Why I Wear a Facemask at the Barber Shop

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Ever since Governor Bill Lee allowed non-essential business to re-open on May 6, 2020, I have worn a facemask everyday while inside the barber shop. I am in the minority as most people do not wear facemasks; and I am occasionally told by someone in the majority that wearing one provides no protection whatsoever and is, therefore, absolutely useless. I disagree.

I have long held that while facemasks are not a fool-proof, one-hundred-percent-effective means of protection against air-borne viruses and bacteria, they do offer some protection and can reduce the amount of inhaled substances. As studies have demonstrated that the amount of matter exhaled into the air is reduced by the fact that air droplets are caught by the interior of a facemask, it seems only logical that the reverse must also be true – that the amount of matter inhaled by the wearer can be reduced too, especially if the wearer is using a N95 or KN95 type of mask.

An article published by health-desk.org (published on November 12, 2020 – updated on February 17, 2021) agrees with my assertion and provides a list of ten studies that also concur. The article may be accessed by clicking here.

When we changed over to an appointments-only service model, I quickly discovered that cancelling customer’s appointments was quite a bit of hassle. First of all, we have to call people and inform them that we are not going to be able to make their appointment. Simply not showing up for a customer’s appointment would be rude and result in a wasted trip for the customer. Secondly, we have to call them back and reschedule their time. “Well, just call them then. What’s the issue?” some may assert. It’s not that simple.

We have found that if a person does not recognize a phone number, he will automatically assume that it is a spam sales call or possible scam, and will simply not answer his phone. In light of the fact that a large portion of the population does not check their voice mail, has a voicemail that is not set up, or has a voicemail that is full, it is sometimes the case that it is impossible to reach a customer when we need to. The only remaining option is to send a text message if the customer’s phone number is assigned to a cell phone and hope for the best.

An inability to reach a customer when necessary has some negative consequences. If the customer shows up for his appointment, and the barber he scheduled with is not at the shop, he may become angry and ask, “Well why didn’t you people let me know so that I could reschedule?” Or he may simply say, “That’s okay. You (meaning the other barber who is at the shop) can cut my hair.” That may not be possible if the other barber has another customer scheduled.

Unforeseen personal family issues, illness, car trouble, being caught in stand-still traffic – these are all reasons why we may need to contact a customer and reschedule; and we really, really need to be able to get in touch with him when such issues arise. I, therefore, want to do everything in my power to make sure that I do not have to contact a customer and reschedule. That “everything in my power” certainly includes not becoming sick because in this time we live in now, coming to work sick is no longer an option, at least for those of us who are not self-centered and take other people’s well-being into consideration.

So, that’s why I wear a mask folks – to make sure that I don’t get sick, don’t have to cancel people’s appointments, and don’t deal with all the negative aggravation that is accompanied. Whether it’s covid-19, influenza, strep-throat, pneumonia, or simply a common cold – any illness that requires me to contact you guys and deal with rescheduling is something I absolutely want to avoid.