Miscommunication

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It has been a pretty ruthless summer this year with record breaking temperatures being reached at Jane’s home town. Jane, a sophomore at the nearby university, was staying at her family on vacation to spend some family time meanwhile was searching for some internship. Jane was a pretty and beautiful women, her hair had was black in colour and it was pretty dense and thick, it was long enough to reach her waist and she had some blonde highlights at the tips. Her beautiful hair was one to behold which went nice with her hourglass thin body type, making her stand out among the crowd, attracting the views of men and women alike. She had received a call regarding an interview for the intern offer scheduled the next day and she wanted to give it her best.

It was a hot summer day and the AC had broken down in her home. She and her mom, Debra had complained to the AC repair guy a couple of times but it turns out he was always busy. While Jane was preparing for the interview she thought to herself “Maybe the reason why I’m not the preferred candidate is because of these risque highlights”. she was a very attractive women but was not very professional looking, she was rather stylish which is not preferred in certain organizations.

“Maybe I should get rid of them, trimming the ends by 3-4 inches ought to do the trick besides it is hot as hell here” she said to herself while fanning herself with her hand, she was clearly uncomfortable with the current hot weather conditions.

She went to her mom who was cooking in the kitchen and said “Mom, I’m thinking of getting a trim in the usual place. Do you want me to get anything on my way back?”

Debra, her mom was also an attractive woman in her 30s. Anybody would mistake her for being 5 years younger than her actual age and also see how she and her daughter are related to each other by their similarities in body type. She had very healthy, similarly thick and dense dark brown hair reaching her mid back and it was tied in a ponytail. Her family has good genetics, both mom and daughter were considered the most attractive people of the neighbourhood.

Her mom replied “hey I was thinking of getting one too, a couple inches or more off my back this heat is killing me. Its been a long time since you had a trim too.” she said wiping the sweat in her forehead and neck. Jane noticed how her moms thick ponytail was wagging around pretty wildly when she was working in the kitchen, causing her mom some hindrance to work at such hot and stuffy weather conditions.

So they decided to leave soon for their hair cuts without fixing an appointment as Jane’s interview call was pretty sudden and they decided to go without prior consideration

While taking Debra was taking out the car from the garage, the neighbour lady greeted Jane in the driveway, exchanged pleasantries and asked her where they were going. Jane said “oh we were just headed out to get our haircuts in our usual place at the mall”.
The neighbour said “that’s convenient I wanted May to get her summer haircut but I never could squeeze in the time for it. Would you mind taking her along with you?”.

May was the neighbours daughter who was around the age of 8, she had a head of slightly curly light brown hair which was quite much for her age, reaching her shoulders. She was the reserved type of girl, mostly meek and silent also very cute looking with that bustling bush of hair contributing to her adorable looks.

Debra joined in the conversation and said that it is fine and asked her “what kind of haircut do you want to give her?”

The neighbour heard her telephone ringing in her home and before leaving to attend it she hurriedly tells to them “Anything on the short side is fine, it will be easier to manage with this summer, I’ll leave it you then”.
Debra says “wait isn’t that a bit too vague?” But her words are wasted as the neighbour runs off to her home, after leaving May under their care.

“Well, we’ll manage somehow” said Debra sitting in the drivers seat with Jane and may in the back.

Their usual place at the mall was closed due to some renovations and both Debra and Jane had no idea of it as they hadn’t been to the shop in a long time, they rarely trim their long hair in the shop since they were growing it out.

The time had already been late afternoon and all nearby salons were closing up for lunch but Debra and Jane wanted to finish it up now so that they wouldn’t have to drive back across town and again after lunch.

So they just went driving around the neighbourhood they noticed all salons were closed and were pretty disappointed. Then suddenly near the China town area they found a shop called “Yi Yang’s salon” which was open but Jane was hesitant to consider it as the name on the main board itself was in Chinese and the English words were on a separate smaller sign but Debra said it is no big deal and pulled into the salon parking area. The shop itself was pretty old and easy to ignore on the street.

When all three entered the shop, there was the owner who was normal looking Chinese lady in her 30s. She was sweeping the salon floor with a broom and wore her shoulder length hair in a ponytail. The shop itself looked more like a barbershop rather than a saloon with four sturdy seats and other general aesthetics. Jane and Debra were confused when the lady started speaking in Chinese. She seemed to be the owner of the shop since there were no one else there.

Jane and Debra looked at each other, Jane sighed and proceeded to say
“We are here for a trim and this kid for a haircut understand?”

