Over the past weeks something has been occurring that has left me, well, a little perplexed. As you know, I have returned to the shoe store 4 days a week. I have been assigned to my old stomping grounds, the Ladies section. I found myself checking the calendar last week to assure myself that it was 2018. I felt like I had gone back in time. Why you ask? Well, it seems that the 1950’s mentality that the man has final say in how the money is spent and he decides what shoe or boot you should be wearing still exists. I shit you not. I have witnessed women telling me they loved the fit of the shoe, that it didn’t hurt their bunion and it was exactly what they were looking for only to have their significant other say “You chose that? Seriously?”. I have also been witness to a man telling his wife she was kidding herself to think the boot she was trying on looked good. I have lost count of the moments I watched the light fade from a woman’s eyes, her head bow down and heard her say “you’re right.”. Women that I know make their own money, women that are lawyers and doctors telling me that they have to get the “OK from the boss” before purchasing their shoes. Pardon my french, this is bullshit and it needs to stop.
What I am about to say may ruffle some feathers, of this I am sure. As women, we teach people how to treat us. Sure, it is a jerk move to belittle your wife. On the flip side Ladies, you let it happen. You have a voice. You have an opinion. You know what you like and don’t like. You know how to treat people and how you want to be treated. You know what is kind and what is not. It really is this simple. Both men and women need to call each other out on inappropriate behavior and comments. Trust me, I have seen women belittle their husband’s footwear choices as well…which is ridiculous if you stop and think about it. Unless you are a part of the psychic network, there is no way to know how a shoe feels and fits on someone else’s foot. I don’t care if it’s a loafer that has bunnies all over it, if the person likes it, it feels good on their foot and it brings a smile to their face, simply smile and let them buy the god damn shoe. Here’s a little go to list for you;
- Do not tell anyone how the shoe on their foot feels. It makes no sense, you cannot possibly feel what it feels like on their foot and you sound like a fool.
- Do not tell a women her ankles still look fat when she is trying on high heels
- Do not tell your 40 year old wife her shoe choice reminds you of your Mother
- Do not tell your husband he needs “old man shoes” to match his “old man hairline” …yes, I am sad to say I have heard this on more than one occasion
- When your 10 year old daughter has large feet and needs a ladies size 11, do not say “if this keeps going she’ll be wearing ugly clodhoppers for life” – first of all, that’s mean and ugly. Secondly, most shoe companies make cute shoes and boots up to a Ladies size 13.
- If you have a job and make your own money, you should not need your spouses approval to buy yourself shoes, man or woman.
- Never make fun of someones choices. Trust me, I think there are a lot of ugly shoes out there. Key words are “I think”. Just because I don’t like them does not mean someone else will adore them.
If you find yourself saying something to your spouse that if anyone else said to them, they would end up with a fat lip…you probably shouldn’t be saying it either. This applies to everything, not just foot apparel. Be kind. Plain and simple.
The Holiday Season is in full swing. Macy’s has had it’s parade. Black Friday has come & gone. Many are nestled in their beds while visions of Cyber Monday deals dance in their heads. This year marks my 26th. year working in the customer service/sales/retail biz during the Holiday Season. I have heard, seen and smelled (yes, smelled) it all. …and every year I hear the same argument – to wish a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holidays. I remember a time I worked for a company who sent a corporate memo stating that under no circumstance were we to wish anyone “Merry Christmas”, we were instructed to wish our customers “Happy Holidays”. As you all know, I am not a “yes man”, so I continued to wish customers a Merry Christmas, much to my boss’s dismay. She was quite worried I may offend someone, and then they would call head office and she would lose her job. I reassured her that if the customer was wearing a Yamaka, I would not wish them a Merry Christmas. I then had to explain what a Yamaka was …between that and the memo, I knew it was time to leave. Back to the tale at hand. The point I was trying to make to my boss, and am trying to convey today is this – paying attention and being kind are key in the biz of customer service, and in life for that matter. For instance, I have a woman who comes in every November to purchase her Christmas gifts for her kids and grandkids before she heads to Florida. Her purchase is quite large and usually fills 3 – 5 bags. I take them to her car for her. Every year. It is actually the reason she comes back to our shop. The first time she came in, 5 years ago, she had a cane. She was recovering from knee replacement surgery. She told me she always remembered me because I did not ask if I could help her with her bags, I told her I was going to help her, no questions asked. She told me I reminded her of what customer service used to be.
