So…I just came from a small, hometown eatery. Well, it’s a sandwich shop. I see it (indifference), all the time. And each time I come into contact with it, I leave feeling gloomy. I seriously doubt I will return to this place. Who likes walking into an establishment, just to leave feeling as if the world is about to end?
As I walked into this place, the gal behind the counter looked up, but I doubt she saw me. There wasn’t any sort of eye contact, and no welcoming smile, such as, “We are so glad you stopped by to see us” smile. You know what I’m talking about. The kind of silent greeting I got was a, “I have to say these words, but I really don’t know what they mean, or why I have to do such an embarrassing act” sort of contact. At times I wonder if we are just that miserable but still have to share the planet, so have absolutely no interest in a sincere greeting.
The next gal…the one that actually takes the customers order, came out with such a solemn countenance, I knew right away I was in for a not-so-pleasant experience. I thought about changing my mind and walking out.
The very least we can do as professionals is to share a smile with our clients. It’s okay to have outside (or inside) problems that seem to consume our waking hours…but to suck innocent bystanders (those we’re suppose to be serving) into it, is just wrong. Well, this steeped in misery person, mumbled something unintelligible. I said, “I’m sorry…are you speaking to me?” I really couldn’t tell, since her head was down the whole time. I just knew she had said something. At least I though she had. She looked up at me as if I had intruded upon her day and asked some kind of question, of which I have no idea what it was…but since she was putting on gloves, I assumed she was asking for my order. “I would like a 6 inch Turkey on wheat, please. Toasted please,” I said. She preformed her duties, and when it was time, we went through the next step of what vegetables went on the sandwich. She didn’t seem to like it very much that I requested a fat-free Italian dressing. But then again, she didn’t seem to like much of anything. Never once did a smile escape her molded face. Maybe she wasn’t supposed to smile. I’ve found there to be a culture present here, that just doesn’t smile. At least I’ve never seen any of them use those particular facial muscles.
I think my passion for business calls to my inner client compassion. Much of the time clients are so mentally abused…when they should have a warm, “thank you for checking us out” welcome. And at some point, we all are clients. Right?
The greatest gift you can give to a prospective client is a genuine smile and do what you do well. Everyone has problems. If you want to succeed at anything in life, find a place to come to peace with yourself and whatever situation you may find yourself to be in.
Some years ago I had monthly meetings with those in the restaurant business. “Quest for Excellence” encouraged the servers to leave their problems outside the doors of business along with navigating the workplace properly. When their shift was over, they were to pick their problems back up, find a solution for it (or them), and begin to live their lives with purpose. It’s no different in the Beauty Industry. Clients come to us for a break. A place to breathe easy. A place to walk out differently than when they came in.
Something we professionals need to remember is that life is not a coincidence. Those that come through our doors, do so, not by happenstance, but by design. Our paths cross for a reason. A deeper reason beyond the evident one (hair or skin rejuvenation), which we need to pay close attention to the detail of. Some reasons we will know about immediately. Others, not so much. It may be years later as we look back in review of our lives, that we realize the importance of that time.
As you think about your career, or your life in general…do humanity (yourself included) a favor and look it smack dab in the eye. Whatever problems you have (and we ALL have issues from time to time), find a solution quickly. It may be just to walk through them with your head held high (not the snobby high), as you respect the position of responsibility you’ve been given.
We have all we need to navigate life…right inside us.
I lost a sister in July of 2008, to PSP. One of her favorite Scriptures was found in Philippians 4:4-9. It reads like this:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing (strong) spirit be known to all men, for the Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. ……practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.”
Indifference is our enemy. It simply means we don’t care. We don’t care about you…we don’t care about our job. But mostly it means we don’t care about ourselves.
Shine on, Passionistas!