The Butcher Shop

It’s done. It’s over. There is nothing I can do but wait. And, I realize that. However, I won’t go down without a fight, without a yell; I have to tell someone! I’ve chosen you.

This is me last month, three weeks ago to be exact, donning my new helmet. It was time for my cut but I could not reach my regular hairapist. After trying four times over several days, I decided rather than wait, I’d be bold, try someone new (please, next time, somebody knock some sense into me!).

I’m surprised I didn’t get a speeding ticket. I left the shop in tears, literally raced home to get my hair wet so I could fully assess the damages and try to style my new “do.” I was willing to be seen by no one. Not even my cat. I felt like leaving the country, for a year.

We’ll call the butcher Maxine.

It’s hard to tell, but thank the Hair Gods above, Maxine left the hair on top slightly thicker. But, the back? I feel bald. So much had been chopped that I had a very hard time finding enough hair to wrap around any brush. Not only that, the cut was out of proportion. The back was too long.

bad-hair-cut_sept-2016-4The first thing I thought of was Carol Brady from the Brady Bunch. Remember her shag cut popular in the 70s? With this cut, we could be twins. A couple days later I thought of David Cassidy. Same hair cut. I was horrified. This is NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR.

I have a long, thin face. That means one thing: I need width, not length, with my styles. The way Maxine sent me home I could have started neighing and no one would have been the wiser…I now looked like a horse!

The damage was done and I had only one thing to do: try to deal with my new challenge and make myself presentable. A challenge it has been.

bad-hair-cut_sept-2016-9Look at the sides! There is so little hair–it’s heavily sheared and layeredthat wrapping is nearly impossible. Below is one not so successful effort.

bad-hair-cut_sept-2016-13I have thin, fine hair, but I’ve been told I have a lot of it. Well, not after Maxine whipped out her blades. Would you send home third grade bangs?!!?

bad-hair-cut_sept-2016-7I felt like a horse in the 3rd grade, you know, the way kids look after cutting their own hair. What was Maxine thinking?!!?

I finally calmed down after a few more tears and a few more days had passed. Somewhat. Here are a few more attempts.

bad-hair-cut_sept-2016-37This is curled, and curled, and curled, and even with this effort, it fell out quickly. I use lots of product(s).

bad-hair-cut_sept-2016-30This was one of my better results, but it took me a long time and lots of patient curling.

If I didn’t feel so awful, I may have broken into song–the David Cassidy thing–but the truth is, we are so tied to our appearance that this can almost be too much. I’m not undone by bad hair, not by a long shot, but this isn’t about the hair. Not really.

It’s about customer service. It’s about good PR. It’s about listening and making your customer happy so they will return and spend more money. It’s about doing your very best to ensure your customers tell their friends how awesome you are…which, in turn, will generate more business. Maxine was clueless.

When I first walked in the door, three women were seated to my left. One was the owner, one her daughter, and one other woman. Not one smiled. Not one said “Hi!” or “Welcome to our shop,” or “Come in!” or “You must be Karen.” I had to start the conversation to tell them who I was, why I was there. (Red flag #1). After I told them my name, the woman sitting closest to me stood up and said, “That’s me.” She then walked to a desk on my right. Then she turned and said, “Come on back” and motioned me to sit in her chair. I followed her and took a seat. Still no smile. (Red flags #2 and #3). When she turned me to face her mirror, she asked, “What are we doing today?” (The persistent no-smile greeting earned her red flag #4.)

I asked for a certain look, a certain style, told her I wanted something more professional. I tried to tell her what had been done before. This is what happened instead: I was interrupted when I tried to explain what I wanted. She cut me off more than once. I felt I wasn’t heard. Rather, she started in about color. She does not like gray hair, and with a smirk, reiterated this a few times. If you look closely at these pictures, and if you’ve read some of my blog, you know I am not coloring my hair any longer, that I quit coloring nearly three years ago. I told Maxine I’d stopped coloring, that my hair had never felt healthier (since I stopped processing). She said nothing, instead showed me the color she did for her sister, then brought out color samples. She asked me if I had ever colored my hair purple.

This is when I should have walked out. I know that now.

But, I didn’t. She’d already started cutting. I was polite, still hoped she had heard what I wanted, would do what I had asked. I trusted. Maxine knows her stuff, right?

