Author Topic: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?  (Read 4808 times)

Roland of Gilead

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Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« on: December 08, 2017, 08:10:28 AM »
Inevitably when getting a dental cleaning or a haircut I will be asked questions like:

Are you off from work today?

What do you do for work?

Sometimes I feel guilty saying I am retired, especially if the person working on me looks like they are having a long day.

Do you ever make up something, like saying you are between jobs or doing contract work?


mbl

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 08:16:53 AM »
I don't answer personal questions like that.
Often I just say nothing or change the subject.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 08:44:31 AM »
I'd tell them I'm retired.  Being able to say that is one of the things about FIRE that I look forward to the most ;).

surfhb

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 08:55:48 AM »
Of course I do.    They're trying to have an intimate conversation....theyre already in your mouth and hair.     I can never understand why people are so guarded with such mundane and benign details of their lives.   You should be proud!    Besides, I guarantee they really dont give a fuck and will never remember who you are anyway. 

Humans are social creatures....We talk and share information in a unique way.   Its what separates us from every other animal on earth. 

If humans were always this way we would have died off as a species.

Honestly though, you are retired.   Does that mean you just sit all day in the park and feed the birds?    What do you do?    Just discuss that.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 09:01:47 AM by surfhb »

Lady SA

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 09:01:48 AM »
Honestly, I would probably say something like "Actually, I saved so much during my working years that I never have to work again!"

But that's because I like to try to influence people to see that there is an alternative to working until 70 and share MMM concepts with people who it never occurred to. Putting it simply like that is easy for non-MMMers to understand, and I like to think that saying something like that to a dentist or a hairdresser might shock them a bit and maybe ask me questions about the mechanics of FIRE, or maybe they would think critically about their own situation.

The thought of being that one random person who influenced a person to be more financially free is one of the appealing things about sharing your FIRE status.

WerKater

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 09:13:14 AM »
No dentist I ever had asked me any such questions. I think one hairdresser did it at my first visit. But most people understand very quickly that I do not do small talk.

dandarc

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 09:22:54 AM »
I thought there would be more in this thread about flossing.

Zikoris

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 10:22:39 AM »
I thought there would be more in this thread about flossing.

Me too. Also "Hmm, what would you lie about at the hair salon? How often you wash your hair?"

lbmustache

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 10:51:16 AM »
I thought there would be more in this thread about flossing.

Me too. Also "Hmm, what would you lie about at the hair salon? How often you wash your hair?"

"Are you using conditioner regularly?" "When was the last time you cut your hair?" are some questions I get. YES I use conditioner every time :( and no I don't get my hair cut regularly.

Anyway, I consider the questions asked in the OP just random small talk questions - not an invasion of privacy. Do you have the day off from work? "Yes." (not a lie...) "What do you do?" "I'm retired/not employed in the traditional sense/self-employed/taking some time off/etc." I don't think either of those two questions are difficult to answer but what do I know.

bridget

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 12:25:09 PM »
I don't answer personal questions like that.
Often I just say nothing or change the subject.

This seems like a Ron Swanson-level definition of "personal questions." Do you also refuse to tell them if you have kids, or whether you've lived in the area long? How do you engage in small talk if you cannot reveal benign facts about yourself?

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 08:04:53 PM »
I think they are just bored and making small talk, or it is done at the dentist as a technique to relax you.

Sometimes I can tell people are tired and have been working all day standing up and it just feels off to say "yeah, I got up about 11am, had some coffee, rode a bike.   BTW, what day is it?  Tuesday?  Oh, cool."

HipGnosis

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 08:12:22 PM »
I usually don't lie, but I have on occasion.
I just got my haircut on Weds., and the stylist had no trouble accepting that I am retired but did have trouble accepting that I am 60 - I have pretty thick hair and wear it longer than most guys my age (because it is thick).  Though she might have been priming me for a good tip...

When I do lie, I either say I'm an account manager ( a white lie as I manage my investment and credit accounts) or say some version of "with the hours I work, I have to take time to get things done when I can".


cchrissyy

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 08:13:32 PM »
I say "yeah I'm off". no matter what else is going on in life, as far as my workload or my kids or anything else, obviously when I've taken a day for personal appointments I'm off that day.

lizzzi

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 08:28:18 AM »
I don't think a dentist or a hairdresser has ever asked me anything personal--it is pretty much a bit of relevant conversation having to do with the service being provided...and past that, maybe some pleasantly superficial stuff about the weather or the current holiday season. Any brief mention of anything to do with family (like if they've got photos displayed) is always pleasant, positive, non-nosy, and totally superficial.

