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No access to my schedule - USA based

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Kacey123

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Hi! im a stylist at a salon, I have worked here for two years, we use square appointments. Each stylist has access to their own schedule via their mobile device, this means we can book appointments and change them if necessary. Recently we had a couple stylists get fired and one quit, the owner is worried about clients being taken by the stylists, as they had access to their info via their phones. she is also wanting the salon to seem more professional- by having every client book through the salon or the salon site. I guess the owner felt some of the stylists weren't answering customers quickly enough.

so she took away all our access to our schedule except for when we are at the salon looking at the computer.
I am a very routine person, I plan EVERYTHING, when I pay my bills, what day is chore day, when I run my errands. I am at work 20-30 mins early everyday to clean and prepare for my services, the thought of not being able to feel prepared for the day ahead of time seriously stresses me out, I already had a full blown anxiety attack. I am literally always checking my schedule, making posts for what I have for last minute availability,

in my opinion her decision doesn't make any sense. I understand not wanting us to have access to client info- I do think she should block out access to that *which she can do in square*
but now our clients that dm us on insta/text us we have to say, sorry we can't do that anymore, call the salon. And we still would need to say that in a very quick manner for it to even make a difference from what she was saying about the stylists not answering quickly enough. Personally, as a customer I think I would be more annoyed with this response rather than them letting me know their availability.

I have worked with access to my schedule for 2 years, I have completely gotten used to this resource, and I honestly rely on it, I am able to book doctor appts for myself accordingly because I can see my schedule. I can plan any vacas and stuff like that.. I also am still building my clientele, so I'm constantly booking people in on my "off time" just to accommodate people to make them happy and a loyal client.
but with that access being stripped I am incredibly unhappy, I feel like it makes it impossible to be prepared, and make my clients happy, and make things easy for them. The owner who works as a stylist as well said she would send us (all 13 of us) our schedules individually as needed. which is just extremely unlikely. she barely can answer our texts quickly as is because she is so busy.
also to bounce off that, clients are constantly changing their appointments, at least 2x a week someone reschedules their appt between 11pm and 5am, which obviously she wouldn't be able to update us on that before our day begins, which gives us no time to make a last minute cancellation post.

she said no other salon allows employees access to the schedule, I messaged all my friends in the hair industry, all but one (who lives halfway across the country) have access from their phones.

I also feel like in this industry its supposed to be about growing your clientele. How is this going to be possible for me if im not allowed to have any contact with them, I am not supposed to dm them with any hair advice or answer any questions they might have? I don't understand.

I jut feel like, if I wanted to work at a salon where you have no idea what your schedule is like until you walk in, I would work at a chain like supercuts/ sports clips. NO HATE on those places whatsoever, I just have been told places like that don't have access to schedules.

I need advice, I'm not sure what to do, but I know for a fact I will be miserable if this doesn't change. I have been a great, loyal employee, I'm always early, I have literally never called out. I go in on my off time whenever my boss asks me to accommodate other clients (I've gone in on my off time for Her, and been no showed like 3x) I try to do everything I can to make sure my boss is happy, but I feel like she has no issue making me extremely stressed by doing this. in my opinion this industry relies on schedules. if you mess up your schedule, run behind, etc, its a huge pain. As a person I rely on schedules as well and this is making it very hard.

I've considered getting like a book planner and just doing it on paper, but I would have no idea when things change so it would really help.. any advice would be great, im desperate
 

TheDuchess

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In the U.K. this wouldn’t be allowed. In this situation you’d just organise your own app based appointment system, book your clients direct and give the salon owner an update on your availability.

I don’t know what the regs are in the US but your Boss has not thought this through. You can help her and you by making your column easy to manage.

You can still note your client appointments yourself - using a free app, in pencil in a diary or on a spreadsheet. It sounds like a lot of work when it’s all new, you’ll soon find you get into a good rhythm and you can discreetly enter your own appointments as you make them on the salon computer. Take photos of your next few week’s schedule at lunchtime, when you get home copy the names and times across and amend/update any changes. Get into the habit of double checking your own diary with the salon computer every day for several weeks ahead. Once you start to populate your own schedule, you’ll be able to track changes very easily.

You can use this to plan your personal schedule as before and remember to let your boss know “hey I need a personal hour today at 3pm, do I have anything booked?”

There’s no reason why you can’t still book your clients yourself - you just need to be a bit clever about it. If you have kept your diary up to date you can still suggest a day/time to your clients when they contact you direct . Just remember to message your boss “Client X has asked for an appointment on this day at this time, can you book it in please.”. Then check the next day that it’s been done. Or, just don’t mention to anyone that the client contacted you direct, just offer her an appointment and book it on the salon computer as soon as you get into work the next day. Very occasionally you’ll find you’ve got a clash, but hardly often enough for it to be a problem.

When you leave each evening, take a photo of your schedule for the next day to help you prepare and make sure you know about any last minute changes. Sure occasionally someone will message the salon owner overnight and she’ll change your column for the very next day, but it won’t happen that often.

Let us know how you get on - and don’t talk about what you’re doing with the other stylists, just keep your head down and be tactful. Don’t bad mouth the boss.
 
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jlsdds

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There are no regulations covering this action in the US, at least not that I am aware of. Every man for himself, I guess.

My husband and I have owned salons for 40 years. Worrying that an employee will ‘steal’ clients and their formulas, etc. is petty and unnecessary. It is a small glitch in the grand scheme. We always had an open book. That way employees could help each other in various ways. Covering for sick days, etc. These are not State secrets.

It doesn’t sound as if you have spoken to your boss face to face. You have plenty to unload, but make your needs known in a concise, respectful manner.

Do your workmates feel similarly? Can you make a united front? If you don’t trust direct conversation that may escalate in a wrong way, try writing down, again, concisely and respectfully, what you need.

We didn’t need to know all the whys, only what was needed in the end. We handled complaints the same way. “What can we do to make it better, right, easier, etc.”

Don’t you have a receptionist? I can’t imagine managing 13 stylists along with my own clientele and doing the front desk job.
 

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