Friday, April 20, 2007

Hee Haw Haircut

When I first started at the last salon I worked at, I was still rebuilding my clientele from my first maternity leave. GOD FORBID a hairstylist takes some time off to have an 8lb. 1oz. box-shaped baby drug out of her vagina with giant salad tongs.

I lost some clients during my maternity leave, then switched salons and lost a few more. It happens.

My first day, my coworkers filled me in on "The Coupon Debacle".

There was this receptionist who I'll call Sherri.

Sherri wasn't the brightest gal you'd ever meet. She was young and pretty, but mostly clueless.

One day, several months before, the Big Brothers/Big Sisters people called the shop and asked to speak to the manager. Boss Lady was busy and told Sherri to "take care of it" (not the smartest move on her part). Apparently, the BBBS people wanted to know if the salon would care to donate a haircut to their fundraiser.

I'm not sure if Sherri gave the go ahead or if Boss Lady gave the nod. Either way, BBBS got their donation. Sounds like a nice thing to do for the good of the community, right?

Yes, except that what they were actually asking for was WAY more than that.

As it turns out, it wasn't just one gift certificate they were asking for. The free haircut was part of a 'coupon book' they were printing up. They sold them around town for $25 to raise money--and there were 1,000 of them.


The $25 people paid for the whole damn booklet wouldn't have covered a single haircut at the salon, and now there were 1,000 of them floating around town.

Feeling bad for Boss Lady, I told her I'd be happy to fill some of my down time (which at that point, I had plenty of) with the free haircut coupon people. I should have kept my mouth shut.

One afternoon I had a coupon cut on my book and didn't think anything of it until she walked in followed by her husband.

She was morbidly obese, dressed in grey jersey knit shorts pulled up almost level with her imposing, unrestrained breasts. The t-shirt was my favorite part: Tweety Bird in a feather boa with the words "HOT STUFF" splayed across the front.

Her husband was a lanky NASCAR aficionado who apparently ate cigarettes and gravel by the looks of his gaping, spittle-covered mouth and yellow skin.

And I was going to have to honor of cutting BOTH of their heads of greasy, nicotine-coated hair because they bought two coupon booklets. Kick ass!

"Mama" went first. She had approximately 7 hairs on her head and they all grew in a different direction. The best part was that her husband felt it necessary to stand next to me, directing the haircut.

"Make sure you git it up hurr (pointing at about ear level). She lahks it short. Don'tcha, Mama?"

I combed and combed those 7 seven hairs, but all I accomplished was a nice collection of some kind of white, pasty/flaky gunk on my comb...and this was after a shampoo. What was really intriguing was the amount of gunk she was able to keep a special secret from me in the folds in the back of her gigantic neck.

Smokey Joe was next. I'm pretty sure the years of not cracking a window to let out some of the smoke permanently changed the organic nature of this man's hair. My clippers groaned against the stiff, tar-laden strands of yuck growing from this man's head.

When they left, they didn't tip me. Not even a fucking dollar. Nothing. They paid $50 for two of those god damned coupon books, but they couldn't muster up at least something for a tip?!

My boss felt so bad about the whole situation, she paid me for the haircuts out of her own pocket.


Anonymous said...

Were you tempted to put a bow in Mama's hair? Turn her into Zippy the Pinhead?

Love Monkey said...

Maybe you would have had better luck styling the hairs on her chin?

Winter said...

Speaking of which, I went to the salon today.

I wonder what was said about me.

I did my usual screaming and crying after my hair cut.

But I ALWAYS tip.

Chaylene said...

kirby: Only if it matched her Tweety t-shirt.

love monkey: Chin hair styling would have cost her extra.

winter: Hairstylists are like hookers. A big tip negates most bad behavior.

Phil said...

Ah, customer service. So awesome.

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

I could never have a job where you have to touch people -- especially gross people. How DO you do it?

Grant Miller said...

That sounds like most of the people up here in St. Charles.

I leave 20-25 percent tip usually? Is that decent or cheap?

Chaylene said...

phil: I hope never to have to work in customer service again.

BSUWG: At least now I can handpick who I choose to touch. By the way, in beauty school we were required to learn how to do pedicures. The place I went would bring in busloads of seniors from the old folks home. Ah, good times...

grant: That is more than ample. Well done.

Hanmee said...

The thought of stuff in her neck folds really truly makes me want to puke.

I can picture it because it reminds me of the "neck cheese" that my daughter would sometimes get caught in her ample neck.

Except for Mama, it's not fairly benign breast milk that stuck in the crevice that needs to be wiped out. It's something far worse. Ugh.

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