Before Search Engines, There Were Beauty Shops

Search engines are a great method of accessing information.  Just “google it” has become the “go to” way to find information on an infinite range of knowledge.  But before Google, Yahoo and all the rest, there was the beauty shop.

Case in point.  More than 30 years ago, before the broad availability of search engines, my wife and I were advised of a substantial increase in the property tax assessment on our home.  I thought it was excessive, but working full time, with considerable travel, this was not something I would be able to deal with.  Accordingly, I decided that the best strategy was to enlist the assistance of my wife.

Unfortunately, while very capable in many areas, dealing with investments and property tax assessments, were not high on her list.  I suggested that if she would be willing to take on this project, the place to get help might prove to be her beauty shop.

That proved to be an incredibly successful strategy.  She got a tremendous amount of excellent advice, a lot of sympathy, assistance in working through the process, and a clear explanation of what to do and how to do it.  At the appointed time, she presented her case to the appropriate review board, and obtained a significant reduction in the proposed increase in our assessed value.

More recently, I became concerned about the welfare of an elder neighbor, but did not want to be intrusive.  Knowing that she customarily went to the same beauty shop as my daughter, I asked her to check there.  My neighbor had fallen and hurt herself, but the people at the beauty shop were fully informed and assured us that everything was under control.

Even today, despite all of the benefits of the internet, don’t underestimate the beauty shop.  Siri doesn’t know everything.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA®