It's 11 p.m. and my brain cannot take all the hate and animosity that is congesting our pages with such mean and hurtful words. Are you hearing yourselves right now? Are you seriously stooping so low, as to say such demeaning things to someone you once called a friend? Someone you once shared a professional connection with because you both had one thing in common... the love and respect for this industry? How can anyone for that matter sit here and point fingers, back and forth with each other and claim to be better than the other. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Why are we letting this divide control our emotions and our actions, and for what because half of us truly were concerned for our safety, and the other half ready to get back to work? There were a lot of inconsistencies when it came to drafting up a plan to reopen our state. I agree, the Governor's last minute decision to pull the rug from underneath us was shocking, to say in the least. I know so many of my colleagues were willing and ready to welcome their guests, complying with the guidelines set in place to collect all the tools and resources necessary to prepare for opening day.
Here's a thought, why weren't we collectively surveyed like some of the other states did to their communities, asking for our feedback on whether it was safe to open or not. Didn't our opinions matter? If we had, had a voice from the very beginning maybe this whole fiasco could have been avoided. Why weren't we consulted as a group to make one unanimous decision? After all, the only people who understand this business, are the people who work in this industry. We all have our reasons for wanting to resume back to business, but here's the truth. No one group is right or wrong. There are two sides to every story, did we truly (and let's be honest) listen to each other? How do you go from one extreme to the other within a matter of minutes. This is getting ridiculous, and just from an outsiders perspective, it doesn't look very promising on our end. If our clients don't have an opinion about us, they will now with all the name calling and disrespectful accusations flooding social media pages. What kind of an example are we setting for the next group of stylists and barbers? Can we please act professional?
When we were ALL ordered to shut down, we literally had to lock up without any time to plan. We were ALL told to stay home and quarantine to help flatten the curve. We were ALL compliant then. This virus is far from being over and I am hoping a vaccine will be available soon, because the people who have contracted this disease, barely survived. People are truly afraid and concerned for their health. Have we considered the severity of this disease? If we choose to work, we somehow catch it, then what? If that's a risk some of us are willing to make, then they do what they must. Who was representing the other half that were fighting to delay the opening? I've read the articles, there were a few people on this "reopening committee," ready to make a decision without flipping both sides of the coin.
Yes, I agree that there was no support from the start. Which if you ask me, how does a state that ranks #5 in the country of wealthiest states to live in, have no sort of funding or financial backing for the small businesses that make up the heart of Connecticut? In our state alone, there are over 300,000 (www.sba.gov), click here) small businesses that make up Connecticut's private sector and over 700,000 employees that work in these establishments. Again, why wasn't there any assistance? What were loans going to do for us? Eventually those who own businesses, have to pay those loans back and with what money, tell me that. Some of us have been out of work for 9 weeks without a penny in our pockets. Those who filed for unemployment at the start of this pandemic received benefits, those who filed later, because the state was so inundated with file claims, haven't received any. We are in a RECESSION. The decisions we are making aren't rational and its starting to affect and impact our businesses in a negative way. What is happening? This is all getting out of control.
Listen, I've been honest with you all, in the fact that I was all for a delayed opening. I thought May 20th was to soon. My boss and I had made that decision together from the very beginning, when we first received word about opening in phase one. I told her I supported whatever she decided was in the best interest of the salon, our clients and our welfare. We both were in agreement, because we both felt it was the right thing to do for US. I have spoken and heard from so many people already, since this whole shit show started. I not only RESPECTED their honesty and decision to go back to work, I ACCEPTED the fact that they have to do what's best for them. DONE...why can't we end it there. Why did it have to escalate and become so ugly?
It wasn't a decision based on a group of "cookie cutter stylists," that provoked the government or whatever nonsense you want to believe, facts are facts. Let's get one thing straight, the constant revisions of these long and contradictory guidelines were crazy, confusing to everyone. I don't know about you, but how is anyone suppose to put their faith and trust in a person that keeps changing his/her mind? "Do this, don't do that, it's not safe. Okay yes, you can do this now, but with caution." It's near impossible to operate under this kind of leadership.
Let's point out the facts...YES, this virus doesn't seem like its going anywhere, anytime soon. YES, we all have to take extra measures in making sure we practice proper sanitation and disinfectant procedures. YES, we all need to get back to work. THIS IS OUR LIVELIHOOD. YES, we can't all be sitting ducks forever, and unemployment will end soon. YES, we need to stand up for what we believe in. YES, we need to know our worth and what we bring to the table. YES, we are a community divided by one man's indecisiveness. YES, we need to fight for our rights, but we also need to feel safe and be safe. Not just for us, but for our families, our clients and for our businesses.
Here's what's not okay, the unnecessary name calling...like using the word, "LAZY, because all of us at home don't want to work and are hustling on the side to do hair." I don't know what kool-aid you've been drinking, but I certainly don't fit into that category. I have two kids, a home to run, bills to pay, a job I WANT and NEED to get back to and a husband whose had some close encounters in his department with COVID-19. Like so many of you, it took me a long time to build what I have. I'm certainly no where near where I would like to be, but I also am not shaming anybody for having their own set of beliefs. Where is everyone's sense of pride? Why is it so imperative you cause such a scene to prove your point? We are all suffering as an industry, its time to raise our standards. WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS!
For those who took the time out to order what they needed in preparation to open, you are right to feel angry and frustrated with our state. However, what's inappropriate and I know you are aware of this, are the people who are taking it to an extreme, and threatening the lives of other stylists, because they agree to disagree. You know who you are, it is beneath you and uncalled for. Not one single person has the right to sit and point fingers at the other person for wanting to do what they feel is essential. You don't have a clue as to what that individual is going through. Who gives anyone the right to make an asinine judgement call like that? Last I checked, WE ARE ALL STRUGGLING! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.
It needs to stop, and it needs to end, this fight over whose right and whose wrong. We need to find a solution, not be part of the problem. WE NEED TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER, WE NEED TO BE HUMBLE, WE NEED TO BE KIND, AND WE NEED TO STAND TOGETHER. IF WE DON'T, WE ARE DOING A DISSERVICE TO OURSELVES AND TO OUR CLIENTS.