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The Cubicle Next To Me by A Recruit

I started working in the engineering department at General Dynamics Aerospace in 1983. It was located in the San Diego area, land of sunshine and outdoor sports including surfing.

My new boss Mike took me to my assigned cubicle. Mike was also second in command in my Air Force Reserve unit. He found out my credentials and offered me a job at GD where he was a manager. Mike introduced me to my coworkers. I had kept a flattop for most of my adult life even though much longer hair styles were the norm.

I was settling into my new job when this long haired dude stood on the opposite side of the cubicle. He introduced himself as Jed. He was in another department. We talked off and on through the morning. Jed was very cordial to me. He asked me if I wanted to go to the company cafeteria with him for lunch. No one else had asked from my department so I said yes. Jed’s hair and mine were extreme contrast to each other, but this did not seem to matter. We hit it off as good friends. Jed had grown up in Southern California, loved to surf and play baseball. He was very tan and as you can imagine was very athletic and good looking.

My June AF Reserve weekend was coming up so I had to find a barber to trim up my flattop. It was hot and I was overdue for a haircut anyway. I had been scoping out some barbershops and found one near the Navy base that I decided to try. My flattop was fairly long and somewhat boxy. It was Thursday so I decided I had better get my haircut after work. I left and arrived at the barbershop. I thought it would have been busy since it was the days I had drove by.

There were several barbers in the shop. When I entered one stood up and walked over to his chair so I climbed into it. The barber asked me how I wanted it cut. I said a flattop but much shorter since it was so hot. He said he’d fix me right up. I was facing the mirror as he took this small clippers up the side of my head leaving a bald path behind. I thought to myself, what in the heck is he doing? There wasn’t anything I could do so I just and watched. He proceeded to cut the sides and back this way. When he was done doing the sides, he took his flattop comb and placed it directly against my scalp. He ran the regular clippers over the top of the comb. This was going to be one short haircut. I was enjoying it though not sure how it was going to turn out. He continued to crop the top off. Next I felt the bare clippers on the top of my scalp. He then blended the edges and the top. When he was done he handed me the mirror and asked if it was all right. I told him that it was a lot shorter then I normally had it but I thought it look good and it felt wonderful. He asked me if I wanted it shaved. I told him that would be fine. I thought he meant the edges but he put shaving cream all over the sides and shaved them smooth. He then did the top. I was shaved bald except for this half circle going around my head. It felt even better. I left the shop rubbing my head. The barber told me he had given me the ultimate high and tight horseshoe haircut. When I got home I looked in the mirror from every direction. I really liked it and decided I would keep it that way. I later learned many marines would get their hair cut this way.

The next day at work several commented on my haircut, some positive and some negative, but that’s the way life is. I was sitting doing some work when Jed peered over the cubicle. He said, “what in hell have you done?” I said, “I got my haircut stupid, what does it look like I did? For the next while he would call me a jar head and I would call him a hippie and ask him when he was going to get a haircut. It was all in fun.

Ted’s hair was down to the middle of his back. He usually wore it in a pony tail so it wouldn’t get in his way. About two weeks after I got mine cut Jed showed up with a haircut. It was just below his ears and on his collar. It seemed everyone gave him a bad time about it. The following Monday, he had it cut even shorter. I told him if he kept it up it would soon be as short as mine. He responded, “Never will it be that short.”

Another two weeks went by and it was time for another haircut for Reserves. I decided to go to the same barber as before. He remembered me from the last time. He asked me if I wanted it left longer this time. I told him no. Cut it just like he had the last time. There was no waiting, off it came. I only wondered now what it would be like to shave it completely bald. Maybe some day???

When I got to work the following Monday, Jed gave me a bad time again. He asked, “Where in the heck to you find a barber that will cut your hair that way?” So I told him and left it at that. On Wednesday, Jed showed up with a flattop. I razzed him big time. I think all along he wanted his hair short. He said he had to grow it back because his wife threatened to divorce him. He asked if I knew who his wife was. He said it was the blond that would come by his cubicle and talk to him. She was a very beautiful woman. A couple of days later Jed and I went to lunch together. He told me he really liked his short hair especially for playing ball and surfing. He told me he had never had any type of short hair in his life, but he wished he’d cut it off years ago.

A week later on Monday, Jed showed up to work with a high and tight horseshoe flattop every bit as short as mine. I told him that I thought his wife was going to divorce him. He then told me once his wife got used to it that it really turned her on and that she would probably even like it shorter. He said that he asked her if she wanted him to cut it like mine. She said sure, why don’t you try it so he said he left immediately for my barber. Jed looked absolutely awesome and his head tanned really fast. I worked at GD for three years after that and Jed never did go back to having long hair in fact we often went to the barber together and came out with the same haircut, bald with a horseshoe pattern on top.

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