It turned out to be an incredible accident that I happened to meet Brandi, a cosmetologist of 16 years in Barstow, CA.
Ya see … I needed a haircut … bad … I should have gotten my hair cut at least two weeks prior, but I had delayed it because I knew I was going to meet someone … very different. Well I did. I went into a barber shop but he couldn’t take me for the next hour and a half. Time to kill. So I went next door into a nail and hair spa.
That’s when I met Brandi.
She loves being creative and she loves making people feel good about themselves.
What does she like most about coming to work – her customer friends. When she’s on her way into work, she doesn’t feel like she’s going to a j..o..b.., but instead, she feels like she’s coming to socialize with friends and neighbors. It’s really funny or ironic, because she claims she has social anxiety. Yet, when she’s in her element in her salon shop, she doesn’t feel that way. She feels very comfortable, like hey – We’re all family and we (other workers) feel that we’re somewhat psychiatrist too. Well, at least they perform a ‘listening’ role.
I understood her busy situation when she mentioned that they can’t do manicure or pedicure pop’ins because we don’t have time for them. “We work by reservation only, and right now, I’m booked 3 weeks in advance.”
Brandi says she likes the mountains and the desert the most in the area around Barstow. She likes to go off-roading and to hike around in the desert.
Even though Barstow is still a small city, but it’s doesn’t have that small-town feel. A lot of people have moved here. it’s cheaper to live here and a lot of people have moved here for that reason.
If she were ruler for the day, she would have everybody hug each other. Brandi felt that people just don’t get that physical or intimate everyday anymore, remain impersonal and not intimate.
“So I try to help my customers when they are around, and I mean … that could be … you know, the first time they’ve been hugged in … you don’t know even how long.”