Do you ever wonder if other cultures experience the millennial entitlement thinking that we experience here in the US? I just got a glimpse into the Vietnamese culture at my nail salon and it was eye opening. I have to say I was even relieved to find out it’s not just happening here. But the most amazing thing was these amazing hardworking people that I entrust to pick my toes and make my fingers look pretty have adopted American thinking.
Here is a bit of back story for me and nail salons. I think I am like most people in that I am a very loyal shopper, until I am not. Meaning in this case, I have been to MANY nail salons in my area. In the last 6 months I changed to this salon from another that was getting unorganized, rude and shady. This salon is bright, very clean and has very personable staff. It is run by a young couple in their late 20’s. I am in awe of their work ethic. Tonight, I witnessed how they all come together to clean up and refill all the various gels, lotions and implements at the end of the day.
My nail tech lady who happens to be the boss, tells me she is a bit frustrated with a new employee and that while she was working on me her husband was going to run a meeting with everyone. One of the things I was told was this person was dirty and unorganized. When the boss lady pointed out that she was using too much lotion the girl (who is 25 mind you) totally disregarded the constructive criticism, so much so the customer slipped and fell because of the sloppy techniques. The girl also has some seriously messed up personal hygiene issues regarding “that time of the month” and other employees were complaining.
My lady told me that before the 25-year-old came here to work with her husband this girl’s mother would not only bring her breakfast and lunch everyday but also clean up after her in every regard. Now this strikes a chord with me because I see this with some of the millennial brats who just don’t have enough people skills these days. This 25-year-old also came from Southern Vietnam who speaks soft and sweetly where conversely my nail lady is from central Vietnam who comes from a very direct speaking culture. If I liken this to our culture in America in general people in the South speak with a sweet accent and have mild demeanors where in general people in the north not only speak loudly but are very direct as well.
Of course, I do not speak a word of Vietnamese, but I sure can read body language. I was able to figure out who the 25-year-old was by the way she acted, I knew she was new to the shop and I noticed that she acted very immature; bounced around like a 12-year-old. So, I am watching this meeting go down and my lady is chiming in and then suddenly, she gets up and is talking fast while walking over to the meeting area; has her say and comes back. Now everyone is taking their turn at speaking meanwhile the 25-year-old is giggling and fidgeting she bounces over to her station gets her purse and is just unconcerned with the fact that because of her actions and inactions, she could lose customers for the shop. She said that she didn’t like for people to yell at her and that she was afraid of Vietnamese that live in America, wait what?!
Afraid of Vietnamese in America! I am stunned to hear this. Her reasoning is Vietnamese in America are allowed to speak their minds because of all the freedoms here. Now this made me very proud and even more so when my lady says that’s why they work so hard and have so many rules in her shop. She wants everyone to be successful and make money. The shop is there for them to provide the best service and they take pride in passing all their inspections with flying colors and she will not allow anyone to jeopardize that. If this girl wants to continue to work, she needs to follow the rules so that she doesn’t put anyone (client or coworker) in danger.
I have often been astounded at young people that seem to not understand that there are consequences to their actions and that there are rules for a reason.