I recently have been breached with a quintessential Larry David moment. Recently, I made a barber switch. I got sick of paying the $2.25 each way transporting for a hair cut and occasional DeAngelo Vickers power grabbing hot shave (try this gentleman if you haven’t). My new place is right in my neighborhood in the UWS. I’ve went there a number of times and I like it. The guy is nice, it’s reasonably priced and it’s an upgrade in style. I’m just happier overall.
Here’s what happened.
I work at a restaurant in Times Square. Gratuity is automatically included in the check. So, by happenstance, my new barber came into the restaurant. He did not know I was working. He was placed in MY section by coincidence. What are the odds of all of that!?
Everything was fine…until it came time to pay the check. In the restaurant business, this is where respect happens. I am fine going on record saying that I tip this barber 33% for haircuts and shaves. That’s not a calculation, that’s just what it works out to. That’s hooking a barber up!? People usually throw a few bucks, but $5 per service is respect, brother.
When I went to drop the check I knew this is where our relationship would be tested. Would he show respect and add additional tip? Would he flatline me at the stock 18% as included in the check? That pretty much says to a server “you were satisfactory, no better.” Especially in Manhattan if a server does a good job 20% is how you show this. If they include gratuity you throw a few more bucks on the check. You just do it!!!!
Welllllllllll…..I’m sad to say I took one on the chin here. It’s not like leaving the bare minimum is DISrespect, but given the fact that I hook this guy up everytime I come in, should mean he pays back, right? Show some reciprocity!?
The question now is…what do I do now?
Do I have to change barbers? I can’t go back to the old barber (who was very good), because he’s going to know I went somewhere else. That’s cheating!? It would be very hard for me to switch now, because I see the current barber in the neighborhood. I go in at least once a month these days (shedding the Phillip Seymour Hoffman moniker?) and it would be obvious he’s fired. That’s awkward.
If he sucked…sure. But, he’s a good guy and I like that I don’t have to even say much when I walk in. He goes to work…it’s quick…there is never a line. Easy.
Why couldn’t he just reciprocate the respect? NYC especially is all about the service industry and once you’re in—you must take care of everyone else. It’s code. It’s karma. It’s only fair.
Those that haven’t been there have NO IDEA. Cliché to say, but true. Especially in serving when you have interactions on the nanosecond with people, your robotic discourse can be altered uberquick by someone with a grump agenda. The tides really turn on the dime.
I want to talk to him about it and ask? That’s where the Larry David thing comes in. But, I can see this going very badly. I envision a shouting match? He’ll scoff at me around the neighborhood. By similar happenstance, I’ll for no reason start seeing him all the time at my favorite hangouts/pastimes!? Perhaps he would offer me a free cut/shave!?
I don’t want it!!!!!????!
I want that moment back, where 1) he doesn’t come in at all 2) If he comes in he shows some fucking respect for reciprocity!?!?