No reservations

After several mediocre haircuts, I’ve finally found a place in town that cuts my hair the way I ask them to. Problem: it is apparently so targeted to a certain demographic — dudes (and women who want a more masculine haircut) who are fighting (fighting!) a losing battle against age and cultural irrelevance, generally at least one tattoo, often facial hair, frequently a classic bicycle, or substitute in various similar signifiers as you like, and don’t get me started about the narcissism of small differences and how annoyed I get at some of these people as I sit there waiting, probably indistinguishable from them to an outside observer —

So I was saying, this barber shop is targeted to a clientele that is so fucking numerous around here that the place is packed. Well, not literally packed. Because they only have a few places to sit inside and wait. And here’s the thing, they don’t take reservations at all. I think they like to think of themselves as the kind of place that doesn’t take reservations. So you go over there, put your name on a chalkboard at the bottom of the list, and when they get to your name they call you. Meanwhile, you’re waiting outside, which is generally fine because the weather is always pretty good, except the time it was raining.

But like I said, they appeal to a fucking numerous clientele in this town. So the three times I’ve been there, the wait has never been less than two hours.

Saturday, I got there and they said it would probably be about three. But then they said a lot of people on the list had maybe left, so stick around and they might call me sooner. This meant I couldn’t go home and come back at a set time, or go have lunch. Total wait time was about 2:45.

I liked my haircut, and the prices are reasonable. But I’m beginning to feel like a chump. Mostly, I’m getting angry that this place won’t switch to some other system for doling out haircuts. The thing that would make sense would be to make appointments. But if that’s too uncool or whatever, they could think of some other system, like texting you ten minutes before you’re up. I dunno. The problem is, everyone who works there is genuinely nice and attitude free once you’re inside and finally getting your haircut. Otherwise I’d suspect they were all engaged in an elaborate scheme of mockery and subtle psychological abuse.

12 responses to “No reservations”

  1. Trixie says:

    Someone should design an app for them so that you can make a reservation within a time window (I can imagine that maybe the stylists prefer not having such a rigid schedule? Is that the motivation?) and then receive a text 15 minutes before the start time during that window. It would be so uber shazam open table tech friendly hipster cool.

  2. LP says:

    Trixie, I hope you patented that before posting it out in the open like this. Brilliant! I was so annoyed-by-proxy by this whole scenario that I couldn’t have possibly come up with such an elegant solution. It just made me want to spank all those silly hipsters right in their lederhosen. Or pop their suspenders so hard they shoot to the moon.

  3. Dave says:

    Trixie, that is an excellent idea. I’m sure your app could be coded by many of the people waiting on any given Saturday, while they wait.

    LP, thank you for being annoyed by proxy. I feel validated.

  4. GF says:

    I feel like the last sentence is not necessarily contradictory to the one preceding it. You did say “elaborate.”

  5. swells says:

    Perhaps if you wore a monocle you would be catapulted up the queue.

  6. LP says:

    I want to be catapulted up the queue! With Catherine Keener!

  7. T-Mo says:

    At least they cut your hair right, so there’s that, but generally I find the “we-do-things-only-one-way-that’s-NOT-the-way-everyone-else-does-AND-it’s-super-inconvenient-for-our-customers-and-we-don’t-care-because-if-you-want-what-we-have-and-only-losers-wouldn’t-then-you’ll-bloody-well-wait” attitude annoying as f@ck. It’s like the cronut of haircuts.

  8. Dave says:

    I mean, the underlying problems here are, one, it’s hard to find a place that does a good haircut for $25 or less. Two, I’m vain. Three, I’m enough on the hipster spectrum that I like a lot of the secondary things about this place, and in fact I like that it’s popular. So two-thirds of the problem is me. I should find a different barber shop.

  9. Stella says:

    Dave, get there 20 minutes before opening time.

  10. GF says:

    Alternate solution: become a regular there, a fixture, so beloved that when you walk up they nod to each other and wave you past the rows of people camped out, looking like extras from Doctor Zhivago.

  11. Rachel says:

    Ugh, there was a pizza place like this in Chicago that got the “Best Pizza in the USA” award a few years back. Three tables, no reservations, no takeout. Of course I was dying to drive down and try it. (Chump!) But the owner pulled the plug before I could go–said he got tired of the “hype.” It was the Flappy Bird of pizza joints. And it seems you have the haircut version. But at least you look amazing (I’m guessing).

  12. Anonymous Shadowy Figure says:

    But at least you look amazing (I’m guessing).

    (He does.)