A story about trust

beeker in the sky with diamonds

Those who follow me on the Twitters may have noticed my reaction on the weekend to one of life’s more devastating events – a bad haircut. I had 2 previous visits up my sleeve at this particular salon however it seems third time’s a paragraph of expletives because unfortunately on Saturday I had an appointment with the butcher of Sydney.

A little hungover and sleepy, I was more interested in the magazines than what he was doing to my hair. In hindsight there were a few things I’ve noticed other hairdressers do that he didn’t but I chalked that up to my inattentive manner and vodka infused amnesia. When he finished my  hair looked ok – not great but ok – and knowing I never really wear my hair the way it’s styled post haircut I didn’t give it much thought.

Skip to the part where I’m in my elevator heading home and catch a glimpse of this:

Bad haircut

Cue swearing and some activity that probably looked a lot like a dog trying to catch his tail. Once inside I managed to snap these:

Bad haircut Bad haircut Bad haircut

I know, right?

I tweeted, I cried, I panicked, I threw a tantrum, I called my mum.

The thing is that I had a bad haircut when I was 17. It was awful. As a petulant teen it gave me reason to cry most mornings for the better part of 3 months. Its legacy has been a lack of trust for hairdressers across the globe that I’d only just managed to shake this year. Oddly enough it was only earlier this year when I went to this salon for the first time that I took a deep breath and said the words I hadn’t said in 5 (ok 13) years: “I trust you, do what you think would be best”.

And just like that it’s gone. The salon is surprised that I didn’t go back to them to get it fixed but there is no way I’d trust anyone at that salon now. It’s going to take a lot for me to trust another hairdresser and who knows if/when I’ll suck it up and say “I trust you” to another scissorhands again?

So besides my right to blog about whatever I feel like here, why am I writing this? This experience is a great reminder of the consequences for anyone delivering a service with an element of trust involved. When the trust is broken we get vocal, we get emotional and we get back into our comfort zone.

With thanks to Jenlight for the image which I thought was appropriate for three reasons:

1. the hairdresser is a muppet
2. that’s how short my hair feels
3. that’s the look I had on my face for around 24 hours

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~ by mandi bateson on June 29, 2010.

6 Responses to “A story about trust”

  1. Perhaps you should remove all mirrors from your house and refrain from stepping outdoors for the foreseeable future. This might not resolve the issue, but it would be fun. Sort of. Maybe? Ok, not really.

  2. That’s a terrible mistake to make. You must have been stunned when you saw that! I’ve heard a few horror stories from my sister who is a hairdresser but I’ve never heard of someone failing to miss a section of hair needing to be aligned.

    • It’s like a slapstick comedy where someone shortens a table leg then tries to even the rest of them up and eventually ends up with stumps. Except with hair.

  3. Hi Mandi – I’m so sorry about your hair. I’ve struggled with mine forever & am grateful for finding someone who takes good care of me. I hope you find the same.

    You’ve addressed this issue with the calmness & class that is your personality – that salon is lucky you gave them a few chances & that you are not slandering them all over town…as sadly happens a bit too often these days.

    As far as being vocal when a person is unhappy with service – we all have a right to do it and should address issues professionally, but I think people forget there are 2 sides to every story. Unfortunately, the louder side gets heard, and not everyone ensures it’s the whole truth. This could be damaging to someone’s reputation, their business & their life. I speak from personal experience.

    As a business owner, I am constantly aware that someone may spout off because they have x followers or x friends online — regardless of what happened. Not a lot of fun sometimes.

    What’s the answer? I don’t know but I do have much more empathy for people who get lynched online — regardless of fault. No one likes to be humiliated. I don’t like it. I watch myself a lot more carefully now.

    I hope they refunded your money & sent you a present. I’ll have to remember to do this if it happens to me. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit. Healthier to address, try to resolve & everyone move on to a better option.

    Good luck & keep writing – PS. You don’t look like a muppet – any muppet – unless it’s a beautiful, smart muppet.

    Cheers,
    kristin rohan

  4. It’s funny how much we put our trust in perfect strangers for tasks that aren’t easy and most often require skill and training. You trusted that your hairdresser had the accurate training and experience in order to know what is best for you. And I think that is a fair call.

    But how many times does that level of trust get tested?
    Like a doctor you’ve just met cutting you open for a much needed surgery or even a bus driver getting you to work responsibly?

    As someone who has recently found out more about the hair industry I am immediately appalled and at the same time pleased knowing the lengths we go to in order to make our employees superstars.

    But isn’t that what you should expect from every profession? That the person being paid to service you is going to do their utmost to make this experience the best they can for you, trusting that if they do so then you’ll be back again?

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