By Stephen C. Schultz
The arctic blast had settled in...17 degrees Fahrenheit and I was walking down the street yesterday to get my hair cut. At the time, it didn't seem like such a good idea. I've heard that the quickest way to lose body heat is through your head. That’s why a beanie or stocking cap is a good thing in cold weather. Here I was, consciously cutting off what “insulation” I still had!
I leaned forward into the brisk wind and continued on my way down the street. I had some errands to run and it was a tight schedule. I had called ahead of time and the young lady who usually cuts my hair was unavailable, so I took the next person on the list to be assigned a “Walk In”.
It’s the front end of the Holiday Season and I was going to be out of town this week. I would be back home in time for Thanksgiving, but it was a tight schedule. So, this was truly the only time I had to get this done over the next week and a half.
I stepped to the door, head down, and turned the doorknob. The little bell hanging above the door announced my arrival as the door swung open. Nobody noticed. Conversations seemed to originate at the back of the building, slowly building and cascading forward past each stall, picking up the dull roar of conversation as hair product fragrance filled the air. It then seemed to dump right at the front counter. I stepped to the counter and gave my name. There was a pause, a check of the database and a soft spoken “just a moment” as the young woman turned and walked away.
This was turning into a bad experience quickly…and it hadn't even really begun. I was frustrated because of my tight schedule, the person I usually have cut my hair wasn't available, the weather sucked and the customer service at the front counter was less than desirable.
The girl from the counter came back to the lobby with another young lady and introduced us. I followed her to the stall and sat in the chair. She seemed a little timid and nervous. I thought to myself,
“Great…I get the new one right out of school.”
She asked how I usually have my hair cut. (I wear it short, not quite a crew cut, but messed up with gel…not real complicated.)
We finally got it figured out that she would cut about a ½ inch off and trim up the back and sides. She reached for the clippers and the cord was in a huge tangle. She stood awkwardly trying to get the cord untangled, moving the prongs through loops and wrapping the cord forwards and backwards. Once it was untangled, she plugged it in and moved closer to me only to realize she had not put the drape thing over me. So, she reached forward to put down the clippers and simultaneously leaned in front of me to grab the drape thing.
She asked if I wanted my hair washed and at this point I simply said, “No thank you”.
I knew that would only be one more opportunity for “Chaos Theory” to continue its ugly rampage through my already busy day!
I was now settled in and she started to comb through my hair. The scissors made that snipping sound. Her fingers trembled and she meekly asked,
“So, are you from around here?”
My mind screamed, “Oh, you have got to be kidding me!!!!”
Why is small talk a necessity when you get your hair cut? Is there any reason to drag a 5 minute process into 10 or 15 minutes? I then simply mentioned that I was from town…and I closed my eyes.