The Jennifer Chronicles - Volume V
April 11, 2010Auld Lang Syne, Part II
The next morning I stepped into Rain or Shine Cleaners. I was met with the evil eye by the owner, Mr. Singh. Mr. Singh came from a country I'd never heard of, spoke with an accent I couldn't quite decipher, and harassed me constantly over my choice of fabrics. Namely, that I didn't purchase enough clothing requiring dry cleaning. And why did I take this abuse? Location, location, location. The dry cleaner was on my way to work.
If I had been living at home I would've complained to my mother or Carrie. My mother would've said, "Joanie, he doesn't sound very nice. How do you know he won't ruin your clothing?" My mother was convinced personality was everything. Carrie would've said, "Screw him Joans, tell him he's lucky he has your business." They didn't say it because I didn't tell them. Long distance, it seemed lost in translation. Besides, I'm a thirty year old adult, supposedly. I didn't need my mommy to handle a belligerent dry cleaner, did I?
I heaped my clothes on the counter. Singh gave me the quarter nod and counted out the pants.
"Only four," he said.
Then he mumbled something. I managed to decipher the words, "What do you do? Wear over?"
I bit my lip. I'm privy to information about million dollar business deals and I'm being bullied by my dry cleaner. Unbelievable.
"I have other clothes," I finally said, in my strongest 'I am woman hear me roar' voice.
He rolled his eyes. "Phone number," he said.
"You know my number. I come here all the time."
He gave me an 'I have all day' look.
I gave him my number. "I need these by Wednesday."
"Thursday, best I can do."
I had a mental scream. Is there any other working woman in these United States whose apparel status is dictated by their dry cleaner!! I think not.
"I need them by Wednesday."
"But I need them by Wednesday."
"Wear other clothes."
My shoulders sagged. "Fine. Thursday," I said. Note to self: find remedial training course on How to Handle Difficult People. Request addendum to course to address dry cleaning professionals.
He gave me a half smile as he handed me my ticket. "Thursday."
I sighed. He charged twelve dollars for a pair of pants. Dry cleaning perfection wasn't cheap.
As I turned to leave, I caught him giving me the once over, checking out my outfit. He shook his head as he took in my freshly washed slacks. "Sixty percent polyester, forty percent rayon," he said, his lip curling. "Garbage in six months."
Everybody's a critic.
Next Week: Auld Lang Syne, Part III