Over the past weeks I have been listening to people complain that Merry Christmas isn’t wished enough. I have seen posts on Facebook cheering shops that are writing Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays on their shop windows. I have also seen posts of people stating they will not shop anywhere that says Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. Everyone is so busy being politically correct or trying to look and sound important that they have all forgotten one key point. It doesn’t matter what you say, it matters how you behave. Listen, no amount of Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays wishes can or will make up for ignorance and neglect.
This December, instead of worrying what to say, how about worrying about how to act.
- When you are at the mall and you see the Salvation Army band playing, don’t hide behind the plants and try to scurry past, holding on to your nickels and dimes – walk over to them, take a moment to listen, and let go of some of your nickels and dimes.
- Whenever you can, as you are paying for your purchases and are asked if you want to make a donation to a local charity, do it. … if you can spend $100.00 at the liquor store, you can add a dollar or two to your total. Just sayin’.
- Donate to your local toy drives. Every child deserves a toy on Christmas. Every child can’t wait to tell their friends and classmates what was under the tree Christmas morning.
- All business owners – this gem is for you. Give your customers a little treat, be it a sample or a coupon for their next purchase. At our shop, the Starburst candy dish at the front cash is always full and samples are waiting to be sampled. We offer free travel size products for any purchase over $60.00. Our customers and clients are giving us their business, they deserve a thank you.
- Donate to your local food bank. Every grocery store takes non perishable food donations and monetary donations. Everyone deserves food in their cupboards and on their table. Whether you are Christian, Muslim or Jewish – a parent wants to be able to feed their child, and sometimes we all need a helping hand.
- Shovel your neighbour’s walkway. It’s a lovely surprise for them.
- Hold the door – enough said.
- When standing in line and you notice the person behind you has less purchases than you do, let them go ahead of you.
- Remember those who have lost loved ones and give them a call, or send them a card. There is no better feeling than the feeling that someone is thinking of you.
Actions speak louder than words. Plain and simple.
Today marks my 1 year anniversary in the blogging world. 1 year. Wow. Last year at this time I sat at our home computer with a quivering hand hovering over the “publish” icon…so afraid that I would fail, that no one would read my silly opinions or think I was funny. What I really was afraid of was succeeding. Yep. Afraid to succeed and not for the reasons you think. I wasn’t fearful of people now expecting better of me, I was scared shitless that success would make me look back on my past 20 years and realize I should have been doing this all along and my world would come crumbling down. Then I realized that the only reason I was able to do this was because of my past 20 years. – I say 20 years because quite honestly before the age of 21, we don’t know a damn thing. One of my favorite quotes (now) is by Mark Twain – “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years.”.
Back to the tale at hand. In past blogs I have written about kindness, about taking the time to listen, to take the time to see, really see the person in front of you. We all have struggles and stresses in this life – Christ – this past year I feel like I have lived 5 years in the span of 12 months. There were days I wanted to wear a sign around my neck to let the world know what I was going through that day and then maybe I wouldn’t get a flat iron thrown at me. (It happened more than once – I have witnesses). One day the sign would have read “Father in hospital”. Another day it would have read “Husband’s heart medication is working against him”. Another day it would have read “My daughter has to deal with a sick parent way before she should have to.”.
The one thing the past year has taught me is this…DO NOT WAIT. In the blink of an eye your life can and will change – it may feel like for the worse but the best comes out soon enough. Take your kids to the park – even when you are tired and bored. Take the time for your spouse – for cuddles on the couch or romps in the boudoir. Leave the crumbs on the kitchen floor for a couple of hours and watch the movie with your kids. When your hubby comes up from behind and hugs you while you are doing the dishes, let the dishes soak and hug him back and be sure not to be the one who stops hugging first. Start your blog – tell your story.
I have also learned we all have our own signs, some are harder to see, but are always able to be read if we take the time and pay attention and show a little kindness.
