Fine garment care can tolerate no shortcuts. Nothing takes just a second.
By: Stu Bloom
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It happens all the time
A high-end boutique recently sold a dress that required shortening, cleaning (the hem was badly soiled from dragging on the floor in their stock room) and hand ironing.
The client was going to wear the dress to an event on a Friday night. We got a call on a Thursday afternoon asking if we could complete the alteration, cleaning and hand ironing by noon on Friday as the dress was scheduled to be delivered to the client on Friday afternoon.
As a courtesy to the boutique (a client that regularly refers their clients to us), we agreed to assist.
We completed the work on schedule. Around noon on the Friday, the boutique’s representative arrived to pick up the dress. After examining the dress, she mentioned that they had forgotten to ask us to add bra strap holders (a thin ribbon with snaps) in the shoulder area. Almost nonchalantly, she added that “it will only take a second.”
About 45 minutes later, the job had been completed. The bra strap holders had been constructed and attached, the dress had been re-ironed and the dress had been re-packaged.
In garment care, nothing takes a second. Everything worth doing right, takes time. Quality work cannot be rushed. If we are not afforded the time to do it right, we are not doing it. @ravefabricare
Nothing worth doing right “takes a second”
Not a week goes by without a client or potential client asking us to perform a task while they wait. That request is often followed by the refrain that “it’ll only take a second.”
Whether it’s removing a stain from a silk blouse, reinforcing buttons on a camelhair jacket, “steaming out” a linen blouse or “pressing” a cotton shirt, the refrain is always that “it’ll only take a second.”
Maybe they believe that the task is as simple as turning on a light switch.
The refrain “it’ll only take a second” suggests that they’re down playing the amount of work involved. Even worse, the refrain suggests that it’s ok to disrupt other scheduled work being undertaken on behalf of other clients and that the requested task ought to be performed at no cost to them.
Whatever the intent, here’s the bottom line: Nothing takes a second.
Fact is, all those simple requests take time. Everything that’s worth doing right, takes time.
Here’s the point: Unlike ordinary cleaners who experience peaks and valleys in the flow of their work throughout the week, we operate at near full capacity on a daily basis. We won’t interrupt our scheduled work on behalf of all our other clients to accommodate requests that will “only take a second.”
If we aren’t afforded the time to do it right, we ain’t doing it. Quality work can’t be rushed. We just won’t short cut our quality standards for anyone.
Because we’d compromise our commitment to extraordinary care. And we’d end up like every ordinary cleaner out there — delivering low priced, fast, mediocre same day or next day service on in-store work and 3 day pickup and delivery service.
But there is one even more important consideration: The request is, at best, dismissive of our time and, at worst, dismissive of the value of our work.
If you don’t value our time and if you don’t value the quality of our work, you ought to consider a dry cleaner other than RAVE FabriCARE as your true quality cleaner of choice.
Photo credit: unsplash.com/Veri Ivanova
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