NYC Error 404: Not Found

There are exceptions to every rule. The rule of New York City – that you can get anything, at any time, anywhere – is no exception. You can get a shark on the subway, a watch at the shoe repair, or a diamond in the rough. But you can’t get a decent bank, doctor, or hair dresser for love or money. That’s why city slickers have an ingenuity all their own.

You can get free checking – but only at banks with fewer than a dozen ATMs in a 10-mile radius. You can get free ATMs – but your savings account interest rate is approaching zero. You can use online checking – unless your employer refuses to use them for direct deposit. Solution: open accounts with multiple banks.

You can get wonderful medical specialists – but your PCP won’t return your calls. Your doctor might return your calls, but they won’t see you for a second longer than five minutes. Your doctor might be willing to see you for more than five minutes, but their tremors are so bad that a nurse has to write out their medical instructions for them. Solution: switch doctors every year.

You can get a haircut, but it’ll cost you $35 – before tip. You can get a cheap haircut but the hair dresser will give you a style all their own. You can get a moderately-priced haircut, but the hairdresser will laugh at you. You can get an expensive haircut, but you may not be able to eat that week. Solution: cut your own hair.

Every city has its limits, but the inventiveness of its people knows no bounds.

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Trust the Hairdresser

My coworkers are a quiet bunch. But when something big happens – someone stars on a game-show, has a baby, or gets an extreme hair-cut – you compliment them. So recently, I expressed admiration for someone’s newly shingled haircut. My coworkerly duty complete, I started to walk away. She launched into a story.

Her: Yeah, I just got it cut. But then I went back and my hairdresser asked if I wanted to cut it short, and I said yeah.

Me, surprised that a conversation just started: Well, it came out well.

Her, brushing aside her bangs: I had the same cut three years ago. This time, when she was cutting it, I thought she was cutting it too short. So I started yelling at her ‘No! It’s too short!’

I tried to look sympathetic. She continued, embarrassed: She told me to stop talking and let her do her job. The coworker played with the tips of she hair and admitted: She was right.

Me: Wow. You must have a lot of faith in her.

Her: I’ve been seeing her since…I’ve known her longer than my husband.

Now that was an unexpected conversation.