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Leading on the Edge: Extraordinary Stories and Leadership Insights from The World's Most Extreme Workplace by Rachael Robertson

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Chapter 28      image

Judgement comes with experience

The voluntary activities such as brewing and hydroponics were keeping people engaged and entertained. Haircuts were another area requiring people to pitch in and help out. Back in Hobart six expeditioners attended two hours of pre-departure training at TAFE to become proficient in haircutting. (I'd like to say ‘hairdressing’ but that's drawing a long bow.) And hair became big news — very big news.

Who cut your hair?

Everyone noticed when someone had had a haircut. There wasn't a whole lot else happening. The only things that changed from day to day were hair and food, so everyone noticed both. One day one of the guys walked into the kitchen and someone asked:

‘Who cut your hair, Greg?’

‘JR did,’ Greg responded. ‘Why?’

‘Well … I cut your hair last time. Didn't you like the way I cut it?’

‘Yeah, but JR already had the clippers out, so it was just easy …’

‘Well … you could have asked me. I was right here.’

‘Mate, just leave it, okay? It's just a haircut.’

Only there's no such thing as ‘just a haircut’ in the middle of an Antarctic winter. It's Very. Big. News.

Friday 22nd July

Tension in the air today over haircuts. I'm trying to stay positive and upbeat but it's hard when I feel like I'm caught in the middle all the time.

Found a hairclip in my duffel bag. Didn't know I'd even packed it, a diamanté flower thing. I wore it down for breakfast ...

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