Dicey

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2017, 08:47:00 AM »
There are a surprising number of awful replies so far. Truly we're not such an elitist bunch here? My dentist and my hairdresser are vibrant members of my community and what I consider my "healthy Dicey" support sysyem. I care about them, because their lives are just as important to them as mine is to me. My dentist is surprisingly frugal and my latest hairdresser is dying to be successful, so we discuss mustachian principles freely. They both know I'm retired and I know a bit about their lives outside work as well. It's social currency and it turns the business transaction into something more meaningful.

Here's the best example I can offer. I was hospitalized in my very early twenties. I went in for a routine-ish cyst removal and it turned out to be an extremely rare cancer. I was hospitalized for a week while everyone tried to figure out what the fuck had just happened. At the time, the hospital was undergoing renovations.Typically they had a separate floor for people having lower extremity surgeries, because of the challenges of moving people who cannot bend their legs. Due to the renos, the logistics of bathing were tricky. There were no readily accessible facilities for hair washing. After a few days, though my body was clean, my long, oily hair was stringy, smelly and gross.

When my hairdresser heard this from a mutual friend/client, she came to visit after work. She got me into a wheelchair, and set out to find somewhere to wash my hair. She found a larger bathroom with a tub, and we balanced me on the toilet lid, bandaged and braced leg in the seat of the wheelchair, my head and hair draped over the edge of the bathtub and under the spout. She gently washed my hair until it was squeaky clean, then lifted me up and blow dried my hair with loving tenderness. She then somehow safely maneuvered me back into the chair and returned a shiny-haired, smiling me to my room.

I was thoroughly dazed and confused at the time of my diagnosis, but I I know with crystal clarity that my recovery began the day my hairdresser, Gail Neill, came to the hospital to wash my hair. That was over thirty five years ago, and remembering this still swells my heart, and moves me to tears with gratitude for her kindness.


Dicey

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2017, 07:43:19 PM »
Thanks for your perspective, Malkynn. Based on your need for "brick wall boundaries", I can understand why you didn't find anything of concern in the previous replies. You've figured out what works for you and you're rocking it. You do you, and I'll do me and that's it, I guess.

SunshineAZ

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2017, 08:44:44 PM »
There are a surprising number of awful replies so far. Truly we're not such an elitist bunch here? My dentist and my hairdresser are vibrant members of my community and what I consider my "healthy Dicey" support sysyem. I care about them, because their lives are just as important to them as mine is to me. My dentist is surprisingly frugal and my latest hairdresser is dying to be successful, so we discuss mustachian principles freely. They both know I'm retired and I know a bit about their lives outside work as well. It's social currency and it turns the business transaction into something more meaningful.

Here's the best example I can offer. I was hospitalized in my very early twenties. I went in for a routine-ish cyst removal and it turned out to be an extremely rare cancer. I was hospitalized for a week while everyone tried to figure out what the fuck had just happened. At the time, the hospital was undergoing renovations.Typically they had a separate floor for people having lower extremity surgeries, because of the challenges of moving people who cannot bend their legs. Due to the renos, the logistics of bathing were tricky. There were no readily accessible facilities for hair washing. After a few days, though my body was clean, my long, oily hair was stringy, smelly and gross.

When my hairdresser heard this from a mutual friend/client, she came to visit after work. She got me into a wheelchair, and set out to find somewhere to wash my hair. She found a larger bathroom with a tub, and we balanced me on the toilet lid, bandaged and braced leg in the seat of the wheelchair, my head and hair draped over the edge of the bathtub and under the spout. She gently washed my hair until it was squeaky clean, then lifted me up and blow dried my hair with loving tenderness. She then somehow safely maneuvered me back into the chair and returned a shiny-haired, smiling me to my room.

I was thoroughly dazed and confused at the time of my diagnosis, but I I know with crystal clarity that my recovery began the day my hairdresser, Gail Neill, came to the hospital to wash my hair. That was over thirty five years ago, and remembering this still swells my heart, and moves me to tears with gratitude for her kindness.

My mom is a hairdresser and has owned her shop since I was a kid.  She has many long term clients and often goes to the hospital or home of sick clients to do their hair or nails.  It helps keep their spirits up and it makes me proud of her.  I grew up knowing a lot of them and they are like family friends.  She should actually retire, she is 69, but her shop is her life and I don't think she will ever voluntarily give it up. 

Shane

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2017, 10:37:12 PM »
Two and a half years ago, right after I quit working, I went in to see my family dentist of over 20 years for a regularly scheduled checkup and cleaning. Since I was no longer covered by my former employer's dental plan, my dentist asked if I had changed jobs. Thinking he probably didn't really care too much about my personal situation but was most likely just wanting to make sure he was going to get paid, I told him I was currently between jobs but that I would gladly pay cash for his services, which he seemed fine with.

