Since last December, I have not worked as a hairdresser. Two salons ago, I built up a huge phone anxiety as a co-worker pressured me to answer the phone. I would wake up dreading work and went in later and later until I quit.
Then I found a job at an assisted living salon. I made it clear from the beginning I would NOT answer the phone which worked out great because all the clients were in the building. I could run around and find clients and bring in them in. Too bad the owner shorted my check and tips too often. I quit again tired of haggling over my check.
I tried finding a job in another assisted living home but was told over and over, “No. We have someone.” I asked if I could at least leave a resume and they shook their heads no. So it seems the only assisted living salon who had a high turnover of hairdressers was the one I was in, otherwise people stayed put. It was a very comfortable kind of job when paid right.
I gave myself a year off because I could. My ego hurt. I wondered what the hell I would do otherwise for a few months. Most jobs require hearing to take orders, use the phone, or listening to customers. After about 3 months or so, I settled into writing. Writing is easier than hearing, it only requires the mind. I have two articles in the ALDA newsletter which is a resume builder but non-paying. I am currently working on a book about being hard of hearing but that’s non-paying at the moment too. Maybe later it will pay off some but I’m realistically thinking it’s not going to dump wads of cash in my pocket. It would be good to know I’m helping out other hard of hearing people.
So this has been a year of exploring me and dealing with my insecurities. I started thinking that after Christmas, I will get a job again, something part-time to pay some bills again. I thought washing dishes would not require hearing. Then I thought, well, why not go back to hair? I could find a smaller more intimate salon. My ego has healed enough to give it another whirl. I could be upfront about my hearing loss and avoid the phone still.
Last weekend while visiting friends of my boyfriend, his friend needed a haircut and had the equipment (I didn’t have mine) so we cut her hair. I didn’t get half way through the haircut before I remembered another reason why I stopped cutting hair. I was a boring hairdresser with no personality because chit chat is almost impossible once I get behind the chair. It was quiet where we were, my hearing aids were on and every time she said something I had to stop cutting and move in front of her to hear her (lip read).
Stopping work to understand people slows down hair cutting time. When on a tight schedule, it puts me behind. If I think back, I remember scheduling some people with longer amounts of time because of the talking or if it was a chatty person who didn’t care for a long response, I faked hearing them. Hearing women is a lot harder than hearing men and women sit in the chair more often than men. Maybe doing dishes and writing is better than doing hair.
Tonight I start my lip reading class. I am excited and will tell you all about it later.