The following lesson comes from a conversation with Alexander Parker 81, Barber Shop Owner. “You know, I could teach these young boys a thing or two about cuttin’ heads, about making money cuttin’ heads.” I’ve had my license for 64 years and still can’t teach them nothin’. They know it all. Well there’s such a thing as being “over learned.
My first barber job was in Davidson, North Carolina, a small college town in a rural county. The shop was owned by Ralph Johnson. He was black but he look white. All his customers were white: farmers, professors, students. Back in those days you couldn’t cut white heads and black head in the same shop. You had to choose. Ralph and I couldn’t even give each other a cut during business hours. Ralph said a man made a better livin’ with “CW” on his permit, so that’s what I chose. “CW” meant colored cuttin’ white folks hair. “CC” meant colored folks hair.
I learned a lot from Ralph and I try to pass it down, but these boys won’t listen. Some barbers want to make money and some barbers want to make noise. The young guys get too friendly with the customers, talkin’ all the time. You should have a new head in your chair every fifteen minutes. Four and thirty-two. That’s the formula. Four heads and hour, thirty-two heads a day-forty on Saturday. In my day I was a workhorse. But these young guys don’t want to work that hard. And they always want to run have their “social experience” with the girls. Keep it zipped up and you’ll keep somethin’ in your pocket.”
~Alexander Parker licensed since 1952.
LIVE, LEARN, AND PASS IT ON!!!
Grahams Barber College
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