Working at A Natural Hair Suite During COVID-19
Does anyone remember sitting down with your kids or even being a child yourself, watching Sesame Street's segment of "The Letter of the Day?" Remember how after they've introduced the word, Elmo and all his friends would use it continuously throughout the show? Working here at Zee Wilds Natural Hair Suite or any type of salon after the COVID-19 outbreak, the words of the day, every day, became: masks, clean, sanitize, temperature, and of course social distancing.
All of my spring break and summer plans basically went down the drain. Well, most of my plans, because I had a job opportunity working here for my stylist of 10 years. The first time Zee and I sat down to discuss everything, one of the first things she emphasized was the constant and continuous sanitizing of all the surfaces. It would also be my job to ask the clients to sanitize their hands before entering, take their temperatures, and make sure everyone had on a mask. Those tasks had to be done in addition to the regular salon operating duties. At first, this didn't phase me. I was raised in a household in which cleaning was a right of passage. But, I'll admit, I underestimated the amount of wiping down surfaces after each client.
When I first began working, not many people were ready to come out of quarantine into the new world affected by the pandemic. During this time we'd see an average of 2 people a day. Surprisingly, this was a blessing in disguise, because Zee was able to train me in between clients. Everything generally works out the way it's meant to. That's one lesson I've learned while working here. I think about times that I have to answer the phone while sanitizing or when there are 4 to 5 customers back to back, and I wonder how I would've done without that extra training time. It allowed me to move efficiently when the regular flow of clients trickled back in.
Even if there are major differences we have to get used to like social distancing, wearing of the masks, and constant cleaning, Zee Wild Natural Hair Suite is still the warm environment I grew up in. The laughter hasn't changed, the great discussions never left, and of course, the amazing hairstyles are still here. As Naturalistas and Natural Men, we all know that in addition to getting our hair done, it's the friendly environment and welcoming experiences that make us feel at home and keeps us coming back. That's what I used to feel every time I walked in for a style and to this day. Now, I'm so glad to be a part of it each day I work here.