Waiting Game

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I took Precious today for a slightly overdue haircut. I took her to First Choice, which is one of those cheapo places. Never go there without a $2 off coupon, because they're a dime a dozen. So, I picked Precious up from the preschool and got her over to the haircutters. We didn't have to wait and Precious looked huge and old sitting in the chair by herself, getting a haircut and calling herself 'pretty'. It was so cute, and I was trying to soak in all of the independence she was showing. It was so sweet.

So there is a yet-unnamed phenomenom that happens when you go to one of these cheapo places. Here's the scenario. Let's say there are 2 haircutters working. First step is that one of them greets you excitedly and can't wait to start cutting your hair. Second step is that the other person working there starts cutting someone else's hair. One more customer walks in. Both haircutters start to slow down. They start to walk around and delay things in whatever way they can. The mailman walks in and the haircutter takes the mail straight to the back, and probably reads half of it. I can't prove it, but it seems that they are trying to outlast each other.

They slow down, and what should be a ten minute haircut turns into 20 minutes, then there's time for a fluff dry with the blow-dryer. It's excruciating to watch and even worse when your child is 20 minutes overdue for lunch and you can't wait to get the heck out of there. I feel bad for the people waiting in the waiting room, at this point there about 5 of them, who have been waiting for an eternity.

So my theory is that the tips at this place are so bad that the haircutters don't actually want to cut more hair. Presuming they take turns cutting hair, if one finishes first, she has to cut someone else's hair while the other one sits and does nothing. It's only when two customers are waiting that they are motivated to start cutting faster. If they finish first, then they can cut someone else's hair while the other haircutter takes the second waiting customer and then the first one can have a break.

Really, the only solution to this is to go when it's busy because the haircuts are motivated to cut faster, and that's a good thing.

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