When I got the bill I was a little surprised that a checkup and cleaning only cost ~$60. I felt a little guilty, afterwards, though, when I thought about it, because it seemed like maybe my dentist had charged me a below market rate because he felt sorry for me because I was "out of work..."

Six months later when I went back in for my next dental appointment, my dentist seemed really surprised that I still hadn't gone back to work yet and therefore still didn't have dental insurance. Since I like my dentist and have known him for a long time, when he asked me during that second visit how my "job search" was going, I told him the truth, that I wasn't planning on having to go back to working at a regular job - ever. After a moment of somewhat awkward silence, my dentist told me he would love to retire but that he didn't think he would be able to for "a long time." We had what seemed to me to be a really good conversation about FIRE and how it works. We talked about index funds, asset allocation, accessing money in tax advantaged retirement accounts before age 59.5, the ACA, etc.

It felt good to tell my dentist the truth, and when I got the bill for his services, that time, it was $120, so double what he had charged me the last time. It seemed, my guess had been right, and my dentist had undercharged me on the previous visit. Of course, I was totally fine and felt much more honest paying the regular going rate for my dentist's services. He works hard and I didn't want him giving me a discount because he felt sorry for me.

Before I actually FIREd, I sometimes pictured future conversations I would have with random people I'd meet in which I would happily tell them that I was retired and explain all about FIRE if they seemed interested. The reality is a little different from my daydreams, though. Like the OP, I don't always divulge everything to everyone all the time. I pick and choose when and to whom I give out information about my work/retirement status. I wouldn't say that I outright lie to people about it. I just, sometimes, don't tell them the entire truth.

Saying to someone I don't know very well and may never meet again, "We're taking some time off and living from savings." isn't a lie. Sometimes, even if I don't know someone very well, if he seems nice and interested, I'll tell more of the truth and explain that at the rate we are spending money from our investments they should continue growing so that we can, hopefully, increase the amount that we spend each year to account for inflation. Sometimes, if people seem to not understand that explanation, I simplify it and tell them that we are, basically, "living off of the interest" from our savings while allowing the principal to continue growing. Although this isn't technically true, it seems to make more sense to some people than trying to explain about capital gains and dividends, which, for some people, apparently sounds like a foreign language...
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 08:01:12 PM by Shane »

libertarian4321

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2017, 06:17:47 AM »
Inevitably when getting a dental cleaning or a haircut I will be asked questions like:

Are you off from work today?

What do you do for work?

Sometimes I feel guilty saying I am retired, especially if the person working on me looks like they are having a long day.

Do you ever make up something, like saying you are between jobs or doing contract work?

This ain't hard, folks.

If you want them to shut up, just say "I got laid off."  99+% of the time that will shut anyone up.

For the 1% who persist after that, just say you got fired for watching porn on your work computer.

This also works with door to door salesmen who fail to read, or are too witless to comprehend, the "no soliciting" sign on my door. 

However, it doesn't work with even more annoying Jehovah's witnesses, Mormons, Christians, Muslims and other religious nuts who think they can convert "save" me by annoying me at 9 AM on a Tuesday when I'm freakin' trying to work and really don't have time to listen to them rant about their relationship with the imaginary friend God(s) of their choice.

Anon in Alaska

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2017, 06:38:47 AM »
I thought this thread was going to be about responses to the "How often do you floss?" question.

Dicey

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2017, 07:55:07 AM »
I thought this thread was going to be about responses to the "How often do you floss?" question.
You're not alone:

I thought there would be more in this thread about flossing.

katscratch

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2017, 08:36:13 AM »
I'm not big on small talk but I do engage during appointments. I don't lie. There's always a way to change the subject without offense if I don't feel like discussing something in detail.

For the most part I find my providers to be very, very skilled at reading body language and holding a level of conversation appropriate to their client. I think that's just as big a part of their job as their technical skills, really.

Both my dental office and my hair salon offer "quiet" appointments, as well. 

DirtDiva

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2017, 02:03:47 PM »
"No, I didn't cut my own bangs!"

:p

Dicey

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2017, 02:12:02 PM »
"No, I didn't cut my own bangs!"