It’s February 11th. T minus 3 days until the big day…Valentine’s day. On the radio, at the shop, in the express check out line at the grocery store I hear the same things “He better not forget my favorite chocolate!”, “I better be getting the biggest bottle of Moroccanoil money can buy!”, “If he knows what is good for him I will get a spa package for Valentine’s day!”. Besides getting to be a witness to this ugliness I also got to see a sad, sorry sight…a terrified grown man holding two stuffed bears…most likely terrified because he knew if he didn’t come home with the right gift on Valentine’s day, it may very well be his last Valentine’s day. Quite honestly, if that is how the relationship works, his better half is lucky he is coming home at all. Yeah, I said it.
As you know, from time to time I tell a tale not of Salon ideals or product knowledge but of what goes through my mind, my opinions, take ’em or leave ’em. Today is such a day with such a tale. So many people wait for February 14th. to shower their loved ones with gifts, compliments and love instead of doing it everyday. We put way too much pressure on ourselves and our relationship’s because of a date on the calender.
Here’s an idea…how about we try to have a little Valentine’s everyday. Oh calm down ladies. I am not saying you need to be in a teddy and 6 inch stiletto’s waiting at the door with a martini, but a compliment or a thank you for taking out the trash might be nice…not just for your better half, but for yourself as well. As for the gents, I am not saying you need to bring home flowers every week, but a kiss hello and goodbye everyday would be lovely, again, not just for your better half, but for yourself as well. If one of you ain’t happy…nobody’s happy.
I have quoted Ms. Angelou before and will continue to say it, you teach people how to treat you. Ladies…if you want your gent to get you your favorite chocolates and a spa day…try not making him recite on a daily basis a list of your favorite chocolates and spa services. How about you try being nice. Remember Nellie Oleson? Yeah…she didn’t get what she wanted until she was…NICE. (you know….Percival came to save the restaurant and….oh, go rent the DVD.). As for the gents in the house…if you want your wife to spice up the bedroom attire…telling her that the bra and pantie set you bought her looked great on “Destiny” at the “club” probably isn’t the best compliment. I know you think it is. Trust me…it’s not.
Hug one another every day. Kiss each other hello and goodbye every day. Say “I love you” when you leave the house for the day or before you put your head down each night. Compliment each other. If you criticize, try your best to be kind.- Ladies…if it is that time of the month…wait a day or two to criticize – yeah, I said it. You are not in the right frame of mind and you know it and honestly it just frightens our poor gents. *side note to the gents – if you know what is good for you – you will NEVER mention the above out loud.
In my years of customer service and sales, be it selling cars (yep…did it for 4 years) or selling hairspray, one thing I know for certain – people just want to be seen and heard. The last few days we have had a heat wave, so people tend to be a bit cranky. Yesterday, I have to admit, I was a bit on the cranky side myself. I realized after I received a beautiful text from my hubby telling me how great I was that I had to snap out of it. So I went to facebook, updated my status to tell the world to “be kind” and vowed to myself to be kind and aware. I guess I was on the side of providence, for the next 6 tweets I received from others across the country and across the globe were about kindness. Hmmm….maybe I should play the lottery is what went through my mind.
As I was standing there imagining my millions, the chirp of the door chime brought me back to my dollars. My first customer of the day was attending a funeral. My second customer’s son had just had an emergency quadruple bypass. My third customer’s family had been falsely accused of a crime. My fourth customer’s husband had been diagnosed with cancer and had started chemo. (I hugged a lot of people yesterday). Most of my day yesterday wasn’t about selling product, it was about giving my customers an escape from the world that was waiting for them on the other side of my shop’s door, even if just for 5 minutes.
Today’s tale, if you haven’t already guessed, is about being kind. Also, to remind you that when someone is moody or rude or seems a bit off, don’t take it personally – it’s not about you. If you notice someone looks upset, as them if they are alright. If they don’t want to talk about it, so be it. At least they will go on with the rest of their day knowing someone, somewhere saw them and cared.
I know, you are thinking “this is a beauty blog, where is all the beauty advice?”. Well sunshine, I just gave you some. Beauty is inside and out. Beauty can come from hair product, makeup, a hug and a kind word.