Monday, May 3, 2010

you BLACK, maybe?

I'm Pro-Black

Pro-Black doesn't mean anti-white. When I say I'm pro-black, it means that I'm about my people. I'm a proud black man. You'll know that by reading my blog. I am not always proud of how SOME of my people act from time to time. But I still got love for em. I will try my best to support my people. Especially when it comes to black owned businesses. I try to support them whenever I can.

But sometimes you gotta draw a line in the sand. And the line has been drawn

Case in point...I recently had 2 experiences that helped me draw the line in the sand.

One experience was a recent trip to Gladys (Knight) and Ron's Chicken and Waffle. I decided to take the family there because I've always enjoyed the food and it's a always atmosphere. used to be nice. As soon as we were seated, the soothing soul music had given way to the DJ who was tucked away in the corner of the restaurant. You'd think that a nice place like Gladys and Ron's would have a DJ playing music that would be fitting of the name of the restaurant. WRONG! Not only did the DJ play rap & r/b songs that you would hear on the radio, he proceeded to BLAST the music. The music was so loud that I had raise my voice just so that my wife could hear me. We looked around to see if the mangers were ok with the music and it being THAT loud. Not only were they ok with it, they were singing right along to every song that was being played. WTH? To make matters worse, there was a group of about 20 teens that were sitting not far from our table. The teens were there as a group but their "chaperone's" didn't seem to care what they were doing or how they were acting

The DJ played a song by Usher and the kids began to get up and dance. Huh? Does this happen at TGI Fridays or Applebees? I don't think so. As I looked around, we weren't the ones who were offended. The DJ turned the music down but it was still LOUD. Things really got out of hand when he played some song and the first word I heard was "BITCH". Are you kiddin me? You're gonna play that kinda music and I got my sons with me? We had eaten our food but by now I'm totally disgusted with the service. Was this a restaurant or was this Joe's sports bar?

The manager came over and asked how was the food. I told him the food was fine but I didn't know that I was "coming to Club Gladys and Ron's." I told him that I had an issue with the DJ...the loud music...and the profanity. He apologized for the profanity. He said that it was "the owner's idea" to bring the DJ in. I told him that he should remind the owner that this USED to be a nice restaurant. If you're gonna make it a hip hop spot, you'd better be mindful of the clientele that you'll attract. The bill came to $55. I had a gift card for $50. So I paid $5 (no tip). That's about all that experience was worth. Five freakin bucks.
That was my last trip there.

Second issue...the barbershop. I made the trip to the barbershop reluctantly. Normally, I'll cut the boys' hair myself. I didn't feel like it this time. I cut my own hair so I'm not a dude that goes to the barbershop for anything. This visit to the barbershop proved to be an eye opener. When we got there, one of the barbers greeted us outside. He was on his cell phone. There were only 2 barbers working despite they had been open for 20 mins. The barber who greeted us left in his car and returned an hour later. We waited...and waited. by one...each barber strolled in. They all were an hour late. I would have walked out but I was pressed for time and I had to get the boys a haircut.

One barber walked in. His buddy walked in 2 mins later and hopped in the chair. Huh? So, he gets to skip those who have been waiting for nearly an hour? One of the barbers later tell me that the dude "had an appointment." Huh? So is that how it works? If that was the case, I would've made an appointment. I'm from the old school where a trip to the barbershop was on a "first come...first serve basis." I'm not gonna wait an hour and a half after you DECIDE to come to work and then you let people go ahead of me. I won't be going back to that spot. To hell with you and your barbershop.

The moral of these stories is that I wanna support my people but I will NOT support bs. You can complain about it and do nothing. Or you can be proactive. I've chosen the latter. Black businesses, like any other business, must be held accountable. Period. In this recession, one of the things that every business has to separate themselves from others is their customer service. As a consumer, I will hold you accountable. You want my've got to earn it. The line has been drawn

You can't piss on me and then tell me that it's raining.


Kingsmomma said...

I agree. I am pro black and love to suport black businesses but you don't get my green dollars simply becasue we share the same melanin makeup.

When it comes to spending money, I want what I want and should get what I want. I would have asked my meal to be comped and left.
Aww man i was looking forward to going there when i visit ATL. Hmph

Juan said...

Kyle, I understand what you are talking about in both situations. As for the DJ unfortunately, chain restaurants are moving in this direction as well not just Black owned companies. Here in the Bronx a TGIF was just opened and along with a DJ a few nights a week they also host comedy night. It is annoying when you have to raise your voice so the person next to you can hear you. The funny thing is this doesn't happen at the restaurant's Scarsdale location which is only 15 minutes away. I wonder why? As for the barbershop I can't argue that because my barber who I grew up with does that for me all the time. Doesn't make it right but, I'll take it who has time to sit in the barbershop more then an hour.

swtstiletto said...

