two people are ahead of me and its quarter to 8pm. (closing time)
10. They need more than 5 minutes to get ready and it’s our responsibility to remember to send them. (Activate the bed)
11. When people decide to go to the bathroom after we’ve sent them to a room.
12. They get a spray tan then go out in the rain and expect nothing to happen then call the next day to say their legs are streaking. Rain is like taking a shower!!! (You have to stay dry for 6 hours after a spray tan!)
13. Customers that talk to you about a bunch of stuff you have zero interest in. (Sader sounds) That’s a guy who used to come in and just gab about of things we don’t know about or care to hear about) Or this other lady who will rudely go on and on about her crazy ex husband or her kid who’s been in an out of children’s hospital his whole life. We get it. We’re sorry for you, but don’ lay your problems at a bunch of clerks at a tanning salon!
14. Can I leave my lotion here that I purchased elsewhere? (Really?)
15. Which one do you think is the best? (It’s all the same shit. Just pick a damn packet of lotion!)
16. Client: I referred so and so, so I get a free tan right? Me: Did you fill out the little card and have them bring it in with your name on it? Client: No. Me: Then No.
17. Can you just put me in today and when I come in on Tuesday you can subtract it from the next package I buy? Oh Laura… (That was some girl who would always try to pull that shit on me. I liked her but…No!)
18. Yea, sure, go into our bathroom and take a dump before you even come in to say hello. (Achilles hates that one)
19. Door squeaks and then tons of giggling and multiple footsteps… (Oh God here they come! A bunch of noisy college freshman girls) You’d think I’d like this, but it’s annoying.
20. Customer: umm one of the face tanners is burned out in the Cadillac. Us: Yea. It’s 10 after 8. Get the fuck out of here. (We don’t say that we just think it)
21. When the white trash junkie whores bring their Milano babies up here in their giant strollers and hang out for over an hour while they take turns tanning, changing dirty diapers and leaving them in the bathroom, while their kids cry and scream wreaking havoc in the lobby with our good clients. (Too much?)
22. When Sader inserts himself into my conversation with our lovely clientele. (This guy again. I’d be chatting with some young lovely, and he just comes in and inserts his tiny self into the conversation. Annoying!) UPDATE: Sader no longer comes to tan here because he said his doctor found some unusual skin growths on him so his tanning life is over. Not his real life… He just can’t tan anymore.
23. We warned you that if you weren’t gentle with the fan control on the Max 10 it’ll shut the bed off, but goddamn it, you’re fucking going to do it anyway. Twice.
24. Achilles: “This time of year nobody comes in to tan on the basic beds.” Me: (crushed on a Thursday) “Shut the fuck up, Achilles.”
25. Guy comes in our lobby: (There was a copy and print shop downstairs from the old salon on 16th street) “Is this where I can make copies? Me: (points to Max 10 sun bed.) “Does that look like a copy machine, sport? Get the fuck out of here.” (We don’t really say that, we think it.)
26. Just because you bought a month package doesn’t mean you have to come in everyday! (There are people who actually do this!)
27. Laura (crazy client) text: I just wanted to say hi and that I miss you terribly.  Me: Buy an All Access Premium EFT and you can see me everyday. Oh by the way…. Are you due for a new bottle of lotion??
28. Don’t put the fucking mega clean sign back on the dirty bed.
29. Am I the only one that works here and regularly cleans out the lint trap in the fucking dryer?
30. The mumblers! (Please speak up and use the voice God gave you!)
31. When I’m somewhere other than at the front counter, and the client starts wandering around the salon looking for me. (What are you a baby duckling?)
32. Did you have to throw everything on the floor? (Winkease trash, mega clean sign, head rest, towel, lotion packet, etc.)
33. You used the last of the toilet paper on the spool and started the new roll that I left for you on the back of the toilet tank. But please don’t replace the toilet paper by simply putting it on the spool. Just set it on top of the spent spool! Lazy fuckers! Doing something courteous in a public restroom doesn’t instantly turn you into a janitor you piece of shit!
34. When they use a towel to dry off their hands in the bathroom and instead of throwing the used towel into the little hamper next to the sink, they throw it back on top of the clean folded ones! Who the fuck is raising these monkeys?
35. When a client comes in and no one is at the counter, instead of having a seat in the waiting area, they just stand there at the counter nearly grinding their pelvis into it. Just leaning on the counter and all. I fucking hate that!
36. Why are you compelled to touch the mirrors in each room? I always see smudges and fingerprints on the mirrors. What, are you just checking to see that it’s really a mirror and not some portal to another world where there’s another you staring back at you??? What the fuck?
All in a days work.
Miss you, Haley!

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Sun Stories: Haley – Lightning in a Bottle

“Now with what I’m describing you’d think that this young lady is a perfect little angel.

Quite the contrary.”

I got a text from Achilles (See: Sun Stories: Achilles, 2016 to Present – The Bronze God) He asked if I could work open to close today. That’s 10am to 8pm, on your feet, running around the salon for 10 hours. I agreed, because I have a flexible schedule at my other job, and I think he may have come down with a cold. On top of that it’s been thunder storming all day, and he probably doesn’t want to come out in this mess.

