The Uncouth Among Us

My fifty cents on the recent nail salon brawl that has gotten a community in an uproar and everyone taking sides. If you aren’t familiar what I am referring to, you can Google “Brooklyn nail salon brawl.” In doing so you will get a sorry full glimpse of an issue that has been brewing since the beginning of time. Cultural conditioning and sincere ignorance, or perhaps willful stupidity about other cultures sums up what happened here. 

For a service provider to effectively assist me, it is best that there is two-way communication and RESPECT. As the customer and by a reasonable person standard, I should be able to ask for what I want and be willing to pay for said service. Thereafter, I should receive that service. Period. If there is an issue, a sincere effort should be made to rectify the situation promptly.  Having worked in plenty customer contact positions, there will always be folks you cannot please. You just won’t. It’s the 80/20 rule essentially; 20 percent will never be satisfied with anything. They will behave like beasts; become belligerent, combative-just off-the-meat-rack crazy.  As a business, who gets the majority of your attention? The 20 percent you’ll never please, or the 80 percent ready and willing to be WOW’d by an amazing experience? 

We tend to make assumptions and treat people based on these assumptions. If you are predisposed to thinking that all customers who like me are a problem, then there will be a problem. Why? Because the likelihood of you being able to expertly disguise how you really feel is minimal. And as we’re all energy, I will feel the vibe that you’re not receptive or want to work with me.  What should I do in that instance? I would leave because my money and I are a package deal. Likewise, if I make an assumption about someone providing me with a service, based only on prior experiences with individuals who look like him or her, I’m wrong as two left shoes too. 

Customer facing employees must be able to communicate with customers. It is frustrating trying to ask for specific services and the provider does not fully understand. Or worst is obstinate to my needs. A lack of solid communication is a frustrating experience for both parties. And it’s unnecessary. All people deserve to earn a respectable living. However, you have to be able to perform the basic skills of said job, which usually involves two-way communication. If that is not possible, there should be a supervisor or someone on site to interpret the needs of the customer to the employee and vice versa. 

I am very specific when I’m getting personal services done. I like my hair done a specific way and my nails; I like a specific type of red lip stick. I will work with anyone but there are limits to how hard I will work when the other person can’t or won’t work with me. I am responsible for knowing what I want and asking for it. Unless otherwise notified, I am not expecting to train someone else’s employee on how to do a job that they are being paid (or are in business) to perform.  If I am aware that the person is new, I am empathetic to him or her. We’ve all been new at something or on a job. Again, it’s about being able to talk civilly about expectations and deliverables. 

Next point, as a business, you have the right to refuse service. You can ask the customer to leave or call the police to intervene in situations where the attempt to diffuse the situation is unsuccessful. What you don’t do is act like you’re in an uncivilized, lawless environment, even if you genuinely believe your clientele is just that…uncivilized. Note to file: as “uncivilized” as they may be, you chose to serve them by opening up an establishment on their turf. Thereby giving me reason to wonder what your level of consciousness is. If you would prefer a “better” clientele, i.e.,monied or not of the Global Majority clientele; or the presumptively better educated, employed, and culturally sophisticated…no problem.  You are entitled to your preferences. I just have two words for you: 

Pull. Up. 

Take down the handwritten signs and invest your coins in professional signage. Clean and sanitize your equipment after every customer. If you must wear a mask while performing my service, offer me one too (after all I’m inhaling the same fumes as you are.) Reinvest your profits in your establishment so that it looks like a reputable business that is clean, safe, and qualified to perform professional, personal services on human beings. Acknowledge me in some form or fashion when I enter and exit. Say “Please” and “Thank You”, as applicable. 

When your workplace quickly becomes a scene from “Westside Story”, or appears to be live footage of a war zone; when your employees are comfortable throwing toxic chemicals at disobedient customers, Sweet Peaches…you are not ready for Madison, Fifth, Park, Nostrand, or even Flatbush Avenue. You are the uncouth among us. You don’t need to work in any public setting so long as you and your mentality are a threat to public safety; you are a disgrace to humanity…and you should be treated as such. 

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