Since we know that Maxine did what she wanted rather than listen to me, since we know she did not pay attention to my face shape, since we know she followed the crowd by using the straightener after I told her I need width…we know the answer to that question.

Fortunately, I have a friend who knows her stuff. She has done hair for years and was very sympathetic when I told her what happened. She took an inch off the back, nothing else, and said as I suspected, let the rest grow. It was only a inch but what a difference that inch has made. I still feel chopped, and will for a time, but now I can manage because I feel in proportion.

My friend gets it. She got me. Because she listened, she also got me as a new client.

Buh bye Maxine.

bad-hair-cut_sept-2016-63It’s one small example, and my hair will grow, but my sincere desire when thinking about writing and sharing this experience is that we all pay better attention, that we learn to listen. It makes differences in ways we may never know.

What, after all, do any of us really want? We want to be heard.

Happy Weekend, All. ❀

36 thoughts on “The Butcher Shop

  • Maxine needs to be addressed roundly on yelp. I check there looking for comments about whether they listen or not. This is quite timely. I’ve had a hard time finding someone since my niece had to give up doing hair due to illness. (Fibro, RA) and she is so young. Always did a wonderful job. I called a salon close to my home and asked if they had someone who did perms and enjoyed it. Yes, I’ve been through my share of hair hackers too. Being a formerly licensed cosmetologist (eons ago) I can feel a bad haircut happening. And I do just what you do. Leave with tears and never go back. I’m with you on leaving your hair it natural color. It softens your look as you age. I can’t tell you the number of women I’ve talked into going naturally gray. People think they are more friendly looking. It seems some hair hackers have only one style they cut in and everyone gets that style. I’m going in tomorrow for one last try. If it doesn’t work this time, I’m going to my grave with long, straight, grey hair. Mine is fine and straight like yours and if I want it short, it requires perming. 😦 But I’m too old for a pony tail or clips. Now I’m really scared.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marlene…I’m smiling over this post. Thank you; I really needed that after my hairendous experience. (My 87 year old mother came up with that one just today. Is that not the best?!). Well, sounds like many of us have had these experiences. I did not want to be seen in public. I felt I’d been dropped back 40 years into the 70s. Who sends home hacked bangs like that? Really! I did race home to get my hair wet. I’ve been managing my butchered look ever since. I can’t go too short because I have a long neck and end up looking like a light bulb. πŸ™‚

      But, my friend who took off that inch last week doesn’t live all that close and while she is GREAT, I just hate to drive all over the place for appointments, which is why I tried Maxine. She is close. Never again.

      I’d say that I am still getting used to my gray. For the past three years, I’ve been dealing with it (offset as I said by how very healthy it now feels after not processing any longer). My husband happens to love it. I don’t know why. It has taken a while for me to feel better about it. That, however, is no excuse for Maxine to go on and on about color. Never mind if color is her specialty. That’s not the point.

      It was all in all a very bad experience but I wanted to share if it helps us become better listeners. Good luck with your upcoming cut. Be assertive! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. Most of us don’t listen as well as we could. Me included. I will never color my hair again. I like how most natural graying hair makes people more approachable. My mother was stunned by the the effect it had on people. She was finally able to make friends. Hang in there and don’t listen to those that want you to do it their way. Now if I could get my daughter to stop coloring hers. πŸ™‚ She wants me to not perm mine but I lose a lot when it’s longer. One more try. I’ll let you know. πŸ™‚ So far no bad comments about this place on Yelp.

        Liked by 1 person

    • “…some hair hackers have only one style they cut in and everyone gets that style,” is EXACTLY what my friend said when I first told her about Maxine and the butcher shop. She followed the herd by using that darned straightener after I told her I need width. The stylist I’d been going to for years (before my recent, regular gal) was told not to use the straightener, for the same reason, but did it anyway. I had to remind her. In dentistry we keep charts on our customers–I know, we have to legally–still, why don’t salons keep records on customer preferences? It would be an easy fix and avoid much upset. Good luck! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  • It really is all about listening and respect isn’t it? Fundamental rules of customer service, which she obviously has no clue about I’ve been going to the same hairdresser for years. She knows me, she gets me yet she still asks. I wish you better luck with your next hairdresser Karen. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, I’m so sorry! I’ve had that happen, too, and the only good this is that hair does grow back.
    But obviously, that’s not your real point. Your real point is that people, all of us, want to be heard…by our spouses, our friends, our medical professionals and especially by our hair stylists! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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