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Betrayal at the Barbershop

Tabatha talks about how she finally got through to Mike.

By Tabatha Coffey

I have wanted to take over a barbershop for a while; it is a great craft. What I didn’t know is that my first one would be so incredibly filthy and dysfunctional, or that Mike the owner would have such anger and resentment toward his staff. I had walked into an absolute mess.

I was appalled at how filthy the place was and the fact that nobody seemed to care. It was disgusting, but not surprising because Mike was telegraphing (as Matt so eloquently said) a case of “I don’t give a f---” which means the staff didn’t either.

Surprised People Want to Come In
The barbers did good work, and it was clear that they all loved the profession. I understood the betrayal Mike felt because of his walkout, but blaming his current staff wasn’t working, wasn’t fair, and it was affecting the business. The staff was resentful, because they felt like they were paying for other people’s actions. Mike refused to develop any kind of relationship with his staff, because he feared being hurt again both professionally and personally. This lack of leadership was a real problem, and I needed Mike to let the past go so he could move forward and see what a committed crew he had.

It was upsetting sitting with Layla and hearing and seeing how much stress she was under. Everyone acknowledged how hard she worked and the fact that she carried the business and the family. Mike really needed to step up and take charge, and give his wife the break she so desperately needed.
Things Must Change
It was hard getting through to Mike, but he did come to realize that his behavior was driving his business into the ground. He had to let go of the past and look forward. I was pleased he had a get together with his team during my renovation; it showed his commitment to his staff and his barbershop.

I am happy to say that Nexgen is doing really well. Business is improving, Layla is spending more time with her kids, and Mike is continuing to step up and lead his team.
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