So I’m at the salon, and it’s a pretty quiet day. You’d think more people would come out to tan on a rainy day, but it’s the other way around. They come when it’s warm and sunny out.

I’m just standing behind the counter writing my blog on the computer. When in walks this cute 19-year-old girl. Raven hair, blue eyes and fair skin. She says my name, and I do a double take.

“Don’t you recognize me because I’m not tan?”

“Oh my god! Haley!”

I come from around the counter and she goes in for a big hug.

“I missed you!”

From mid April until the end of August is our busy season at the salon. We can’t provide the level of service that our customers deserve with only one person on shift at night. So Achilles usually will bring on a second person at night to ease the flow of clients. Haley had been working every summer at the salon since she was 16 years old.

Haley has a sister Elisa that’s a year younger that she is. She comes into tan but never worked here. Elisa’s cute, but Haley’s beautiful. There’s a difference.

Haley was also a straight A student last year in her senior year. Beauty and brains. A deadly combination. She wants to eventually go to medical school to become a doctor!

So Achilles brought her back again last summer to help out at night. I wondered how that was going to go. Me, a middle-aged man working with a senior in high school.

Well I’ll tell you how it went. It went fantastic! Working with Haley from day one was glorious. She’d been doing the job for two years prior, so she knew everything about the salon. We ran the place like a well oiled machine. I’m driving in the sales. Haley picks up on how I ask every customer if they need lotion or protective eyewear. She starts pitching it to every client thereafter. She’s like lightning when she works. Super fast and really efficient. She knows exactly when to put the laundry in the washer and stays on top of the time when to get it into the dryer. (I love her South Philly accent. Instead of saying “towels”, she pronounces it “tales”. It is to adorable!

“I’m so sick of these tales! I hate the color and they’re too hard to fold and they don’t fit under the counter right!” she would say.

Working with Haley was a total riot. We would take care of the clients but had a lot of fun working together.

On time this weirdo douchebag guy comes in to tan. Haley asks him what kind of bed he wants to tan in. (Stand up unit, or lay down)

He says: “How about a four-poster.”

Haley is silent but I look at him with a hard eye and say: “Dick. She’s in High School.”

Shut that fucker right down.

I see Haley like a daughter or a niece. Gotta protect the young ladies around us.

I told Achilles about the incident and he also gave them his own personal warning to the guy. I don’t know what he said or did, but we never had a problem with this asshole again.

One day told her that out of everyone I knew, she and my daughter Lorelei, are the only people I know who don’t use profanity, which I find very refreshing. Haley responded by saying that she doesn’t curse around parents. (Apparently this is the same story with my kid.) I like that!

Speaking of her parents, she said her dad is a bit of a curmudgeon, but her mom is a total sweetheart. Her mother would always drive up to the salon at closing in her truck with their dog and pick up little Haley. Her mom is kind of hot. But I love that she would always come and get Haley and make sure her daughter got home safe!

Haley went down the shore after graduating from high school with honors and went to work as a server at Mack’s Pizza in Wildwood, NJ for the summer. She told me they originally want her to work a bunch of hours but she told them she was down the shore to have fun, relax and enjoy her summer. She was still making around $800 a week slinging slices to the hungry tourists.

“It’s the most money I ever made at a job in my life!” she squealed to me today.

Currently she is in college and working part time at an Italian restaurant in South Philly.

Now with what I’m describing you’d think that this young lady is a perfect little angel.

Quite the contrary.

Sure, she’s a great student and is a really well-behaved kid. But technology is much better than when I was a teenager. She has a fake ID that looks exactly like a DMV issued drivers license that says she’s 21. She showed it to me and it looks better than anything I’ve ever seen. That’s so she can get served and go into bars and nightclubs.

She’s a good girl and has a nice guy she is seeing, and she behaves herself. They play it cool and are careful when she and her friends go out. They mostly just like to hang out somewhere and drink beer like teenagers have done for decades.

I love the paradox of the brilliant, beautiful student that has a touch of. I can trust that in a woman.

I remember she would bring her laptop into work and do her homework sometimes. The customers didn’t know what she was doing, and could care less. They just want to hop into an available bed and get their tanning session, and get on with their day. But I know Achilles doesn’t like any of his employees focusing on anything but the clients and what’s going on in the salon. I get it. It’s his business and the salon is his livelihood. But Haley is such a good student with high aspirations, and I never said anything because she’d been working there off and on for three years. So I didn’t care what she was doing because at the time I didn’t know what his arrangement was with Haley after all of that time.

Besides she was always all business when it came to being on point in the salon every night. She made my life easier and I absolutely loved working with this lovely, lively girl. She’s so full of life and apparently I’m good at making her laugh.

