The lockdown has made us realise every little thing we took for granted, from that little stroll to a nearby dhaba to hitting up a salon to treat ourselves.
But does that mean we push everything aside, forget why we’re social distancing and go about our daily lives as if there isn’t a global pandemic rapidly spreading? Of course not.
That’s why it was rather surprising to see Nabila’s latest update about her salon reopening with the latest precautionary measures for the safety of her clientele.
The salon claimed that it planned to be “a safe space with a superior level of hygiene combined with best practices and medical level sanitisation to ensure the health and well being of everyone who walks through our doors.”
You can imagine that this raised some eyebrows in the comment section; the amount of gloves, masks and PPEs have irked many who responded to the video reminding the salon owner that those should go to the health workers who are on the frontlines risking their lives to save others.
However, instead of clarifying the situation, Nabila took a different and rather hostile approach
Even when sharing that the salon isn’t open, she was rather aggressive
To say her comments were harsh is an understatement as she even insulted a health worker who brought up the issue.
And some responses… were just confusing
The salon owner who simply stated, “I will not be bullied.”
She made sure to highlight the fact that she wasn’t immediately opening for business.
“I am waiting for the government to give me the green signal. I understand that I am not offering an essential service which is why we have now been closed for seven weeks. But when other businesses start opening eventually, I want us to open as well.”
“I cannot sit back and do nothing which is why I have consulted with doctors and my own stylists to devise ways of running the salon while strictly following corona compliant SOP’s. Even if we do open, we’ll be functioning at about 30% of our normal capacity while the price of the products that we use has increased by 20%. That means we’ll only be earning about 10%. That’s no way to do business, but in these circumstances, that’s all that we can do,” she added.
About the online comments from people, she went on to say, “The trolls that have been attacking me are saying that we are wasting PPE that should be used in hospitals. PPE was not easily available earlier but right now it is in surplus and we are exporting it.
“I am getting my supply of masks through a friend of mine who is giving me the ones that are rejected because of a few stitches that have gone wrong. I am going to try and make use of that.”
According to Nabila, “The video I made about raising the bar simply outlines how I am trying to find a new way to move forward. I am an industry veteran, I have given 35 years to this business, I am the president of PHABA (Pakistan Hairdressers and Beauty Association).”
“When trolls attack me on [Instagram], calling my haircuts ‘stupid’, cursing at me, telling me that I should die from the coronavirus, I react. I am human and I feel angry. Perhaps I could have worded my [comments] differently but even if I had, the basic gist would have been the same.”
While we sympathise with her situation as a business owner and are aware that those employed within the salon industry are suffering, it really does not justify the replies she posted on Instagram. As businesses evolve to keep up with the times, people understandably will have queries and concerns, which entrepreneurs and owners much like Nabila need to answer if they want to keep their customers.
Trolls who get personal deserve a clap-back but the responses made by Nabila were mostly to people upset about the situation. That could’ve been avoided by an explanation that drives home the point that the video is for future preparations. Nowhere does it clearly state that the salon isn’t reopening immediately. Nowhere does it state that the masks are the ones rejected because of ‘a few stitches gone wrong’.
It makes sense that people are expressing their reservations when previously several medical professionals has voiced their concerns over not having proper equipment when dealing with Covid-19. It also makes sense if people want to know how you plan on social distancing while running a high-contact business. A lot could be sorted with an explanation rather than lashing out.