Friday, December 12, 2008

The Truest Test of Assertiveness

*I posted this on Facebook word-for-word.  I just wanted to keep the rare streak of continuous BMBS posting going.  Apologies for the redundancy.

You probably feel sometimes like you are in control of your life. You don't let people walk over you. You caught the bagger putting the detergent in the same bag as your bread, and you corrected him. You saw the cashier didn't scan your coupon and let them know. Perhaps you told a telemarketer you were not interested and used colorful language to express that sentiment. Maybe you shushed the guy behind you in the movie theater who was talking the whole time.

I've done a number of these things, and thought myself a moderately assertive person. However, a conversation with my fellow Costanza enthusiast and real life neurotic, David Willingham, reminded me what a lowly, spineless doormat I really am.

For I have failed the truest test of assertiveness.

The Haircut Objection Test.

Take my last adventure at Great Clips, where I exchanged dignity and acceptable male appearance for the low price point of $8. I had a chance, several even, to stop the winds of change. Instead, I threw up the sails and pulled a Lieutenant Dan, challenging God to give me all he had and calling him a "son of a bitch." 

There's some sort of dark magic involved with the chairs in a salon or barbershop. The type of sorcery that extracts all mechanisms of reason from a reasonable mind. You pay for a haircut with the same currency used in any other business transactions. So why don't you feel like the service should meet the assumed expectations of your cash?

Subconsciously I think of my Great Clips host as some sort of deranged artist, and if I were to critique her art with my thin knowledge of the subject, I would be committing an egregious error. 

I can only hope that the same folks who brought us the self-checkout machines are whipping up an automated hair stylist machine that won't make me feel obligated to tip even after a hair holocaust.

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