For the past few weeks I’ve attempted to sway away from writing about COVID19.
However, at the request of clients and the difficulty to ignore the affects it is having on our industry…it’s hard not to.
I’m finding in all my conversations with my clients, everyone has a story as to the effect COVID has on them.
Our Industry will never be the same. It goes way beyond what the new norm is. What we are dealing with is anew “way of life”.
In my opinion, the new norm is social distancing, wearing mask and hand washing more than we ever have.
The difference between this and “a way of life” is when we begin to accept what is dictated about our Business based on the people who are uneducated about our Business dictating what we have to do.
As crazy as that sounds, it is THAT crazy.
I can’t honestly say that I believe everything I hear about this pandemic. I can’t honestly say that I don’t believe everything I hear about this pandemic.
What I do know, is something Is happening. And, if wearing a mask and washing my hands a hundred times a day means there’s any chance at all this “thing” can go away…then I do it.
I’m all for working together for a safe world.
What I have a difficult time standing behind is closing our Businesses, restricting our Businesses and expecting a Business like ours to work “outside”. Yes, you heard me. The State of California has mandated our Salons to work outside, under a tent. Shielded from the sun, with a fan to keep ourselves and our clients cool. Whaaaat?????
I’ve been thinking a lot about these Businesses in California and how? Not just how but why? Not just how and why but who on earth came up with this idea?
I just can’t even wrap my brain around the logic to this. We are going to mandate our Salons to work outside a strictly sanitized environment to work in an environment of heat, possibly no air circulation, or maybe a fan blowing dust from the earth onto our work surfaces, ourselves and our clients. Let’s not forget the joy of wearing a mask while performing services in the heat of summer (it is July, almost August) AND our clothes and apron or smock etc etc. In addition, I’m sure there are weather variations from day to day.
Again, I just can’t wrap my brain around it.
As I’m thinking about this and planning how to put it down on paper, I’m at my parents house preparing them for a move after 44 years of being in the same place.
I’m taking pictures, clearing closets and attempting to discard anything not of value. I’m noticing so many things that just make me shake my head. I see a clothes hanger made into a hook. I see a painted piece of board attached to a screen door which broke, I see wastebaskets made out of old wood…the list goes on and on. My Dad was ingenious. He repaired everything himself. In fact, we talked about how many times they actually had someone they paid to come into the house and repair anything……”twice”. This is twice in their 69 years of marriage.
When I talk with my Dad about this, he is so matter of factly. They didn’t have the money. This was a “way of life” for them. In fact, it has been like pulling teeth to convince them to hire someone to manage their pool or mow their yard. NEVER in a million years could they ever think about it. Cmon….my Dad is 91 and my Mom is 88.
It was their generation that did not waste. It was their generation that saved everything they got, because it was hard work to earn the money they got. It was their generation that fixed everything themselves. Mom sewed our clothes, curtains, blankets…..everything. They didn’t just go out and buy on a whim. It was their “way of life”
In fact, Dad left school in 6th grade to go to work to help support his family and Mom never graduated so she could get a job that became available.
This brings me back to 2020, COVID 19 and our California Salons working outside.
We have to do what we need to do to survive. I’m not saying any of this is right, but this is it. This is our “way of life”. We either do, or we don’t. If we don’t, we don’t survive.
Let’s look at this though and try to break down how working outside is really the answer. We may be talking about California now….what if this law extends to other States?
The California rules state;
- Electrology, tattooing, and piercing services must not be provided in the outdoor setting because they are invasive procedures that require a controlled hygienic environment to be performed safely.
- Excuse me. Don’t we as Nail Tech’s and Hair Stylist have rules by the Department of Regulation that states our environment has to be hygienic and properly sanitized?
- This guidance is intended to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.
- Exactly, what is safe and clean about working in an outdoor environment?
- Salons should not perform a service that would require a customer to have to enter the establishment.
- For real? Does this mean no hand washing and no restroom availability?
Here’s my absolute favorite…
- Establish an effective heat illness prevention plan with written procedures. See the Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention page for resources, including FAQs, a webinar, and a sample written plan. Elements of a heat illness prevent plan include:o Access to water
o Access to shade
o Cool down breaks
o Emergency procedures for heat illness cases
o Monitoring of employees who are acclimatizing during a heat waveo Training on heat illness prevention and symptoms
WOW – WOW – WOW
- Rewiring and the use of electrical extension cords can increase the likelihood of electrical hazards, including fire and electrocution. Ensure that outdoor operations comply with Cal/OSHA and all code requirements. SeeCal/OSHA’s Guide to Electrical Safety for more information.
- Ensure there are no tripping hazards from cords or other equipment in outdoor work areas.
- Use shade or other skin protection when not under shade.
- If fans, such as pedestal fans or hard-mounted fans, are used in the outside salon, take steps to minimize air from fans blowing directly from one person toward another. If fans are disabled or removed, employers should remain aware of possible heat hazards and take steps to mitigate them
Our California Salons are basically required to set up a whole new shop. What happens next? Another State Department inspector comes to our Businesses and inspects for cords which are hazards, fans which blow in our face etc. etc.
Again…WOW WOW WOW
What would I do?
- First thing I would do is write a letter to the idiot who thought working outside was a good idea.
- 2nd thing I would do, is put my anger and dis-belief behind me
- 3rd thing I would do, is adjust fire.
We are in a wait and see, day by day lifestyle. We are sitting on the edge of our seats awaiting the next doom and gloom news and waiting for our Government to tell us what we need to do. The reality is….they don’t even know.
What I do know is we as an Industry have to make this work. Our clients depend on us. Our families depend on us and we need our income to survive.
How do we make this work?
I guess if we will have to adjust fire and survive, we need to figure out a way to make this work.
Besides all the obvious things like having a covering and a portable pedicure bowl, maybe we can make it a little fun?
- Fill a cooler with ice. Offer mini bottles of anything from water to mini bottles of wine.
- Provide a water mister….better than a fan blowing dust all over the place and feels so much better
- Play some outdoor theme music. Jimmy Buffet or reggae
- Offer cleansing wipes like our Footlogix wipes. Keep them in the heat, they actually feel wonderful
Don’t forget though;
- Allow more time for set up
- Allow more time for cleaning between clients
- Notify your clients, especially your geriatric clientele
- Consider altering your services. Working in the heat is going to take its toll. You may have to adjust what you do or don’t do
- You will need to charge accordingly, should you add or have to purchase additional items to accommodate the rules. However, instead of a price increase, make it a “temporary” COVID fee. When you are allowed to get back indoors, you can take the additional fee away
I am so sorry this is happening to our friends in California. We can only hope and pray this all passes soon and we can back some normal “way of life” in doing what we all love to do.
Keep in mind though, this may be California. However, if this pandemic continues as they say it is, more changes are on the way for all of us.
As I said in my very first COVID blog. WE as an industry must prove that we can work and be safe at the same time. Follow the rules;
- Ask your clients the questions and make them complete the required COVID 19 entry into your Salon forms
- Sanitize better than you ever have. Centre For Beauty has everything you need to keep you and your client and your entire environment safe from top to bottom.
- Wear a mask. Whether it helps or not….wearing a mask is NOT the end of the world.
- Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands….and make sure your clients do as well. They should wash when they arrive and wash when they leave.
- Don’t forget…polish bottles, retail, reception, kitchen….it all has to be sanitized.
- Be Safe!