Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Happy Hairdresser

I came early to the parlor to avoid the influx of customers wanting to be served and pampered. True enough, I was instantly accommodated by one of the parlor’s hairdressers. He was big, but his bulky body was cloaked in blue blazer. His one-length hair flowed down to his nape, and yes it was colored too. His face was covered with foundation, and his lips painted in red.

When I told him how I want my hair to be done, he quickly nodded and asked no question. I doubted at first if he was really listening, but then I figured he must be an expert already after trimming thousands of tresses.

We didn’t talk much at first. Well, I’m not much of a talker really when I’m in a parlor, but I try to say something to be polite to the hairdresser. So when he and the other hairdressers chattered about Manny Pacquiao’s coming fight with Margarito, I took that opportunity to make a comment and strike a conversation with him. He then asked about my children and I obliged. He said he’d like to shape my eyebrows, but I refused (I don’t shave nor pluck my eyebrows). Later though, I changed my mind and let him mow my brow.

When he finished cutting my hair, I honestly like the way it turned out. So I said, “You did a good job! I like my hair.”

I saw him blushed, obviously surprised at the compliment. For a second, he was speechless and his eyes turned a bit red. Then he murmured something like “I’m not really good.” I know he was embarrassed by the comment, like many people are, when they are complimented. Maybe they couldn’t believe they were really good because they rarely hear it from the people that matter.

According to Maslow, one of man’s needs is the need for self-esteem--the need to be a unique individual with self-respect and to enjoy general esteem from others. How many hairdressers, taxi drivers, bank tellers, customer service agents, janitors, vendors and other people who serve us have we appreciated, much less greeted? These people who help us, who make life easier and happier for us, especially those who do well, also seek our affirmation.

I went out of the parlor satisfied with my new hairstyle (and shaved eyebrows). But I knew I left one happy hairdresser back there.

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