Inquiring Minds
  • Maggie Franklin
  • June 21, 2013
Coincidentally enough, my latest issue of NAILS arrived yesterday and, just as I was pulling it out of my tote bag and opening it up, the BF starts telling me a story about a competing auto shop in town — which dove-tailed nicely with the cover story about salon gossip.
 
I got to thinking: Gossip seems to be one of those things that simply is a truth of being human. The BF gets it from the Snap-on guy and other tool trucks that make the rounds of the automotive shops in the area.
 
Salons get the lowdown on other salons from sales reps that make weekly rounds of the local salons.
 
Gossip, quite simply, is.
 
But trade magazines of all ilk regularly pen articles about how to deal with gossip in the workplace. How to end it. How to quell it. How to ignore it.
 
And then we fill our reception areas with magazines for our customers’ enjoyment such as People and US — magazines devoted entirely to gossip.
 
Where does simply talking about interesting people and/or interesting things going on in other peoples’ lives end and gossip begin, anyway? If someone is talking about another salon that’s going out of business, is that gossip? If someone tells me about their last nail tech and includes their personal opinion of that tech’s work ethic, is that gossip?
 
If we stop all the gossip, will people have anything left to talk about? And is it OK to gossip about Brad and Angelina, but not OK to gossip about the salon down the street? Or any other business down the street?
 
Of course I understand why you shouldn’t let your staff — or clients — spread rumors, talk trash, or engage in downright slanderous discussion that crosses the line into unprofessional and even illegal territory. But you do have to employ some critical thinking skills when it comes to deciding what gossip is OK and what gossip goes too far.
 
Because, quite frankly, I can’t imagine our culture not talking about other people. I think it goes hand in hand with what I was lamenting the other day about trouble and pain. The burden is on the listener to have the good sense to be able to sift the trash and innuendo from the useful and interesting information.
 
And no... my post today has nothing to do with the article in the magazine. It’s just something I got to thinking about when I saw the headline while the BF was telling me about the latest rumors of their competitor.
 
 

Keywords:   clients  

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