Journal is powered by Vocal creators. You support Aubrie Thomas by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Journal is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

To the Man Who Burst into My Workplace and Yelled at Me

A Reminder to Think Twice Before Casting Judgement

I'm a hairstylist. I used to work at a salon a couple of years ago before I got carpal tunnel and severe tendonitis, and I had to quit. This is an experience that I had in February of 2017 while working at the salon, and an open letter that I wrote to the man who did this to me.

To the man who burst into my workplace and yelled at me,

I am sorry that you and your son were unhappy with the haircut that I gave him; however, I would simply ask that for one moment you stop and consider my side and what I experienced before you tear me down.

When your wife and kids came into my salon, I saw your son and thought that he was ADORABLE, and I even hoped to have the opportunity to get to cut his hair. All that I saw in that moment at the beginning was a cute, sweet kid with a head full of beautiful blonde hair.

When I asked your wife how she wanted me to cut his hair, she first turned to him and asked what he wanted. He then replied that he didn't want a haircut at all, but he just wanted the very front of his bangs cut to get the hair out of his eyes. Your wife went on to say that she would like his hair cut short, but since he wanted it long, we would leave it longer. Trying to better understand what she wanted me to do, I asked her, "So, do you basically want him to have the same hairstyle, only shorter?" And she said, "Ya, sure. Whatever you do will be great."

So I went on and proceeded to cut your son's hair. When I started out, I cut the bangs part first and he liked that. In fact, he said that it was "PERFECT!!" However, I quickly started to see the tables turn as I continued cutting. You see, I knew that if I had only cut the front part of his hair that it would've looked horrible without trimming up the rest. I took what I had understood as permission from your wife to cut the rest of his hair (but only with scissors, and still leave it in a bit of a "shag" style, just cleaned up) to match what I had cut with the bangs. She wanted it short, and he wanted it long, so I was meeting in the middle, and really doing my best to make everyone (especially your wife) happy.

Your six-year-old son proceeded to yell at me while sitting in my chair (and while I was doing him a service, I might add) and saying all sorts of mean and horrible things. They didn't start very bad, but were nonetheless alarming, such as:

"This haircut looks HORRIBLE!" and "I hate this!" (This was when I wasn't even a quarter of the way done with the haircut, so OF COURSE it didn't look good at that point).

Knowing that he's just a kid, I was quick to brush aside these comments and just smiled and continued doing my job. However, over time the comments got worse and escalated to:

"I hate you!" and "You're horrible at your job!" All the way to, "You shouldn't even be allowed to cut hair!"

All this time, I remained very calm and continued to do my very best to give your son the best haircut that I could. This became EXTREMELY difficult when he wouldn't sit still and continued yelling at me, name-calling and telling me to stop cutting his hair. Being pretty confident that this was not what your wife would want (for him to leave with a halfway completed haircut), I continued, despite the obvious bullying and disrespect that was happening to me. I was determined to prove him wrong and show him what a great haircut I could do and how handsome he would be all sharpened up.

The abuse continued, and escalated with each passing moment. Your son then went on to say:

"You know what? My brother has a dagger!" To which I replied with, "Oh really? That's not good." And he said, "I wanna KILL YOU!!" Considering his age, I didn't take the death threat too seriously, and just brushed it off like all of the previous comments before and said, "Oh! A death threat from a six-year-old? Okay..."

However, within about two minutes after that, he yelled, "STOP CUTTING MY HAIR!!!" And he then grabbed the cape he was wearing and pulled it hard enough that the snaps came undone and it came off of his neck. By this point, I was done just as much—if not more than your son was—and I was willing to accept defeat to just be done with all of this. So I grabbed the cape that he had thrown off of him and carried it up to the front desk where your wife was standing, set the cape on the counter and said, "Your son tore off his cape and he won't let me finish his haircut." She quickly said, "Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry!" And called him over. I told your wife that his haircut still needed work (such as blending—especially in the front with the bangs, as well as the neckline and around the ears cleaned up). She told him that he wasn't going to like his hair the way that it was, and asked if I could finish it really quick. He then went on to cry and say how horrible I am and how much he hated me.

Luckily, your wife was decent enough to tell him that it wasn't okay to talk to me like that, and that he needed to apologize. He reluctantly looked down and said, "I'm sorry," very grudgingly.

I looked at him and politely said, "Thank you." I wasn't about to say anything like, "It's okay," because the way that he treated me—a lot like the way that YOU treated me later—is NOT okay.

