Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The ugly side of beauty school

You get a vast mixture of clientel coming into a beauty school to have their hair cut, colored and permed. From the elderly who live across the street to friends of the school's owner who have some form of blind faith in students, you see them all. I hear our clientel has improved, even if the numbers have fallen, ever since the ciy of Vancouver removed the Bus Mall that was located in downtown Vancouver (a block away from us) and the mini mart across the street went out too. Now I am not all that sure how having a mini mart kitty corner to us increased our foot traffic, but I do get how losing the bus mall meant a loss of business for sure.

However, like I mentioned before, there are several elderly/assisted living communities within walking distance to us and our discount haircut days seem to bring them out in drives, not to mention their semi-annual need to have their toenails clipped.

So today, being one of those discount days, we had several gentlemen come in for trims and lucky me, I was one of the stylists to get one. He was nice. Easy to please. He'd washed his hair several days before, so he didn't really see the need for me to wash it for him today and he didn't seem all that particular in how short or long I left his hair.

But he smelled. He was a resident of the assisted living community across the street and up the block and it is well known that the residents there are not forced to bathe on a regular basis. And the few residents that do come to us all have that common smell about them.

The best way to describe it would be stale ketchup. Maybe mixed with sweet and sour sauce. And for the majority of the haircut, I really couldn't smell him. But every time someone walked past us, the smell would waft up and I would do my best not to inhale. And after he left, I had to wash my hands four times and spray them down with Windex to clear away the smell.

At least he didn't have lice.

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