0

It’s the little things

It’s 5 days before Christmas and yours truly is able to enjoy some time off before the big day. The last time I had time off at Christmas was because I had the stupid cut out (hysterectomy)…7 years ago. Sure, I had “time off” at the holidays when my daughter was a toddler, but those of us with children know that although the world may see it as time off, time with a toddler is a 24/7 job with no pay, with a boss who can’t find their shoe and cries because you gave them the wrong colored cup with their lunch…so “time off” is a relative term.

As I was running errands yesterday, I found myself getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I almost succumbed to the Grinch and Scrooge mentality. Almost.  Hearing everyone around me sighing, complaining that the lines were taking too long, or honking at each other in the parking lot because they needed that parking space, it’s hard not to get sucked in to it all. As I was listening to the ladies complain about having people over for dinner as they were about to start a rumble over the biggest pot roast in the meat department, I looked over to see an elderly woman with her little basket with a few items in it and I thought to myself “she probably wishes her biggest problem was getting a big enough roast to feed her guests.”. …and that’s when I began to hum a Christmas carol, carry on with my shopping and tune out the sighs and complaints that passed me through the aisles.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no angel as my daughter can attest to. I cuss like a sailor if you are riding my tail end too close in traffic – when I have my kid in the car, her safety comes first so all bets are off. I have been known to use a certain finger when the snowplow comes by just as I have dug out their first visit’s mound of snow and I may have pretended not to speak English when a telemarketer just wouldn’t get “take me off your calling list”. There have been times throughout the days of Christmas past when I pouted even though I knew Santa saw me. There were times I started to Scrooge out or felt the Grinch was onto something complaining about the noise of Christmas, but I always remembered something that others seem to forget. At the end of both these Christmas stories, Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch gave over to the magic and the spirit of Christmas. If they could do it, you can too.

  • give to the Salvation army. If they are giving out candy canes for each donation, do what I do. Ask them to give it to the next child that walks by.

 

  • wave to Santa at the mall. Trust me, he is having a harder day than you.

 

  • don’t fight over a parking space. If the other person is gunning for it, let them have it. If you have to park further away, the fresh air will do you good.

 

  • If the grocery store is out of the size of turkey you need, your family and guests will survive. I promise, the sky will not turn black and the world will not swallow you whole.

 

  • when you make eye contact with someone, say hello or wish them a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays for those weary of offending.

 

  • give to every toy drive you can find. Any toy will do. The dollar store has coloring books and crayons for a dollar a piece. …psst…you spent more than that on the mocha frappe latte concoction you have in your hand.

 

  • give to your local food bank. If you can, a monetary donation is best – the food bank can stretch a dollar farther than you can imagine.

Take a moment to remember how snow once made you squeal with glee, how hours would pass as you wondered how Santa got to every house. Remember the smell of your Gramma’s perfume as she reached out to hug you, or the cackle of your Grampa’s laugh when he got your joke. Think back to the smiles on your parents faces on Christmas morning, thinking they were so happy Santa brought you your favorite toy, only to now know, the smile was for them and you, not Santa and you. When you take a moment to remember the magic and spirit of Christmas, you too will realize it’s not having the perfectly trimmed tree or the biggest turkey that you remember, it’s all the little things that mattered the most.

 

0

Attention

Well Beauties, yours truly is having a moment. A moment I gotta say something and those who know me know I gotta say it. I gotta.

Lately, I don’t know if has to do with my age (gonna be 44 in August) or my lack of a uterus (haven’t had to pay that monthly bill in over 7 years) or if it is as simple as I have a low, very low tolerance for bullshit, but I seem to have no room for those who lack accountability for their actions, nor do I have any room for those who are unkind.

Working in a Salon, you hear it all.  You hear about the celebrations of life, the trips, the new house and births. You hear about the not so good stuff, illnesses, divorces and deaths of which I have all the patience and time in the world to listen to. Where my attention begins to dwindle? When lack of kindness and accountability enter into the conversation.

