A few years ago I attended Esthetics school where I I loved performing facials and skin treatments but wasn’t too fond of waxing or hair removal. After completion of the program, I was very determined to stop working as a waitress and embark on a future career that I would really enjoy.
I went to school for Esthetics because I wanted a job that would be hands on, and where I could meet new people and have a good relationship with clients. I didn’t want to do the whole 9 to 5 thing or something that would be too routine because that’s just not me. I went on several interviews at salons and spas, and most had told me that they wanted me to have at least a year of experience. How are you supposed to get your first job if they all require experience?
I noticed that there were a bunch of European Wax Centers opening up all over the place so I sent them my resume. I heard back from one of the locations and they asked me to come for an
interview. Since I was pretty young with no experience I was quite nervous because I had never been on a real interview before. I remember this interview being extremely lengthy,close to an hour if not more. The owners of this particular location (it is a franchise) were a middle aged couple and I had an interview with the husband. He asked me many questions, such as what are my five favorite movies, actors, where do I see myself in 5 years, am I a competitive person, etc. Stuff that seemed normal. I remember him asking me to write down a list of fives things that would describe myself really well. He got up and walked around while I wrote them down and then came back to go over them with me. He then started saying how the girls currently working for him were making outrageous money, some of whom had just been a waitresses before like myself and were now making $80,000.00 a year at the wax center.
Initially, this sounded like music to my ears because $80,000.00 is a good amount of money to be making, especially right out of school. The following day he called me and then had me go on an interview with his wife. She ended up being half an hour late to the interview, but at that moment, I didn’t care. After this about a week later I got a phone call from the wife offering me the job. I took it and was happy to get started. The training consisted of watching a bunch of training videos, learning a script which I had to go home and practice over and over after writing all the questions and answers on index cards. At the end of my training which was a week long I had to do a Brazilian wax on someone to see if I passed my training. I also had to wax my boss which included a Brazilian wax which I thought was pretty awkward. I also had to bring in friends to practice waxing on because I needed a certain amount of experience which makes sense. I passed everything and I was now a waxer on their bottom level. ( they have levels that you can move up based on how quickly you can do a certain wax such as legs, arms, bikini, etc.)
European Wax Center prides itself on being spotless, speedy, and having a special non-abrasive wax that is made in Paris exclusively for them. The wax only adheres to the hair and not to your skin, as they say. After working for them for a little while I realized this was a pretty bogus statement. I had a half hour to greet the client and complete a brazilian wax, which if the person has never been waxed or has very coarse hair this is damn near impossible. One of my first customers had extremely coarse hair so it was taking me a while to remove it all. Luckily I could take longer than a half hour because I did not have another appointment waiting to go in after her so I took my time. When I told my boss that I felt that in order to do a quality wax I really needed more than a half hour depending on the client, she told me to just tell them that it was their fault that all of their hair wasn’t coming out because they did not exfoliate properly before coming in, which is a great opportunity to sell them the “European wax center exfoliate”. I disagreed; yes exfoliating is great and will help with your wax experience but this wax does NOT take all the hair out because of the way that it is made. This may make waxing a little less painful than the nail salon, but you mostly likely aren’t receiving a quality job because of it.
So don’t get me wrong because I totally understand that businesses need to sell products. But this place made us (the staff) be so pushy with its customers. They wanted us to follow their script from the time the client was greeted by us to the time that they checked out. This included me having to put a product into the client’s hand before they checked out so that they felt they NEEDED to purchase it. It is basically a way to make the consumer feel that they need to buy it which is ridiculous in my opinion. And when they do have it in their hand it is right in front of the desk where they need to check out and pay and this is where the girl that answers the phones in the front will say “okay so you are purchasing this product today right?” I mean it is a very smart business tactic because so many customers end up feeling compelled and buying the product.
Here’s another thing that I didn’t like- European Wax Center MADE us purchase their products, Their body wash, their lotion, their exfoliate, etc. The bosses would literally check the computer to see the last time we purchased their products and if more than 2 or 3 months went by they would say something to you. They gave us a discount but I’m pretty sure that it was only 20%. Plus, their products really weren’t very good. The exfoliate was $38.00 at the time (it’s probably gone up by now in price) which is extremely overpriced. It’s a little container and when you rub it on your skin it actually takes your dead skin cells off which is pretty cool. Not worth the money though for what it does. They also have us tell clients that “their products never expire”. Well my jar of exfoliate was sitting in my bathroom cabinet for about 7 months and when I went to use it I opened the jar and half of it had evaporated. Granted the jar had been opened but I had only used this jar once prior so their definitely should have been a lot more left. heir body scrub sold for about $16, and it worked as well as the Dove products you can buy for 4 or 6 dollars. The only thing that I actually like about their products is that they are not tested on animals- and that’s pretty much it.
