Today I went to the barber to get my hair cut.
Who a barber is has changed for me through the years.
When I was a kid a barber was an Italian man who cut hair and talked about the old country. I started visiting my children’s stylist out of convenience since they were born.
I’ve gone to the local Great Clips for my last few hair cuts. The best I can tell they are a hair styling chain that either trains stylists or hires stylists just out of hair styling school.
I go to Great Clips because I can walk in any weekday and get what’s left of my hair cut in 10-15 minutes. I like the convenience getting my hair cut when the mood hits me.
Today my stylist was a girl with black hair with a purple-pinkish tint. The tint in her hair wasn’t the most striking thing about her.
She was exuding nervous energy.
How could I tell?
First, the station she used was the third from the front. The stylists usually use the station closest to the front door. She sought privacy to focus on her work.
Next, when she grabbed her electric shears the cord got caught in her apron. It was like Christmas lights wound too tightly the year before. She nervously struggled to free the cord through her embarrassment.
I did my best to stay calm and NOT mention how nervous she was.
The worst thing you can do when someone is nervous is tell them they look nervous. Say something positive or say nothing.
I’ve been nervous enough times to know that.
I offered, insisted, on untangling the cord to her shears. I knew she’d feel awkward. I might make her more nervous. I took the risk.
By untangling the cord she’d know how to take care of it next time. She’d be more prepared. More confident.
She commented, “That’s why I’m a stylist.” As she watched me untangle the cord.
The girl began cutting my hair with forced movements. I could feel her fighting her nerves. She pushed her shears against my head with more force than any barber or stylist had before.
Some may wonder why I didn’t get up and walk out. Why I didn’t ask for a different stylist. Why I’m not writing a nasty letter to Great Clips asking for a refund.
The reason may shock you.
Nervous people care about what they’re doing. Nervous people want to do a good job.
My stylist has some work to go to master her trade. Her nervous energy tells me she’s got the perseverance. She will learn and master her trade.
Think about people who fake it till they make it. Contrast a nervous attitude to over-confidence or arrogance.
Thanks for the great clip!