DEAR ABBY: "Mr. Eugene" has been my hairdresser for nearly 20 years. We have seen each other through divorces, deaths, recovery from alcoholism (me), and life struggles in general. Mr. Eugene used to be a great hairdresser. The problem began when he installed a little television set at his station. He keeps it on all the time and watches it almost constantly. He watches it while cutting my hair, pausing every so often to pay closer attention to what's on TV.
The quality of my haircuts has started to decline, and along with it, our client/hairdresser relationship. I'm about ready to change hairdressers because I can't find the nerve to reach over and turn the darn thing off or tell him how annoying it is, and how much better a hairdresser he is when he pays full attention to what he's doing.
Please print this so Mr. Eugene will read it and give his clients the attention we deserve. -- SPINELESS IN LEXINGTON, KY.
DEAR SPINELESS: Mr. Eugene is only a hairdresser. He is not a mind reader. Since you haven't voiced an objection to his cutting and styling your hair with one eye on the boob-tube, how can he be expected to know you have a problem with it?
Try this: Rather than criticize him, tell him that you would prefer that he leave the TV set off while working on you, because you miss the quality time you used to spend together. You might be surprised to find that he takes it as a compliment.