A few  weeks ago a woman and her friend came in the shop and she was complaining that her fiancée got upset that she took out her phone as he was proposing. “I wanted to capture the moment for my Instagram and he got mad at me! He actually asked me if I could wait until he finished the question. Can you believe it?” …that he continued the proposal? (gotta admit, that was what I was thinking). She was actually mad at him. She kept going on about how he ruined the memory. Yep. He and he alone ruined it. I just stood there, trying not to show it on my face. This woman was so caught up in herself that she couldn’t see her part in any of it, well, except for her Instagram pic. She later complained that it wasn’t fair that her favorite OPI shade had been discontinued and got mad at me that there wasn’t anything I could do for her. …by the way, her phone never left her hand and with every third word spoken, her eyes looked at her phone. …sigh.

I get the importance of social media and the lure of smartphones. I am a blogger, a Retail Consultant and a Salon manager so I get it, I do. I also get that as important as they seem, there are other more important things in life, like  my loved ones, being kind, being present.

Being me, I have compiled a little list for you all, some daily reminders if you will. Feel free to share – no pun intended;

  • before you tell a story, be sure it is yours to tell
  • when you hurt someone’s feelings, apologize, to their face.
  • when someone is speaking to you, put down your phone and look at them. They are speaking to you, not texting you, there is no need to look at your phone.
  • not everything needs to be shared. I am so pleased your toddler pooed on the potty…didn’t need to see it on my timeline.
  • it is not the salesperson’s fault that your favorite polish is discontinued.
  • when you are getting your hair cut, put down your phone. You may not realize it, but when you text, your head moves.
  • do not take a selfie during your bikini wax. #toomuchinformation
  • if you wouldn’t chase someone down the street asking if they like your picture, it shouldn’t matter if they like it on facebook
  • life is not “unfair” because your fiancée wanted to share the proposal with you, and you alone.
  • you may like to crush candy, others do not. Please stop sending candy Crush invites
  • if you don’t want the opinions of others, you may want to rethink ending your post with #whatsagirltodo
  • you do not have to agree with everything you read and see on social media…you also don’t have to let everyone know that you don’t agree

Look up once and a while. Think before you post. Ask before you snap a pic. Be kind, plain and simple.

 

 

 

 

2

…I was just being nice

It’s been a while since a new tale, I know. Thank you for your patience and continued support. It’s safe to say that after the past couple of months, yours truly has many a tale to tell and that I am graciously happy to see the arrival of September. Change is a good thing, and do I ever need a change of scenery, as do many of those I hold dear. In the next weeks I will have tales of woe, tales of truth (everyone’s favorite), tales of business and of pleasure. Today’s tale is of a different sort. I am not sure what category it falls under…is “reality T.V. is not real life” a category? I think it is, and so today’s tale falls under said category.

I am not sure when it happened. Maybe I missed the email. Did I miss a mass Facebook invite? Was it trending on twitter and I was a twit who missed it? I have been racking my brain trying to figure out where and when it all began….when did being polite and courteous of others become misconstrued as flirtation and foreplay? I hold the door open behind me at the bank for a couple, the gent smiles and thanks me, the lady (being polite…minding my manners) scowls at me and grabs a holder tight on her gent’s arm. Honey, the only withdrawal I am after  is my $100.00 from the ATM. I have a customer that I have had to stress at great lengths that I am quite content in my marriage, all because I told him that I thought his grey hair was dashing and really suited him and he shouldn’t color it.

Maybe it has something to do with social media. Lets be honest here folks…it’s kind of  narcissistic. It is. Most of the time we are posting “about me”. Sure, we mention our loved ones, our destinations, etc… . In the end, it comes down to “look at me”. Yes, I know, I am writing a blog about my thoughts and idea’s…believe me, the irony is not lost. In the age of Reality T.V. , selfies and pelfies – a little term I made up for my single friends who are sent pictures of penises from men they have not yet met, only typed hello to on a dating site. Since we are on the topic, if you are a gent who likes to post his significant other or “you know a guy” who does, first – don’t do that. Second – seriously, don’t do it. Third – if you must, try being a little more artistic ok? Having your Mom’s crocheted plant holder with a dead plant in it while you have a  superman towel over your shoulders needs to be rethought…as does the idea of posting that pic…just sayin’. Back to the tale at hand.

