The names and location of this blog post have been changed to protect the innocent.
Today I went to Riverdale, NJ to get my haircut, after a very long and a long overdue period of carrying an overgrown mop of a mess around on my shoulders. As I waited for my turn (7th in line for Roy, who is the only person allowed near my hair these days) An elderly couple walked in. She on a zimmer frame (walking frame on wheels) and he is helping her to get where she needs to go, slowly, but they're moving.
"My wife wants her hair cut," the elderly man says to the curly haired woman that was cutting hair just a moment ago. She saw the couple walk in and met them at the register, putting her scissors down for a moment to take care of the new arrivals.
"We are very busy today," She says, "there are 8 people in front of you. All of these dots on the monitor are online bookings. They are before you." The elderly couple looks at her a bit bewildered and disappointed. "We'll make an appointment then please," Says the older gentleman. "You can't make an appointment, we don't take appointments. You have to get with it and schedule a haircut online, on your computer or tablet". At which point my head snaps up out of disbelief anyone would talk to an elderly couple this way.
I'm sitting in my chair patiently waiting for the now only 6 people before me, most of which want to use Roy. I'm not sure why Roy is so popular, but for me, it is because I like how he cuts my hair and how I am always pretty much guaranteed a solid cut from him. He's conversational, but will also let you close your eyes if you're tired. He's reliably efficient and can duplicate the last cut you had. Others cut my hair o.k. and on occasions some of the ladies there have done a great job, although the second time I gave them the chance of cutting my hair, it was a bodge job for me. I didn't like it. It lacked consistency. Though again, in all fairness I have not tried everyone there, I think it's just that I am in no way a test dummy, who likes his hair messed with by different people. Once I find a fit, I keep it, and Roy is it.
Back to the story...
I was infuriated by the remarks of the hairdresser woman. She told a couple getting on for their nineties to get with it and pre-book using an app online... Insensitive to say the least. Future proofing your business is one thing, but not taking care of good ole phone bookings or in person bookings is pathetic. All your eggs in one basket etc. Business is word of mouth, and this is a blog, and this story is getting out due to people being socially inclined in today's world. This stuff blossoms online and grows into who knows what, all due to a personality. And the results can truly affect a business positively or negatively.
Now I have had issues with this particular person before. She once cut my hair and was so busy talking with other people, my hair was an afterthought. She kept interrupting my cut to tell people what to do and just plain ole conversation. At some points, she was not even looking at my head as she closed the scissors and was lopping off portions of my hair onto the ground. I was truly an afterthought, and I told myself she would never cut my hair again.
The elderly couple turned around mumbling and off they went, no one noticed they even left the store. Later on, their names were called and the lady who spoke to them was asked by someone else,"where did they go?" and she responded by saying that they must have left...
We have to learn how to be respectful of the elderly. Too many of us think we can talk down to older folk, that they need to be treated like children when I suggest the opposite is true. I think we need to treat older people with respect and dignity, as they come from another age that we cannot relate. And that possibly many of them might be fearful of what the future might hold, or even fearful of day-to-day life. A little love and respect might give them some peace in an otherwise fearful world. I don't know, I'm not really sure what to think, but possibly treating others with some respect and not talking down to anyone is simply a good idea in general. Both for your own well being as you will feel better about yourself and for purposes of your business.
As always, a solid haircut from my boy Roy. thanks, dude.