communication, lifestyle, parenting, Sunday Confessions, Women

Sunday Confessions

 

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.

 

 

Beauty, communication, That girl in the red coat, Women

Actions speak louder than words

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

Do no harm…but take no shit

My title for today’s tale is a quote I came across a few weeks ago, and has become a little mantra of mine. As of late, I have been seeing and hearing many things that are ugly. I don’t mean the Pajama pant/Louis Vuitton ensembles at the local market (although the look is a little gag worthy). I am talking about how people are treating each other, talking to and about each other. People taking advantage of other’s concern, compassion and kindness. It pisses me off to no end.

As you all know, I manage a retail shop/salon, so I am privy to many a conversation. I see women say to another woman’s face “You look terrific!” and the minute she leaves the shop they turn and say to whomever is in their radar (usually lucky me) “wow…what happened there?”. “You forgot to take your meds?!” is what I want to desperately say. Alas, I strap on my oxygen mask, take the high road and answer with “I don’t know what you are talking about. I thought you said she looked terrific.”. – this usually stumps them, they stare at me for a minute and before they have a second to spew another ugly remark I wish them a great day, and move on to my tasks at hand, be it inventory, helping a customer or simply walking away – hence….do no harm, but take no shit.

One of the saddest events I have witnessed is watching someone be ignored. Their stories dismissed, like a flyer handed to you on the street, or worse, not even being an after thought. There is nothing more hurtful than when someone asks how your day was and as you begin to tell them, they stare off into space, or better yet, look at their phone and then look up at you and say “What?!”. (come on…we have all done it at least once…lets hope it was just once.).

There seems to be a HUGE misunderstanding out there, that to be kind means you must be a doormat. To be kind you must be all “a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down”. That to be kind you must smile and be polite and take anything that comes at you and put a Pollyanna spin on it. I am here to tell you that is not the case, nor should it ever be. As defined by the Oxford Dictionary… Kind – Gentle and considerate towards others. It is not defined –  allow yourself to be kicked in the crotch, take one for the team, allow yourself to be ignored or allow yourself to lower yourself so someone else won’t feel uncomfortable or jealous. Allowing someone to mistreat your kindness not only hurts you, it hurts them – not very gentle nor considerate. Before you begin to freak out about hurting them – let me explain. It hurts them because now they are resented and don’t even know it. Not too kind my friends…kinda makes you just like them. It isn’t pretty nor is it comfortable, but when someone is being an ass to you,and you see them as a vital part of your life six months down the road, ya gotta call them out on it…the ass throwing the flat iron, let her keep all that crazy to herself. Do no harm, but take no shit.

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

How do you look?

So it has been over a week since my last tale. I could come up with every excuse in the book, the truth is I didn’t make myself a priority. As you know, I am a wife to a wonderful man and a mother to a glorious 16 year old young woman. Calm down ladies…I know I am not the only “career” mother out there…this is not a competition nor an episode of “The real housewives”…it is just a tale for today. Now, back to the tale at hand. As you also know I am the manager of a salon/retail shop. Everyday I make sure my hair is coiffed just so and my makeup applied and my pants pressed, and I look good. Yeah, I said it. What I came to realize this past week is I may have looked good on the outside…but my inside left a little to be desired.Not to sound all “Oprah”, I had given away my power. As last week progressed I could see that I wasn’t the only one.

I had a few customers that were, let say, interesting. One woman was being quite abrupt with her answers to my questions about what kind of hold she wanted from her hairspray. So, being me, I asked her if there was something I had done to upset her. She stared in silence. After about 10 seconds she said “I am sorry, I just got this new cut that I didn’t want. My stylist said I was to old for a bob and that I needed a short style.”. (I get severely pissed when I hear this, and I hear this often. Yo Stylists! Who are you to tell people that they are too old for a cut? Seriously…get a grip and become a professional). So, I assured her the cut was cute (which it was) and sold her some KMS Hair Play Molding Paste for some funky styling and she likes her hair to look shiny so we added some SOMA Prism shine spray to the mix…and I also gave her our Salon price list.

I had a customer this week that introduced herself as “stupid and useless”. I shit you not, that is what she answered when I asked “How ya doin’ today”. You see, she was trying to grow out her hair for her daughter’s wedding in the fall and gave up because she listened to the wrong people – the people who told her that a flat iron was “too complicated” for her. (Who the hell are these people?!?). I took her over to our flat iron demo display and told her to pick one up as I picked one up. We both were in the mirror’s reflection, so I told her to copy what I was doing. After about 30 seconds a smile crept across her face and she said “I can grow out my hair!”. I looked her straight in the eye and told her to stop listening to the “Can’t” people in her life and listen for the “Can” people…they are out there. They are a little harder to hear over the annoying antics of the “can’t” court jesters.

A woman has lost some weight. She has lost 22 pounds over the course of 8 months. She began to exercise. She began to eat a healthy diet in support of her husband’s health issues. She didn’t lose the weight to “show off” or “rekindle her twenties” or “to keep her marriage alive” or because she was having a “cougar crisis”. The weight loss was a positive perk of embracing a healthier lifestyle, for her family and herself. That woman is me, and yes, the above comments have been directed at me. 10 years ago, I would have listened to the nasty comments and gone and ate a cake…or two. Guess what buttercup…not anymore. I have come to realize that those who are negative, nasty or assholes – take your pick, are empty inside…plain and simple. They are so miserable that they have to pull you down to their level so no one will see how crappy their lives are. Funny thing is, they cannot even fathom the idea that no one really gives a shit, except them and others like them.

