A teenager is heartbroken after her new career as a hairdresser was cut short – because she is not chatty enough.
Lauren Smart, 17, ditched her college hairdressing course so she could get stuck into full-time work at a local salon.
But she was given the chop just weeks later – because she was too quiet and failing to chat to clients.
She said: “I’m so angry. I’m actually a really chatty person, nobody has ever described me as a quiet person before.
“I was shocked when she sacked me because there had been no hint that was coming.
“When I asked her if I had done anything wrong, she wouldn’t give me a reason but she later told my dad it was because I was too quiet.
“It was totally out of the blue. I thought everything had been going well.”
Lauren was working at JR’s Hairdressing in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, Scotland, for just £100-per week cash in hand.
Her dad Richard said he could not believe his ears when he was told his daughter had been fired for such a petty reason.
He said: “She was upset when she came home, so I phoned the salon and asked why they had told her to go.
“They just said she was too quiet.
“I said ‘you can’t sack people for that. There are procedures to follow.”
Lauren, of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, claims she was given no formal contract to sign and did not receive any formal training.
Luckily, Lauren has been accepted back onto her college course and has not given up on the dream of starting a career in hairdressing.
She added: “I would love to open my own salon one day.”
Salon owner Eleanor Baldrey admits that Lauren was paid cash in hand for her first month in the job she insisted the teenager would have been given a contract within the legally required eight-week period if she has been kept on.
She said: “Lauren did receive training. I am a qualified assessor and I vigorously train all my staff.
“She was unsuitable for the position and I said that to her father. I may have said other things as well in that conversation.”
Chiefs at the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) have said they could help other youngsters suffering from similar problems to the ones Lauren experienced.
Kay Taylor, manager of Renfrewshire CAB, said: “Young people are finding it so hard to get work and it is so important that they are aware of their rights.
“Anyone who has suffered problems such as this and needs help can get free, impartial and confidential advice from the CAB.”