Even though his hair was already barely existent, the big redneck dad insisted his redneck son needed a haircut. During the usual struggles (including using actual brute force to hold the child’s head in a useful position – i.e. looking straight forward – while the dad played what must have been a thrilling game of Words with Friends), I asked the child how old he was. I do this not only to make small talk, but because children under ten years old get the discounted rate.
“Six” the child answered, meekly.
“Tell her how old you really are, son” said the dad.
That was a little bit of a shock. I’m horrible at guessing people’s ages just by looking at them, but I’ve never had a 12-year old act like this. But I keep on keeping on, and when I go to get paid, I ask for the standard $21. Well the dad just pitches a fit, and I say “didn’t you say he was twelve? That counts as a standard adult haircut.”
“What? I was KIDDING! He’s SIX. Does he look twelve to you?” He accuses, as he shoves the child for emphasis. You know, in case I thought he was talking about someone else. I said “honestly sir, I have no idea how old your child is. That’s why I asked. You said he was twelve, so that’s all I have to go on.”
I void out the transaction, which requires me to fill out paperwork to be signed by my boss. The man is hovering next to me, on my side of the register, intently staring at the computer screen to make sure I don’t try to swindle him again. He gets charged the correct price (which is $7 cheaper, btw) and storms off without leaving a tip. Frankly, I wasn’t surprised at that last bit. And also frankly, I’d be fine if they never came back.
Incidentally, my coworker was there for this whole exchange, and as soon as they were gone, she turned to me and said “What a dick!” I couldn’t agree more. Also, on the paperwork I mentioned there is a space to explain why the transaction was voided. I wrote “the customer lied to me. But he was “only joking.” Can’t wait for corporate to call me about that one.