Saturday, November 08, 2008

I guess its best you feel that way.

If the following post ends up seeming petty, ridiculous, high-schoolish, and overdramatic to you, well, don't worry. It feels that way to me too and I haven't even written it yet. Here goes.

Apparently there are some ruffled feathers regarding my and Snotty's blog posts about Julep. Nobody has yet to contact either of us directly about it but somebody did send her an anonymous email warning her about a "cease and desist" letter. Oh yeah, and I've heard that management is bothering a friend (I'll call her Sally) and former coworker of mine who still works there about how much information she may be sharing with me. I'm not sure what is going on, or who is flipping out, but in the meantime I'll just write this entry and assume that whoever it pertains to will read it.

I'm aware of my First Amendment rights. I never signed anything stating I wouldn't talk about Julep or my experiences working there. Please keep in mind that if I really wanted, I've got plenty of information about Julep that I could divulge. Be glad that at this point, I'm pretty much over it and have better things to do with my time (school, school, and school). I try to avoid thinking or writing about Julep nowadays if I can help it. The only reason I wrote that last post was because I had read the article about Starbucks a couple days before I ended up hearing about the compensation switch from an hourly rate to commission, and I found Julep's sudden change in compensation amusing since there are plenty of ex-Starbucks folks working in upper management there.

You may be wondering, did I get my information about the compensation switch to commission from "Sally?" The answer is a firm, "No." In fact, I wrote that blog post before I ever talked to her about it. Meaning that bothering "Sally" about her loyalty to Julep is a total waste of your time (and hers). Do we ever talk about Julep? Well sure, sometimes. But we also have lives outside of work, so we like to talk about that stuff too. Just so we're clear, any posts about Julep (including this one) have been written without "Sally's" input, consent, or knowledge. And I'm rather disturbed that you are going to such lengths as to question her about our friendship or ask other employees about her loyalty to Julep behind her back. Seems like a witch hunt where you've already assumed she is guilty by association.

If you must know, I got the information indirectly from another ex-employee. So I can assure you that I'm not actively trying to get any super-secret-insider-information in order to plot Julep's downfall. Although I do hear some news from time to time about things going on, I tend to have plenty of other things to put my energy towards at the moment (did I mention school?). People in the spa industry (actually in most industries) like to talk. In spite of your best efforts, people will continue to talk. Normally, if people are allowed to talk to one another it makes for a better workplace. Using fear-based tactics to keep everyone silent only ends up making you look mean and petty.

As an experiment, I tried Googling "Julep Nail Parlor" and neither my nor Snotty's blogs showed up within the first ten pages of results. In fact, there wasn't any negative press at all, although I saw a few blog posts from people who had written nice things when Julep first opened. I can't imagine that more than ten people tops actually read my blog on a regular basis, and that figure may well include whoever from Julep is so up-in-arms about it. And really, if someone is so upset about people writing negative things on the internet about Julep, then they may want to do something about the user comments on Yelp and Citysearch, which I'm guessing are WAAAAY more likely to have an impact on potential Julep customers than anything I have to say here.

In case you are unsure about what steps to take to get us to quit writing posts like, oh, say this one, I offer the following suggestions:

1) Check out some free advice from a lawyer here. Keep in mind that I'm ready and willing to post any "cease and desist letters" I get in the mail online. And I'm sure you've already adjusted the hiring paperwork to address this topic, but on the off chance you haven't, you may want to get employees to sign some sort of confidentiality agreement. But don't overlook the advice about trying to "deal with the person human-to-human." Don't you think if would have been much more effective to have talked to me directly instead of conducting covert operations to see who's been talking to who which only results in me airing all of this in a public forum?

2) Please realize that this is a service-based industry. Your employees are your products. If you don't have Vernisseurs, you don't have any services to offer; meaning that you don't have any business to run. Instead of worrying about the activities of ex-employees, it would be much more constructive to focus on the happiness of the employees you still have. As an added bonus, it would also be less likely to result in negative blog entries (again, like this one).

3) Don't just say you believe in starting as you mean to go on. Do it. Also, it is never too late to make a fresh start.

So, to whatever you have to say about my blogging my immediate reply is:

I guess its best you feel that way.

Now get over it and move on.

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