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Barbers are given quite a bit of trust.

It's scary enough to put your aesthetic into someone else's hands. Anybody with even a shred of vanity shutters when it's time to hand over the keys to their look.

But barbers have another heavy burden to carry: really sharp things.

Scissors, clippers, and razors all have one thing in common: they can cut through hair--and skin--with horrifying speed and efficiency.

So an experienced barber knows to be careful. They walk the line between creating a casual, relaxing environment while maintaining the composure required to do good work.

Sometimes, however, accidents happen.

stan849 asked, "Barbers of Reddit, what was your 'oh sh**' moment?"

A Watched Pot Messes Up a Haircut

"I was in school still at the time and was cutting this guy's hair, he brought his girlfriend along and she was watching like a HAWK over me."

"I'm halfway through the cut and almost done with the fade when the person next to me has their trolley too close to me so I go to move it but I didn't pay attention that my other hand had the clipper still running with no guard on."

"I made a nasty line through the fade that didn't look intentional at all and was sweating my a** off on how I was gonna fix this."

"The girlfriend of course points it out and the client is actually super chill about it and has me basically just run a super high 0.5 on the sides and back."

"3 years later and to this day I haven't had an incident that bad"

-- lefthook_hospital


"Once had a dude pass out after a haircut."

"Based on what he told me, he had some sort of sensory issues, and the combination of heat, the neck strip, clipper buzzing and noise of the shop overwhelmed him."

"If you've ever dealt with a person fainting, you know what an 'oh sh**' moment it is; one minute dude is standing up and looking a little worried, next he is crumpling to the floor."

"I'm a little guy, but I was able to sort of 'catch' him and ease him down without anyone getting hurt. It was pretty scary, my first thought was that I somehow killed him."

Not in the Job Description

"Beauty school. This tweaker dude and his hippie girlfriend come in for $7 haircuts. Immediately, something seemed off about the girlfriend; she seemed a little not 'all there' and was cross-eyed and had dreads poking out of her hippie hat."

"The appointments were a bit staggered, so I finished the guy's 1-all-over buzz cut, and my classmate calls me over to 'help' with hers."

"When she took off the girl's hat, her hair was completely matted and filthy, and beneath the matted hair were stinking, suppurating sores COVERING her scalp. When we combed at the hair, her scalp would begin to give and split away wetly."

"We called over an instructor who tried to explain that we couldn't service someone who was literally oozing. She didn't seem to understand and they left without paying."

"I'll never forget that smell."

-- Pianissimeat

At Least it Didn't Combust

"Not me, but my mom who is a hairdresser."

"Did you know that some hair dye chemicals don't play well together? Turns out the lady had used some sort of home hair dye chemical that basically has tiny bits of metal in it."

"She didn't mention. My mom goes to dye her hair and puts the professional dye on it... and the hair more or less starts melting as the dye reacts."

"Her hair was totally ruined, there was no saving it. Only thing to do was to just get the new dye off as fast as possible. She was pretty understanding about the whole situation though."

-- ShiraCheshire

Willingly Spreading

"My coworker at a salon was cutting a girls hair and found lice - the girls mom had left her for the trim and she had to wait for her mom in the lobby."

"We spent the next hour or so frantically cleaning around all of the other clients and stylists to sanitize the whole place top to bottom."

"When the mom came back and asked her why she didn't have her hair cut, she replied 'they found out.'"


-- mccannisms

Set the Tone

"The barber my dad took us kids to growing up kept a plastic ear in a big glass jar of water. Told all the little kids (jokingly) that it was the ear of a little boy who wouldn't be still when getting a hair cut and he accidentally cut this kid's ear off.

"Said he was keeping it in 'formaldehyde' to remind us all to be very still. It largely had the desired effect on the younger kids."

-- redditclark

A Whole New Level of Customer Loyalty

"The typical not a barber here but i use to go to a local barber college to get my hair cut because it was cheap. One girl had never cut a white guy's hair and her teacher asked if i was ok with it."

"I said sure she has to learn some how and its just hair it can be shaved and should grow back. Told her how i wanted the hair cut, pretty simple a little short and off the ears."

"Jokingly said do not take my ears off."

Long story short i left with a bald head and a band-aid on the top of my left ear, after bleeding like a stuck pig due to blood thinners!! where she nicked me with the scissors. Even her teacher couldn't save the hair cut."

"I did my best to try and help the girl calm down as she was ugly crying!!"

"Went back a month later and asked if the girl was there, thankfully she was and i simply smiled and said round two...she did it perfect second time around."

-- Gibbinthegremlin

Steering Clear

"Brother of a barber who used to be a hair model? back when I used to have a good head of hair."