Now fast-forward about an hour to when you came in. There were several other clients in the salon, and I was in the middle of cutting my fiancé's hair. You walk in, look right at me and say, very loudly and very upset, "I need to speak with Aubrie." I smile and politely ask how I can help you. You start raising your voice immediately and say, "You just gave my son the worst haircut in the world, and I need my nine dollars back!" Thinking that you surely couldn't be serious, I slightly awkwardly laughed and almost went back to cutting my fiancé's hair, when you said, "My son, Remmington, came in here earlier and you gave him the literal world's worst haircut, and I need my nine dollars back!"

By this point, I started to slowly walk toward the front desk, unsure of what to do or even say. You proceeded to yell at me, and in the midst of your yelling, said, "His haircut looks HORRIBLE!! We shouldn't have even had to pay for that!"

I paused, then replied, "I know that it's not a great cut, but it would've been a lot better if he had let me finish it."

You quickly yelled, "My son is upset because you didn't cut his hair the way that he wanted it!"

I paused, then went on to explain what I previously said above about how HE wanted it cut vs. how your wife wanted it cut. You didn't even let me finish what I was saying and very rudely and quickly cut me off and said, "She didn't say that!" You then went on to say that I needed to LISTEN, and if I had LISTENED better, then maybe your son's haircut would've turned out better. You also continued to go on and on about what a horrible haircut it is, and how your son is so upset that he doesn't ever want to come back here. You then said, "You are so horrible at what you do, you shouldn't even have a license or be able to cut hair!"

I was in complete and utter shock with what was happening and I couldn't even believe that this was real life, that I was just left standing there, speechless. Thankfully my sweet coworker came over and stepped in partway through all of this, otherwise I don't know what I would've done.

You also talked about how your son felt "unsafe" sitting in my chair, and that's why he was so upset and refused to come back. When my coworker asked what you meant by that, you replied that he didn't get the haircut he wanted, so he was upset. Well, I'm sorry, but "not getting what you want" and "feeling unsafe" are two VERY different things.

I felt that it was very ironic that you were yelling at me, telling me that your son felt "unsafe" in my chair, while I was keeping calm and talking VERY nicely to him the entire time—even down to his death threat—and I was the one (in BOTH cases) who had EVERY right to feel unsafe. And I did. I felt VERY unsafe with the way you were talking to me. I was just grateful for the counter that was acting as a divider between you and I, because if it weren't for that, I would've felt even less safe than I already did.

I am also grateful to my coworker's client for stepping in and paying you the nine dollars for the haircut (don't worry, we called and spoke with my manager later and we gave her a free haircut to pay her back). You accepted the money, but then went on to say to her, "Thank you, but YOU shouldn't be the one paying for this. If anyone should be paying for this, it should be HER (pointing at me)!!!" The sweet woman told you to just not worry about it, she would work it out with the owner, and that you could just go on your way.

After you left, that client got teary-eyed and even cried a little bit, saying to me, "I have been coming here for 20 years, and I have had nothing but great experiences here. And each of you are wonderful, and none of you deserves to be treated like that. I am SO sorry that this happened to you!" I then started to cry a little bit and thanked her for her kind words and asked, "Can I hug you?" And she opened up her arms and we hugged.

I was left literally visibly shaken for a good 10 minutes afterwards, and it took some time for me to finish my fiancé's haircut because of that.

Although I'm sure that this will mean nothing to you, I wanted to let you know what a crappy week this has been for me. My grandma (who halfway raised me and is my literal second mom) just passed away last Sunday and I went to her funeral on Saturday. When I went to dinner with my family tonight after work, my mom gave me a framed picture of me with my grandma that I had given to my grandma for Christmas a couple of years ago. Looking at that picture, I was reminded of the kind of person my grandma was, and is, and how she might have responded to this situation. As I thought about it, I realized that she would've somehow given you and your son the benefit of the doubt, and even felt sorry and prayed for both of you. So that is the road that I have decided to take. Although it is experiences like this that make me lose faith in humanity, it is also people like my coworker's client who bring that faith right back.

So I am sorry that things didn't go how you wanted them to go. I honestly did my very best, under the circumstances, and I'm sorry that in the end that wasn't enough. Believe it or not, but I am a person, and I deserve to be treated (at the very least) with respect.

So, if something like this happens again, please just take a step back and think about what other people may be going through in life, and how your words and actions may affect them. Please try and think about this BEFORE you jump ahead, make a scene, and choose to believe the story that your created in your mind.

Sincerely,

The girl who just wants people to be happy.

Now Reading
To the Man Who Burst into My Workplace and Yelled at Me
Read Next
10 Incredible Writing Tools for Education