The owner was confused as well giving the clear image that she doesn’t know English. Jane then used her hands to sign it to her that they need a haircut ignoring the trim part. The lady nodded and took May to the salon chair. Jane and Debra took their seat in the waiting chairs.

After seating May, the owner again started asking something Jane something in Chinese. Jane assumed that it was the style she was asking and said “something short I guess” looking at Debra. Debra said “yea something short and easy to manage”. The owner again was stuck not understanding what they said. So Jane started looking at the posters of ladies pasted on the wall to show it to her instead and behind a desk in the corner there was a dusty poster of a girl with a rather short Bob cut. The desk had some large feng shui dolls on it which she just ignored and behind it was the poster of the girl. It was as if that one could not see the poster at first glance unless looked carefully toward it. She pointed her finger towards the poster and the desk.

The owner was shocked and she asked something again, for which Jane and Debra just nodded assuming that the owner just wanted to affirm it. Jane had thought that the change in the owners expression was because it involved cutting a lot of hair to change Mays hair into a Bob cut. Then the owner pointed fingers at them and snipped the scissors, for which Jane and Debra also nodded thinking that she was asking whether they also needed an haircut, at this point they thought they could explain that they just needed a trim later when its their turn. The owner just stood thinking for a minute wearing an expression of doubt but then pulled her self together went close to the telephone and then called someone and started speaking to them in Chinese, looking deeply in the direction of the desk with the large dolls.

After the call, she started cutting mays hair. She combed mays hair for a good while and set aside the comb. Then she just clutched a handful of her hair by her hand then started cutting it. The sound of scissors was rather too loud to ignore and the hair falling on the floor on every snip was too much. Jane and Debra were anxious whether it would turn out all right as the manner of cutting was rather haphazard. Jane was planning to confront the lady to confirm the style again but suddenly another Chinese lady entered the salon with a cardboard box.

The new lady was in her 40s with her hair tied in a bun. She and the owner communicated in their language while the lady started making arrangements in the chair next to Mays chair, she also placed the cardboard box next the chair on a desk. In a minute she was ready all the while the loud snipping sound proceeded to be heard across the room. The owners back was blocking Jane and Debras view so what the current condition of Mays hair was still unknown. The older Lady called Janes mom, Debra on to the seat by tapping it and grabbing her hand. Debra was pretty hesitant and intimidated by the loud snipping, she almost backed out but the old lady was rather strict and her made her grabbing Debras hand kind of stunned her since no one has ever so forcefully made her do anything. Debra sat on the chair dumbstruck and afraid while the older lady puts a cape around her.

Debra immediately says “I don’t want more than 4 inches of my hair cut okay? I just need a trim” nervously. The older lady just nods and asks something in Chinese. Then Debra this time more anxious showed 4 in her fingers to indicate the inches of hair to be cut but the older lady shows 2 fingers indicating the number 2. Debra was relieved and said yes.

While the older lady removed Debras hair from her ponytail and started brushing it. Jane had noticed the entire backside of Mays head was devoid of hair, with only spiky very roughly cut hair close the scalp remaining. The owner had proceeded to go to the sides and started cutting everything down to almost nothing. Grabbing, snipping and throwing the hair to ground in a repetitive fashion. It was more like someone had hacked Mays hair rather than proper cut. Jane was almost as stunned as May who sat there teary eyed just watching it happen. This shook Jane as she was about to say something she looked her mom and the older lady had taken a clipper out of the cardboard box and attached guard number 2 to it. Debra also realized the situation and was stunned, she said something but only incoherent words were blurted out of her mouth.

All this was too much for Jane to take in she just stood there watching, having no power to do anything but watch frozen in her waiting seat. The older lady then pushed Debras head making her face downwards and started the clipper upwards from her nape. A mass bulk of dark brown hair just falls downs lifelessly to the ground as the old lady suddebly switches on the clipper and runs in Debras nape abruptly. Debras head was held at that downward positing by the older lady’s hand forcefully despite the fact that Debra clearly showed some resistance to lift her head initially. She started denuding everything on Debras nape. The loud clipper sound had mixed with the loud snipping sound and it was chaos for everyone involved. With 4 passes she had mostly cleared the back part but still was finishing up holding Debra in an embarrassing posture.

