24 August 2010

Services That Come with a Free Lecture

Most industries provide some unexpected services. Three such types of industry include haircuts, bicycle repair and auto repair. Whenever you utilize any of these three professionals, you can bank on receiving a lecture.

Lectures from the Stylist
"Who cut your hair last?" says the woman wielding a set of shears near your ears.

It doesn't really matter how you answer the question, the response you receive will always come in the form of a lecture about how you should only allow a professional near your head. What happens if you inform the stylist currently hovering about your locks that your last cut came from her? Well, you must have seen someone else in-between your cuts with her, because she would never cut your hair that poorly.

"What shampoo and conditioner are using?" That's another common lecture-inducing question. The only way to shut the stylist up is to agree to buy the insanely priced hair products she recommends.

Lectures from the Bicycle Mechanic
"Where did you buy this bike, and how much did you spend on it?"

Ever take that bike you bought for $150 from the closest chain box store (Walmart, Target, et al) in to your local bike shop for a tune up or repair? Then you likely received a long talk about how cheap bikes equal cheap parts equal frequent repairs, or worse, injuries.

In all likelihood, you rode that bike for a few years before it needed anything in lieu of repairs. Still, the repair person will invariably spend more time lecturing you on how you need to spend at least $1000 on a bike than actually repairing the one you brought in to get fixed.

Lectures from the Auto Mechanic
The types of questions auto mechanics unleash depend on your vehicle's condition, as well as make and model and age.

Here's the thing about auto mechanics: You will always receive a lecture, no matter how excellent your car is:
  • If your car is old, you'll be lectured on how you should consider scrapping it.
  • If your car is moderately new, you'll be lectured for having not opted for a particular upsell, or if you did opt for the upsell, you'll be lectured for having idiotically chosen to accept the upsell.
  • If your car is new, you'll be lectured on the oil weight or brand of parts that you use.
  • If your car is new, you'll be lectured on how you should have bought another make or model.
More than any other industry professional, the auto mechanic is the most brash with his lectures. He's not afraid to unleash a battery of insulting remarks meant to make you feel as stupid as possible. Think going to see the dentist is bad?

What to Do if You Get Lectured
You don't have to listen to anyone lecture you in the service industry. Too often, people in service industries forget that you are the boss. Without you, they have no source of income. They need to show you some respect, and not assume that you want them to browbeat you.

Of course, if the professional is someone who's service you prefer, you might want to keep your frustration with their proselytizing quiet. Instead, try sighing deeply and tell them, "You do great work and I appreciate what you're telling me, but you're stressing me out."

1 comment:

linda c. thomas said...


You are on target about stylists. I hate being lectured. But thanks to you, I now know how to respond.