Being me, I had to make a list. Those of you familiar with my tales know it’s kind of my thing.

– When you look upset and a co worker asks if you are alright, it does not mean that they want to sleep with you. …maybe, just maybe, they are empathetic.

– When someone compliments your new pants, it does not mean that they want to get in them. ….wait for it…there you go.

– When a man other than your husband notices your new hair’do, that doesn’t mean that your husband is having an affair, or that you should begin one with the complimentary gent.

– Just because someone tells you something about themselves, like “I prefer Coca Cola over Pepsi”, this does not mean that they see you as a better confidant than their spouse.

– When a woman over forty shows her cleavage, it does not automatically mean she is a cougar. Trust me, being a woman with a killer rack – yeah I said it, and you surpass the DD’s…your gonna have cleavage, even in a turtle neck.

– When you think someone of the same sex is good looking, you don’t need to start rethinking your sexuality and start posting status updates about it. Some people are just meant to be looked at, plain and simple and like a work of art, they are admired. …Have you seen P!nk lately? Don’t get me started on Jon Bon Jovi…

– Porn is not real life. If you are looking for a police officer to “frisk you” – the  only way that’s going to happen is if you get arrested. Stop basing your bedroom ideals on literature and film. It’s not fair to you or your partner.

– Ladies, when a married male coworker gives you a birthday gift, 9 out of 10 times – his wife bought it and told him to give it to you. …so you may want to re-think the flirty thank you texts.

Here’s the deal. When someone is being kind to you, it doesn’t mean they want to run off with you. I am 43 and I know that there are player’s out there and that yes, getting it on is the motive of some people, but not all. Once and for all, when I show concern, consideration or kindness, I really am just being nice.

 

 

3

Sisterhood

As I sit here in my 42nd. year in this earthly realm, I am still astonished at the treatment of women, by other women. In the past weeks I have seen women roll their eyes behind another woman’s back after telling her they “loved her new cut!” – in front of their daughter. I have heard women snicker about a woman following her dream of opening a business for herself – in front of their daughter. I have heard a woman call another woman a “ho!” because of her personal choice to leave her marriage – in front of her daughter. I have heard women bashing their teenage daughter’s choice of hair color – in front of their daughter. Ladies – just what do you think you are teaching your daughter about how to treat other women?

I have a daughter on the cusp of turning 17. I remember how difficult that age was…too old for some things, too young for others, feeling like no one “gets you”, wanting to be an individual yet still blend in enough not to be centered out, figuring out who you are and who your friends are, all the while trying to keep your hair perfect and your mascara from flaking in case “that boy” walks by and happens to say “Hey” to you for the first time. As mothers, we need to remember these things. Today, there are pressures our daughters are having to face much earlier than we did. Case and point – when I was 10 I liked the way Barbie looked –  today at age 10 girls are feeling like they are supposed to look like Barbie. What our daughter’s need is a soft place to fall at the end of the day. Our daughter’s need an example that there is good in the world and that there are people out there that won’t stab them in the back, that will actually have their back. What our daughter’s do not need is another example of gossip, or snickering or put downs  – they deal with that everyday at school and with their friends and classmates.  Being me, I have compiled a little list, a reminder of sorts.

– Do not belittle the dreams of others, if you aren’t careful you could in turn belittle your daughter’s dream.

– Gossiping in front of your daughter will teach her to gossip and teach her not to trust you. Think about it – if she hears you telling everyone’s secrets, she will think you will tell hers too.

– When your daughter wants a pixie cut – be kind. She is trying to figure out who she is…and introduce her to a good stylist and some great product, like KMS Hair Play Molding Paste – great for texture and separation.

– If your daughter has an issue with an oily scalp, do not point it out to everyone you run into. The only person who you should be talking to (with your daughter’s permission) is your stylist. * If your daughter doesn’t want to talk about it, Senscience Specialty Shampoo is a great shampoo to help control an oily scalp.

