I got a haircut Friday. It’s usually a traumatic event. I’ve never enjoyed going to the barber. I had one barber I loved – her name was Victoria and she worked in a fancy high-end spa-type Manhattan place. She was perfect – she didn’t ask me what I wanted, she just told me what I needed. I had other barbers who were OK – Don and Dale back in my hometown, the team at the Manezh in Moscow, and my current guy, Mike.
Mike does a good haircut. He deals with a lot of overstressed back-office guys like me, since I work in a downtown skyscraper filled with the stress monkeys – Morgan Stanley, Prudential, Deutsche Back, AIG. It’s one of those old-style barbershops where you get a hot shave, get slapped around and leave feeling refreshed – a man among manly men.
But let me tell you – Mike is worried. He’s been working there a long time, and he’s seen the ups and downs of Wall Street. A barber to Wall Street types hears a lot of gas, and frankly passes a lot of gas. That didn’t come out right. He gossips a bit. Mike wants to make sure everyone has a tip.
He wasn’t happy last week. “Times are not looking good,” he told me. “I’m bracing for a rough time.” We commiserated. I mentioned that I work in corporate governance and audit and he snorted. “Best of times and worst of times for you, then, huh?” he said. Then he told me about his position on the market. He thinks it’s time to get out.
Joe Kennedy got out of the stock market right after his shoe shine guy gave him a tip. But here’s my question: when my shoe shine guy – my barber – tells me it’s time to get out, is it time to get back in? I’m thinking it is…
photo credit: Wm Jas