A short while ago, I wrote about the lack of cultural sensitivity from a local retailer. It’s happened again. Rather, it’s still happening, this time at a local Great Clips franchise.


Great Clips has a franchise in my local town (AKA where the sidewalk starts). I usually visit them on Sunday mornings. The staff is friendly and they do a good job cutting my hair at a terrific price. Everything related to the haircut itself is wonderful.

The problem is related to the administrative overhead.

The Problem

I use their online check-in service. I provide my cell number and my name. The service tells me when I should head to their salon to minimize my wait. I’m usually one of the first people in, getting there shortly after 8 AM (yes, on a Sunday!).

When I enter, I usually see my name (Tomas V)  in the first or second place on the digital wait list. I’m greeted by the stylist closest to the door and she proceeds to update my name (as displayed on the wait list) to “Tom V.” This has always happened since I started using this franchise (the only one in town).

Great Clips stylist cutting a mans hair
A Great Clips stylist cutting a man’s hair.

I’d seen this in the past but not paid much attention to it until the last time I was in for a haircut. That time, I was number two in line and had a few minutes to reflect on what had just happened. It didn’t sit well with me.


Cultural sensitivity is not a new concept. It’s acknowledging and appreciating the various cultures and people that make up our community. Its importance has been highlighted recently due to a myriad of incidents that have had a high profile and have been featured on the evening news.

I like to think that I’m expanding people’s cultural horizons a tiny bit by using my actual name, and not an Anglicized nickname. I decided to contact the corporation and ask if there was a reason why my name was getting Anglicized when I visit the store. I sent an email to the point of contact listed on their website. But I’ve not heard back from them (my email was probably “lost in the pile” on a Monday morning).

I need to get my haircut again. Before I cause a scene with the stylist who will be putting scissors to my head, I’d like to know whether the re-naming is a corporate policy, a local policy, or a judgment call by the stylist checking me in.

Great Clips Stylists
Great Clips Stylists

Plan of Action

Beside this post, I shall post a Twitter Tweet to Great Clips asking about this policy (for some reason, Tweets get more responses than emails these days). I hope to get a clarification on their corporate stance on this issue. I shall report what I learn. Worst case scenario, I will ask the stylist. I shall be prepared to use the nickname “Patches” for a few days if needed.

What I DO know, is that There is no H in my name.

(Disclaimer: The photos accompanying this story are taken from the Great Clips website, so they may be removed in the near future)