Friday, October 01, 2010

Bad hair day

So I got a haircut this afternoon. I went to a place other than (and a few notches below) my normal joint. Once when I went to this place in the past, the stylist spent the entire session drooling over some heartthrob with her co-workers, giving me a bald spot in the process. Good times.

Today, I walked in, and the woman asked how she could help me. A pretty dumb question, granted, but I simply said, "I'd like to get a haircut, please." She then set me up and went to work on an older woman's do. I immediately noticed that these women were the only ones working. The other two-thirds of the salon was deserted.

The other stylist's actions and speech suggested that she was having the worst day of her life. So of course, I got her.

After the hi-ya-doin small talk, where she said she was "fine" with a dismissive hand-swipe that could have sliced a ninja in half, she asked me how I wanted my hair (because I have options, apparently). She then prepared her clippers and went about her business without saying a word. I'm not a huge small-talker, but that's always kind of weird. 

About halfway through, another guy walked in. She perked up and asked how she could help him. He said, about as dryly as anyone can, "I'm here about long-term life insurance." Hah, I thought, he must be a regular. Not according to her face. Awkward silence. "Really, what kind of question is that?"  he asked in apparent seriousness. Even awkwarder silence. I smirked. The woman who was already wielding scissors in a bizarre fashion an inch from my skull just sulked. The guy gave his best just-kidding laugh, got on the list and walked out.

"Every damn day, somebody thinks that's funny," my stylist sighed to her co-worker. 

"At least he was creative with it," the co-worker replied.

As quickly as it started, my haircut was finished. I tipped $3, because that's how I roll. The stylist was suddenly a lot nicer to me. I suspected as much and frankly, can identify.

While driving out of the parking lot to the nearest intersection, a peppermint I had popped in my mouth before pulling in finally wore down to nothing. Seriously, that's how fast I can get my hair cut. In a way, though, the stylist's surly attitude seemed to stretch it out. Normally, such an encounter would bother me. But it seems like a lot of people have bad days these days, and that doesn't make them bad people. All we can do is press on. Right?

The haircut wasn't half-bad either. In fact, I really like it. Go figure...


Jenni said...

At least you still have your hair. A few of my coworkers were bald by 30. And plus, if you were a woman, there's no way you would be done in 20 minutes - it takes at least 10 minutes to wash the hair!

I'm glad to see that you're writing more this week. We all have a thing that's extremely cathartic and this is one of yours. If anything, blame it on the seasons changing and that basketball season starts next month (blech).

Jester said...

Yep. Most working people I've seen are burned out. Our government is f'd up and it has its fingers in everybody's pockets. That may be one reason the days of great customer service are sadly long gone. But as long as my competition sucks, that works for me! That low customer service bar makes it much easier for me to give my clients the royal treatment :)