Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Abusive Tendencies of Fantastic Sams' Customers

I ain't no physicist, but I know what matters. And what matters when getting a haircut is courteous behavior, don't you think? Well, I have noticed a troubling trend among Fantastic Sams' customers, or clients, as they say in the hair biz. I've been to Fantastic Sams twice. Both times I was getting my daughter's hair cut and both times I witnessed a disturbing incident. Incidentally, both times her hair turned out super cute:
The first time was about a year ago. We were waiting for Maggie's appointment and this gross guy with a leather jacket was getting his hair cut. I was eavesdropping, as is my custom. He was showing off and talking about how cool he was. He was of a wilder nature than the lady cutting his hair. This was obvious to me but, apparently--he thought they might be each others' type so he asked her out. She politely declined and awkwardly continued to cut his hair. He became angry and started swearing at her while she cut his hair which was, incidentally, receding severely. He told her that he made a lot of money and had a date anyway and when I say that he said this, I don't mean that he suggested this or tried to give her this impression through various hints. I mean that he literally said, "I make a lot of money," but he included more swear words--the worst ones.

It was really quite horrible. I ain't no doctor, but I know when I'm losing my patience. So I rolled my eyes and made a disapproving face whenever he looked at me. It was, of course, one of those times when I wish I had done more--starting with me approaching him and saying, "Look buddy. . ." Unfortunately--just like when I wanted to wear that Captain America costume last year--I didn't have the physique for it. She broke into tears after he left. It was a scene, man. And then I was like, uh, how about a chin-length bob?

Then last Saturday as I was waiting for Maggie to get her hair cut, I was watching this pre-teen, or tweeen as they're called in the marketing biz, get her hair done. She was waiting for her mom to pick her up and pay for the hair cut. I formulated a few hypotheses about this girl's fashion intuition, self-esteem, and general acceptance among her peers. I was intrigued. She had blue vinyl clogs, white legs, a long pleated denim skirt, and a ruffle-y tank top that she kept stretching down because it was cropped. (My legs are white too; I'm offering an accurate description, not a judgement.) She had a lot done to her hair because it ended up costing 42$ which is pricey for Fantastic Sams.

She seemed happy with her hair, but anxious. When her Klinefelter's Syndrome of a mother arrived, it was clear that this girl has a lot more than anxiety to contend with. The mom was huge and awful and grumpy and wearing black orthopedic shoes. She really seemed like a lunch lady but, in my experience, lunch ladies are always nice once you get to know them. And they don't drive brand new silver Subaru Forresters. That was weird. Anyway, the mom immediately threw a fit because the girl's hair wasn't dry. Hello? They never dry your hair at Fantastic Sams. You're lucky if they even wash it for you. "I wanted it dry so I could see it!" she bellowed. "She wants you to dry it,"cowered the girl in an attempt at mediation. Bewildered and frightened, the hairstylist remained speechless but turned to get the hair dryer. (They have them in the back, I guess.) With a huff and a puff and a slam of gigantic proportion the lady slapped down some money. Now here was a situation where I could help. I was just about to utter, "It's so cute! I love her hair! Wet or dry it's perfect and so becoming!" But she blew out of there before the stylist even came back with the dryer.

When the stylist did return, once again I was there to comfort and roll my eyes over the scene which had taken place. Now, I ain't no statistician but two out of two visits to Fantastic Sams equals 100% abuse. What's the deal?

When you pictured the mom's shoes, did you picture them like this?
Good job.


  1. I was eavesdropping, as is my custom.

    Usually the Nonny Spouse cuts my hair, but a couple of weeks ago I went to Fantastic Sams. I eavesdropped, too. It's a habit.

    The guy who got his haircut before me was chatting up the "stylist." I'm pretty sure he asked her out. She turned him down.
    I tried rolling my eyes, but she wouldn't talk to me the whole time.

    Maybe it's my breath.

  2. Does anything good happen at Not-So-Fantastic Sam's? ANYTHING!? I stopped going there because the hair stylists are MEAN to my little boy. They always get mad when he won't keep his head down. Hello? He's a kid!

  3. When I get my do done, it is usually at Custom Cuts. My wife calls it the chop shop. Unless you pay thru the nose for a do, it's just not as good, no matter how many juicy stories come of it. Or so my wife says.
    I often wonder about behavior, all of it. Small children. Youngsters. Teens. Young adults and Oldsters. Very telling. I have come to the conclusion that left unchecked, bad behavior IS the path of least resistance. Given our society today, is it any wonder how uncouth some folks actually are?
    My 14 year old and I witnessed a young minority mother with 3 small children curse out the checker at the grocery store because she, the checker, followed her out to the parking lot due to her credit card not clearing. The lady acted like it was the stores fault, huffing, puffing and cursing loud enough she could be heard 10 registers down. After resolving the matter, the mother had to make a point of coming back in to the store thru the exit door, stand in the aisle and curse the checker more and let everyone listening know, she was an educated woman, a nurse and would not steal anything and furthermore, blankity-blank-blank-blank. I’m talking real educated! Then we wonder why our chibs misbehave or treat people with disrespect. Go figure.