I know I say it all the time, but I was raised on Little House on the Prairie and Happy Days so get used to it. BE KIND. Raise others up, do not push them down. Your BFF gets a new cut and loves it? Love it with her. A friend is struggling with her hatred of her thighs? Go to the gym with her – don’t agree and tell her she “really needs to work on that”. A friend loses weight? Applaud her efforts and ask her how she did it. Do not  mock her and ask her “cutting out the calories trying to be a cougar?”.

“If you don’t look good, we don’t look good”. – Mr. Vidal Sassoon

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

Different but the same

Over the past few days I have had many salon tales come into my mind. So many tales to tell but how do I choose which one? I began this blog with the soul purpose of educating and enlightening the masses about the world of beauty and professional hair care products with easy to follow tips and opening doors that seemed to be locked and letting you join the club. I also wanted to wake up stylists and salon owners from their nightmare of what they thought was good customer service.

My primary goal is and will always be the same, to educate and enlighten. Over the past few months my tales have begun to travel down different roads, from customer service to product knowledge to how to be kind, not just at the Salon but where ever one may roam. You see, I am finding more and more, everyday, that beauty isn’t just the visual. It’s the emotional, the physical and the spiritual….maybe it’s because it is Sunday and I am missing my grandmother…who knows. Yeah, yeah…I know…you’ve watched Oprah and read “The Secret” so this isn’t news to you…or is it? Funny thing is, most Oprah and Secret die hards that have a library of all the #1 New York Times best sellers about self help and self love and loving your fellow man are the same people who mock their teenage daughter’s in public about their oily scalp and acne prone skin, or call their sons “tinkerbell” because he wants his hair style done just so and can’t live without KMS Molding Paste. Don’t get me wrong, I slip up all the time, did it last week when my daughter and I were out and I exclaimed and pointed at a sale item (I love a good deal). The item was Always overnight pads. Oops. I apologized on the spot. I am sure there is a doll with a pin in it in her room somewhere.

Being me, I have to clarify. Drives my husband CRAZY. I wanted to let you all know that I will always give you the newest product knowledge and information I get my hands on. I will give the tips you need for a great cut or Salon experience. I promise to continue with tales of my daily adventures in the Salon and all the tales of flying flat irons and mumblers and screamers. I will also keep telling the tales of kindness, the tales of inner and outer beauty. There is so much beauty around us, from the sound of our children giggling to the sound of our loved one sleeping beside us, the way the sun casts a shadow, the way the wind feels blowing through your hair while driving, the beauty of seeing someone, really seeing them and raising them up from such a simple act.

Want to change your perspective? Want to be more kind and stop being an ass? Just like being an ass, kindness is practiced. It takes effort, an effort with a great reward. You cannot just say you are going to be kind and then it happens. That’s like saying you are Jewish just because you attended a Bar Mitzvah.

What ever you put in, you get out. Plain and simple.

health and wellness, lifestyle

Kindness 101

I sat down to write about products today and as I began to write I realized, nope. That’s not what today’s tale is going to be about. Today’s tale is about kindness. You see, I know you are expecting funny tales of my daily escapades in my shop or tales of products and how to use them. Today I feel I must write about kindness. You see I believe that kindness is a HUGE factor in beauty, be it physical beauty or spiritual beauty.

When I speak of kindness, I don’t mean holding the door open for an elderly person – that is called courtesy, I don’t mean avoid name calling – that is called having manners. I am speaking of kindness – truly listening to the person who is speaking to you, being happy for them and their achievements, how ever trivial you may think they are. Lifting someone’s spirit’s up – not pushing them down to where it makes you feel comfortable. Honestly, everyday I see or hear people choosing to be unkind and it stills astonishes me. Yep, I’m going to be 40 in a few weeks and I still don’t understand why anyone over the age of 12 chooses to be mean or chooses to belittle the dreams of others.

At least once a week I meet a woman who has changed her cut or color and loved it just to have her husband or best friend tell her it is a disaster or a huge mistake. While I help them wipe away their tears (yes…9 out of 10 times they are crying), I ask them “Do you like your hair?” and they say “Yes, but…” and before I let her finish, I tell her, “If you like it, who cares what they think anyway? If you are happy with your new look, that is what is important. You must do what you like, because in the wee small hours of the morning, it is you and you alone with yourself and your thoughts. People are gonna talk anyways, why not really give ’em something to talk about?”. Then we laugh together, and I help her find a product to help keep her new look going, or sometimes I just give her a hug and a tissue and tell her “they need our sympathy, you can’t fix stupid”.

Not to sound all hippie, gonna “buy the world a coke” kind of thing, I want you to try something. Next time you hear someone excited about something, be excited with them. I don’t care if they are excited because they found a dollar on the street or their child just got into Harvard or they finally had the guts for fire engine red streaks put through their hair. Whatever it is, it means something to that person and who are you or I to take that happiness away from them? If we can be happy for a child who has just found a nickel and thinks they are rich and we can join in their enthusiasm, why not be happy for someone who has a dream and has the guts to chase after it? We have all been there, so happy and excited over something and somebody comes along and dumps on it. Being cruel and unkind is ugly, not one ounce of beauty in that kind of behavior.

Be happy for others. Just be happy for them. It’s really that simple.