I'm not quite sure how they do it, but hairdressers and beauticians are seemingly able to turn even the bolshiest complainer into a quiet, compliant yes-girl.
Ask for a bob cut and end up with a mohawk? "That's exactly what I wanted, thanks."
Request a subtle shade of red and wind up being mistaken for a hooker with a henna problem? "Oh, that looks great, thanks again."
Want a discreet "landing strip" down below but wind up with a razed airfield? "Well I'm sure my boyfriend will love it..."
It's not like they even have to try, either. You'll be sitting there seething away about THE NIGHTMARE she's slowly turning your hair into, thinking up the perfect four-letter words to let fly with when she asks "So what do you think?" and working out whether to place the emphasis on the word "ruined", "fucking" or "bitch", and yet when it's over you end up handing over $150 and telling her she's fabulous.
Perhaps they get taught it at trade school: "Eager to Please and Enthusiastic Facial Expressions 101 - how to guilt your customer into compliance with just one friendly smile."
"No, seriously, it's great. It's just what I wanted. I mean, I know I said I wanted a sleek up do, but this is perfect."
Whatever it is, it's the reason why I spent the last hour gritting my teeth in agony and willing myself not to yell "FOR FUCK'S SAKE STOP, YOU INEXPERIENCED BITCH, IT HURTS!" while simultaneously roundhouse kicking my apprentice waxer in the head.
"No no, do it like THIS instead," said the other beautician coaching her. "If you do it that way then it hurts."
"YES IT FUCKING DOES!" I wanted to scream, before jumping off the table and upending the tub of molten wax over her head.
"Gosh, sorry to treat you like a guinea pig darl! You probably just want this to be all over don't you?"
Lord no! After this I'm booked in at the gyno for a nice, relaxing hour-long pap smear. And after that I might go home and eat some glass for dinner.
"Oh it's fine, really! No problem," is what I ACTUALLY said, being already well under her magic spell of compliance. The force was strong in that one, my friends.
And of course, after being the unfortunate whipping girl of a 45 minute "How-to" waxing lesson (that clearly did not include the section on "How to not make your customer want to cut off both of her legs just to be free from the pain you're inflicting on her"), what did I do? I paid full price. And said thank you.