Hairdressers made to run in underwear as punishment

Angry at the poor performances of his employees, the manager of a hairdressing salon in China decided that humiliation might spur an improvement and forced them to run down the street in only their underpants.

Photos of eight barefoot men jogging along the road in the southern city of Changsha went viral yesterday, prompting renewed online debate about the tough motivational methods employed in China.

Last month a professional trainer was filmed spanking eight bank workers in northern China who underperformed in a training session aimed at “breakthroughs in achievement”. He also shaved some men’s heads and cut off women’s hair, insisting “pain is an effective way to wake up a sleeping spirit”.

The sorry hairdressers at the popular Xiaobang salon had not met their manager’s targets, according to the Beijing Youth Dailynewspaper. The men were reportedly given several choices of punishment, including the sack, and elected to swallow their pride and perform the nighttime, pants-only run.

Their near-streaking aroused plenty of interest in the city and online, where some posters criticised the manager. “We want to become a civilised country ruled by law, then first we must learn how to respect human rights, it does not mean a leader can humiliate others wantonly,” one person posted on the Global Times website.

Other company punishments have included making employees crawl around the streets, kneel on the ground for an hour and kowtow before their bosses.