Management lesson at the barber’s

August 21, 2011 — Leave a comment

I am not a big fan of visiting the barber. So the fact that there is a barber shop right next to my house helps.

Anyways, it was not my regular barber at the shop this time. It was a young boy – maybe 16, 17 years old. There were no other customers when I stepped in and this guy was busy cleaning shelves. (Not a  good sign!)

I checked with him and he asked me to wait 2 minutes. And the haircut was on.

He was slow. Didn’t use a lot of water (which they normally do in haircuts). I was worried I was going to walk out of there with a bad haircut. I wanted to tell him to use more water because he would get better control of my frizzy hair. But I stopped myself. (My thought: Either this guy is nervous and he will nick me or he may actually have his own method for cutting hair. If I tell him to do it my way, it may put him off and I would actually walk out with a bad haircut). So I waited. He finished. And it actually looked as if my hair was chewed on.

I paid him. Said thanks. Walked back home. And took a shower. (the shower is the place where I run tests to check how good the haircut is.)

So I checked. The hair was cut evenly. The shape, slope and trims were all there, where it was supposed to be. And it didn’t look bad when dry.

I was glad I didn’t mess this guy up. He had found his rhythm in doing his stuff and he did it well. It may have looked awkward initially. But it proved itself later.

P.S. I could have told him to use water and he may have done a better job. But he delivered on his promise – a good haircut. Who am I to mess with him?

P.S. 2: My experience with telling the barber what to do has always ended up with horrible haircuts.

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