Saturday, March 1, 2008

salon "rhetiquette"

does it bother you when you're paying a LOT for a (insert particular salon service here) salon service (i.e., haircut) and your stylist seems to be constantly distracted? it bothers me. a lot. to varying degrees and on different occasions, my stylist does all of the following terrifically annoying things, none of which should be included in the cost of my service (imho):

1.) he takes phone calls.

2.) he talks with contractors about the new sink design.

3.) he consults with other stylists about their clients.

4.) he takes "breaks," in the middle of my haircut, to do God knows what.

5.) he talks with other stylists about other clients (in a derogatory manner. and they laugh WAY too loud).

6.) he walks away to change the CD.

7.) he provokes me into talking politics because he thinks it's quaint to hear "the liberal side," and then he gets all puffed up and scary and mad (not inspiring much confidence).

i find these things unnerving, especially so as my stylist spends a LOT of time talking about all of the professional training seminars he attends in exotic locations (i.e., NYC, San Francisco). i mean, i'm all for "keeping up," but "professional" means, to me, in addition to training that may or may not be necessary but maybe keeps one charged up, well, it means something so elemental: listening, paying attention, "being there" (nod to Chauncey Gardiner).

and here's another troubling thing: i worked as a hairdresser for 8 years (and still have a current license). i go to a salon because there are things i cannot do for myself (ahem). and so i'm v-e-r-y nice to stylists. i know it's complicated work. egos and emotions are ragged as a bleached-to-a-level-10 cuticle. so i'm very nice. i put up with a lot. and, because in my town, there are so few stylists who can actually cut a straight weight line (which is what makes the haircut appear "clean" as opposed to scattered and just plain wrong) that i pretty much have to go to my guy. because he can cut a straight line.

so, do i say something next time? do i risk losing him or invoking his scorn (which can't be good, hair-wise)? more and more, i find it so disenchanting that i contemplate getting a.) bad haircuts elsewhere, and, b.) cutting it myself in avant-disaster mode.

it seems trivial. it is. i'm sure of it. but it's just. so. annoying.

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