Monday Murmurings & Problem Solved

As I sit here, with my Crème Brûlée additive…in my Dunkin Donuts Coffee, all seems right with the world…yet those pesky memories from a small (okay…really large) irritant of mine, come storming into my mind as I consider todays problem solving blog, Monday Murmurings.

Some time ago, I had monthly training meetings for servers in the food industry. I called it “Quest for Excellence.” There would be times I would have to bring all the “know your product” training to a halt and bring the real issue to the forefront.  As I addressed laziness, the statement may have come out of my mouth on occasion. “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with excellence…as if you are working for God Himself…because you are.” Sometimes I would mix it up a bit if I felt the need to paint a more natural scenario for those that might not fully grasp what I was trying to implant in their conscience understanding. “If a very important guest were coming to your house,” I would say, “would you put a little more effort into cleaning, cooking, and all the jobs of preparing for that guest?” “What if it were the President of the United States, or a known King from another land?” More times than not, I would get a very inspired answer. And of course, we could always count on there being a jokester in our midst. But all silliness aside, things are rarely as they seem. We think our jobs are not that important. At the end of the day, who really cares anyway? If you only knew just how important the job you are working at, is…if you could see beyond the moment, the frustrations, the challenges…you would see the greater good. And the truth that you, and your job (whatever that may be), are very, very, important.

Today is problem and solution day in the business of beauty, which I may have named without much thought, in my haste to get started down this road. “Monday Murmurings” sure doesn’t sound very positive. It has a dark-cloud-like presence attached to it. I didn’t mean it to come off like that, but now that I look at it I think, “Geez, Mary…couldn’t you have come up with something better than Monday Murmurings?” This title had its birth coming from a mind clouded with the murmurings of many individuals that “hate” Mondays. Take a look at Facebook…you’ll find them there. Oh well, it is what it is.

So, back to murmuring. Today I would like to tackle the issue of cleanliness in a very over-looked area. Why is it that stylists don’t deem it necessary to sweep up the freshly cut hair from their client, before he or she leaves? Before the cape is removed. Before they get up from the chair. This has puzzled me for many years. Seriously, how much time does it take to grab that broom and at least make a clear path for the client to walk upon?

I know this isn’t a life or death situation, and I suppose clients understand when they have to walk on their own hair in order to stand up and head out, yet shouldn’t we consider the mess it leaves in its wake? Anyone that has cut hair, whether it be in the kitchen or in their place of business, can attest to the spreading of this hair. It takes about 10 steps for it to detach from the underneath side of the shoe. A hairy trail follows the client right out the door.

Is this excellence in what we do? Or are we just too lazy to care? Maybe we like to blame the client for getting out of the chair as soon as the cape is removed (don’t remove the cape until you’ve swept). Maybe we’re afraid to ask them to allow us to sweep the hair before they get up (ask anyway). I’m guessing they will respect you for it, simply because they have more credibility than many of us give them. I’ve never had a client yet, that became disgruntled because I wanted to keep my place of business clean.

I realize some would think I was taking this a bit far. Why is it even necessary to mention? Well, let’s reverse the situation for a bit, so we can get a different view. Would you, as a client, want to enter an establishment where hair was the carpet choice of the day? What would your impression be of that business? Or of the workers? What if you had to wait in an area with left-over hair particles lying around? See how important such a little thing is? Now consider what you would think of an establishment that, as you entered, all you could see was cleanliness, orderliness, a pleasant atmosphere, and smiling faces. It’s those little things that mean the most.

Solution: It takes only an awareness of our surroundings, a desire to be the best we can be (in all things), and an attitude of professionalism. That’s it. It’s our signature…