Just when Jane thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, another Chinese lady entered the shop, another acquaintance of the owner it seemed, she was very pretty and was in her later 20s with long straight hair till her breasts, at a glance she looked pretty near to Janes age although she was a bit older. She went to another chair while talking to the owner and the older lady and she looked at Jane and tapped the seat. Jane was almost mesmerized by her and situation had messed her up so much that no resistance was left when the young lady had grabbed her and made her sit in the chair next to Debra. Jane was afraid that she would be next and desperately shouted “I just want a trim please please”. The young lady tilted her head and asked something about numbers like 1,2,3. Jane yelled without thinking much, not wanting to end up as her mom, “zero, I don’t want to get clippered I just a need slight trim to remove these highlights”. The young lady just nodded and brushed Jane’s hair while Janes heart was beating so much that it felt like it would burst.

Meanwhile the owner had finished snipping up May, she ran her hands through feeling through Mays roughly buzzed head to check whether all grab-able lengths of hair are removed, ensuring the entire length was as less as possible to an inch she then took another clipper from the box attached a guard number 1 and started using it to clean Mays scalp.

Debra head was still held with force as the older lady finished clearing the back and went for the sides. Huge masses of hair fell on the cape, which both Debra and Jane looked at speechlessly.

Suddenly the young lady tilted Janes head towards the mirror infront of Jane away from the site of Debras clippering, the young lady also had a clipper in her hand and without any guard then proceeded to mow it down the centre of Janes head instantly. It left a bald path on its wake and no hair was present after it. Jane was lost in a cyclone of her thoughts “what should I do? How would I look like after this? Why has this happened?”, whereas the young lady just casually started clearing the top of Janes head with the clipper.

Meanwhil after finishing the sides of Debras hair, the last of Debras hair on the top of head was also shaved down, pass after pass. Debra didn’t even get a chance to look at her image on the mirror, all she saw was the entirety of her beautiful dark brown hair on her cape whereas the older lady continued to clipper it evenly to an 1/4th of an inch of her buzzed head.

At the same time, the owner had completed Mays buzzcut and May was sitting in the waiting seat looking astounded by the amount of hair on the floor. The floor was covered by Light brown, dark brown and black heaps of hair. The owner started chatting with the other two and the three were having a happy conversation.

Janes eyes had shed a tear without her own notice, the young lady shaving down Janes hair continued to ignore it and proceeded to the back of Janes head after shaving down the sides and top were cleared. Debras buzzcut was completed and without a comment she was just looking at her daughter get her head shaved along with May. Debra being the adult tried to cheer May up by saying “Doesn’t your head feel lighter, it is the best way to beat the summer heat you know?” While caressing her own head and May simply noded. When Debra caressed mays head, May was laughing saying that it tickled.

Janes head was completely shaved by the young lady and when Jane broke out of her daze, her thick black hair was entirely on the cape and floor. The young lady shaving Janes hair was rather smirking at her, making sure her head was devoid of any remaining hair. Jane started to look at where things went wrong she looked at the desk in front of the poster. It had a big doll of bald headed buddhist monk laughing which she had ignored at the beginning but the owner had thought that this was the haircut they had wanted instead of the poster behind it and that the owner had asked and assumed that everyone wanted the same.

Debra also realized that the numbers the older and young ladies were asking was the guard number for the clipper. By that time all was done and over, the floor of the salon was littered with the hairs of the three currently buzzed customers, it was difficult for the employees to walk without getting their foot stuck in the littered thick hair piles.

The owner asked 30 dollars to Debras, 10 dollars each of the simple style, both mother and daughter had no words to say, realizing the communication error that had occurred and their powerlessness to change it was also to blame.

Debra simply paid the money and started to leave with May. Jane was the last person to leave when the young Chinese lady said “Thank you, please come back” in a Chinese slang and smiled, as the other two employees started laughing. Jane didn’t hear any of it.

Jane and Debra were worried about the explanation they were to give to Mays mom but the neighbour was rather surprised to see Jane and Debra bald than her daughter. To see that the most attractive people of the neighbourhood getting such a crude style was enough to mollify her. She voiced out “I didn’t expect this but at least it will have the least maintenance” touching Mays head. Jane and Debra apologized saying nothing of the incident to the neighbour.

Jane and her mom, Debra were angry for the next couple of days but overall it was pretty convenient for them in the summer. They kept the entire event a secret saying they just felt like getting a short hair cut this summer to anyone who asked. The father of the house was shocked initially but overall it didn’t matter much to him as he thought their hairstyle was theirs alone to decide. Besides Jane also received her intern since the company was based on manufacturing management in a working industry and her having less hair (although she was bald at the time of interview) was a plus for safety along with her other educational qualifications, they had said.

Both mother and daughter had learnt a life lesson that a single miscommunication (or was it?) can lead to an avalanche of consequences on that day.

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