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JO'S BARBERSHOP 1 Two Customers by Mr. Nice Guy

Hello. Let me introduce myself, I work in a one chair off post Barbershop were the customer ratio is 95% military men. With the other 5% being there family and other civilians. Being a military town that makes Saturday and Sunday my two busiest day of the week with an average wait time of 2+ hours for those wanting a haircut.

I would say most of my regular customers are non-descript. Getting non-descript cleanups to there already short haircuts.

This is a tale of 2 of my more "interesting" customers not because of the way they wear their hair but because of the way they act when they're in my shop.

The first customer (lets call him "Jo") has been a regular on and off for the past 3 years. He comes in weekly on a Saturday or Sunday. To get his short taper (with no skin showing) cleaned up. The top is also "straitened out" as he likes to call it about 3 out of 4 times he comes in. what makes this customer stand out from the rest is the way he acts when he's in my shop. First of all he insists (and I swear goes out of his way) to walk in during the busiest hours. Also he always seems uneasy while in the shop.

The Second Customer (lets call him "Bob") has been a Regular for a little over a year. He comes in about every 3 weeks for a close flattop with the sides shaved down using the 0000 attachment. What makes this customer stand out is he only comes in with a weeks worth of growth on the sides of his head and the hair on top of his head combed forward Instead of a flat top.

Also Bob has a tall 8-year-old somewhat retarded son (lets call him "Jake") who always comes with him but never gets a haircut. He has dark blondish brown hair. The hair on sides of his head is a badly scissor cut grown out taper. Something like 1inch on the bottom with clear uneven lines stepped up to about 3 inches by the time it gets to the top of his head. Badly blended into 3-4 inch hair on top of his head. Also there is a Sharp line were the bangs that seem to long for the rest of the haircut meet the hair on top. The bangs would completely cover his eyes (maybe even most of his noise) if combed strait down instead of the natural curly sweep to the right. The kid never sits still for more then a few min. at a time and his bangs bouncing lightly as he jumps around.

When I have asked Bob why he only comes in with 1 weeks growth and never lets me cut his son's hair in the past. I've been told that the family is on a very tight budget and can't afford haircuts more often or for their son, so he has the wife cut there son's hair and razor shave the sides of the father's head. On a couple occasions I have offered to cut Jake's hair for free but have always been turned down with the excuse of "I don't think Jake will sit still long enough for you to cut his hair"

On this particular somewhat slow Sunday (probably because most of the troops have this Monday off for the 4th of July) both customers happened to be in the shop on the same day at the same time. Also both Bob's and Jake's hair seemed more grown out then normal

Even though Jo walked in first he insists that Jake go ahead of him. (Apparently not knowing Jake doesn't get his haircut at the barbershop) When Bob walked to the chair and got in, I could see a slight look of disappointment on Jo's face but wasn't sure why. Bob got his normal cut, nothing exciting. Pretty routine nothing special about the cut since I do flattops all the time. During this entire time his son Jake who's hair was grown out more then normal was "jumping" all over the shop playing with his toy Airplane. All along his Fluffy, buoyant, thick, long Bangs flopping left, right, up, down, and all over the place. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that instead of watching me cut hair like he normally does Jo was watching the kid run around the shop intently.

As I finished Bob up and he pulls out his last five dollars to pay for his $5 haircut with exact change, I see another perplexed look come across Jo's face (obviously I suppose wondering why Jake did not get his haircut also) Bob left no tip, making a comment about being sorry he couldn't leave one today due to having to replace a tire on his car and the wife was out of town for a few weeks.

As him and Jake walks out the door to my surprise Jo gets up and follows them out instead of sitting down in the barber's chair. (This is starting to get strange) So I have no choice but to take the only other guy left in the shop (some new person I never seen before, he just gets the back and sides taken down to the wood)

Just as I am finishing the current haircut all three of them walks back in and takes a seat with out saying a word (even Jake is sitting down and being still not saying a word for once) now I am totally confused of what is going on. But decide it's none of my business.

When I call NEXT I expect Jo to come sit in the chair but instead Jake's father tells Jake to go sit in the Barbers chair all without putting down the magazine he was reading.

