Friday, January 8, 2010

Really. A Reality Show.

I have been watching - and enjoying - a reality show. Really. Now, thousands of people do this several times each day. But until now, I didn't watch any of the so-called "reality" shows. Mainly because they are so unreal. But boredom guided me to a show on Bravo - one of the cable channels. I watched my first episode of "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" a few days ago. I liked it! No one is more surprised at that reaction than I am. In case you're not familiar with the program, here's what happens: Tabatha Coffey is a talented and popular professional in "hair design and education" (from the Bravo website). She "brings her years of hands-on experience to help struggling salon owners turn around their businesses."

I, personally, have no connection with or interest in the hair design industry. So why would I care about this show or enjoy it so much? Being an analytical person, I did some thinking about that.

Have any of you ever worked in retail? I have. My observations are probably true in many industries, but I have to relate them to my personal experience, and in my personal experience I have met a lot of bosses and employees who just don't get it. They don't care, they don't want to work, they don't want to manage (or don't have a clue how to), and they drive any self-respecting, semi-hard working person utterly insane. But if you're in the sort of non-hiring, non-firing job that I had, all you can do is watch. If you're lucky, you're on some sort of medication that makes this easier to deal with, because that's all you can do - deal with it.

Then there's Tabatha. I love Tabatha. Every industry needs a Tabatha. Tabatha "visits" troubled salons in order to first watch and learn, then educate and repair. And she pulls absolutely no punches. She tells owners, managers, and employees alike what needs to be done so their salons can survive. She tells bad managers how to manage. She tells whiny employees their shortcomings. She tells everyone exactly like it is with the ultimate message being "make these changes or perish." And she sincerely means it.

It's a complete joy to watch Tabatha in action, and to watch the astounded reactions of the people she's talking to. It's a complete joy to watch whiny employees and incompetent managers transformed into proud, hard-working professionals.

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