September 01, 2009
He was the first person to greet me. With deep blue eyes and shoulder length ebony glamarockstar hair, he was even more intriguing in person that I'd imagined.
I said hello and explained I'd like to speak with him privately, since it was a personal matter. (There were some customers behind me.) We stepped outside, I introduced myself, offered him my hand to shake, and made my case for why he should rehire the woman he'd fired because she gave me a discount on a haircut.
"I am the person who called last week about the discount -- the 50 percent discount on a haircut with you."
"Oh, right, you talked with a few of my employees," he answered.
"With two. I understand that the employee who gave me that discount is no longer working for you."
He was silent, waiting for me to keep going.
"I would like to make a deal with you. If I pay full price for a haircut, regardless of whether or not you cut my hair, would you give her a second chance? I don't want to interfere in how you run your business, and I'm sure you would have a very good reason for firing any of your employees. But if her interaction with me was the main reason you fired her, then I am asking you to reconsider. On the phone she was courteous and informative, and I'd hate to know that one mistake made her lose her job."
"That's a very nice thing you're doing," he replied.
I interrupted him.
"It's not about nice or not nice. Jobs are very hard to get now. To me, this is a grave situation, not just some favor I'm doing for someone. So if money was the issue, then I'll pay full price for a cut. And if her error was an issue, I am offering to fix the mistake so she gets one more chance. Like I said, I have no idea why you fired her, I have no idea if there were maybe other problems, but if it was just because of that discount, I would ask you to please reconsider. I can give you my number and you can let me know your decision after you've thought it over. There's no hurry. I would just appreciate it if you thought it over."
"I'll tell you what I'm going to do. That's fine. I'll do it. And for your money, I'll cut your hair. Since it's your first time you can have 20 percent off."
"Okay. Thank you. So you'll give her another chance?"
"Yes. She'll be fine. Don't worry about her."
We stepped back inside, and I made an appointment for Friday.
My final step will be to get confirmation from the employee that she was indeed rehired. If so, I'm about to get the most expensive haircut I've ever had. But, if it preserves someone's job (a job I had an indirect hand in compromising) while making my hair look nice, it will be worth every penny.
Result: Rectified a wrong. And felt something I haven't felt in a long while: fearless.