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June 29
2015 年 6 月 29 日

理髮師

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我剛到香港上班時,找了一家高檔次的理髮店,被櫃台小姐要求填完背景資料等表格後,理髮師輕輕鬆鬆、隨隨便便的剪了幾刀,然後不痛不癢的用水沖洗了一番。這種輕輕在頭髮上摸來摸去的洗法,把好好的頭皮整得發癢,不如不洗。整完頭髮之後,收了我三百五十塊港幣。後來知道這種方式原來是港式美容院的作法,室內播放著塞門卡本特的音樂,以氣氛為主,不以技術取勝。

幾個星期後,再度造訪這家美容院,碰巧又遇上同一位理髮師 Paul,再次受到同樣的理髮(美髮)待遇!一切依舊,不同的是這次他收了我四百五十塊港幣。他大概看出我那不懂得隱藏心思的吃驚模樣,就先解釋道:「因為我今天早上才剛從理髮師升上了資深理髮師。」既然升遷,當然就該加薪!

我還有不一樣的理髮經驗。

給老美理髮是件令人不放心的事,因為他們不懂得處理東方人的頭型與髮質。幾年前,我心不甘情不願的走進一家美國理髮店,年輕的理髮師 Cindy 迎上前來。剛坐下,她就展示手藝,一刀下去剪得我頭皮發麻。可是她實在有耐心又誠懇,我忍耐著被拖長一倍之久的理髮時間,穩住不敢亂動。理完後照照鏡子,東倒西歪的頭髮,慘不忍睹。她也有點不好意思:「你是我出師後的第一個客人。」我看她楚楚可憐的樣子,心想,誰沒有第一次呢,就多給了點小費。

因為頭髮被整得「良莠不齊」,兩個星期不到,我逼不得已,再度上門理髮。找誰呢?她應該有些經驗了,何況她有耐心又熟悉我的頭髮,想想應該給年輕人多點機會,就請 Cindy 操刀吧!

「老闆,可以請 Cindy 嗎?」

「對不起,自從她理了一個人的頭髮後,就辭職不幹了。」 那個人就是我嗎?難道我是她第一個也是最後一個客人嗎?

註:本文曾載於聯合報(2015年6月22日)。

My hairdressers

When I first came to work in Hong Kong, I went to a fairly upscale barbershop. After filling out a form with some background information, the hairdresser, Paul, started to cut my hair. He did so in a rather casual and carefree way, and then washed my hair, in a similarly haphazard way.

The way he rubbed my hair, combing it with a few quick and effortless strokes, was worse than not having my hair washed at all. It made my scalp itch. Once it was done, I was charged HK$350.

I later learned such barbershops in Hong Kong were following the style of beauty parlors, better known for ambience and background Carpenter music than their hair-cutting skills.

Several weeks later, I went back to the same barbershop and the same hairdresser helped me with my hair. I went through the same routine, but this time I was charged HK$450. Seeing the surprise on my face, as I am not good at hiding my feelings, Paul explained, "I was promoted this morning from Hairstylist to Senior Hairstylist." So it was natural that his price should increase!

I have another entirely different haircut experience from the US. Having my haircut there was not a comfortable experience. The hairdressers never know how to deal with oriental head-shapes and hair. It happened several years ago. I went into a barbershop in the US where a young hairdresser named Cindy came up and started to cut my hair as soon as I sat down. Her first snips made me flinch. But she was very thorough and patient. I sat there, not daring to move, tolerating the laborious process. Once she was finished, I looked into the mirror. My untidy hair was a sorrowful sight.

Cindy was apologetic. "You are actually my very first customer." Seeing anxious face, I thought, well, everyone had to start somewhere. So I tipped her generously.

Because my hair had not been cut evenly, I had to return two weeks later. But whom should I ask for this time? I reasoned that Cindy might have had more experience by this time, and since it is important to give young people more opportunities, I asked for Cindy. At least I knew she was patient, and familiar with my hair.

"Can I have Cindy cut my hair, boss?"

"Sorry, Cindy quit after her first customer a couple weeks ago."

Was that me? Was I her first and last customer?

Note:
This article was originally published in Chinese in the United Daily News (22 June, 2015).

29 June, 2015

 

 

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