Trying To Hang Up At The Appointed Time

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Working | April 24, 2017

(I call up the local hairdressing salon.)

Me: “Hi! I was wondering if you have any available times today.”

Receptionist: “No, sorry. We can fit you in tomorrow morning, if you’d like?”

Me: “No, that’s okay. I only have today free, so I was just trying my luck. Thanks anyway!”

Receptionist: “How about 9:00 am?”

Me: “What, today?”

Receptionist: “Tomorrow.”

Me: “No, I can’t make it tomorrow. Thanks anyway! Bye then-”

Receptionist: “9:30?”

Me: “No… Bye for now-”

Receptionist: “10:00 am?”

Me: “Um, no?”

Receptionist: “Can you hold the line, please?”

Me: *mostly curious to see why she would want me to hold, since this discussion is going nowhere* “Okay, sure.”

(I hold for a few minutes, and then the boss comes on the line.)

Boss: “Hi. We cannot fit you in today.”

Me: “Yes, I realise that.”

Boss: “We do not have free time.”

Me: “I know… I understood that when it was first explained.”

Boss: “We can fit you in tomorrow?”

Me: “No, but thank you. I’m only free today. Anyway, bye for now-”

Boss: “Well, before you hang up, I’d just like to let you know we are open tomorrow.”

Me: “Um, that’s great, thanks. Bye now!”

Boss: “Just in case you didn’t know. So give us a call if you want to come in tomorrow.”

Me: “Okay, bye!”

(I hung up before she could say it AGAIN. They must have been incredibly desperate to book appointments for the following day!)

Conditioned For A Law-Suit

| Mumbai, India | Right | April 17, 2017

(I am getting my monthly haircut when a well-dressed young female customer walks in.)

Customer: *to Receptionist, extremely nicely* “I need to get my hair straightened today as well. I have a engagement party to attend. Can the stylist cover me now?”

Receptionist: “We are booked for the next two hours, but if you come by then, we can help you.”

Customer: “Oh, but I need to leave in an hour. Can you accommodate?”

Stylist: *walks over* “It will take three hours for the straightening and two days for the hair to settle.”

Customer: *slightly annoyed* “Oh, can’t you do in some super fast way?”

Stylist: *obviously tired, but politely* “No, ma’am. But tell you what, we should give you a quick conditioning and you can come by in the evening for the treatment.”

Customer: *a little more than slightly annoyed* “How much would that be?”

Receptionist: “200 rupees.” *about $5*

Customer: *suddenly going back to nice mode* “Can you give it to me as complimentary? I promise to be a regular.”

(After a five-minute back-and-forth, the receptionist gives in and assigns a shampoo girl for a free conditioning.)

Customer: *sweetest voice ever* “Thank you. I promise I will be a regular and spend lots of money here.”

(I am just about done and go in for a quick rinse next to the female customer. I have my eyes closed when suddenly:)

Customer: “OWWW. THAT WATER IS TOO HOT!” *gets up splashing water over me, which is obviously not hot*

Shampoo Girl: “Sorry, ma’am. I will adjust it down.”

Customer: “OWWW, STILL IT’S STILL TOO HOT!”

(This cycle goes on two-three times until…)

Customer: *yelling at receptionist* “YOU HAVE INCOMPETENT PEOPLE HERE. MY DAD IS A LAWYER. I WILL DRAG YOU TO COURT.”

(A senior stylist steps in…)

Customer: *eyes rolled up, continuously mumbling to herself* “I will drag these people to court. My dad is a lawyer.”

(I complete my haircut and am waiting for my wife to pick me up.)

Me: *to Shampoo Girl, who is shivering outside* “Don’t worry; she’s crazy.”

(Next month, when I came back, I heard the crazy customer tried to pull off the same stunt in other salons in the area and is effectively banned from all three upscale chains across the country.)

You’re My Number One

| White Marsh, MD, USA | Right | April 13, 2017

Me: “Hi, [Client]! How are you today?”

Client: “I’m good. I just need to tinkle.”

Me: “Okay… Well, the restroom is through the salon and just past the shampoo bowls.”

Client: “Thanks! I’m going to think of you!” *walks away*

Me: *to coworker* “Please tell me she didn’t just say what I think she did.”

Small Talk, Big Silences

| Finland | Working | March 4, 2017

(I’m used to hairdressers being chatterboxes. This one… tries? After I told the hairdresser what kind of cut I have in mind, it’s been five minutes of her working silently.)

Hairdresser: “So… Have you been watching the Eurovision Song Contest?”

Me: *perks up* “I have! I watch it with my roommate. The first semifinal was rather interesting, with…”

Hairdresser: “But Finland didn’t make it through to the final?”

Me: “Well, yeah…”

(Another five minutes of silence.)

Hairdresser: “So what about hockey? Have you been watching the championship games?”

Me: “Well, I’m not that into sports, but I watched the Finland vs. USA game a few days ago with my parents. It was more interesting than I thought. But mostly I just follow Finland’s success by listening to my neighbours shout at their TV.”

Hairdresser: “…”

(After a few minutes of silence.)

Me: “My mom always watches sports with our Labrador on the couch with her and—”

Hairdresser: “Oh, we had Labrador Retrievers. Goofy dogs.”

Me: “Yeah, they are a lot of fun. Really energetic.”

Hairdresser: “…”

(It went on like that, with huge slices of silence between me answering her questions, the conversation quickly dying. and her asking me another question. As a Finn, I don’t mind the lack of small talk, but I got really confused when it was attempted so many times without success.)

Give Them Half An Inch…

| Seattle, WA, USA | Right | January 30, 2017

(I receive this email from a customer who got a half-inch cut off her hair:)

Customer: “I just have to let you know I’m a bit devastated by your haircut yesterday. My only consolation is that even though I look like a dying cancer patient, I know I am healthy right now, and this stiff, rough edged concentration camp length haircut will grow out, eventually. I just think you should know when someone says they don’t want to lose length, they just need to SHAPE their hair, you should not shave their hair like you did mine. There’s no movement, no softness, no femininity left at all. I can’t hang my head upside down to give it fullness; there’s no hair to lift. Worst of all, my granddaughter looks at me like she doesn’t know me. I’m sad.”

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