health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, writing

Tales of Truth – The Covid-19 Diaries

It’s official. Day 60 of Covid-19 lockdown has arrived. I have officially been home for 2 months. After 47.5 years on this planet I made bread. I made jam. I decorated the squirrel feeder my hubby made me with my daughter’s old Barbie toys… cake, teapot and cups. I’ve done 18 puzzles. Read a few books. Ran errands for friends and family. Strategically planned grocery store runs and produce pick up. Cooked every damn day. Emptied the garbage…. don’t even get me started on the fact that there are two other adults in my house. Woke up every day wondering what day it was. Went a little overboard with online shopping and I have to admit I have forgotten some of what I purchased. Every time I hear the door bell I wonder what will be waiting for me outside. A puzzle? A book? Baking supplies? A zebra?

Well, as of tomorrow I will know the date as it is time for yours truly to head back to work. The province of Ontario has given the go ahead for retail stores with a street store front to reopen. … and I gotta admit, I’m a little nervous.

I know how fortunate I am to have a job waiting for me. Many employees and owners of small businesses, large and small cannot say the same. The owners and management of my store have all the PPE we need, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitizer spray for all surfaces, social distancing measures in place and for this I am grateful. I am confident in myself and my co workers to abide by the new policies and procedures, not so confident of the general public. Before you start in on me about my previous statement, I’m just keeping it real people. I know most of us are behaving ourselves. I also have it on good authority that some are not. … and no, my source is not Fox News or CNN. Many people I know have been working with the public since day one of the Covid-19 crisis and unfortunately have run into some people that are, lets say, from the shallow end of the gene pool.

As of late, every time you turn on the television or scroll social media, someone, somewhere has a new theory. A new opinion. That Covid-19 isn’t that bad. That it’s a government plot. The Democrats made it up to bring down Trump. That the aliens are behind it all. I could go on but I fear I may start to gag. Here’s the deal;

  • I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure the government is not behind the lock down. In the past, their claim to fame hasn’t been their financial generosity.

 

  • As for the people that say “it’s not so bad” … ummm, yeah it is. It just seems not so bad to you because you are healthy.

 

  • The Democrats did not make this up. Democrats are getting sick too. … and as for Trump, he is so low there is no way to bring him down any lower.

 

  • As for the aliens….I got nothin’.

Unfortunately we are also privy to;

  • Many a “Karen” on social media and in person I’m sorry to say, ranting about having to wear a mask.

 

  • I’ve heard a grown man in the check out line at the grocery store shout “It ain’t my fault for the virus! Whatcha so afraid of? Open up another damn cashier!” – by the way, this gent was wearing a mask and gloves. I finally saw an oxymoron in human form.

 

  • People complaining about having to follow the arrows on the floor at the grocery store. Yes. It’s a pain. Yes. It can be a nuisance. No, it’s not okay to shout at the 15 year old employee about how much of a pain and nuisance it is.

 

I get that masks are uncomfortable. So are ventilators. I get that standing 6 feet apart is a nuisance. I would rather stand 6 feet from someone then not being able to be 6 feet near someone if they are in the hospital. I get it’s scary. We aren’t in total control anymore… like we ever really were. Every day there seems to be a new rule. It can be hard to grasp what’s what. I get it. You gotta remember. We are all in this together. I don’t mean in a “kumbaya” sort of way, not even in a “we’re in the same boat” kind of way. What I mean is, more often that not, we are all anxious. We are all weary. We are all suspicious. We are all sad. We are all wondering what’s next for us and for the world. We are all trying to adjust to this new normal. We are all hopeful. No matter your age, race or gender, we all wake up everyday feeling one or all these things.

Wear a mask when needed or asked. Be kind. … and wash your damn hands.

 

*Side note, I know some Karens that are actually quite nice.

health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat

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.

 

 

 

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Let it be

” …And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me. Shine on until tomorrow, let it be”

– The Beatles

(I have had this song in my head since last night, and after what happened today, I knew I had to write about it)

I met a woman this morning that is the inspiration for today’s tale. It’s been a gray couple of days in my neck of the woods and being 2 days into Daylight Savings, it is safe to say I have prepared myself for whatever may come at me, from a nasty glare because the Black blinc mascara is on back order or a flat iron being hurled across the front desk …yes, it has happened – I have witnesses.

