Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Airing "Our" Dirty Laundry

I am well aware of the "rule" that you are supposed to keep "family business" within the "family" but I've been known to break rules when necessary. Now is DEFINITELY one of those times. Therefore, all of my non-Black/African American readers, if you would like to comment on this particular blog, be careful. Not so much of how I will react but of how others will. I don't want to have to mediate any online f*ckery.

Now, the issue at hand is Blacks/African Americans and the issue of why "we" will support "other" businesses but no so much "our own".

While I cannot speak for everyone who is Black/African American, I can speak for myself and those who have expressed this disdain for doing business with "their own kind". I wholeheartedly believe in supporting "my people" but..."my people" make it SO damn hard sometimes!!! This might sound ridiculous to some of you, but I will look for a Black/African American dentist, pediatrician, OB/GYN, etc. before I go to anyone else. I believe in supporting your own people as much as you would patronize anyone else. There are other cultures/people who build strong cultural ties throughout their communities; Jews, Asians, Latinos, and Africans (not to be confused with African Americans; trust me, Americans operate differently than from where they might have originally "grown" from), etc. Especially within their direct family, they support each other; kind of a spread the wealth amongst one another type thing.

Anyway, my point is, I do make an effort to infuse money back into "my community" when I can. However, if you would like YOUR PEOPLE to support YOUR EFFORTS before supporting "the white man", here are some things YOU might want to work on.

It is NOT cool to mistreat me because I'm your "sista" or "brutha". If I schedule an appointment with you for noon, don't think you can show up 20 minutes late because I'm the same race as you and it's "cool to operate on CP time". Would you do that to a White customer? You sure the hell wouldn't because you know they wouldn't step foot in your establishment again and/or they'd tell other people not to go. So you'll bend over backwards for one race of people and not another? HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE.

If you've done business with someone before and exuded complimentary customer service, they'll do business with you again AND refer people to you, in essence HELPING YOU TO MAKE MONEY. Money has ALWAYS been the main objective of any business that wants to grow so if you get a repeat customer, the quickest way to lose them would be to try and screw them over the very next time they come to do business with you. What that translates into for you is this:


I'll give you some examples.

Babybottoms dad and I are working on being self-employed more sooner than later. Things are shaping up rather nicely and we are about to enter the "fundraising" side of things. He felt it was pertinent to have business cards because some of the things we'll be involved in will require us brushing elbows with people who need to know who we are. We intended to use the same person who had designed them but we ran into a small problem...bad customer service.

It's ALWAYS a bad idea to over charge someone for services that can easily be attained somewhere else AND an EXTREMELY bad idea to over charge if you previously worked with them under the principle of "what you can afford". If this customer could only afford a particular amount the last time you did work for them, what kind of damn sense would it make to try and charge them three times as much now? Did you think they would forget what you charged them last time?

Unfortunately, this is what we had to experience. The upsetting part is/was that we were trying to "support our own people". Instead of putting money back into "our community", we had to find someone who would do what we were requesting. You know that quote, "you get what you pay for"? It is ABSOLUTELY true but if I know your work is GOOD whether I pay you $300 or $850 and I only have $350 and you tell me you'll take that, that's what I'm going to pay. ESPECIALLY when you guarantee your work is THAT good that I'll be satisfied. So we found a place that did the cards for SIGNIFICANTLY less AND...better quality. It's a damn shame...

The other examples have to do with dentists. I decided to patronize this Black/African American dentist; actually, I decided to do it twice, with two different dentists, and it was a fail each time. The first time, she was 2 hrs behind then she let her assistant do everything; didn't introduce herself once. The procedure was to remove my wisdom teeth. I stopped her in the middle of pulling out my first tooth because she wanted to argue about the pain I was feeling. She wanted to convince me that I was just feeling pressure. Ok. I wasn't aware that pressure felt like someone Ginsu knifing their way through my gums but yeah, ok. She calmly insulted me some more before I just got up and left.

Second time, different dentist but same manner of waiting when I arrived. They didn't acknowledge me until I had been there for 45 minutes. When I asked what the hold up was, I was told that everyone had taken a late lunch and they'd be back in 30 minutes. What in the world would possess you to take a late lunch when YOU KNOW you had a customer coming in? I'm finally seen and they are watching some talk show and talking over me while my mouth is held open with them jaw instruments. I'm sorry, it's bad etiquette to be hee hawing over a customers open mouth AND even worse to call other employee's in to watch the television program. Would you really be describing your club outfit to your fellow employee over a White customers open mouth? No you wouldn't. You'd put on your best "professional voice" and get their procedure done so they can go on about their way. I had to endure this during my entire cleaning.

Third bad dentist experience was endured by Babybottoms father. He had to get his crown fixed and the dentist basically let the assistant do everything. While it was just a temporary crown for the next 3 weeks, are you really gonna put it on crooked, not sand it down, and have it be bigger than his other front tooth? NEVER...and I do mean NEVER, will you be operating a business thinking it's okay to send people outside looking like a Sabretooth tiger. Then...as if that wasn't enough bad customer service for one day...Babybottoms father's crown came off while he was talking.


