In the past two weeks, I had two interesting rendezvouses with the general topic of barbers – neither on a personal account.
The first was a movie, Savarakathi (The Barber’s Knife), a fine piece of black comedy that emerged from Tamil cinema. It was hysterically scripted and executed with ace. Needless to mention, it suffered severe losses at the box office front as all masterpieces are bound to do. In the meantime a cheap commercial flick with neither content nor aesthetics continues to run in full houses. Go figure.
The second one, which actually prompted this post emerged in a class on human resources management. The lecture/discussion was successfully lulling me to sleep when she decided to take a detour from types of recruitment interviews, which in addition to tests and walk-in interviews may also be skill based, and enlighten us with examples. In the recruitment to the post of drivers, where you would be required to drive the examiner around certain roads and he would rate the your skill at driving in addition to the way you handle the vehicle and take precautions. And then, of course, the barber.
Our institute has the official post of a barber within the campus and the recruitment process is apparently quite interesting. A senior professor happened to be present at the last one. Each of the applicants were asked to demonstrate their skills at shaving with the help of shaving gel, knife and the hairy right cheek of a institute volunteer. One by one, they came in with their respective instruments, shaved away with abandon and exited.
Except one fellow. Once he was done, he wrapped up his kit and requested the volunteer (a professor himself, I should imagine) to meet him again once the recruitment tests were over. He wanted to finish up his work on the left cheek as well. Now, that’s professionalism!
He landed the job of course.