I had a manicure this morning. I see a lovely lady by the name of Linda. She and her husband own the business and they’re the only two who work there. She used to be the only one there but her husband helps out now.
I don’t know how Linda does it. She works 6 days a week (it used to be 7!!) and does 90% of the manicures, pedicures and waxing. She hasn’t had a holiday in 5 and a half years. And that bothers me. She’s so sweet and she works so hard, she deserves a break. But she can’t ever have one because there’s no one to look after the business for her if she goes anywhere. She told me this morning that she tried to get a friend to look after things so she could go home for a funeral (I think she’s Chinese?) but the friend couldn’t do it. She had no choice but to stay and work because if the business closed, she and her husband would have no income. They’ve got school-age children and probably a mortgage. No income even for a day would make things pretty tough.
Her shoulders, neck, and arms ache all the time because of the nature of her work. But she has always got a smile on her beautiful face and nothing is ever too much trouble. She said that she’s going to carry on for another 5 years then go and work for someone else, part-time. But 5 years can feel like a long time when no holidays are on the horizon.
People need holidays. We need a break from work and our daily grind. We need down time; time to re-energise so we can face another round of long days and long weeks. I said to her this morning that when I get rich, I’m going to send her on an all-expenses paid holiday. Even if she can’t find someone to look after the business, she can close it for a few weeks and I’d make sure she was covered for any lost income. She deserves it. She’s got wonderful energy and each time I see her, I just feel like giving her something good. I really hope I get the chance to do it.