A woman came into the shop looking to purchase hair color to “fix the mess” on top of her head (her words, not mine). I asked her what color she had been using and when she told me that she has been using box dye from the drugstore, I suggested that she see a stylist to help her with her color, that trying to correct a box dye mishap is not easy. I let her know our stylists were available later this week, or if she couldn’t wait, I could suggest some Salons in town. She huffed at me and then told me “You are no help. At all. What a waste of time!”. Being me, I couldn’t leave it at that, so I asked her “Are you alright?”. She stared at me. “It’s just you seem upset and not just over your hair color.”. She continued to stare for a few moments then said “I’m turning 45 this weekend and my life is nothing like I thought it would be.”. It was quiet for a minute, I looked at her and said “Preachin’ to the choir sister!” which made her laugh. We began to chat and she let me know about her friends and their marriages and their kids and she felt like a failure because she is now a single parent and had to take a job in retail – to which she caught my eye, realized what she had just said, looked petrified and said “No offense!” to which I laughed and said “None taken”. I then let her glimpse behind the curtain and told her a little about me.

I can remember looking at my reflection in my bathroom mirror, tears streaming down my face, wondering what the fuck I had done with my life. – sorry for the “f” shot mom – it’s fitting. I, like many women and men, had fallen victim to the social media standard of life – as I like to call it. You know what I’m talking about – the perfect poses, the happy families, the awesome VACAY! photos. Seeing the lives of the people from your past and they seem to have it all – the great career, the cars, the house(s), you name it, they got it. What I came to realize, after wiping my face, having a vodka & tonic  and a hysterectomy (I don’t call it getting the stupid cut out for nothing) is that not everyone is what they “post” to be. ( not my quote – came across it and loved it). Stop measuring your worth on the lives of others. It ain’t worth it. I may not have a summer house in the Hamptons, I do have the love of a good man, and have had his love for over 23 years. I may not be jet setting to New York (yet), I do have a 19 year old daughter that can’t wait to tell me her exciting news. I may not be in the fortune 500, I am a blogger who has a worldwide following, I have been published and I own my own Retail Consulting business. Over the past years, if my life had been any different, I would not be who I am today. Plain and simple.

After chatting for a while longer, my customer asked who I would suggest to fix her hair. She wanted to come to our Salon, but didn’t want to wait. She wanted something today. So I gave her a few names and numbers. She thanked me for my time and for the chat. I told her “anytime.”. As she was leaving I told her to just “let it be” – to which she said “I love that song!” and she turned out our door with a little spring in her step.

 

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women

It’s time to be a little more social

Everywhere you look, you see someone with a cellphone. The majority of us, after our morning greeting and good morning smooch to our loved ones (…and I hope your loved ones come first), grab our coffee and our cell phone, find a comfy spot and sit down to see what’s going on in the world. Facebook – check. Twitter – check. Instagram – check. Pinterest – check….you get the idea. Social media is our morning paper and our evening news. It is. It is also a key ingredient to any successful Salon. It is. Today’s tale is for my beloved Salon owners and Stylists. It’s time to become a little more social.

I know of what I speak. I see the results of using social media everyday. It works, plain and simple. Everyday I see the results of making sure our shop’s Facebook page is updated. (Twitter is an awesome tool as well, but more people tend to use Facebook, in my experience). I hear you now “what results could she possibly see?”. Well, how about an increase in our retail sales and revenue, and more client retention because of the tips about products shared on our Facebook page. Every day, at least 100 people see our posts. Some days my posts on the shop’s Facebook page have reached over 500 people. Yep…500 potential customers and clients. On any given day, I will receive a message from a customer or client about a product I have posted to our Facebook page. Many times the message ends with “hold one for me – I will be there after work!”. I have sold many products from hairspray to flat irons to holiday packs this way. Using social media has helped me acquire new customers and in turn new “likes” to our Facebook page. (psssst…more likes = more views and shares of your page and your posts = more clients and customers).

*It’s a great tool to introduce a new stylist to your customers and clients. Also, to alert your clients when a stylist has returned from a maternity leave.

*Changing your hours to Holiday Hours? Post ’em on your page

*Having a monthly draw? Post the picture on your page

*Follow the pages of the products you sell & share their tips and tricks – a HUGE retail aid!

*Bringing in a new line? Post it on your page

Something I hear far too often from Salon owners, Managers and Stylists is “I don’t have the time to do that.”. Okay, if you don’t have time to do it, get someone in your Salon to do it for you. I’m sure you have someone in your Salon that has their cell phone in arms reach. The owner at our shop is also our head stylist, and is booked 2 months ahead, all the time. She really doesn’t have the time, so that is why I was given administration rights to our Facebook page and I take care of the Facebook page, because I do have the time. Honestly, it takes 10 – 30 minutes of your day. I add it into my daily duties, so it isn’t missed. Orders made – check. Inventory counted – check. Schedule done – check. Facebook page updated – check. It really is that easy.

Social media can be a great marketing tool for your Salon, if used properly. I stress the word properly. We have all seen the sassy limericks – save those for your personal pages, this is a business and needs to be seen as such. Watch the language and the content. Put it this way – if you wouldn’t want your clients and customers hearing those words coming out of your mouth…then don’t put it on your Facebook page.

Social media works and can be a huge addition to your Salon’s client retention and retail revenue. It’s time to make it work for you.