Monday, December 23, 2013

I cut myself.

I'm quite a proficient at typing.  This evening proves to pose a challenge to me since the pointer finger of my left hand has two bandages on it; one covering the tip and one near the second knuckle.  Opening and closing super sharp scissors in extremely close proximity to one's hands thousands of times a day, every now and then the scissors cut more than hair.  And my cuts always come in pairs.  If I cut a finger once, I usually get it again that same day, if not the next.  

It sort of sucks, but it's really a hazard of cutting hair.  Think I'm being dramatic using the word "hazard"?  Think again.  I have had two friends cut themselves so badly while cutting hair that each of them required nine stitches and one of those lucky ladies hit a tendon.  Hazard is a soft term really when it comes to that kind of damage.  This means weeks of missed work as we are constantly in water, hair product, hair color, heated tools and not to mention the tiny hair clippings that could find their way into a cut that deep very easily.  Stitches in finger = no working.  

I'm knocking on wood as I type this:  I don't cut myself very frequently.  I have quite good practices with the shears and it's  only every few months that I get a bleeder.  But I do and have worked with hair stylists that cut themselves nearly every day.  I say, "damn", clearly something is off and their technique isn't working.  The mound of scar tissue that covers the second knuckle of their middle finger, or the inside of their hand between the pointer and middle finger is impressive.  

Clients will occasionally ask if we ever cut anyone.  Sure it has happened perhaps a time or two in our careers that an ear gets nicked, but not nearly as frequently as we cut ourselves which can happen a time or two in the same day.  As a barber I've come to realize that clients think the straight razor is the most dangerous thing in the barbershop.  They have visions in their heads of jugulars being sliced and losing a piece of their chin or lip.  Puhlease.  What do they think?  I'm shaving with a straight razor that weighs seventy pounds and that I'm blind?  The shears do far more damage and have drawn more blood than any straight razor could ever dream.  We are quite meticulous with the straight razor, but the shears are used a lot more aggressively, frequently, and quickly.  

It's a bummer, but it's part of the job; a job that I'm not trading in anytime soon as I'd rather cut my finger every few weeks or months by accident than want to cut my own throat from the misery of a job that I hate.    

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