Was getting my haircut today (one of my favorite activities, by the way: just sitting in that chair helps me pretend that “too much hair” is a problem in my life). I had never been attended by the barber cutting my hair, who was a youngish guy (30ish) with a stocky build, sporting a full beard and tattoos.
He was pleasant enough, but the chit chat was having some trouble. I mentioned I worked at UBS, which was just two doors away (with a big sign on top saying “UBS Tower”), and he said he’d never heard of it. Sports talk didn’t go anywhere. He asked me how my day was and I said “can’t be too bad; the Cubs didn’t lose today.” He said “oh is that right? Great.” Mind you, this was December, well into the off-season.
He took over topic selection at that point, and he chose bikes. Motorcycles, specifically, which I know nothing at all about. Not a thing. He told me he’d just purchased a new one, and was all excited to fill me in on the design and technical specs which flew about four miles over my head. He threw in that he was cutting hair to get the bike paid off. Alas! Personal finance! Something I could discuss.
He discussed how he struggled to get the financing, and had to keep shopping around until he found a lender. “Yeah I knew with my credit I might have some trouble getting approved.” He got approved alright: he found a lender willing to loan him what he needed at the astounding rate of… 28%. I honestly didn’t know that was legal. And for the first time in a long time, I was mute on the topic of personal finance.