How awesome it is when I see my beautiful Black people doing something constructive such as starting their own business. In Atlanta, there are millions of Black-owned businesses and some of them are doing very well. And when I lived in Pittsburgh, I saw a few of them that seem like they were handling business quite nicely. Although Pittsburgh is not as large as Atlanta, it still made me smile to see that my people were trying to make a mark in this world. When you have a great product and quality customer service, you’ll be able to sell a can of Raid to a cockroach.
But of course, you have those individuals that absolutely refuse to practice professionalism and because of that, nobody wants to give them their hard-earned money. Can you blame them? For example, I was outta town in Cleveland several months ago and my nails really needed some lovin’. Since I do want to support my own people, I was able to find a Black manicurist and on my first visit with her, she did an awesome job on my nails. Although I was living in Pittsburgh at the time and the Black manicurist lived in Cleveland, I was willing to travel and continue my business with her. Now don’t get me wrong: I don’t have a problem with Asian manicurists or any other nationality that specializes in doing manicures. But I’m the type that really tries to support my Black community when they’re doing great things.
However, it all came crashing down the minute that I was stood up on my own damn nail appointment on my second visit. Prior to me taking the three-hour drive to get my nails done by her, I called her a week in advance to find out if she would be available to do my nails on this particular day. She said yes and informed me that she was scheduling me in. Well, when I got to the establishment, I was greeted by a young lady who stated that the manicurist was in the back and that she would be out to see me in a few minutes. Needless to say, those few minutes turned into a total of forty-five minutes…and then I left….without my nails getting done.
Considering the fact that the manicurist NEVER brought her happy ass to the front to let me know that she would be ready in a few minutes, gave me the impression that maybe the manicurist was never present in the first place. Maybe the young lady who greeted me didn’t want to make the manicurist look bad and so she came up with that lie. At either rate, it was extremely unprofessional and the fact that I wasted forty-five minutes of my time, waiting on this lady that never showed up, had me bloody mad. Now I know that you probably wanna ask me, “Well Sonica, did she even bother to call you and apologize for wasting your time?” Let me go ahead and answer that for you: Absolutely not. So what does this mean? Sonica is back to using manicurists of other nationalities.
Another incident involved a friend of mine who needed some work done to her pool in her backyard. When she explained her dilemma with the Black contractor that she hired to do the job, I almost threw up in my mouth. She told me that she had got his number from one of her friends and she was told that he does good work. So my friend called him and was excited that he was coming to her house to do the work on her pool.
Welp, when Mr. Man arrived at her house, he was almost two hours late and then he had the audacity to leave early after only doing a small portion of the job because…wait for it…he had to go pick up his babymama from the hair salon. *sigh* I couldn’t believe my ears. So what happened next? Well, my friend ended up having to look thru the yellow pages for another contractor and this guy was white. And I know that for sure because I was there when he showed up. Not only did he do his job but he even corrected some of the mistakes that were made by the previous contractor. Wow.
Dear Black People: I so desperately wanna support you guys because I definitely know how hard it is to make it in this nation as a minority. But when you guys establish a business, most of you start to act like you don’t wanna get paid. You play with people’s time and act like the customers are annoying because they expect for you to do your damn job. Whatever your profession is, you must be passionate and professional about it because if you’re not, it’s gonna come out in your work and the customers will be disappointed. To all Black manicurists, hairstylists, tattoo artists, chefs, real estate agents, lawyers, etc., in order for you to even get close to reaching the heights of servicing celebrities, you must have your stuff in order and cut your teeth with the “common folks” FIRST.
The people who are not famous are just as important as the people who are. The money is still green, no matter who it’s coming from. Most successful businesses come from word of mouth so therefore if the not-so-famous folks are telling people that your business is damnable, chances are that you won’t get to the level of servicing a celebrity. STOP being lazy, doing half-ass work, being negligent, being late for your client, not giving a damn, and being irresponsible. START doing better. That’s all I ask.
It’s true that everyone makes mistakes, With that being said, if the Black manicurist had at least called to apologize for not being present for my appointment, I would’ve probably given her my business again. But the fact that she didn’t even bother to acknowledge that she was wrong, she will never see me again. To her, I was probably just another “common folk” customer that she didn’t mind losing. But if she chooses to conduct her business in this way, the common folks will be the main ones that she need to depend on to prevent the demise of her business.
Copyright © 2013 by Sonica Jackson
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