– Putting down other women in front of your daughter will teach her do to the same – sometimes just out of pure survival – so your venom doesn’t ever spew in her direction.

– When shopping with your daughter, help her to find herself and her style – not the person and the style you want, or wish you had when you were her age.

– NEVER, I mean EVER, point out your daughter’s insecurities in front of anyone. How would you like her to point out your muffin top to the PTA?

– Remind your daughter…and yourself, that this is reality…not reality T.V.. – the Kardashian’s are already keeping up with themselves.

Before you go and nominate me for Mother of the Year, let me be the first to admit that I can really put my foot in it and say the wrong thing. I am strong willed and have a hard time admitting a wrong. That being said, I have to remind myself that I am the parent. I am the adult. I know better and must do better. I admit to my daughter when I have over stepped my bounds. I do apologize for my words if they felt unkind. I explain my intentions and hope that she believes me. As parents we have no control over what our children do once they leave the house, we can only hope that we have taught them well and that they carry on those lessons once they have crossed the threshold. …oh, and throwing a flat iron is never the solution.

1

Christmas Presence

As I sit here, snow is falling, Christmas carols are playing on the radio, lights are twinkling on the tree and my loved ones are safe and snuggled under warm blankets watching a movie. I am relishing the peace for it is the middle of December, which for any of us in the service industry/retail sector, we know is the beginning of the craziest, busiest time of the year. I have been working the Holiday/Christmas season for over 20 years, and have seen it all, from mothers beginning to cry because the antlers that their child needed for the Christmas pageant broke and are now out of stock to husbands panicking that the KMS gift pack their wife wanted is no longer available and he can’t go home without it. I have seen grown women lose it over the fact the newest red holiday shade of polish is sold out and have had a grown man throw a flat iron at me because I wouldn’t return it for him because he didn’t have a receipt, or the box for that matter. One commonality I have always found – too many people are concerned about their Christmas presents instead of their Christmas presence.

Last year I wrote of the pressure women (and gents…mostly the ladies) put on themselves over the holidays (see link below)

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/12/03/its-time-to-paint-your-own-picture/ .

I told a tale of letting go and easing up on yourself and your loved ones. This year, my tale will be one of presence. Too many of us are not present, in our own lives, in the lives of our loved ones, in our conversations, hell, even in our driving. We are getting so caught up in the idea of the perfect gift and the perfect dinner that we aren’t even able to keep up with who got who what gift and cannot even remember what that perfect dinner tasted like. Being me, I have compiled a little list, a how to for the holidays if you will.

– When you are out shopping with your child and they stop at the big tree in the mall exclaiming “WOW!!! It’s so pretty!” instead of yanking their little arm and scowling “yeah, yeah…lets go!” stand with them for a minute and agree with them. Take the few seconds, take a breath and make a memory.

– We all have those friends/family members that need a Santa picture. Here’s the deal, if your child doesn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap, don’t make them. Stand beside Santa holding your child, or forgo the picture all together. Your loved ones will survive a Christmas without a Santa photo. I know mine have. *Think about it…all year we scold “don’t talk to strangers” then force our kids to talk to  a stranger AND sit on his lap…no wonder there are so many tears.

– When you are shopping and a sales person asks if you need a hand, let us help you.  Let yourself be helped, it will ease the stress that you can’t find what you are looking for, and if by chance it is out of stock, we can let you know when the product is arriving and can call you when it arrives. …oh, for me, please do not say “already got two!” when we ask if you need a hand – trust me, we have heard it.

– Be kind to the cashier. She has been standing there for hours, has 5 more hours left of her shift and only gets a 30 minute break during an 8 hour shift, having to deal with people yelling at her for things she has no control over, like the debit being down, or a product being out of stock, or being yelled  at by a manager because she said “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”. – the latter happened to yours truly…I kept saying Merry Christmas.

