Monday, September 19, 2011

A (Hopeful) Sign of Things to Come...

I apologize for having not posted many thoughts lately.  As I alluded to in a previous post, we had a “work force adjustment” at my company.  Luckily, I survived the cut, but my workload has near doubled as a result.  I have been simply too physically and mentally exhausted to keep up any fresh thoughts on this blog or my Facebook page.  But things are stabilizing now, so I should be back to my blogging self in no time.
I want to share something quite exciting.  This past Saturday, my family and I went to our family haircut.  As I mentioned before in yet another post (wow, I never realized I shared so much of my personal life here), my wife, kids and I all visit the hair stylist every six weeks or so as a group.   I had a little dilemma in that it was a hair AND tanning salon.  We really like our stylist Shannon, but there was something about the tanning booths in the back room that gave me the willies.  However, this past weekend, we were greeted with the following sign inside the shop:
          “Sorry to announce we will no longer be offering tanning…”
Sure enough, I saw that the “Legacy” and other tanning equipment sitting in the back unplugged.  My immediate reaction was to say, “Yea!”
I asked Shannon why they decided to quit the tanning business.  She went on to explain that there were three reasons.  First, there’s the recent 10% federal tax on tanning.  Secondly, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Radiation Protection apparently has significantly increased the fees to operate radiation-inducing equipment.  And finally, the recent introduced legislation to require teens to have a doctor’s prescription to use a tanning bed was the last straw.  Oddly enough, although that legislation sits in limbo, it still had a direct effect on closing down one tanning operation.
A part of me was a little disappointed at first in that this was a small local business being adversely affected by government regulations.  It’s tough enough for small businesses to make it nowadays, so I felt some sadness that their livelihood may have been affected.  But when I asked how much business was lost, I was told, “not much…just spotty business around prom time.”  My guilt flittered away immediately and I happy to know that (a) a local business will most likely continue and (b) a few prom-aged girls might be unknowingly spared a horrible disease.
A fourth reason for turning off the beds was cited:  the big-named tanning salons in town.  These are the places that truly need to be regulated more…but we’ll take one victory at a time.
Finally, let me just say that Shannon is not the business owner, so the decisions one way or the other were not hers.  But I found two comments she made during my haircut rather interesting.  First, “I’m kinda glad those things are turned off…I have to wonder how safe it was to work here.”  And secondly, “my husband’s mother (I think) died of melanoma…so I’m not unhappy to see them go.”
Neither am I…neither am I.

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