I just fail to believe that this dentist would treat Warren Buffet the same. I honestly believe that he just might provide the service for free because of who Warren Buffet is. However, this is how "my people" want to act about something as serious as me exchanging money for a service you actually learned how to do. Not only do I expect it to be done right, I want service with a smile. Is that REALLY asking too much???

So now that Babybottoms dad called and said he isn't coming back in and stopped payment on the crown, NOW, the dentist wants to be accommodating talking about "come in now and I'll fix everything". Really? Come in at almost 7 pm when we're about to eat dinner? How about, no AND...he's going to a different dentist and guess what they are? Yeah, not Black/African American.

It's frustrating but "my people" can we PLEASE do better about how we treat each other? If you want "your people" to support you and your efforts, treat YOUR PEOPLE like you would any other patron that is paying you for a service. Business is business; leave that jive turkey talk and act at home.

Again, I'm not in the business of putting out online fires so everyone be civil if you feel the need to comment on someone else's comment. I know it's a sensitive subject...dirty laundry always is.

9 points of view:

a black girl who did date said...

I try to do give back to "our" community but sometimes ther are on one. My new dentist and is a sister. Her assistant did the procedure, but she came in and introduced herself. I got a letter a few days later welcoming me. I let errybody know, but this is a rare good occurance for me dealing with "our" businesses.

MissM said...

Have been saying this for awhile. You echo every point I've ever made.

My pet peeve:

A) I do not "talk white". The best way to get me to walk out of your black owned business is to make a comment about my plain conversational english. I speak like I'm educated.

B.) Therefore, I do not understand ebonics and won't engage in them with you. My apologies. I bet when you make your bank deposit, you don't saunter up to the teller and say 'sup,sistah?' Pretend I'm that teller and show me the same respect.

CraigJC said...

Hah. Sounds like you're being taken advantage of because of your color. From your own kind, of all people. Aint that the worst? Glad y'all handled that.

ChiChi said...

It's the sad truth. Can't treat you right, but as soon as someone white walks in, they shuckin n jivin...SMH

Michael Horvath said...

My comment as a white dude is this- I appreciate just reading and hearing about what minority races experience and feel so I can hopefully get a better understanding. And more importantly in what I have learned is that sometimes I just accept that I won't be able to understand, and that is okay. No need to comment on something you don't know about.

VerbFashion said...

Great post.

And even more annoying is people in general applying for positions that require a smile and a level of professionalism around ALL people AND having an attitude on that job. I understand people have bad days and personal issues that are often times quite difficult to hide, but for me to walk in anyone's establishment just moments after they have opened to see an attitude, not be greeted, and see you on a phone or watching a t.v. show is a MAJOR problem!

Unfortunately all of those bad experiences have been with "My People."

JaeSpenc said...

... Let me FIRST say that I DIED LAUGHING @ the "tooth" fiasco... hahahahaha I'm sorry your childs father had to deal with that... and I would have thrown a FIT....

... secondly, I will say that, sadly, I don't go out of my way to patronize minority owned business. My dentist is white. My doctor is white. I shop @ stores that are, for the most part, not caucasian owned... Not because I TRY NOT to shop with 'our' people, but for the VERY reasons that you've mentioned.

It makes me SO ANGRY to see this happening in a minority business. To me, it just helps to perpetuate the stereotypes that people have ALREADY set forth about our race (lazy, ignorant, do nothing, etc)...

I'm with you on this one.

AssertiveWit said...

black girl: the doctor I wanted to deliver Babybottoms was Black and she saw me for the majority of my pregnancy visits; she was an AMAZING obstetrician and I would recommend her to ANYONE having a baby...so there are Black/African American individuals who know how to treat their "business". I just wish it was more the rule versus the exception, you know?

Curvy jones: I always tell people to define what "sounding white" is because you can't sound like a "color"...damn idiots. My parents raised me to speak the same English everyone else learned in school so that urks me to no end. Granted EVERYONE, regardless of skin color/nationality, has used improper English but in a business setting, people need to be accustomed to using it or learn.

Craig: I don't have a problem addressing someone who isn't treating me as they should, ESPECIALLY when I have to give them my hard earned money! LOL

ChiChi: Right! Acting like they're in Bamboozled.

MPH: :)

VerbFashion: I just experienced THE worse customer service from Ford Models and Wilhelmina (writing a blog about it). I HATE whenever someone in a customer service position does their job poorly. Makes me want to report them to their superiors.

JaeSpenc: I laughed so hard when his tooth broke but I felt bad that he came home and it looked like someone had papermached his tooth into his mouth. Damn shame! I just want our people to do better because they CAN.

Jay_fever said...

Yep it's sad but true...too many of our folks don't know how to "professionally" act around our own. My grandma is always adamant about not going to "negroes" because she don't want nobody "nigger rigging" anything of hers. And even though it saddens me every time I hear her talk about us like that...I know there is a huge element of truth behind it. Too many of us get into a professional setting and act professional towards other races, but when another Black person walks in you' swear it was a street transaction or something...smh.

Those dentist stories are really effed up.

Post a Comment

Be fair & civil in your commenting. If you can't manage that...well be unfair & rude and I'll respond. Yes, those are your only two options :)


Copyright © Coffee, My Voice and Babybottoms...Essentials To Your Day. Template created by Volverene from Templates Block
WP by WP Themes Master | Price of Silver