This is a real story, How a simple mindful initiative can boost someone’s self confidence and motivation to get hold off things that were really slipping out if his away – a helping hand met a help in need.
A Principle for life :
I had just got shifted to that new premise. Myself and my wife were busy settling the household stuffs, bearing the added difficulties of having a kid around. Sometime later, I decided to checkout that area for the near by amenities like grocery shops, Bakeries .. etc. The location was good and everything was available just on walk-able distance except a saloon. Having a kid with me, I was so particular in finding a decent cost effective saloon nearby. There was a plenty of hi-fi network Spas nearby but they were obviously too costly for me. Irrespective of my spending capability, I had a budget for every single product / service that I consume. I was so keen not to pay even a penny higher than my budget irrespective of affordability. After all, I believe, sticking to certain principles in life improves self discipline and shapes attitude. Got information about a shop through an auto driver and decided to give a try on that weekend.
The made up Smile :
Saloon “Elite” was right on that busy street which was almost a mile away from my residence. One guy rushed towards the main door when i reached it’s handle. I thought he was leaving the shop, but he opened the door with a big smile and waited for me to get in. At once seeing me through the glass door, he came to receive, probably he was the owner. I sat on a sofa at the reception and started checking out their tariff – There was a poster on the wall that listed out their services and the charges. They had many surprising combo plans – For head massage, hair dying was free, For Hair fall treatment, dandruff treatment was free and the list was too long to list here.
For hair cutting, they charged 110 rupees. They had pasted a white bit paper on the original amount and overwritten to 110. Probably, a 10 or 20 less sometime back, Well done for the RBI for inflation. Still it was cheaper than the price charged at the hi-fi net-work spas near to my home. I was convinced about their price and started to look around. It was fully air conditioned and the floor was clean. They had almost 20 rolling chairs with equipped personnel for each to attend the customers. They had 2 rooms apart from the reception, looked like they operated both on weekends and only the front one on week days based on the crowd. Most of the employees were from north. It was a recent trend in the city, employing people from north for less salary than employing the localites. They do not raise voice against you for anything – Completely owner friendly. Not only in IT industry, outsourcing had gone inevitable everywhere.
It was my turn, one guy in uniform came out to take me in. I was not so comfortable with that particular formality – receiving at the gate by the owner with an made up smile and taking you to the seat at your turn by another guy like an award ceremony. It was so artificial. But still, all were part and parcel of the services they provide.
The Tip Menace :
The inner room was filled with some rich perfume. The seat was so comfortable enough to make me sleep in seconds. I controlled my urge of rolling that chair for a complete 360 degrees, Why am not still a Kid? That guy for the job looked skillful and confident, spoke some broken local language and appeared to impress me. Once we were done, he took me to the cash counter where i paid 200 rupees and waited for the balance. This guy was also waiting with me. I told him that I can leave on my own, for that he smiled weirdly. In the same time, that owner guy handed me the balance of 90 rupees in denominations – 20*2, 10*5. I understood then, they wanted the customers pay tip.
I felt that I was cornered and had less options to deny as the owner was looking at me and that guy was looking at the cash in my hand. Well, I turned at him, started to count the change slowly. He was looking at the notes awfully. After made sure the change was correct, I looked back at him with the same weird smile and started to walk out. You should see their faces.! Paying tip should be a matter of choice, but cornering the customer to pay tip was something that one should never encourage.
When I visited the shop again, the same owner opened the doors with the same made up smile. Well, he didn’t remember me. An old man was at the cash counter with a hair dresser nearby. I was tempted to see what happens. I was shocked to hear that his bill was 2100 rupees, what on earth he did in a saloon to pay 2100 .? The ultimate sequence came next, he paid that guy 150 rupees as tip. My goodness, where on earth these kind of people live .? Just because of these Mr.lavish, everyone else were demanded to pay tip.
A Timely Motivation :
I sneaked inside. That guy whom I irritated last time was not there. Anyhow, I had planned to choose someone new and stick to that guy there on. I started to pay attention on the guys at work. While everyone were too busy (as they got picked by their repeated customers), One thin guy at the corner had a tough time in finding one. I was wondering whats wrong with him and started to stay close. He looked pale, pity and less motivated. Owner told that he had a small disablement in hand, a bend or something and also last time he made a small cut on a customer’s face while shaving. He was poor enough for the owner to retain him with a warning than firing. He also revealed that he was planning to send him out if he failed to get any decent amount of customers this week. I was so pity on him and wanted to try him once. Obviously, I had a threat in mind what if he cut my face too? But still, he appeared helpless and Imy mind insisted to help him once. The owner was puzzled at first when I opted him. But I was sure on what I was doing.
He was not that bad actually. He was just a beginner, that’s all, needed some experience for which he obviously needed some customers. He was extra careful when handling me as it was a critical job for him. I observed that his hand was not normal, but in the same time, I did not see a point to reject him just because of that. He made an accidental mistake which was simply tied up with his little deformed hand as usual by we do. Just asked him about his family and other stuffs. He was more pity than I thought and in need of more help than I imagined. I shared a few of my struggles and how I could came up, just to ensure him “No pain and No gain“. Well, he finished the job. You wont believe, that was one of the smoothest hair cut I ever had. He took me to the cash counter and to my surprise, he did not look at the balance in my hand as if he did not expect any tip from me. Once I got the balance, he went ahead and opened the doors for me with a thankful smile. I left tapping his back gently.
Self Confidence is all it Needs :
When I visited that shop after a couple of weeks, he was handling a customer and waived hands at me with a smile. I nodded my head and turned at the owner, How was he doing lately..? He was happy that he got picked up now a days and no issues after that. I opted him again and waited till he got free. He was so happy that I could wait for him and expressed his gratitude that he got confidence and felt motivated after my last visit. Also told that the owner had started to trust him gradually. I personally felt that his skills were well improved just in that short period. I was so happy on my decision of giving him a chance which gave him what he most needed by that time – Self Confidence and Motivation.
The owner had stopped giving me lower denominations as I had never paid any tip before. When I left, as usual he moved ahead and opened the doors for me with a confident smile on face. Just when crossing him, my hand naturally reached my pocket and fetched him a bill of Rs.20. He hesitated for a second and took it happily. Indeed that was a well deserved tip. <Period>
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