Jake runs to the chair and bounds right in with a wide toothy grin. When I asked Bob how should we cut Jake's hair? Jo gets up and walks over to the chair and starts giving me directions on how to cut Jake's hair. As the Barber I am still a little confused because when I look back over at Bob to see if all this is ok with him he appears he is not paying any attention at all and is still reading the magazine.

These are the directions that were given to me by Jo. In these exact words "I want you to start with a 0 blade on the very bottom right here" (while tracing out an outline with his fingers around the ears and the base of the neck) "slowly blending up to a #2 blade to here" (pointing ¾ of the ways up the head) "then I want you to use scissors leaving the hair on top about an Inch and a half" (while raking through and lifting the hair on top of Jake's head with his fingers) "then cut his bangs down to Two inches blending it into the rest of the haircut" (while using a comb he grabbed off the counter to comb the bangs striate down so they cover Jake's eyes and ½ his nose)

After all this is done, I again look over at his father and this time ask in a loud voice since it still looked like he was not paying any attention. "IS THIS OK WITH YOU BOB?" Bob responds with a mumbled "yes, what ever you were just told." In a low barley audible whisper.

Jo sat down right in front of the Barbers chair smiling as I started by grabbing my OSTER's with the #2 blade attached to even out all the hair on the sides and back of the head. Blond hair starts raining onto the white cloth cape, and the black and white tiled floor in large clumps. Besides having to hold his head in the various positions (tilted left, right, and forward) since its Jakes first time in the barber's chair (and most likely the first time he ever had clippers used on him) Jake is sitting unusually still much to my relief. I then took the attachment off the clippers and free handing the blend from the bottom of the hair into the ¼ inch hair I just cut, using the clippers over comb technique. After getting done with the sides I again go to address Bob and ask him if the sides are short enough. But once again Bob doesn't look up from the magazine he is reading and its Jo who walks over to the Barber's chair and strokes the sides of Jakes head with his right hand, while giving a nod of the head to me and the thumbs up sign with the left hand to Jake.

Now that I had the sides under control. I decided Jake's hair could do with a washing. As I leaned him back over the sink and proceeded to wash his hair I noticed Bob peeked over his magazine for the first time since the haircut started but didn't say a word. As the luke warm water ran over Jake's head and I took an extra long time massaging the shampoo into his hair he closed his eyes and almost fell asleep. After washing and rinsing Jake's hair twice I sat wrapped a towel around his head and dried his hair off a little.

Now that Jakes hair was slightly wet and combed out his bangs heavy with water reached down to the tip of his nose. So the first thing I did was walk directly in front of the chair (but angled as not to block Jo's view) grabbed ahold of his chin and tipped his head up slightly with one hand and roughly chopped a strait line across into his bangs at eyebrow level with scissors. The first long wet clumps of light brown hair started sticking to the cape. Next it was time to attack the top. After walking back behind the chair again I continued the cut by combing and lifting the hair to grab between my fingers before cutting it down to the directed 1.5 inches and blending of the bangs. Even after I got finished shortening the top I decided that the hair on top of the head was still a little to thick so I grabbed my thinning shears and continued to thin out the hair on top & finish the blend between the clippered sides and top.

Once I was happy with my handiwork I asked Jo (since it was obvious by this time he was the one in charge and Bob was just a silent observer) if Jake's haircut meet with his approval. Jo again approached the Barber's chair and grabs a hold of Jakes chin with his left hand, turning Jake's head to the left and right repeatedly and fingers the top hair while closely examining the finished product. After looking it over for about a minute Jo gives his approval. So I release Jake out of my chair.

Jake jumped down from the chair and walked with his head held stiffly erect, proudly over to his father who takes Jake's new cut in with one swift glance before handing me a crisp $50 bill says "Thank You" and asks me for only $40 back. Then walks out the door along with Jake in tow. Now that I think about it Jo and Bob never made eye contact nor talked to each other since they both walked back into the shop together.

Jo did go on to get his normal haircut that Day leaving a $15 tip. His normal tip is only $2. Jo still continues to be a regular customer up to this day. The only other time I got to cut Jake's hair was 2 months later (from the looks of it, it wasn't cut within the last 2 months) right before Bob got moved to another base. I never did ask nor has Jo & Bob talked about the events surrounding Jake's first haircut.

I suppose some things are left unsaid and unasked. After all I just do my Job.

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