Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Uh oh…you thought my civility meant softness

As you know, I manage a retail shop/Salon. I love my job. I get excited when I have helped a woman love her hair. Yes, I am 41 years old and I will clap my hands and exclaim “YAY!” when a client thanks me for introducing them to the product that saved their hair, be it KMS HairPlay Molding Paste or SOMA Solace. I show my excitement. I giggle. I clap. If they are a regular customer and we have a good rapport, I even hug. I also show my genuine concern when a client is not happy with a product. I listen to their frustrations. I clarify what exactly was the issue with the product. I ask them how they are using the product and help them figure out if it is the right product, just being used incorrectly, or if there may be a better product for them. I say please. I say thank you. I make eye contact. I also, on some occasions, must keep my cool and stand there as someone loses their cool. Of course sometimes I have to duck – flying flat iron – enough said.

The reason I gave you all a fly on the wall glimpse into my daily life is this – to prove, once and for all that being a happy, positive person does not mean you are stupid and have your head in the clouds. That having manners does not mean you are fake and trying to impress everyone in the room. That keeping your cool while someone is losing it does not mean you have no back bone.

Every once and a while I meet someone who takes one look at me with my blonde hair and big earring and high heels and decides what ever they are gonna decide about me. After they speak to me for a few minutes I seem to hear the same things;

– “I thought you were going to be a snob” – because I said please and thank you and had so much manners. (actually said to me…yep.)

– “I thought you were a diva!” – because I like my bling. (I would so bedazzle this post if I could.).

– “I thought you were too young to know anything about this stuff” …thanks for the genes Mom & Dad

– “I’m sorry”. – said to me after I asked if they were going to calm down or did I need to call the police. Yep, a grown woman lost her shit because I wouldn’t take back a flat iron that had no receipt, no box, no proof of purchase and had a broken plate, which after the threat of police (from your truly) and apology for throwing said flat iron (from said crazed customer) she admitted she dropped it on the ceramic tile floor in her bathroom.

The point of today’s tale is this; be kind and never assume anything of anyone, good or bad, beautiful or ugly – in the end they will show that themselves.

– If you are fortunate enough to meet someone who is kind, do not treat them like they are simple and stupid because they offer their kindness. (see above title)

– When you see someone excited about something, join in the excitement, don’t roll your eyes and tell them “to grow up”.

– When you see someone, lady or gent, impeccably dressed, compliment them. Do not scowl at them – they are not trying to “out-do” you – that’s your problem honey, not theirs.

– When a woman has her hair done, make up applied and is wearing heels, it does not mean that she is after your man, or that she is a bimbo without a brain, or that she is craving attention. Maybe, just maybe, she likes herself.

– When you are talking to a sales person, do not belittle nor berate them. It makes you a bully. A bully picking on someone’s child.

…oh, and never mistake civility for softness.

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Raising the bar?

When I was a child, I was the kid who would fight the bully. Not for myself, for my friend, or for the kid being punched, kicked, tripped, be given a wedgie or shoved into a locker. Boy or girl, if you were the bully, sooner or later, we would go toe to toe. Whenever I saw someone being bullied I would get fired up and want to stop it.

Everyday, I am sad to say, I see at least one woman being ugly. Ugly to herself, her child, her stylist or to me. Gossiping about the woman who just left, pointing at her daughter’s oily scalp, teasing her 15 year old son that he must be a girl under all that muscle because he likes his favorite hair gel, or pointing at my (faded) thyroidectomy scar and saying “don’t you want to cover that with a necklace or something?”. It’s time like these that, for a split second, in my minds eye, I am back in the school yard and am about to go toe to toe with the bully.

A few days ago, I read something I found to be pretty ugly.(I try to stay off of the soapbox but couldn’t shake this one.). A well known website with a huge following, aimed at women, empowering women and giving them a voice and a forum, tweeted how they were “going to ask someone to work with them, until they read their Twitter stream.”. You see, they didn’t agree with the opinions/expletives expressed on this person’s Twitter stream. Before you get all “freedom of speech” and “everyone is entitled to their opinion”, calm the hell down and let me explain. For a site that stands for empowering women – how is gossiping empowering? Yes, gossiping. Yeah, I said it.