  4. I have been working on a theory for some time now about governmental offices--think the DMV--being a place where bottom-of-the-barrel type people from society seem to flock. I mean, you go to the county building and every yucky person in the area seems to be there at the same time. I guess this experience at Sam's blows my government office part of the theory out the window. Back to square one...

  5. My goodness! I see you had a very busy Tuesday.

  6. If experiences like these are prime for evaluation, I have the equivalent of a PhD in human behavior: I worked in a grocery store for 7 years...I could have an entire blog where I tell Albertsons stories...alas, I could not tell them nearly as well as Kacy--I was telling my sis that I could wish you would write books so I could read tham and she reminded me of your blog's title...Man, do I feel sheepish!

  7. Mason and I both got our hair cut at Sam's on Saturday. I really like my do, but I did have to pay extra for the style. But that's ok, I had a coupon.
    No juicy stories. Dang!
    Due to your inspiring post, all day tomorrow I've determined to be cheerful, helpful, and kind.
    I'll let you know how it goes.

  8. I thought Klinefelter's syndrome only affected Men.

  9. It does only affect men. Someone paid attention in freshman bio! Not me, but I had to write a report on it, and I actually took the class my senior year, so it wasn't too long ago.

    That said...I've always been a little scared of Fantastic Sam's. I don't know why. Maybe this is why. Instead, I choose hair schools to get my do's done--scary in a different way.

  10. One time I saw a mother pull her daughter out of Target BY HER HAIR. This mother didn't have corrective shoes but she did have green hair.
    And Abby can appreciate this, a few days later I saw the same green headed mother monster at Albertsons wearing gloves because she didn't want touch the handles of the cart.

    I don't know why some mothers have to be so difficult.

    Kacy, your daughter is adorable!

  11. Someone with green hair (and who makes public scenes) was skiddish of the handle on a grocery cart??? This intrigues me...

  12. Last time I went to the Sams, I had a great hairdresser who was amazing with my hair and knew exactly which picture of Meg Ryan I was referring to, but had JUST COME OUT OF THE CLOSET. (This is in caps, because it reflects the voracity of his coming out.) We discussed it at length. This was in Provo, and it made the other hairdressers very uncomfortable. Which I thought was wierd, because, come on, they are hairdressers. We've all been to the Von Curtis.

  13. You know haircuts are already scary enough – now ya gotta throw in the orthopedic shoes!

  14. Poor girl. I like the thought of nice people like you who are willing to stand up to the mean people in public. And as long as you're talking...maybe you could suggest a reasonably-priced shoe store for that lady.

  15. Did you delete old posts? The Valentine's dance is mysteriously missing.

  16. He told her that he made a lot of money and had a date anyway

    I thought every woman fell for that line. What gives?

  17. download free tunes (w/o a credit card) at:

  18. Sometimes I forget about your blog. Then I roll in to work, sit here with my Skinny Mocha Triple Shot, all of my employee are out of the office, no one is doing anything today anyway because it's the 3rd of July, so I browse my old bookmarks, and with the caffeine levels rising I start reading and giggling at your antics.

    Ah Kacy, you are Fantastic.

    -Amber Smith

  19. Anonymous5:52 PM

    I used to work at Fantastic Sams. More than half of our customers either: 1) Swear at us, 2) Yell at us, 3) Threaten to leave (you're rude, please do so), 4) Complain about the outragous prices ($13.99 for a hair cut is below reasonable), 5) Talk down to you (Most stylists I know--including myself--have at least a BA. We understand English.) Good ol' FS...glad I quit that job.

  20. Anonymous9:44 PM

    I have worked for fantastic sams for 14 years. The one I work at now has been open for 7 years. I live in Michigan. Sams has treated myself very well. I own my own home, car, and many toys. Most of the 13 stylist at my salon are booked everyday. I would also like to add that we do shampoo and try to style every guest that comes in. Some do decline the style. So I guess what Im saying is that please dont judge every sams together. They are owned by diffrent people, so they are not the same.

  21. Anonymous12:22 AM

    I have taken my kids a couple of times to Fantastic Sam's - always with pretty good results. This Sunday really tore it, though. My husband brought my 11 year old son in for a haircut, and had an 11 and under kids coupon. The "manager" (I don't know if she was or not) apparently annointed herself the coupon police and repeatedly inferred that my husband was lying about my 11 year old son's age. Did I mention she did this loudly in front of staff and customers? She even had the audacity to quiz my son about his age and birthdate (making him feel extremely uncomfortable), and then exclaimed (in an "aha - gotcha" moment) that he was 12 after he told her he was born in 2001. (Uh - no. He was born in August. This is February. He's 11.) We wanted nothing for free, and were not trying to game the system. They just lost five customers for life - we will never go to another Fantastic Sam's. Ever.


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