Be Dumbledore, but also be Columbo. Be Columbledore.


Lately, my readers have been blowing up my inbox. I’ve noticed that these things tend to happen in cycles. I don’t hear anything for a few weeks and then it seems like every salon owner/staff member suddenly has serious problems they need my insight on.

The best piece of advice I can give all of you (other than to be Dumbledore), is to also be Columbo.

Be Columbledore.

Columbo and Dumbledore have a lot in common. They give the impression of simplicity and naivety, but are always ten steps ahead. They’re incredibly intelligent, but they don’t make that apparent until the right time, when they have all the information they need to prove their point thoroughly, leaving no room for argument or denial. You need to do the same.

It’s important to compile information and communications relevant to your situation. There is a cell phone application called “Email my Texts.” You can have a string of text messages sent to any email address. The date and timestamps will be intact and they will be admissible in court. (Take it from someone who knows. This app has been extremely useful to me in proving that someone promised something and then denied it in court.)

Save your emails as well. Print them out. Also print out the authentications. In GMail, you can do this by clicking the downward arrow next to the Reply button and clicking “Show Original.” All that code you see is the authentication. It shows when and where it was sent from, who it was sent to, and when/where they opened it.

If someone promises you something, get it in writing. If they are unwilling to put it on paper or in an email, then it’s unlikely that they’re genuine. Insist on it anyways. Most lawyers will tell you–if it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen. Don’t be afraid to ask for people to put their promises on paper either. It is not a rude or unreasonable request.

Make multiple copies of everything. Scan them and make digital backups on Google Drive. Keep all of this documentation safely at home. Your employment contract (which you damn well better have if you’ve been learning ANYTHING from my blog), any emails, texts, etc. Keep it all. You never ever know when you’ll need it. I personally have kept emails from a certain person for over 3 years. They’ve just now become useful as we are now going to court over the promises made in these emails and texts. These documents are keeping me from being held in civil contempt. Without this proof that these conversations happened, I would be looking at some pretty serious consequences (even the possibility of jail time). With them, I can put this person in jail for felony blackmail if I were inclined to. (I’m not inclined to, but our judge might be, lol.)

Anyways, be Columbledore. Patience, understanding, and shrewd vigilance.

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Beauty industry survivalist, salon crisis interventionist, tactical verb-weapon specialist, and the leader of at least a hundred workplace revolutions, Tina Alberino is known as much for her extensive knowledge as for her sarcastic wit and mercilessly straightforward style. She’s the author of the book The Beauty Industry Survival Guide and the blog This Ugly Beauty Business. When she’s not writing, educating, or consulting, she can be found overthinking everything, identifying problems people didn’t know existed, and stubbornly working to change the things she cannot accept.


  1. Amen girl!! Silence is precisely what ill be practicing while gathering all my information. With education comes confidence.


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