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Conversations at a Barber Shop

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Ever since I've switched to working at home, I've started to treasure human interaction in almost any form. I used to hate to go to the barber shop as I viewed the ensuing conversation as one of a forced nature. (I'm also quite shy in person.) So today, I was happy to have this pleasant conversation with the barbers. Barber 1 is my barber, while the other two are nearby barbers.

(To set things up my barber was talking about buying something, of which wasn't clear to me)
Barber 1: I picked it up at Target, my favorite store.
Barber 2: I like Wal-Mart myself
Barber 1: Honey, I'm not going to Oakland to shop at a Target (Note: Oakland is a good 30 miles away from me, but there's are two Wal-Marts about 20 miles away. Still pretty far for a basic purchase.)
Barber 3: What about the Costco? It's right across the street.
Barber 1: It's just me. What am I going to do, buy a keg of mustard? I end up throwing out too much stuff anyway.
Me: You could get a FoodSaver, but then you have to deal with a bunch of bags. (I didn't want to get into the long conversation of using mason jars unless she really got interested at the idea).
Barber 1: Yeah, that sounds like it's not going to work. You know, I don't like going to the store every week, but it's the only thing that works for me. If I want a donut, I buy one, eat it, and that's the end of it.
Me: Wow, you really got yourself a good system that works for you. I know people who aren't nearly that good.
Barber 1: Well it took awhile, I used to eat whole boxes of cookies. Now I'm better.

[That's the end of the personal finance part of the conversation, but I found the rest entertaining, so maybe you will too. Click through if interested]

Barber 1: You want your hair like this? (As she parts it to the side)
Me: No, I like a part in the middle.
Barber 1: Oh my, you look like that actor! I love him! He's sooo good. What's his name?
Me: Andy Garcia
Barber 1: Yeah, that's him. You must get that all the time.
Me: Oddly, it comes in spurts. I'll hear it four times over one weekend and then not again for 6 months.
Barber 1: Weird... [Barber 2], check it out, I'm cutting Andy Garcia's hair.
Barber 2: Hey, I let you cut Nicholson's hair last time. I can't believe you stole my star again.
Barber 1 (to me): You know people always me and my daughter if we know Alicia Keys because we live near San Francisco. Of course we don't know Alicia Keys!
Me: I'm one of those people. I'm always asking if anyone knows Tom Brady since this is his hometown. I haven't found anyone yet.
Barber 1: Well my daughter is dating a guy from New York and you know what she asks him? "Do you know Fifty Cent?"
Me: Yeah like he was chilling with him last weekend or something.
Barber 1: I know! You know what, I used to date Timothy Hutton from the 7th through the 9th grades. Yep, I gave him a crazy perm in the 7th grade. Someday, I'll be Oprah telling people what he was like in the 8th grade.
Me: Oh, you're from Berkeley! Do you know Timothy Hutton?
Barber 1: Good try, but a little late.

Posted on August 20, 2008.

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7 Responses to “Conversations at a Barber Shop”

  1. I get a kick out of the barbershop interaction as well. I even dropped a barber once who just did the job without a word. It was boring!

    Barbers interact with so many people all day long that there must be a way to tap into them in word-of-mouth advertising. For example, a few weeks ago, the lady who cuts my hair and another stylist were raving about the red box video rental service. I think they probably convinced three people to try the service in just a few minutes.

  2. Tim says:

    I was nearly tackled at the airport in Louisville KY by a Matthew Broderick fan. For years I got the “Do you know who you look like?” line of inquiry. Sad when it slowly trickled to a halt 8(

  3. Dean says:

    I’ve been working at home for over four years now, as a house-dad investor. I still miss the social interaction of the workplace. Occasionally I think about returning to work, but it doesn’t take much thinking to realise just how good it is not showing up an office each day.

  4. Matt says:

    Oh be happy that you only look like one actor apparently I look like some actor and then it begins as people try to puzzle it out. I don’t recall any of the names that people come up with but I can see where some of the names come from.

    Yeah working at home all the time can really deprive you of the social element in life. I’ve always liked going to the barber primarily for the conversation (but then again i like to talk to people).

  5. Lazy Man, the first part of the conversation sounds like you were going to pre-sell them your site services..But the last part is pretty funny. You could write a script for barber shop 3 movie.. And earn more residual income :-)

  6. Jared says:

    My barber and I normally talk about comic books and comic related movies..and booze.

  7. What’s funny is that I also work from home and I not abhor human contact. :)

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