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  1. Junior Member
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    An Economic Lesson at the Barbershop

    If someone has time time to go over this text and check if I chose the right answers... Thanks in advance

    An Economic Lesson at the Barbershop

    By Tripp Strauss

    Tokyo – In Japan, some people play golf on weekends and some form long lines in the Ginza district to watch first-run foreign films. A knowing few go to the barbershop.
    A trip to a Japanese barbershop is an odyssey into the country’s economic miracle, a glimpse at the same attention to detail that has made “Japan Inc.” the envy of the capitalist world. It is more than simply getting a haircut. Customers go to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s frenetic pace. The go to complain about local politics and catch up on the latest neighbourhood scuttlebutt. But most of all, they go to be cranked up high in the barber’s chair, to assume for at least one precious moment – regardless of their walk of life – that honorific stature uniquely revered in Japan: that of okyakusama, or customer.
    So going to the barbershop here is an outing. The object is not to get it over wit as quickly as possible, American-style, but to prolong the treatment and bask in its sensual pleasures.
    No one understands this better than Tanaka-san, who runs a state-of-the-art barbershop up the street from where I live, in the Minami Azabu district. Like much else in Japan, Mr. Tanaka’s shop has only recently gone upscale. Last year, he sold his small, old shop, located a few blocks from the new one, for a cool $15,3 million. With typical Japanese foresight for investing for the long pull, Mr. Tanaka ploughed the proceeds into his spanking new premises. Mr. Tanaka, 54, has been in the barbering business for 38 years. Back in 1950, he charged only 35 yen – not much compared with the 3,200 yen he receives today for a cut and shampoo. At today’s exchange rates, $22 for a haircut might seem expensive, but I think it’s one of the best deals in town.
    You always have to wait in Mr. Tanaka’s shop: He doesn’t take reservations because he doesn’t need to. But when your time comes, Mr. Tanaka directs you to the seat of honour. Soon his wife is feverishly shampooing your hair, massaging your scalp with a special brush. While she scrubs, Mr. Tanaka is busy at the next chair, applying the finishing snips and snaps to another client. This tag-team approach keeps the shop running at full capacity. Mr. Tanaka typically spends about 45 minutes cutting your hair, scrutinizing the symmetry of the sideburns with the utmost care. His cutting skills are superb, but it is in conversation that he truly excels. He knows when to talk, when to listen and when to utter the drawn-out guttural grunt of approval so common in Japanese. These insightful yet subtle dialogues with his clients create the cornerstone of Mr. Tanaka’s thriving business: the repeat customer, every retailer’s dream. For the rare client not “hooked” by pleasant conversation, Mrs. Tanaka’s shaving technique, with a straight-edged razor, is the showstopper. First, she places a hot towel over your face, then wipes your face with moisturizing oil.
    She applies another hot towel to remove the oil and lathers you up with warm shaving cream. Finally, she methodically spends fifteen minutes shaving off every last whisker – including any stray hairs that might have found their way to your forehead or earlobes. The oil and hot-towel procedure is repeated and the reclining customer is gently coaxed into returning to earth.
    Foreign businessmen trying to figure out what makes Japan’s economy so successful might do well to visit a Japanese barbershop. Impeccable service isn’t extra here, it’s included in the price of admission.

    59) An attention to detail has made “Japan Inc.”
    B) a land of many barbershops
    C) a prosperous economic power

    60) In Japanese barbershops, barbers
    A) rush customers out
    B) never talk about politics
    C) talk with customers and work leisurely

    61) Relaxation and sensual pleasure are:
    A) admitted goals of customers
    B) not possible in the busy atmosphere
    C) not appreciated by hurried customers

    62) Because Mr. Tanaka’s shop is so popular,
    A) reservations are required
    B) people wait in line
    C) he is opening another new store

    63) Not only is Mr. Tanaka a good barber, but he is also:
    A) skilled in conversation
    B) an expert in shaving techniques
    C) a local politician
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 12-Jul-2013 at 22:54. Reason: Sorting out formatting

  2. Member
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    Re: An Economic Lesson at the Barbershop

    62) B) people wait in line

    the others are correct

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: An Economic Lesson at the Barbershop

    59A is missing so it's hard to say whether or not C is the correct answer. A might be better. I don't know what happened with the formatting of your post so I have edited it so that it's readable. Please don't "copy and paste" or "cut and paste" - it doesn't work on the forum.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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