Let's start off with a resounding "I AM SO GLAD I GOT A NEW JOB"! Starbucks, my dear, you were a fair-weather friend, and I realize now that I was missing out on so much by sticking around. I cherish the real friendships that I made there, both with co-workers and customers, but it was about time for me to leave.
Working at the spa has been a huge change for me. I get up at six in the morning so I can shower, apply make-up, and style my hair. I leave home at eight, occasionally stopping at the SBUX on Oak St. on my way out of town for a double tall nonfat latte (a huge, majorly healthier change from my good old standby triple tall iced white mocha no whip). The drive down to Little Rock isn't that bad, and I leave early enough to account for most traffic snafus and snares (usually happening right outside of Conway or Maumelle, ugh).
Typically, I'll arrive at the spa twenty minutes early, time enough to help myself to more coffee or to read a book while I wait for the day to begin at 9am.
My job description is MAKEUP ARTIST, but I am quickly assuming a lot of other roles... recently being trained as a receptionist, retail specialist, Facebook page operator, and occasionally maid and interior decorator. This broad list of jobs is not a bad thing! I hate having nothing to do, so I always get excited when someone gives me a project. It's just that this is a slow make-up season, and it won't really pick up until spring (wedding season!).
We sell Bare Escentuals and Jane Iredale at the spa, two really great brands that I can sell without having to lie about how great they are. I'm still more comfortable with Bare Minerals than I am with Jane's make-up, just because my clients are few and far between, and I'm more experienced with that line than Jane Iredale. Plus, there are three types of foundation in the Jane line... as opposed to one type in Bare Minerals (unless you count Matte minerals as a different species altogether...).
In the normal work week, I usually have one or two prescheduled make-up appointments, with several small touch-up sessions after clients have facials or treatments. I relish the make-up part of my job, the part I was hired for... but after my clients leave, I usually have to find something useful to do... like dust the twenty some-odd glass shelves of product that we have in the lobby and make-up room!
Everyone at the spa is incredibly sweet, polite, and professional. It was refreshing to see how all these women (and the occasional guy) interact positively with one another. They accepted me right away, which was such a relief. No one seems to begrudge any complimentary services offered to the other new girl, Kate, and me. So far, I have gotten eyelash extensions, a hydrating body wrap body treatment, and a really awesome spray tan (which terrified me-- imagine me, pale olive pink me, suddenly having browned skin!).
The only things that are really not that great about this job so far are that I'm new (duh), and that I sometimes wish I could do more. A lot of this boils down to my need for people to trust me. Being the new girl that I am, I'm constantly having to backtrack because I made a mistake about which I wasn't warned... It's an unnerving feeling, always being on one's guard to be corrected when one doesn't really know what is unacceptable in the first place. It's really no one's fault. I can't expect them to remember everything during training. Beyond that, I can't help but feel handicapped as far as my own make-up business goes. There are jobs that I have or may have accepted in the past that I can't do now, and wedding gigs as a freelancer are nigh impossible since I work at the spa on Saturdays. The brides have to come to me! I feel like my hands are tied. Or one is.
One thing that is making that claustrophobic feeling a little better is that I've already made a suggestion to my bosses that they have been really receptive to: I want to start doing airbrush make-up at the spa, particularly for brides and bridal parties. This could seriously increase the income for the spa (and myself), and it would allow me a little more room to flourish as a make-up artist in a workplace where the make-up is a bit of an afterthought. Ben is buying me an airbrush kit (as a belated Valentine's gift ;) ), and I hope to be able to start airbrushing for pay by summertime.
All in all, I am happy. I don't necessarily get to see my husband more, but there is a regularity to our schedules now that we didn't have before. The predictability is relieving. I'm lucky to have this job, and I'm thankful for it. I'm thankful for a lot these days.