A few weeks ago, I decided to stop at the barbershop where I get my haircut. It was 8:15 a.m., and I had a 9:00 a.m. meeting. C.W., the barber who normally cuts my hair, was busy tending to a customer, and I was pushing the start time for my meeting if I waited for him to get done.

The other barber, Rick, was available:

Sir, would you like to get started?”

I wanted to wait for C.W. but Rick was ready to go, and time was of the essence.

Sure, I have a meeting soon, and I’m the one facilitating, so it’s important that I get to the webinar on time.

Chatting During the Haircut

As with most haircut sessions, small talk breaks out between the barber and the customer.

RICK: It sure has been hot out there.

ME: It’s only June, and I think it will get worse.

RICK: What size do you use on the sides?

[I looked over at C.W. and he confirms that I use a 4.]

ME: Unfortunately, I do not have much time today, so perhaps a quick haircut will do. I just need something to hold me over for the next couple of weeks.

RICK: I’ll go as fast as I can. What kind of work do you do?

ME: I spend much of my time training in the area of project management.

RICK: Yeah! My wife can use some of that training. We have a pantry that I don’t recognize anymore. I can say about the same for the closets. Of course, if I remind her about what needs to get done in the house, she’ll point to the garage, and how much cleaning it needs. It’s not really cleaning that it needs … there is too much clutter. She tells me that I need to be on that hoarding show. I guess she’s got a point!

ME: I think project management might help a bit in that area. It’s all about breaking big work into small chunks and getting started. As much as I say that, there are many things I fail to get started. I think that time management is just as important.

RICK: Right, man! What happened to 24 hours per day? I think someone made the day shorter or something. I just can’t seem to get anything done. When I get out of here, it’s already 6:30 p.m. By the time I get home, and pop open my first beer, it’s about 7:30 p.m. I don’t even have time to watch the hoarding show!

ME: I agree! I have this meeting at 9, and another one at 2 and one at 5. That’s nuts!

RICK: Okay! You’re done! One of my fastest haircuts – 10 minutes!

As I left the barbershop, I said “Bye” to C.W. and let him know that I would be back in a couple of weeks. After my 9 a.m. webinar, I went to the mirror in the bathroom, and noticed that my hair looked a little weird. With plenty of gel, it would stay down, but the sides were sticking out way too much.

I realized that I put too much pressure on Rick to get the work done fast. This reminded me that when you try to get something done quick, you often ignore the details. In this case, it will take a couple of weeks before C.W. can correct the problem, but when you make mistakes in business, the consequences might last forever.