When it came to haircuts, I was satisfied with my biweekly Saturday routine that I’ve faithfully adhered to since 2003. It was simple: drive for 33 minutes to the barbershop, wait a maximum of 10 minutes to get into the chair, get a haircut in 20 minutes, give a 50-70% tip*, and leave. But a few months ago, my [now ex] barber seemed to forget the routine that we’ve had for the last decade.
I drove for 33 minutes like I usually did and walked into the shop like I usually did, but this time I waited like I never did. After thirty minutes passed and I was still waiting, I thought that this might be a test of patience and I accepted the challenge! Then 90 minutes passed and I was still waiting in the same seat for my turn. Just as I decided to break my routine and return to the shop at a more convenient time, the barber told me, “don’t worry, you’re next!” Apparently I wasn’t next because two additional people got haircuts while I waited: a toddler who cried the entire time and a baldheaded man (true story…he had no hair at all, but yet he still got a “haircut”).
By now, it was two and a half hours after I’d arrived and my hair was approximately an inch and a half longer, due to all of the waiting. When I believed that I was the next person in the queue, a guy walked into the door and said “hey, can you give me cut really quickly” and he magically ended up in the chair next. That’s when I left and decided that it was time for a new barbershop.
While I walked to my car, I did a quick Yelp search for highly-rated barbershops within 15 minutes of my house and within 1 hour I’d identified a new shop, drove there, selected a new barber and finished my haircut. Not only is this barbershop much closer to my house, but the shop is nicer, the barber’s attention to detail is impeccable, my overall haircut cost is cheaper, and I’m significantly more satisfied with the outcome of my hair. It simply took one difficult experience to get me to realize that I’ve been settling for ordinary for 10 years when extraordinary was available to me in a much more convenient package!
Now I am happily acclimated to my new barbershop and I am grateful for the one difficult situation that pushed me out of my comfort zone and caused me to look for alternatives. If it had not been for the one aggravating experience, I would have never thought to seek improvements that were available to me the entire time!
*the amount of my tip was inversely proportionate to the amount of time I waited to get a haircut