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How to groom your replacement


The latest terrorist threat is…lotion? Leaving Las Vegas from our Franchise Finance & Growth Conference, I was cocky because I was in the TSA prescreened line, which meant I didn’t have to take off my shoes or remove my laptop from my briefcase. 

I was also feeling lucky because I had won a combined $100 from two slot machines, a significant windfall for someone of my gambling skill level. But the one thing you don’t want to win is the TSA lottery. I was randomly selected to have my hands swabbed before getting in line. When the light turned red, the young man with the wand was highly agitated. “Oh, man,” he said turning away from me in disgust. “You used lotion, didn’t you?”

Of course, I used lotion. I was leaving Las Vegas, a god-forsaken, humidity-sucking, casino-laden place. 

Apparently, one of my creams has nitrates in it. My reward for trying to plump up my skin was 20 minutes of standing around while they riffled through my carefully packed luggage, took me to a private room to pat me down and apologized. 

I was nice. I never get snippy with people doing their job. I may not think I look like someone capable of bringing down a plane, but probably the person who is capable doesn’t think he or she does either. 

TSA’s mandate is to be suspicious of everyone. I just hope there isn’t a penalty for being a repeat offender. Because the next time I go through their line—as God is my witness—I will be wearing lotion.

•   •   •   •   •

Researching restroom trivia for my other day job with our sister publication, FoodService News, I ran across numerous articles and visuals on hand washing. I’ve always been irritated by the signs in public restrooms that say, “Employees must wash hands before returning to work.” What about the rest of us? Shouldn’t we be encouraged to wash our hands, as well? I don’t know about you, but if I was a restaurant owner, I wouldn’t want a customer touching my silverware if he or she resturned from the restroom with unwashed hands. 

The best sign I’ve seen in a restroom lately was at a Jimmy John’s in Covington, Louisiana. Situated on the floor so a lady could read it sitting down, it says, “Interesting facts about Uranus.” It then proceeds to list trivia about the seventh planet from the sun. 

Signs I like, but I don’t like the idea of washroom attendants. I think modern restrooms pander enough. We no longer have to flush the toilet, it does it automatically, sometimes earlier than needed. We don’t have to turn on the faucet, running water appears if you wave your hands under the faucet in exactly the right spot—which sounds easier than it usually is. And the towels or hand dryers are automatic, too. Why would we need someone to hand us a towel? 

I have enough guilt in my life. Now I have to inadvertently stiff a washroom attendant, whose salary is tips, because I didn’t bring my purse with me to the restroom? Life shouldn’t be this hard.

OK, one more story about restrooms before I move on to eyelashes. In addition to hand-washing information on the web, I found unusual restrooms around the world. My favorite was a women’s restroom where all four walls were floor-to-ceiling fish tanks. The idea, the site said, was to give women the feeling of “peeing in the ocean.”

They spent thousands on the fully stocked aquarium, but a cheaper version is to flood your floor and tell women it’s like peeing in a swimming pool. This would be especially useful, if your pipes broke and actually did flood your floors.

I don’t know why I didn’t go into marketing.

•   •   •   •   •

I think it’s pretty amazing that a mother of four can play any sport professionally, but especially beach volleyball, which calls for amazing strength, endurance and flexibility, plus an extremely small uniform. 

Nancy Weingartner

Nancy Weingartner
Executive Editor
Nancy can be reached at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner 

What I really wanted to ask Erin Smith when I interviewed her was: How do you maintain your modesty when you jump and dig out volleyballs from the sand wearing such a small swim suit? And wouldn’t a better choice for a franchise be European Wax? 

I could have chosen a franchise, The Lash Lounge, when I decided I needed longer eyelashes, but I went the independent route. A rarity in someone who is a franchise loyalist.

On a snow day off work, Oprah’s favorite TV doctor, Dr. Oz, talked me out of putting my eyesight in danger. So I surprised even myself when I took my esthetician up on a referral to her Hungarian friend who does the latest trend, eyelash extensions. Why I thought having my “procedure” done in someone’s second bedroom while their child played in the next room was safer than a sterile office, is part of the mystery of being me. It made perfect sense at the time.

The experience also was humbling, because I discovered I am a fair-weather animal activist. I chose the mink eyelash option over the synthetic ones. I’m not sure if these are a mink’s actual eyelashes or part of a pelt. But I don’t think I’ll go back to replace the ones I’ve shed when it comes time. I worry an animal activist with really good eyesight may someday toss red paint in my face. 

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