I Can't Handle the Truth!
I went to our local Supercuts this morning for my regular haircut. The fact that this ritual has turned into a bi-monthly occurrence from the earlier monthly occurrence is the most direct evidence yet of my thinning hair. So I'm not exactly in the best of moods during the rather short trip to the barbershop.
My hairdresser today was someone I haven't seen at the location before. After the usual questions on the kind of haircut I wanted, he launched into the kind of chitchat that seems to be a common trait in barbers everywhere in the world. He enquired about my family, my job, life in India, etc. so that by the time he got to my sideburns, he probably knew more about me than anybody else - to the possible exception of my closest relatives and friends. I'm not sure if he ran out of things to say but when he progressed to the back of my head, he casually said "There's not much here, is there?", a comment that kinda shocked me.
I have so far been used to kind, self-esteem-boosting statements from my hairdressers. These range from the generic "All you Indians have such nice hair" to the personal "Looks like your hair's growing quite fast". Though I knew them to be part of the superficial vocabulary practised by salespersons everywhere to please their customers, it was what I expected and it did its part in keeping me a happy customer. But the hairdresser's comment today pissed me off. Ofcourse I know my hair's thinning. I do have mirrors and a wife who loves to remind me. But hearing the same from someone who's an expert on the matter just had a more definitive tone to it.
I always assumed that 'nice' phrases were part of the 'Keep customers happy' rule. After all, people who get insulted aren't likely to go back to a store and keeping customers coming back is any store's primary objective. I mean, can you imagine a McDonalds employee saying "Looks like you've had your share of burgers here, sir" as he hands the order to a slightly overweight customer?! So I wasn't sure about what prompted my hairdresser's observation. Was it an overenthusiastic attempt to sell a product(later, he did try to sell me a shampoo that is supposed to slow down the hair thinning rate) ? Was it an attempt at humor? Or was it just lack of understanding of basic customer etiquette when it comes to saying the truth?
Whatever the reason, I'm hoping to get a hairdresser who thinks my hair's growing quite fast the next time. The bad part is that "the next time" is atleast 2 months away!