The culture of African American barber shops and hair salons is so rich. During our most recent visit, for some reason I focused less on the banter and more on the barbers. They are artisans of hair, meticulous in their every snip and buzz. I love how much pride they take in their work. How a man looks when he steps out into this world matters. And I think these men and women take this into consideration when someone gets into their chairs.
Sure, there are jokes and fun and shenanigans. But there is also expertise, skill and professionalism, too. Not very much different at all from what I do on my own job.
So on this day I noticed that. I did.
Mr. Hashir and Mr. Tuck have cut my boys' hair for as long as I can remember. These men are their barbers, the ones they trust and know and to whom they are already loyal. Each boy pays and tips his own barber. Looks him straight in the eye, shakes his hand, and thanks him. Harry tells them that this will teach them barber etiquette when they grow up. And some life etiquette, too.
Know what you want. Express it clearly. Sit still. Be patient. Show appreciation.
Honestly? I write this blog to share the human aspects of medicine + teaching + work/life balance with others and myself -- and to honor the public hospital and her patients--but never at the expense of patient privacy or dignity.
Thanks for stopping by! :)
"One writes out of one thing only--one's own experience. Everything depends of how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give."
~ James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)
"Do it for the story." ~ Antoinette Nguyen, MD, MPH
Details, names, time frames, etc. are always changed to protect anonymity. This may or may not be an amalgamation of true,quasi-true, or completely fictional events. But the lessons? They are always real and never, ever fictional. Got that?