"His instructor told a story during one of the shows about a mobster falling asleep during a shave. While shaving him, he accidentally cut off a mole."

"He said he kept on putting towels on him and then snuck across the street and hid in a bar watching through the window until the mobster left."

"Since he was only renting the chair in the shop he grabbed all his stuff and found another place to work after he was sure the mobster was gone."

-- charlie2135

Layers, Like an Onion

"During barber school I was the most eager to learn to straight razor shave of all the customers, so the instructor gave me all the hardest shaves..."

"...including an 80 year old dude whose skin was so loose and unhealthy that each time I pulled the blade over his flesh, it brought up just as much dead skin as it did hair."

"I wasn't cutting him or anything, he just had that much dead skin just chillin' on his face every other week."

-- Perpetualinvalidity

The 1%

"My dad let me line myself up once"

"F***ed up"

"Decided to cut the whole thing off and go bald"

"The plus side to being black is that 99% of the time being bald looks fine"

"I guess I was part of the 1% that looks like a f***ing Whopper Malt Ball."

-- YungNi**et788

Getting Too Fancy With It

"When I was training, maybe a few months in so I had a bit of confidence, enough for me to not realise I still didn't know what I was doing, i was cutting this guys hair and I got to his fringe."

"He wanted it really short and I was standing in front of him cutting along his forehead whilst chatting away."

"I took my scissors away to comb his hair but like, flicked them(??) around my fingers and they swung round and hit the guy right in the f***ing iris."

"I froze. He froze. Eventually i asked 'did I just hit you in the eye by the way?' He said 'I think so.' Trying to act like it wasn't sore for some reason. It eventually blew up in the shop once his shock wore off and someone else got him out the door."

"Found out a month later his wife was a nurse and she used some kind of eye drop and his eye was only scratched. Thank god because I thought I blinded him. I gave him a free haircut next time. Just the one though."

-- SkinandBun


"Hairdresser of 12 years. I once was combing a young girl's hair that had just got her cartilage pierced a few days prior."

"Sure enough I snag it with the comb and rip the barbell straight through her ear. I went physically weak at the knees and cried a bit. It bled a ton. But she was (and is) the kindest client I've ever had."

"She refused to not pay me, and never told any of her family, whom are my clients as well, what happened. Still cringe at this moment to this day."

-- CookPizzaBi***

Roaches Don't Discern 

"I worked at a prestigious salon in an affluent neighborhood of Atlanta. While I was shampooing a clients hair, a roach fell from the open rafter ceiling right into the the shampoo bowl. I had to finish washing her hair without freaking out as to not cause a scene."

"I was not graceful about it by any means, but I managed to keep the client from finding out about it. When we were done, I tried to contain the demon roach by covering it with a towel and ran to the back to get the salon assistant/maintenance man to take care of the problem. Good times."

-- AlliWal0506

Before the Glue Dries

"A hairdresser I know related the story of doing a 'blue rinse set' woman hair. While she was pulling the hair back she saw this obscenely large pinky white area opening up before her eyes."

"The woman's recent facelift glue line had given away. The client was completely oblivious. Much consternation from the staff followed, though handled well enough to keep the customer."

"Not something I would ever want to face."

-- Cremasterau


"I've been cutting a baby's hair and accidentally cut a little wound in its ear because it was moving too much."

"As soon as I realized I had a pretty weird staring contest with the baby and imagined in my head that it will start screaming any moment."

"But it didn't, we were just staring at each other for like a half minute that felt like eternity and after that I continued with the haircut."

-- halbmondkatze

Tougher Cleanup Than the Usual Sweeping...

"My mom is a mostly retired hairdresser, but there are a handful of customers she still keeps because they have been coming to her for nearly 50 years. These ladies are getting pretty old and often have health problems."

"One lady had her colostomy bag busy open in the middle of getting her hair styled, so literally 'oh sh**.'"

-- heimdahl81

Under His Wing

"I was a hairstylist for 17 years. In the mid 90's, 2 brothers walk in. One about 17 or so, the other about 10. 17 yr old leaves. My friend gets the 10 yr old."

"Asks him what he wants. A Mohawk he says. Mohawk? Are you sure?? Yes, yes says the kid. And he gets a mohawk."

"17 yr old brother comes back and is visibly confused seeing his brother with a mohawk. WHY did you get a mohawk? He asks. Little brother says, i ASKED for a mohawk and got this!"

"The older brother says, NOOOO, you were supposed to ask for a BOWLCUT !! So the younger one forgot to say the right name, and got a completely different haircut. Ofc this was when bowlcuts were popular."

-- crkachkake

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Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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