Cosmetology, Bad Relationships, and Grunge Bands?

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November 23, 2010

*This guest post is from a talented hairdresser who has jumped into the HR fray.  I applaud his bravery and his interest in participating in the Carnival of HR.  Please welcome Doug Rogers and his story of a personal turning point….

In 1990, a young cosmetology student meets a woman at a party he almost didn’t attend. He instantly falls in love with her. He had plans of moving to Atlanta after hair school was over with, and had several offers for mentorship in top salons in the metro Atlanta area.

The said student was also starting to be a first-call replacement drummer for several bands in the St. Louis, MO area. He was teaching drum students in a small music school. The music scene was starting to blossom in the Athens, GA area at the time (think REM and the B 52’s, amongst others), and he figures to make it big as a session drummer and possibly a performer. Hair dressing was a passion, but also a fall-back that would have suited the student perfectly even if he NEVER made it big as a musician.

The woman in question promises to move to Atlanta after college. College graduation was two years away for her, and she was a journalism major with a TVR minor. Atlanta was the perfect place for her, as many news organisations were there. She was a bright student; however, there was always a looming sense of entitlement in her attitude. The young man in the situation felt that maybe this sense of entitlement would get the woman in question where she wanted to go. Only later did the man figure out that the woman didn’t know what she wanted, therefore would go nowhere…

Fast forward to 1991- cosmetology student became a full-fledged hairstylist in a very abusive work situation. He hangs on for dear life in this job, as he grew up in an environment where jobs were valuable no matter how bad they were. He also was trying to make rent payments and feed two people. College girl changes majors at the last minute as she had found out that the journalism school at her college had lost it’s accreditation. This couple is already deeply committed, and the woman in question has no idea what she wants to do. She is also intent on holding the man in question back. She gives him an ultimatum when he pushes to move to Atlanta: “You can go, but I won’t come with you!!!!”

Needless to say, there were other opportunities in St. Louis, MO (with star salons that were featured on TV) burned during the tenure of this relationship, as she did not want the young hair dresser to be more successful than she was. The college student (now graduate) who was in a job she merely showed up to would often tell the young hair dresser that he shouldn’t go work in St. Louis, as it is too far to drive. But she would later admit that she was afraid that the young hair dresser would forsake her for the cool “St. Louis people”. In 1995, the young hair dresser eventually ends the relationship with this woman as he found that she was nothing more than an emotional vampire who wanted a minion, not a partner. The young hair dresser was deep in debt after the break up, and had to stay in the Midwest to toil away in a career where he isn’t the star he imagined he could have been.

What would have happened had I not gone to that party? Would have I met the said siren some place else and followed the same path? Would I be on Dancing with the Stars because I was in some ’90s grunge band? Would I have been touring on the TV talk show circuit showing the world my take on hair dressing? We will never know…

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.

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