– If your family doesn’t like turkey, you do not have to have it for Christmas dinner. It’s okay. The ghost of Christmas past, present and future will not haunt you. Make a meal that everyone enjoys, that you enjoy making. Trust me, I know of what I speak. I tried to do the “Christmas dinner with all the trimmings” and the whole day with every dish I prepared all I thought was who wasn’t going to like what and that I was disappointing Martha Stewart. This year I am making quesadilla’s. They are always a hit, everyone loves them and I spend less time in the kitchen and more time in the living room with my family.

– When you are getting your groceries, give to your local food bank. Many grocery store already have prepacked bags of food ready to give. Most packs cost $4.99 (the cost of your two morning coffees on your way to work)  and can give a family more than one meal. It’s a win/win, a mother will be able to make a meal for her child, and your child got to see their mother help her.

– Always give to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army does more than you can imagine.

– Try not to complain so much about having to go to your Mother’s/Father’s house…again. Many have lost a parent, or both parents and wish that they had to sit through another conversation about how “easy we have it these days”.

This season, take it easy on yourself. Take it easy on your loved ones, for it is not their fault you are stressed that what you wanted to buy them is no longer available. Take a breath. Take a friend a coffee. Give to your local food bank. Make your hubby his favorite treat. Teach your child how to make cookies. Send a Christmas card or a text out of the blue. Smile as you pass people on the street or in the grocery aisle. Your Christmas presence will mean more to many than your Christmas presents will mean to one.

0

Make the call

Today’s tale is for the Stylist’s and Salon owners. Today’s tale is about the ever present “no show” and how it disrupts the day, if not the week at the Salon. Now, before I get a “PREACH IT SISTA!” from all the stylists out there, you may want to hold back your enthusiasm a wee bit, for today’s tale is about the responsibility of the no show – the Stylist’s responsibility.

No one likes being stood up. No one likes standing around, waiting and wondering if their client is going to show up, wondering if their client is just running late, kicking themselves for not taking the walk in that just arrived because they weren’t sure if their client was coming or not. From time to time a stylist will have a “no show” – a client that doesn’t come in for their scheduled appointment. No call. No text. No show. Not only is this a disregard for the Stylist’s time, it also is taking income out of their pocket and potentially interfering with the rest of their scheduled appointments. This is one Salon problem that has the easiest of solutions. Call your client’s the night before their appointment to confirm the appointment. It really is that simple. The Dentist does it. The Doctor does it. You can do it too.

Think about it. It’s a win/win situation. You have helped your client remember his/her appointment and saved them the ever dreaded embarrassed phone call two days later, and you now know what your following day looks like and you can plan accordingly. I know you can’t control everyone and what they do, trust me, I know. Sure, there is the chance you call and confirm the appointment and the next day you have a no show. The upside to this is that now you know that this client is not reliable and next time they want to book with you, (if you choose to let them) you know not to schedule their appointment at a peak time.

On many occasions, be it at classes, hair shows or discussions with Stylists and Reps., I have heard the same phrases, over and over;

– “I don’t have time to call my clients”.

– “I’m too busy to call my clients”

– “I don’t want to bother my clients at home.”.

– “I hate those kind of calls, so I won’t do them.”.

Guess what? Since you didn’t confirm your appointments for this week, there is a good chance that you will have time to call your clients, because without proper confirmation, the chance of a no show increases. As Stylists, you know how much your time is worth, you charge for it everyday. If you are able to ask $150.00 for a cut and color without blinking, you are able to call your client to confirm their appointment. The client is worth it, and so are you. As for the “hate those calls” – you may not like them, but many people appreciate them. No woman alive wants to forget her root touch up appointment.

I have been in the Beauty Biz for many years. I know first hand how busy Salon’s and Stylist’s can be, some days there isn’t time for a sandwich, let alone a bathroom break. I also know that we do have down time, to place orders, to eat, to have that much needed bathroom break and to make a phone call or two. Honestly, if you have time to search new up do ideas on Pinterest, you have time to confirm an appointment or two. Being me, I made up a little list, for those of you who do not know where to begin;

– Make confirming appointments part of the receptionist’s job description.

– when you are re-booking your clients, let them know to expect a courtesy call, a reminder the day before their appointment. * think about it, our clients book 4 -6 weeks ahead. Life gets in the way and people tend to forget things. More often than not, your client will be grateful for your consideration.

