Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Controller or Control Freak - Part 1

There I was, sitting in the chair with the delightful Holly tending to my every need. Well, in terms of hair at least.

I've settled on Holly since I started to cultivate my hair and she's become my preferred supplier of hairdressing services. The skimpy clothes, blonde hair and similarity to Britney Spears on a quiet night in have had no influence on my decision whatsoever.

I like to put a large amount of trust in people. This can have its problems but I don't see myself as a control freak. My definition of that is a person who wants to retain control over every aspect of something. So, for example, the control freak won't ask you to go to the shops and buy him a sandwich. The CF will ask you to go to that shop, to cross the road at that point, to buy that flavour sandwich, pay at that counter, to actually dictate every specific action so that they may as well have done the task themselves.

A controlling person, which I honestly see myself as, tries to deal with people who are trusted, whose judgement has been proved as sound, but decisions are left to the judgement of those people. My application of this mentality is exemplified by the way I treat Holly, the way I manage people I work with and hopefully my interaction with most people. Of course there are times when we all have to issue strict instructions, like when kids and roads or guitarists and amplifiers are involved.

Now that I have a Holly I go to her and, as we have built up a bit of a relationship, she is getting to know my tastes in hairdressing a bit and I'm getting confident in her judgement. So I usually just ask her to do what she thinks is needed. Our system works.

But, I was sitting in the chair this morning and another customer sat in the next door chair and gave his instructions to the guy working on him.

"I'd like a four and a half at the back and sides with about a two inch spike on the top, I normally put just a bit of gel or wax in it on the top" said the chap.

I was bemused. Firstly I didn't know that one could get a "half" in terms of clippers. I thought they came in whole numbers. Then I thought that it was such a specific set of instructions that the fellow must have been an incredibly controlling person. His hairdresser, some kind of chap from Jersey, seemed happy enough however and promptly bagan to carry out his orders.

I hadn't seen the customer even though he was at the next seat, I was busy looking straight ahead, trying to sneak glances at Holly's breast when she wasn't looking. That's always harder than usual in a hairdresser's chair because you have to wary of being caught in the mirror as well as in the true optical image. But I had already built up an image of a David Beckham lookalike, an epitome of trendiness, a style icon, maybe even someone like me.

I sneaked a sidewards glance. The chap nodded at me, I nodded at him, the standard men's greeting, with that grunt thing that sounds a bit like "alright" but isn't.

Shock of all shocks.

He was a dork. There was no style icon sitting there, no clothes horse and certainly no epitome of trendiness. Just a bloke, a slightly spotty bloke at that, he was maybe even someone's brother in law, that was how normal he looked.

How could a control freak look so normal? Why am I telling you all this? Because I've spent several hours today with a woman who I think I, and my partners, have put our trust in too soon, a furniture and office designer person. So the current position is that we're questioning every single judgement call she makes, as we discover that her judgement isn't actually as good as we thought it was. This is counter productive, annoying and a bit expensive. It also deserves a post in its own right, which I'll do soon.

But far more seriously and with much more major consequences is this bit of bad news. I gave her the reins, I let her use her judgement and I trusted her and what happened?

Holly's gone and fucked up my hair. It's all over the show and no amount of product will sort it.

It'll be a four and a half for me next time!


Gowri said...

Never trust the hair dresser. My own experience,thought will get my hair higlighted for a new look and ended up looking like Ronaldo the Clown with red hair. had to get emergency fix it but lets just say was an embarassing two months.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr R,

You have opened up a can of worms here. Who do you trust and how does one build up a relationship to the point that you trust someone. A corresponding point deals with hair dressers.

Personally I take my hair cuts very seriously and have been going to my regular hairdresser for the last 15 or 16 years. I trust him to cut my hair right. One of the hardest things when I have lived abroad is to find someone to trust your hair with - I mean a bad haircut last a whole month.

As for trust of a provider or trust of a friend or partner - this is a whole other conversation...

~ lo$t $oul ~ said...

Never trust a HAIR DRESSER. they always wanna do wht they wanna try out or something! arrrh such a piss off sometimes. Good luck with finding a new hair dresser or u still goin to stick with Ms BRITNEY look alike..?!?!

Lady divine said...

hmmm...sometimes u can't trust these hair dressers coz what looks nice to them may not really be ur taste.. sometimes it can be good...and sometimes it can be a disaster..

even when u ask them for an opinion, u need to make sure you tell them what u want!

and c'mon, i'm sure it'll grow bk fast!:-)
as for the "four and a half"...even i say that.. i say to shorten the length of my hair by "one and a half inches"..;-)

Darwin said...

I'm usually quite specific about what I want too; "I'd like the length taken off by a couple of inches, I'd like some layers at the front" usually does the trick. Sometimes they start with the "would you like some product" bullshit but I hate that stuff, product-less hair always feels/looks/smells better! Then again I do tend to be quite OCDishly controlling.

The plus about getting a fucked up haircut is that it'll grow back soon enough. And hey it's a chance to experiment with dodgy hats!

Darwin said...

Also, it's rather concerning that your hairdresser (of all people) is described as a Britney Spears look-a-like. I'm only hoping that it's the former Britney Spears you're refering to, not the current Britney Shears.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Gowri - That does sound like a nasty experience.

Anon - It is a puzzling thing, I think that it's not practical to expect a trusted person to get everything right all the time, it's all a question of balance and where one draws the line.

Lost - I'll be back to Britney next time, perhaps with slightly more specific instructions.

Lady Divine - "Grow back fast" - I wish! When the bloke said "four and a half" he was talking about clipper grades, which is why I was stumped.

Darwin - I won't hear a word said against Britney, either Spears or Shears