When she worked the Saturday shift, (Which is from 11am to 6pm) sometimes her  classmate, Lia would come in and hang on the couch and keep her company. I get it. It’s a 7 hour shift and teenagers get bored easily. She’s a pretty black girl and she’d sit on the sofa and hang with Haley, bring her coffee and snacks to pass the time because weekends are slower than nights during the week. I mean, I’ve had friends come and hang at the salon and chat with me while I’m working. On any given night, Church will swing in and hang for an hour until we go to the bar after I close up shop. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador)

But Achilles found out this black girl was hanging out on Saturdays and wasn’t happy with it. Again… it’s a business and his livelihood and didn’t want a bunch of kids hanging around in his salon not doing anything. I get it. He’s right, but I went in once on a Saturday to make sure everything was cool, and to tan. (I like to tan on days I don’t work. It just feels better) I had the pleasure of meeting Lia. She’s a lovely young woman who has been accepted to Yale!

Yes. I said Yale. You don’t get into Yale being a crazy reckless youth. This girl is going to go on to do great things in her life. She’s sweet, charming, and obviously very intelligent and focused on her future.

So my girl Haley surrounds herself with great people and I’m really proud of her. She gives me hope for the future youth of America!

Oh, and she has the exact same birthday as my daughter, Lorelei! Haley is 11/17/97 and Lor is 11/17/96. Two  Scorpios. Don’t mess with my girls or you’ll get stung!

I was so happy to see my former co-worker today. It made my 10 hour shift on my feet running around on a very rainy day just a bit sunnier. Haley is a ray of light that I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with and have in my life.

Oh… one more thing. Haley isn’t on ANY social media. Just doesn’t see the point of it. Hope!

Seeing her today inspired me to write about her, and I am now going to publish another piece about our adventures at the tanning salon. I’ll give you a little hint: While we were working together we came up with official rules for the salon, based on some of the stuff Achilles would lay on me about how to run the salon. We also created lists of clients we loved and hated. But the funniest list we made was the “Things that Annoy Us.” You may not get all of them, and I will explain what they mean in this future post. But if you’ve worked in retail or the service industry, you should be able to relate.

I love Haley, and didn’t realize how much I missed her smile and laughter until today!

 

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Sun Stories – The Move

I just start grabbing anything that’s not tied down and tossing it into boxes or bags.

Five guys tearing apart a business and breaking down huge, complex tanning beds and moving them to another location was so brutal, Achilles says he’ll never move again. I can’t agree more. We’re going to a better location and the new salon will be beautiful… eventually. I couldn’t think of a good image to show what a mess the salon is now so I’m sticking with “hot chick in a sunbed.”

I closed on a Friday, and that night the crew came in with Achilles and started dismantling the sunbeds. Great thing was, I didn’t have to sweep or mop the place, because we would never be open for business again at this address.

I went back in Saturday morning around 10am and the crew was in full swing. Achilles, his brother Zues, and two other big strong dudes. They’re all taking things apart and carrying them down the back steps to the alley outside. The beds are huge and have tons of parts.

I just start grabbing anything that’s not tied down and tossing it into boxes or bags. I carry them by hand and walk the three blocks down to walnut street. I carry them up the 30 stairs, unload, and walk back to the old salon. I do this over and over until 4pm.

My whole body hurts when I get home. It’s that moment when you finally sit down for a bit and then have to get up to get more ice for your drink or something. Once on your feet the pain and stiffness kicks in and I groan like an old man.

And the worst part? I have to go do it all again tomorrow. This move has been brutal!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Sun Stories – We’re Moving and Adding Fitness!

“Tanning could go away, but fitness is here forever.”

I’ve been working part-time at the tanning salon for about a year and a half now. We wanted to take over the property next door, and make it a spinning cycle gym. We tried to make that happen for about six months until the landlord finally agreed.

But a week later he told us to wait. Then he jerked us around for another month until we found out that the building was up for sale. The whole building including the tanning salon. So we tried to negotiate with the new owners, but it was pretty clear our rent was going up and they had other plans for the building.

We decided to take matters into our own hands. We started to look for another spot. After searching for a awhile we settled on a 2nd floor space on Walnut street. It’s bigger than where we are currently, and a more visible to people walking down the street. Walnut street is mostly all upscale retail brands so we should do well down there.

The best part is, in the front of the new building is a big open space for us to build a personal fitness center. I’ll invest in that and become a managing partner in the business. So I’m super amped about that. I think owning a business in Rittenhouse will be a life changing event. I’m really looking forward to this move and building this business.

Tanning could one day go away. Maybe not completely, but what if science comes up with a pill you could take that would simply activate the natural melanin in your skin? You take the pills and you slowly become tan. That could happen. UV light would still be around for the people who love the feeling, and to treat numerous skin disorders, but a portion of our business could decrease. Fitness on the other hand, will never go away. People will always want to work out and stay in shape. If you had an established business with over seven hundred active clients, that liked to tan and be fit, a gym could succeed in a space like that. If you could do your workout in the same place you went tanning would you for the right price? I think most people would. So this could be a whole new age for our business and I’m happy to be along to make it happen!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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