:p
Oh yeah, that one made me laugh! So, so guilty.

green daisy

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2017, 02:56:25 PM »
Iím a dental hygienist and usually make this kind of small talk with patients.  Most seem to appreciate it and ask me personal questions as well.  I may not remember if Iíve only seen the patient once or twice, but once Iíve seen them for a third appointment, I have it pretty down pat.  There are some people who give off a vibe of not wanting to talk much, and thatís fine.  One of the funniest was a very pretty girl in her early 20s who was awkwardly avoiding my bossís personal questions.  It was very obvious that she was trying to not answer his questions about what she did for a living.  He kept pressing, and she finally admitted to being a stripper.  His face was hilarious.  He tends to be socially clueless sometimes.  Like when he told a pregnant mother of 6 children that she and her husband need a TV in their bedroom! 

Anyway, one of my favorite patients is FIRED.  I always liked him as a patient even before I knew about mustachianism.  He would always ask me to change the channel in the room to a finance station, and dropped hints to me about the importance of saving from a young age.  I was 23 when I started working in the office and am now 38.  Heís one of the most positive and optimistic people Iíve ever met.  You never know who you may have a positive effect on, even your dental hygienist. 

And yes, people lie about their flossing habits.  All the time.  The best is when a new patient tells us they just had their teeth cleaned 6 months ago and we contact their insurance to find out if theyíre eligible for a full set of X-rays, only to find out that they havenít seen a dentist in 8 years! 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 03:00:21 PM by green daisy »

Shane

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2017, 08:25:33 PM »
There are a surprising number of awful replies so far. Truly we're not such an elitist bunch here? My dentist and my hairdresser are vibrant members of my community and what I consider my "healthy Dicey" support sysyem. I care about them, because their lives are just as important to them as mine is to me. My dentist is surprisingly frugal and my latest hairdresser is dying to be successful, so we discuss mustachian principles freely. They both know I'm retired and I know a bit about their lives outside work as well. It's social currency and it turns the business transaction into something more meaningful.

@Dicey, I'm with you! I care about and enjoy interacting with all of the many people I come into contact with every day, from butchers to bakers to cashiers in the grocery store to dentists and the people who cut my hair. IMHO, the world would be a pretty dreary and depressing place if everybody went around with a big chip on his shoulder, getting angry or making sarcastic remarks every time somebody asked him what he does for a living or if she watched the big game last night. People who want to live their lives that way are welcome to, but I sure am glad there are plenty of other people who are friendly to strangers and casual acquaintances, open to casual conversations, and who don't get all irritated if you ask them a simple question.

stashgrower

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2017, 09:04:26 PM »
Dicey, thanks for sharing, that opened my heart :)

I've said I'm working from home. If I don't want to talk, I ask the practitioner questions and hear about their life.

Shane

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2017, 12:43:53 PM »
Sorry, @Malkynn if you took offense. My response to Dicey wasn't directed towards you, specifically. There is definitely something to be said for maintaining professionalism under some circumstances. When I'm speaking with my dentist I always call him Dr. Smith. Once, he told me, "You don't need to call me doctor. Just call me Rich." I just smiled and kept calling him Dr. Smith, and he never brought it up again. I'd be fine with calling my dentist Rich if we met up on the golf course or at a party, but I want the guy reading my x-rays and checking my teeth to be an actual doctor, with a white coat, not my buddy, Rich. :)

Johnez

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2017, 01:22:01 PM »
Guilty? Why would you feel guilty about being a responsible adult who's saved enough to not only not be a burden on society but to be able to retire comfortably? Do you feel bad for alcoholics because you can limit yourself? You being smart doesn't stop the next person in line from figuring out the same thing. Why not spread the message of mustachianism?

HipGnosis

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2017, 05:09:05 PM »
However, it doesn't work with even more annoying Jehovah's witnesses, Mormons, Christians, Muslims and other religious nuts who think they can convert "save" me by annoying me at 9 AM on a Tuesday when I'm freakin' trying to work and really don't have time to listen to them rant about their relationship with the imaginary friend God(s) of their choice.
I heard a comedian years ago that gave such a great answer to this that I still remember it.
You simply say "How interesting!  Come on in and we'll discuss it as we take a bath together."

Dicey

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Re: Do you lie at the dentist or hair salon?
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2017, 05:12:06 PM »
However, it doesn't work with even more annoying Jehovah's witnesses, Mormons, Christians, Muslims and other religious nuts who think they can convert "save" me by annoying me at 9 AM on a Tuesday when I'm freakin' trying to work and really don't have time to listen to them rant about their relationship with the imaginary friend God(s) of their choice.
I heard a comedian years ago that gave such a great answer to this that I still remember it.
You simply say "How interesting!  Come on in and we'll discuss it as we take a bath together."
Love it! I'd be afraid they might take me up on it.