Re: this is a tremendously helpful dialogue...

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Posted by Maureen on May 23, 2002 at 22:45:02:

In reply to: this is a tremendously helpful dialogue... posted by Alissa on May 23, 2002 at 20:40:35:

Hi Alissa,

I am glad that you have at least at this point in time put the home
visits on hold until there is resolution to this potential riff
between you and your husband. Above all I believe that the universe
speaks to you in many many voices. One of those voices is
that of your husband. But it is the message of the collective family
voice that ultimately must be heard. And that message does not seem
to have been crystalized in this situation, as yet. But it will
present itself to you in crystal clarity.

My last pitch!

Certainly we are all taking risks each time we cross the street...get
into our respective cars to go someone to fix our
car breaks...and indeed these days, visit the top floors of tall
buildings. To take no risks is indeed not to live. No one should
have to live in fear of taking risks. But, there are acceptible
risks...necessary risks...calculated risks...unknown risks...and
indeed known risks that we take each and everyday of our lives.

I always believe in doing a cost and benefit analysis in such
situations. Is it worth it to take the risk? What is the cost or
potential cost? What is the benefit? Can I live with the cost or
potential cost? Can I live without the benefit? I have taken
rediculous risks in my life at times because it was the difference
between feeding my son and keeping a roof over his head and having
him hungry and homeless. I have taken ridiculous risks in my life
simply because I was young and dumb and thought I was
invincible...LOL!!! Now I live my life fully but with due caution,
respect and awareness of the world in which I live.

That said, a good plan would help your position. Having someone with
you decreases your vulnerablity and opportunity for ill-wishers
dramatically. Another set of eyes, hands, mouth are all important
and are indeed a deterrent. Don't even tell your customers you are
bringing someone else along. Just do it. Safety in numbers.

Notify a number of people when you leave on your appointment. Call
as soon as you arrive on an appointment in full view of the customer
prior to entering the house. When they answer the door be on the
phone and saying out loud the address, name of the person, ask them
for their telephone number again while you are on the phone and then
tell whoever you are talking with on the phone that you will call
them back in 15 minutes to a half hour. You don't have to. But the
customer who has something insane in mind knows someone is expecting
to hear from you very soon. But always call as soon as you arrive
and in front of the customer. What they will know from that is that
you do not completely trust them. That is a good thing for them to

Tell people as you talk with them that your husband is going to be
waiting for you a couple blocks away because you and he are going out
immediately following your appointment. That lets them think he can
get to you and their house in a matter of minutes.

In addition to the above, have someone call the customer's home about
five minutes before you arrive and ask for you. When told you have
not arrived yet, have them ask for you to call as soon as you
arrive. It is a very clear message before you arrive that someone
knows where your will be.

If at all possible, don't go deeply into the persons home. If the
living room is near the front door...choose that as your place to
work. If they have a foyer...that is a good place too. The further
in...the farther you have to travel to get out. You can call this

If you are there about an hour...take a break and call home. Let
someone know an approximate time when you should be complete. Do
this outside of the earshot of your customer but within their view.
Or just as good and sometimes better, have your husband or someone
call you at the customer's home. First on the customers phone. But
don't take the call on their phone. Call the person back on your own
cell phone.

Call when you are finished and leaving.

Those calls and positioning in conjunction with having a second
person with you really reduces the risk.

These are the steps similar to those I used and put in place for the
people I supervised for a lot of years when we went into homes as
therapists and caseworkers. The situations for the caseworkers were
usually the ones we were very concerned about because caseworker jobs
require pissing people off from time to time. But, I figure if it
works in that situation it can work for henna artists as well.

I am sure you can think of other things. Playing chess taught me the
lesson of doubling my protection for every threat. Your man is
threatened one time...protect it twice.

Is this being paranoid? In chess it is good gamesmanship. Being
paranoid is to be convinced of the existence of a threat that does
not exist or is not even possible. To believe that harm can come to
one when entering a strangers home alone is to be realistic. Too
much evidence to support that notion. So it would not be feeding
someone else's paranoia or succuming to their whim or fears to sure
up a safety plan. Or to conclude that the risk is too high for the
benefit derived.

I don't view this issue to be at all about are you a free and strong
woman capable of making your own decisions to live your life freely
in the way you choose. Of course your are. I think this is about
what is the best and safest way to go about doing what you choose to
do. And what you are choosing to do is not "make home visits". You
have chosen to be a henna artist. Whether you do or do not choose to
do henna in other people's home will not make or break you as a henna
artist. How free you are is not based upon your choice to not do any
one thing. You are free to choose and therefore free. To dwell on
one thing that may not be possible for whatever reason can blind us
to all the other possibilities.

OK...I am done...again...:-)



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