• We were new to the area so we each needed to find a new place to get our hair cut.  My hubby went first.

    “How would you like it,” the clerk asked my husband?

    “Even, and just not too short,” was his reply.

    He walked out of there about one millimeter shy of an army crew cut, yet he promptly thanked the woman, paid her, tipped her, and left.  He wore a hat for two solid weeks before he would let his head be seen naked in public.

    Then it was my turn.  I searched the internet for photos of how I wanted my hair to look.  I asked around to get a name of who to go to.  Armed with my photo in hand, I went for the cut.

    “How would you like it,” asked the hairdresser?

    “Can you do it like this picture,” I asked?

    “Sure, no problem.”

    But when all was said and done, it looked nothing like the picture…not even a little tiny bit. But I said thank you.  I paid.  I left a twenty percent tip, and I left.

    Why? Why do we do this?  Why do we feel ashamed or embarrassed to tell them that we are not happy?  I

    I think it has something to do with the retail experience.  I want to feel like I’m either getting a service, or I’m getting a deal.  With the haircuts, it was service.  When I shop, I want a deal.

    I didn’t study psychology in school so maybe I just don’t get it.  At first, I thought it was just a female thing, but that’s not it.  Maybe when we’re toddlers there’s a company out there that trains us, like Pavlov’s dogs to react the same way every time.  Maybe we were so young when it happened that we just don’t remember.  But the retailers of America, they know about it.

    I want to know that some other idiot paid full retail when I bought the item at a discount.  Intellectually, I know that when the tag on the blouse says that the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is one amount, and the store price is a lower amount that this is a ruse.  I know that neither that store, nor any store has actually charged the MSRP. But it’s supposed to make me feel better that I’m not paying that price.  You know what?  It works.

    I walk out of the store believing that I got a real bargain.  I feel satisfied.  I think that this is why JC Penney didn’t do well when they tried to make all their prices bargain prices all the time.  We didn’t feel the thrill of the hunt.  We didn’t feel like we one upped anyone. We didn’t get the bargain.

    So why is it, when I shop and get a fake bargain, I’m satisfied and don’t complain, but when I get a bad haircut, I’m not satisfied, but I still don’t complain.  Am I being polite?  Do I not want to hurt the hairdresser’s feelings?  What about my feelings?  Did I get what I paid for?

    You know what?  I think I’ll march myself right back into that hair salon.  Yes, I’ll march in there and demand while I  politely request a re-cut.  I’ll ask for the honor of once again trying to get the cut that I asked for.  I’ll pay full price again.  I’ll offer up my thank you again.  I’ll leave my twenty percent tip again.

    But not today…tomorrow…if I don’t chicken out first.

    by: Leslie Handler

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    Article by: Leslie Handler

    Leslie is a freelance essayist for Newsworks of Philadelphia and a blogger for The Huffington Post. She has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and currently is living in Fairless Hills, PA with husband Marty, dogs Maggie and Hazel, a collection of fish, said husband's cockatoo whom she has been trying to roast for dinner for the last 28 years, and a few occasional uninvited guests.

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