Think about it, how is tweeting “was gonna choose someone until I read their twitter stream” any different than telling everyone but your stylist that you hate your new color? There is no difference. If you have a problem/issue with someone, speak to them directly. I would not have agreed, but I could have respected them if they had named said “offender”. How many women read that tweet and began to doubt themselves? How many women read that tweet and thought they needed to edit themselves to be accepted into the inner circle of this website that is for women and mothers? How the hell is that empowering? As women, we need to raise each other up, not push each other down. Generations of women fought for our equality, fought for us to have a voice, fought for us to have more options than housewife or secretary, fought for equality in the workplace, fought against the stigma that all women do is gossip and pick apart other women. Heading a company/website/twitter feed that is aimed at empowering women, you need to show some professionalism, and the above was anything but. If the aim was to help women watch what they tweet about and how they handle their twitter feed, they missed the mark. All it did was remind us of the high school cafeteria, being asked to sit at the cool kids table, only to have someone pull the chair out from under us.

I am 100% for free speech. I believe everyone is entitled to an opinion. I am a firm believer in being yourself, saying what you want and allowing others to say what they want. I do not think I need to agree with everyone nor like everyone, nor do they have to agree with me or like me. What I am for is kindness. Plain and simple.

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women

What is your lesson for today?

As I was sipping on my morning coffee, scrolling through my Twitter feed to check the goings on of the world according to Twitter, I couldn’t believe all the negativity and insult. Yeah, I am forty years old and I am still amazed on a daily basis how immature and mean and down right stupid some people and their behavior can be.

Not to get all political, but the feeling is there and I gotta say it. “Anti-Bullying” and “Zero Tolerance” – two terms that I personally think hold no water. Why you ask? Look around…the problem is bigger than ever. In my life I have been bullied. In my daughters life, she has been bullied and at one point almost pressured into being a bully herself until she realized what was going on, came home and talked to me about it…that was a fun conversation. Long story short – her conscience kicked in, she owned up to it to me, her mother (the scariest thing for a kid to do) and apologized to her friend.

What I am getting at is this. Everyday, seriously, EVERYDAY I see or hear grown women being a bully, in front of or directed at their kids. Case and point;

– Mother and daughter come into the shop wanting to return a flat iron, with no box and no receipt. I explain that I need the receipt for proof of purchase and the manufacturer’s warranty states that we need the box as well. The mother, in front of her daughter, leans over the counter, yells “what the F*&! is your problem, just take it back!” and then throws it at me.

– Mother and daughter come in the shop and the mother says, out loud, with other customers around “Look at her hair! It is so oily and gross!”. Nice.

– A woman comes into the store, complaining that her “fat, lazy kids can’t even buy their own hairspray.”. Mother of the year right there folks.

– Mother and daughter refer to each other as “stupid” and “idiot”. Guess I should be more up to date on the newest trending names.

– A woman calls me a “stupid liar” when I say I don’t have the product she is looking for. Tells her daughter, in front of me “sales people are assholes”. When she realizes she is in the wrong store, instead of apologizing, she tugs on her child’s arm, and pulls them out of the store yelling “Why didn’t you tell me we were in the wrong store?”. – my guess…they didn’t want to mess with crazy.

My all time favorite is when people use the phone/Facebook/texting or Twitter as their shield of bravery. The way I see it, if you won’t say it to someone’s face – you probably shouldn’t say it at all. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and from what I see and hear there are a lot of ’em out there. Everyone is also entitled not to listen to an opinion. It is time to grow up a little. It is time to be the grown ups, it is time to be the parent to our kids not their friends. We can be their friends when they are 18. How do you expect your kids to be kind and not be a bully when they see you scream at a perfect stranger, or hear you call a salesperson an asshole? How do you expect them to say a kind word when they have never heard one.

Seriously, does it really matter in your daily life if you don’t agree with the new book a celebrity wrote? If it does, you need a new hobby, I hear knitting is fun. If you don’t like someone’s tweets…un-follow them. Don’t like their face on Facebook…unfriend them. If you don’t like it, don’t look.

When a child is born, they don’t know what kindness is, someone has to teach them. A child doesn’t know what a bully is or how to be one. Someone has to teach them. What lesson are you going to teach today?