Friday's Week 2.
I'm sitting in a Jivamukti Tea ... vegan cafe in New York. Tamuna is doing yoga at the famed Jivamukti Yoga school. My feet are killing but it gives me a minute plus another 89 to catch up with you guys.
As usual my ramblings in no particular order or form.
The week before our wedding started well but and then in a moment went very sour. This was an excellent lesson in service so listen close.
Recently I took trousers to be altered at a franchise called Zip Yard. They got franchise of the year for a few years in a row. If I had to give them a mark out of 5 I would say 2. So we went on the search for a good tailor. Finally Tamuna found what looked perfect. It was a quirky place that had bespoke and custom all over the window so we went to this place. Not long after we arrived the tailor started to adjust my trousers and share her excellent cloth cutting pedigree with us as her family were all tailors to royalty, presidents and even the armed forces in St. Lucia. She seemed nice but very intense. She told me direct she didn’t like women and she was a philosopher of sorts. She told me this in front of Tamuna.
Then she began to argue on the length of my trousers. I like my trousers a little short but the tailor couldn’t get her head around trousers not touching my shoe. I like my trousers around one inch above the shoe, she kept insisting they should be much longer to the point of arguing.
Finally she agreed they would be ready the next morning. We told there they had to be as we were travelling to New York. We called and they weren't ready. We called as she didn't call us. Finally she answered the phone but wasn't happy we were calling her and asked me to come around at 4pm to check the length because she still didn't want to cut them at the length I wanted.
When we went in she started shouting, screaming and then ended it with her crying fit but only after she called Tamuna a racist. She said Tamuna was picking on her because she was small and black and 71 years old. Finally she did my trouser perfectly. She also charged a lot for them. I was happy with my trousers but not with her behaviour. I’ll never go back despite her doing a great job.
It was pretty outrageous but an interesting observation of embedded human behaviour. I wondered if it was partly because she is in her 70s and that was a period when being racist was a common theme for comedy and other things on TV. Yet this is 2015 and frankly I was furious as even I had some racist behaviour towards myself and Tamuna because she is foreign here in the UK. Since when did skin colour claim racism? Make up your own mind but it was a disgusting approach to clients. Sad as she did an excellent job finally but I won't be going back.
Regardless what you think of your customers the fact is there are times when we have to play a role and put the client first whilst biting our tongues!
FLYING TO NEW YORK
I thought I would try my hand at an upgrade into business. I've no idea why but in business you have a feeling of safety. Maybe it's because you have so much space around you. I suppose crashing in a plane in business class is the same as crashing in any other class so clearly my mind playing a trick or two with me. Now I had read all the proven tricks again online to get the upgrade. Smile, tell her you are getting married, dress up for the upgrade. We did all of that and more.The air hostess sold us really well on the upgrade. She said there was just one seat on the plane but she would see what she could do. 20 minutes later she returned to tell us she has found another and we can both sit together. We upgraded only to find once on the place that only 25% of the seats were filled. The plane looked as good as empty. How do you think that made me feel about all her efforts in finding us a seat?
American Airlines clearly have a serious cash issue. If they didn't I am sure they would would start cleaning their planes. This was the dirtiest plane and oldest plane I have ever flown on. And business class TV was an Samsung 9 inch tablet with cables everywhere. Not good enough AA! I will add - they are the rudest air crews I have ever come across! And filthy toilets - yuk!
What an exciting day for myself and my darling Tamuna. So on the day we got up. Well actually Tamuna never got up because Tamuna hardly slept a minute. The went out for breakfast at around 7:00am and started the day doing Tai Chi in Bryant Park. That was amazing being half naked standing embracing the sunshine as it squeezed between the Giants on New York skyline. It is such a cool thing that in the middle of such a wonderfully crazy city you can find so much peace in a moment. We followed up the moment with more coffee and then some tourist stuff. Now all morning we had been having a discussion about yellow cab or subway down to city hall. Finally after my best man. Persuaded me a million times we decided to get a cab.
We were to get married at 3:45pm and jumped in the cab at 2:30pm to New York City hall. Now you have to understand the reason for the cab to get this. We felt we would be too sweaty in our wedding clothes on the subway so that is why we finally settled on the cab.
After standing outside our hotel almost 20 minutes a cab finally picked us up. After being in the cab for 10 minutes we had moved forward around 10 yards. Then again over the lights and another 10 yards. City hall closes at 3:45pm so we had to absolutely be there not on second past. By 3:30pm we were still in the cab and struggling to get closer. Eventually the cab driver warned us that there is a real possibility that would wouldn't make it. Then he pointed and said see the end of this street ... About half a mile ... That is where we are going. My advice is get out and run like hell!
So we did just that. We ran but got lost. I asked a cop but the cop shouted at me, told me to back off and then in a rude manner sent us the wrong way. Sweat was running off us like tap water, the temperature is around 35 here right now. Finally another cop told us we are going the wrong way. He pointed and said run! I looked at my watch it was now 3:41 but we could see the building. I think seeing the building pushed us to run even faster. At the door to city hall we could see our pals, they shouted and screamed as we ran up the stairs into city hall. I swear we were dripping wet. The time ... 3:44pm but only the final seconds until 3:45. Tamuna looked at me with sweat flooding down her face. I looked at her the same and we all looked at each other. At the same time we all laughed after all what a crazy story to share with people. 2:17 seconds we were married. I said I do and Tamuna said I do and then we were man and wife. I did leave my camera in the back of the cab never to be seen again but that was a small price to claim my bride. It was a wonderful moment in my life I will never forget. I love being married it really is the ultimate commitment to another person.
It's been a very busy year so far without hardly a minute to think. We also moved house which I hate doing and I also finished a new 400 page manual for the salon business. It's been morning until night, it's been or felt l I've 7 days weeks with some really demanding but amazing work with clients. So busy in fact I had almost forgotten how to switch off. So while Tamuna is in yoga I am sat in the cafe connected to the yoga writing to you. Outside the first floor window there is a huge street market on today here in Union Square. This is a pretty hippyish area which suits my hippyish approach to life but I am feeling relaxed. The sun is shining, the city birds can be heard and the smoke smells wonderful from the street vendors as it rises and sneaks into the small gap of the window behind where I sit. I've just had green tea made with coconut water. That was interesting whilst at the sme time trying to switch off from thoughts of clients at the same time. It’s important for me and I will say the same for you that now and then you switch off and allow your brain to breath. That breathe is thought and those thoughts will help you control your life and your business.
It's been a good week, had lots of lessons from life. Now I am really looking forward to a wonderful future with my new wife Tamuna. What is coming I have no idea but what I do know it this. It is critically important that you feel good about life and being alive. That can only be done when you know what you need and then want from life. Life is created. Your way of life is created. Everything you have right now was created by yourself for yourself. If that is a truth that also means any changes you'd like from your life can be also be created.
Until my next ramblings.
You know where I am.
Alan Forrest smith
I am writing not one but two new books. More on that very soon. Also MENTOR is about to become MENTOR X … I will explain more in a future update.