Focus: Working: Some People This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   What is with people and dry cleaners? They bring their clothes in and treat themlike living beings. "Take care of these," they say. What do they thinkwe do, take the clothes outside and smack them around for a while?

Somepeople get absolutely furious if a stain doesn't come out, as if it is our faultthey spilled on themselves. True, they did bring it to us to be cleaned, but whatpeople don't understand is that some stains just will not come out. A lot has todo with what the stain is and the type of fabric. If you haven't guessed already,I work at a dry cleaner.

We had one young lady come in who looked a biton the pretentious side. She looked at her cashmere sweater we'd cleaned andstarted complaining that we had spilled something on it; according to her, therewas no way the stain was there when she brought it in. The stain was red wine.Now, where would a teenage girl get red wine, and why would I have it at work, ofall places? We said we would try to get it out, but explained to her aboutinvisible stains that only appear when heat and chemicals are applied. We evenshowed her pamphlets on it, but she refused to believe us and made us clean thesweater again.

We tried our best to get the stain out, but it could not beremoved. When she returned to claim her sweater, she complained to the manager.She threatened to take the matter to the Better Business Bureau. Our manager didnot want to deal with such matters, so the company ended up paying her $200 forthe sweater. You're probably thinking she shouldn't have gotten away with that,but people like her always do. They have that feeling of entitlement and theywill not be "pushed around" whether or not they are atfault.

This type of person seems to flock to my store. Another time, a manwho appeared to be on the upper crust of society complained that we had cleanedhis shirt. Isn't that what dry cleaners are for? He said we had cleaned it thewrong way, simply washing instead of dry cleaning it. To him, the shirt nowseemed a lighter shade of yellow. We explained that we had followed the carelabel on the garment. That was not good enough for him.

We explainedwe could not go against that label unless he had signed a form to release us fromany damage that may result from not following the suggested care. We told him hecould return his shirt and get his money back. He demanded that we pay for it.Our manager looked into the situation, but because we had followed the carelabel, we were not responsible for the damage and did not have to pay for it.This made the man madder than ever. He yelled at my manager using obscenities; weinformed him that he is no longer allowed to bring his business to ourstore.

Unless people like this use their "power of persuasion"for something better than their own benefit, they are not worth the time of day,and certainly not worth mine.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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