Great blog, Kyle. I share the same feelings about trying to support black owned and operated businesses and getting discouraged with the service. I am even more highly disgusted with our folks' work have proven in many cases to be extremely poor (not all, but a substantial amount).

I have been boycotting my former hair stylist for several months now because his work ethic is extremely poor. I used to be a licensed cosmetologist and I NEVER showed a lack of value for my clients time the way he has done for waaaayyy too long. I put up with it for years because I loved the finished product...not anymore.

I'm with you, businesses aren't getting my money unless I am pleased with the matter what. I have acquaitances that call me booshie because I won't go to certain places, and they can call it what they want...I'm just being real!

Mizrepresent said...

Wow, i enjoyed this restaurant when they played the smooth R&B music, but a dj, no way. So i support your stance and management should have been more apologetic than they were. I don't know if the one downtown does that, have you heard?

Tyrone said...

I wish that our people would realize they'd get more support when they pretend they're running an honest-to-God business. I shouldn't get crappy customer service and expect to stick with you. Nosir.

12kyle said...

@ Kingsmomma
There are two Gladys and Ron's in metro Atlanta. There's one downtown and one in Lithonia. I had this experience at the place in Lithonia. I've never had any problems with the spot downtown. Check it out when you come. The food is great.

@ Juan
I'm seeing that more and more in chain restaurants. Not sure why. You should do what you can to bring in business but at some point in time you have to draw a line. I don't understand the whole barbershop thing, tho.

@ Swtstiletto
I think you made some great points. You can't be criticized for where you wanna spend your money.

@ Miz
As far as I know, it's just this one and not the restaurant downtown

@ Tyrone
I agree totally. If I'm paying, they I want the same service that I'd get somewhere else. I have no problem taking my money elsewhere.

E.M.H. said...

Good post!!! I agree. I am all for supporting black businesses but that doesn't mean lowering my standards!!!! :-/

12kyle said...

@ E.M.H
I think sometimes we do just that. Lower our standards, complain, but STILL give them our business. Not me!

Rashan Jamal said...

Dang, I didn't know Gladys and Ron did it like that. I haven't been to the one in Lithonia, but the one downtown was a little sketchy with all the beggars around. Don't do it like that with kids around. I need to learn how to cut hair before I have kids. The music, and the conversations aren't cool for kids. Barbers get on my nerves with their unprofessionalism.

PCD (Pretty Circle Drawer) said...

ooooooooooh, kyle. you are preachin to the choir my man. ive been saying this for years. its a shame that some assume famial comfort based on race and not the service/quality or whatever...but in turn, i reserve the right to take my dollars elsewhere...and prolly after i give them a piece of my mind too!

rawdawgbuffalo said...

i support competent busisness period. where my shop was i supported all the business owners, but i will not lie i support black businesss as i do thoes of the folk I know who own them

Tha L said...

Daaaannng Kyle! I understand exactly what you're talkin' about. I'm huge about paying attention to service. Especially out here in Vegas where tipping is part of our day to day culture (like, pretty much EVERYBODY works on tips), however I still tip according to the level of service I receive. I hate it when people expect you to just take it when theire attitudes and service simply sucks.

ShellyShell said...

I love my people but I can't get with the poor customer service and the lateness. Time is one thing you can never get back so I'm not going to spend it waiting for your azz!
When I first moved to NYC I found a pretty good hairdresser at Time Salon(go figure)I had a 8:30am appt and she didn't show up till 10 but she called in and had the shampoo boy wash my hair etc. She knew I HAD to be out of there no later than 12:30 because I was in a wedding and she wanted to play with my "time" so she NEVER saw my azz again! I can't deal with all!

Keith said...

My Grandmother used to say that("You can't piss on me and tell me that it's raining.")LOL

You are absolutely right fam. Black
Business like any other business has to be held accountable.

Just like in relationships, you have to teach people how to treat you sometimes.

That restaurant thing was crazy..I have never heard of anything like that! WOW!

Redbonegirl97 said...

Yeah I have had some experiences like that before and never came back to the establishments. I have sat at the salon for 2 hours once before getting my hair done. Trust I have went back. They would call and ask and I would just be like I moved on to another stylist. I hate those kinds of experiences. I still try to hit my black businesses but sometmes it's a headache and I much rather find a whatever business and get what I need and keep it movin.

Peace, Love and Chocolate