Friday, September 02, 2005

GF1 600 - 22 GooseberryI'm annoyed, yet too tired to be annoyed.

Perhaps I'm being naive, but surely if I'm paying someone to do something, I expect them to be able to do that something better than I can do myself. Surely that's how this whole capitalism thing works. Person A does job. Person B wants job done. Person B lacks time, money, skills or inclination to do job. Person B pays person A to do their job.

But not with barbers. I gave fairly standard instructions; grade 2 back and sides, finger width on top, longer towards the front. It never varies, although the interpretations do. Is it a good thing that my how I have my hair cut can be summed up in 13 words?

It's evolved into this fixed pattern. Grade two because my hair's so thick it looks the same as a 3 or 4. Grades three or four start curling within the week, and the hair on the side of my head curls upwards, which is great for whenever I wish to impersonate Dickens. Grade one is out because A. It's not the done thing (standard responses to that sort of thinking: 1. Who gives a damn? 2. Stop being so shallow that you judge people over the matter of a couple of millimetres of hair. 3. And badly bleached hair impersonating a deployed airbag is? [no pointing out that whole shallow-judging thing]), B. White skin greyed by stubble isn't a good look.

Finger width on top as then it encourages the barber to cut it with scissors (unless the feel like applying the clippers to the back of their knuckles), and also manages to usually get the barber to cut it short enough that I don't lapse into what my mother used to affectionately call my "blackberry bush" look (well, she thought it was affectionate). So according to my mother's thinking, some people look like they've been dragged through a hedge backwards, and then some of us just look like the hedge in the first place. That's a great way to build up confidence in a child.

Longer towards the front as that's the only place I'll tolerate curls (oh to have straight, long, blond hair, to have hair that actually flops, or at least shows some acknowledgement of the concept of gravity. I used to have blond hair, although I used to have a tricycle too). Due to bizarre head topology I need something to counterbalance the nose. Some people are the face that launched a thousand ships, whereas some have a face like the launch of a thousand ships. So that's crewcuts or buzzcuts or whatever you want to call them out (yes it took me a couple of experiments, and being insulted by someone I'd only just met, who incidentally looked like he had until recently had a panicked seagull ensnared in his hair, before I realised that if I don't like my nose, giving it unfettered reign in the prominence stakes really wasn't a good idea).

So a fairly standard haircut. Given such instructions the barber ignores part of instructions, cuts my hair, then announces he's finished.
"How's that mate?"
"Er, fine, I think" (How the hell should I know? You're the supposed professional, and you've got a far better view; I can only see the very front from 6 foot off).

I pay, leave, go home, and realise that there's large bits he's forgotten to cut (I didn't notice in the shop as my hair is curly, so never looks good when it's just been cut [and the last clause may be extraneous]). Well, he might have cut them a bit, but he cut the rest more, which might be fine if I intended to have a funkily asymmetric mohican, but it's just that pretty much any sort of controlled style fails when applied to curly hair. I'm fairly sure one isn't supposed to be able to grab hair with one hand and not the other.

I've just been asked "Did you get a haircut?", which would be a normal question, if only the person asking it hadn't already know that I was going for a haircut, and asking the question the same tone as "Are you sure?".

Sorry, but I'm pissed off that I wasted time and money to get a haircut, on the grounds it would be quicker than if I did it myself, and that it would be better cut than if I did it myself. It wasn't in either case.

I can't even go back to the shop and make a fuss because they'll have closed. And it's not like the incredibly crap barber would do any better the second time round. I know I'm aware that he's the worst of the two that were there, but I didn't have enough time to twist (Pontoon reference. Oh dear with matchsticks on).

And they've put their prices up again, as has the next cheapest barbers, who are crap, although very quick. Obviously oil prices rising post-hurricane have increased the cost of production of combs, and consumer level adjustments have had to be made. Despite all this, I haven't returned to the ultimate cheap barbers, as the last time I tried there, there was something vaguely reminiscent of Keith Flint about the resulting haircut (and he dropped cigarette ash in my hair).

Suddenly it's not so surprising that a surprising number of people I know cut their own hair. They have a head start by knowing exactly what they want (hair that doesn't flick up. Check. Hair that doesn't resemble a tidal race. Check. Generally a complete absence of curls, or evidence thereof. Check, but it's a bit unlikely). Once they get past the initial awful haircut (blame it on trying out a new place), they rapidly rise to level of passable. Given enough experience, they may even become good. Some of them even become confident enough to start cutting other people's hair (and restart the process with a whole different hair type. Either that or he just enjoyed cutting hair progressively shorter. To be fair, unlike Paddington, he did get it even in the end).

But most annoyingly of all, I keep have IP-address conflict errors popping up.
[One advantage of not finishing and publishing posts is that one can do updates in the same post]
Being very annoyed, I made a few amendments myself after writing the beginning section of the post. It took about 5 minutes to correct the mistakes, which is either a thoroughly good thing as it means I can be both quick and competent, or it's a horrendously bad thing because it suggests the professional is so lazy or inept that he couldn't do such a simple task. Now given I'm not inclined to thinking the best of myself on any occasion, this leads to a rather depressing conclusion.

A fortnight later, and my hair is verging on needing another cut (and of course this time I'll have tan lines to worry about as well). I knew he didn't cut it short enough.


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