Melissa Franklin has been cutting hair for 16 years. She trained under 3 master barbers. She’s been cutting hair in Whitefish, Montana for almost 10 years. There’s only one problem – she’s a licensed “cosmetologist,” not a licensed “barber.” Nobody in town cares. The Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists does, though.
When an inspector told Ms. Franklin that she couldn’t display a red, white and blue barbershop pole because she wasn’t a barber, she took his advice and removed the blue stripe. The end, right? Not even close. The inspector returned a year later – with his camera – and brought the evidence to his bosses. As reported in The Missoulian, the Board then sent Ms. Franklin a letter telling her:
Get rid of that pole. And not just that pole out front. The painted pole on the window, too. And the little antique wooden pole on the wall that advertises shave and a haircut 5 cents, tooth pulling 2 cents. And the plastic spray bottles, whose cylindrical bodies are colored to look like poles.
Anything short of that would constitute “unprofessional conduct,” and Franklin could be fined, could even lose her license.
[See why I put this in the "Get A Life!" category?] Ever reasonable, the 16-year “barber” offered to take the state barber’s test. Nope, said the Board. You’ll have to attend the 150-hour barber school! Fortunately for Ms. Franklin, State Senator Verdell Jackson has taken up the cause, and says he won’t stop until that 3-color pole is back up in front of the Clip Joint. You can read more (a fair amount) here.