Another problem I had with working here was that every single Wednesday they would have these meetings for an hour. Meetings are good to go over new ideas and etc. but really, one EVERY week when the same things are talked about and you’re only getting paid minimum wage for that hour if it’s your day off to go over the same exact thing that you just went over the previous week? Oh and it’s bang smack at like 3 pm in the middle of the day- yeah- no thanks. So they started me off with $8.00 an hour, and told me after a month it would move up to $9.00. Instead of 1 month it took about 3 months for them to be paying me $9.00. I figured, wow that’s basically nothing, especially considering that I live in New York. However I figured with tips I could do well and they paid us commission. Little did I know that the commission would only be 5% on all of the services we do, which really is like nothing after taxes, and 10% commission on the products that we sell. I guess they figured they should give us a little bit of a higher commission on products we sell to entice us to really push the clients to purchase their overpriced products that don’t even work that great. I know that sounds blunt but I’m just being honest. Plus I’m not a pushy person. I can sell products that I truly believe in.
The owners told me and the other employees that we would receive medical benefits after three months. Needless to say after asking and asking for months that never happened. None of us ever received medical benefits like we were supposed to. This was one of the main reasons that I took this job, besides for the fact that I didn’t need any prior experience. As far as tips went, there were some clients who tipped really well but since this place sells monthly packages, a lot of the time customers would not tip because they most likely didn’t realize that they had to or they probably thought it was included in their monthly bill already. We also have to wear red scrubs that we have to purchase ourselves from a store that sells them to train in. After training they said they would provide us with 2 red pairs complimentary that say European Wax Center on them. That never happened either. Each pair came to about $50.00 each and we had to purchase them ourselves. Now that is fine except don’t tell me that you’re going to give us our first 2 pairs and then not do it. Especially since the other girls had gotten their first pair complimentary and I was expected to pay for mine, I guess because I had started the job after them. We also were not supposed to have any personal conversations with the clients, so the entire time waxing them in the room we are only supposed to be discussing their products and trying to sell them. I’m sorry but if a customer is getting a Brazilian wax they feel very vulnerable and open and will often bring up their personal life. I would like to be able to get to know my clients instead of being pushy with products and cold the entire time.
Other things that were the final straw were having to come in during snow storm for no reason because all of my clients were either no shows or cancelling their appointments and being told on numerous occasions that I couldn’t have a second job in case THEY needed me to be on call or stay later (I still waitressed part-time, and I was making a lot more doing that than working here). There was also another time where my mom was coming in and called me to see if she could come later because she would be picking up my Grandmother to come with her to visit and get their eyebrows done. I had no other appointments after so I figured that would be fine if she came 15 minutes later. I told my boss in the front to change the time and she told me no because she had to “set an example” to the other customers for coming on time and their “lateness rule” also applied to my friends and family. Which I could understand IF I had customers waiting for me, but I didn’t and it was almost the end of my shift.
My time working here did not last very long because I could not stand the way that the business was operated and the way they did not hold their word. I also think $16.00 for an eyebrow wax is just ridiculous when the eyebrow threader down the block will do a beautiful and precise job for about 5 or 6 dollars. The only thing I like about this place is how beautiful and clean it is kept, and how they wear gloves and do not double dip their wax sticks. What I mean by this is that some places will reuse the same stick over and over again throughout a Brazilian wax and then the next customer will come in and they will use that same wax that they double dipped their wax sticks in a bunch of times and then go and give you an eyebrow wax. Gross. But that’s pretty much it.
Oh and the artwork on their walls consists of half naked 20 year olds. Who wants to look at that? I mean their are plenty of men that would come in but the main clientele are middle aged women. So that doesn’t make anyone feel comfortable if they are body conscious. This is not the appropriate choice of artwork to hang on the walls of a wax center. I don’t need to see a half naked 20 year old girl licking a strawberry while I’m laying down to get a wax.
Need a wax? I would not recommend this place.