Yeah, the beard looks very scraggly in the video we posted last night. But better than it does now: I just got it butchered by yet another bad New York City barber.
Yes, another of my waxing and waning complaints about NYC is the absence of decent, professional barbershops. Well, I don’t mean an actual absence. They’re everywhere, it seems, and yet almost all of the ones I’ve tried are dreadful.
My starter was a Yelp-recommended, first come, first served joint. I put my name down and was told to come back in 30 minutes. Ok. Back 25 minutes later, I was told it could be done in ten minutes. A further half hour of Angry birds later, I asked when I could get my beard trimmed. 20 minutes. Half an hour later, when they started hedging again when I asked, I left. New York City: wait for almost two hours not to get a haircut.
The next one I tried, I asked if they had wifi so I could blog while I waited. They did, so I asked for the password. Instead of simply telling me, the owner asked me to hand him my iPad (to write it in himself), which he then dropped, causing the screen to shatter on the floor.
Instead of apologizing, he first asked – I’m not making this up – if the iPad looked like that before he dropped it. He then insisted I have it repaired by some dude he knew. I said I’d have it repaired at the Apple Store. He harrumphed. I had a thought they might waive the fee for the beard trim. This is New York City: no fucking way.
Then I tried a third barber – recommended by a friend. The dude turned the beard into a lopsided brick. Aaron had to fix it later, and even now my head looks lop-sided. Maybe I’m just unlucky, but it amazes me that New Yorkers have such an attitude about good service when they are not in the city. Where do their expectations come from? This city has the worst service I’ve ever experienced. Yes, it remains impossible to use Time Warner wifi to listen to music on our sound system without it breaking up every few seconds. Yes, AT&T is still a nightmare. No, it doesn’t really get much better, you just get used to living in one of the least competent, self-loving cities I’ve ever known. Maybe over the years, you slowly develop your known competent individuals. From pharmacists bound by Bloomberg’s nannying to a super-intendent who cannot show up to fix a broken doorlock to even UPS (one of my meds was just “found” on the sidewalk outside my apartment by a neighbor), you just find it harder to live here, even as you’re fleeced everywhere you move. The sidewalks almost suck the money from your pockets and give back attitude in return.
And you wonder why I have no worries about Pret-A-Manger. Fawning would be lovely. But actual, simple competence in this city? A miracle.