– If your Salon doesn’t have a receptionist, have each stylist call their own clients at the end of the day. Make it part of the nightly routine – sweep floors, clean station, confirm tomorrow’s appointments. – it really is that easy.

– Sit down as  a team and decide upon a no show rule. Many Stylists and Salons now charge a fee for a no show. *IMPORTANT* – you can only charge a fee for a no show if you have a policy in place that you confirm all appointments. Lets be fair here.

A real plus of confirming your appointments…if your client has to cancel, now you can call the clients that need to come in earlier, or that are on a cancellation list and you have over 12 hours to do it, instead of 20 minutes. Confirming appointments takes 5 – 10 minutes and can save you hours of headache. Make the call.

1

Full Moon Monthly

The full moon has come and gone this month, and as September draws to a close, I thought, why not end it on a high note with  a few smirks and giggles. Again, these events are based on real events, with real people that come into my shop…again, I wish I was making this up.

– The shop opens at 9:30 a.m.. It isn’t even 9:31 a.m. “Hey…do you ever worry someone is gonna drive through your front window?” – I guess I missed the memo that this is the new morning greeting.

– The phone rings. I answer with my go to greeting only to hear “Yeah, whatever. I am trying to find the number of the auto body place down the street. Can you look it up for me…I am kind of in a hurry”. Now, I know the shop’s number has the #4 in it, unfortunately it is not followed with 1-1 …wait for it…there you go.

– “My daughter has colored her hair and now it looks horrible. What hair color will fix it?”. I kindly let the mother know that without seeing her daughter’s hair I wouldn’t even know where to begin to help her. “Well her hair looks like pumpkin pie with a mix of orange and a little bit of caramel with chocolate pieces in it.”….oh yes…now I know what color her hair is.

– FYI – “out the door” top coat is the name of the quick dry top coat. It doesn’t mean you have to apply it while going out the door.

– A customer came in to tell me she was not pleased with the product she had purchased. I looked up her file in the computer and saw her last purchase was OPI Avolplex Cuticle Oil. “What was it about the oil that you weren’t happy with?” I asked, to which she answered “Well…look at my hair! It is so greasy! My stylist told me that my hair’s cuticles were fried and that I need some oil for the cuticles, so I bought the OPI oil and now LOOK!!!!”. I silently remind myself “Do not smirk. Do not show it on your face.” and proceed to let her know that the oil she purchased was for the cuticles on her hands, not her hair. After further discussion and explanation and a giggle or two, she ended up buying Kpak Revitaluxe and SOMA Solace – a cuticle sealer – for her hair.

– I have a dish of candies at the front counter. Everyday I am asked how much for a candy. When I tell people they are free, some stare at me and say “Come on! Really?”. Some say thank you. Some take 10 pieces of candy and some dig through the dish and then sigh “Why don’t you have any lemon candies? They are my favorite. These others are gross. What a waste.”. – about the latter – my thoughts exactly.

– I hear the chirp of the Salon door chime and as I look up from my purchase order, there she is. A complete stranger standing at the front desk with her shirt lifted up asking me “do have anything for these stretch marks?”. …enough said.

– A woman came into the shop and asked if her son could come behind the counter and see our computer because “he loves computer’s”. The child was no more than 3 years of age and had something that I could only hope was peanut butter all over his shirt. I let her know that children weren’t allowed behind the counter. She didn’t seem too impressed that she had to mind her own child while in a store. …imagine.

– A woman came in the shop and as I came around the counter to greet her I was told “Leave me alone. I am not a thief. I do not like people talking to me.”, then she walked over to the brushes, reached up, took one of the shelf and began to brush her hair. I went over to her and shook my head side to side. She looked at me and asked me what I was doing. I told her “I am telling you no to using the brushes. Now you have to purchase it because you used it. As the sign says – Please do not use the brushes. You Brush. You Buy.”. When she asked me why I didn’t tell her, I said “Well, you told me you don’t like people talking to you.”.  …not my finest moment, I know, but come on…she left that one wide open.