Punching the Clock: First Impressions

For this week’s installment of Punching the Clock I made my way down American Avenue to First Impressions. Carin Dietrich has operated the full service salon for 17 years in downtown Norwich and has been in the business 27 years.

Upon entering, I was greeted with a smile and sat down to talk to Dietrich about her passion for her career.

“I just love my job,” she said. “Being my own boss is great, but it’s actually more like my clients are my boss.” She shared her knowledge of operating a salon alone and the importance of trying to be facilitating to her clientele.

Dietrich explained she had an open spot just before I arrived and if she had left her shop, she would have missed a walk-in that stopped by. First Impressions is usually by appointment only, a policy she has had for years due to her normally packed schedule. However, she had an opening and had she taken a break she would have missed an opportunity to serve a customer.

“This job is more physically demanding than most people think,” she explained. “I am on my feet about ten hours a day.” Dietrich works on average about 40 to 45 hours per week, Tuesday through Saturday.

At this point in my visit, a client arrived. She was greeted with the same friendly demeanor as I was, and sat in the chair for her cut. Neither Dietrich nor the client had to say a word about what she was getting done to her hair ­– it was just known.

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