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I was excited and nervous about going to P-Town. Excited because I had never been there and always wanted to visit and also about the new business issue I was faced with -- a salon that had a small window of time to make the bulk of their money. I was nervous because, well, it's P-Town. One road in and out, and let's face it, I'm hard to hide!
Dougie has owned West End Salon and been in P-Town for over 20 years. In the beginning his shtick and antics were new and different to the area. The problem is Provincetown has grown up, as have the people that spend their time there, and West End's shtick has become tacky, tired, old, and tragic. They are the talk of the town but not in a good way!
I didn't want to change the "essence" of West End Salon. It was in the middle of town in a beautiful old captain's house, but they weren't providing the relaxing professional service clients wanted. I kept hearing excuses about how this is P-Town and anything goes. But what I did find out about the area is that that there are amazing restaurants, bars, boutiques, and hotels that cater to high-end clients that come to Provincetown to relax, enjoy, and have fun. Many of them spend their summers there, and these high-end clients need services done and require good work, professional service, and a relaxing environment (P-Town or not). West End just wasn't providing it.
It took a while for everyone to catch on to my lunch from hell exercise. I think Robbie thought he was at the Four Season with his Maserati parked outside! But Dougie and the rest of the staff truly started to understand what was going on, and it opened their eyes to the changes that needed to be made and the possibilities of the salon.
I also wanted Dougie to start to trust his staff and step away from his business. He was working so many hours, burning himself out, and frankly being an ineffective manager. His staff needed to feel trusted, and I knew John would be a great manager. He was committed to both the salon and Dougie, and he truly wanted change. Bringing the group together to get rid of the negative energy was a way to get them to bond before the renovation and let them think about some of the marketing ideas I had given them.
I liked Dougie, but I felt he was so resistant to change and so scared to take time away from his business and stop his shtick. He felt that the shtick was his identity, but it stopped people from knowing the real person. When I had a sit down heart to heart with him, he admitted how much life and living he had missed out on. That's why I decided it was time for him and Jimmy to finally have the ceremony they deserved. It was my way of telling Dougie to stop and smell the roses, and that it's okay to be you and enjoy life.
When I went back to West End salon, I was disappointed to hear that things hadn't entirely changed. But as John pointed out, it takes a while for Dougie to come around, and I am optimistic he will find the balance between professional behavior and tackiness. I was glad to see that Robbie had changed. He had sent me a personal message before my return telling me he was still in shock and was constipated for a month after my departure. But thanks to his Reiki practitioner working on him and a good bowel movement, he was thankful for my visit!