The National : APRIL MAY JUNE 2016
Yes, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! Whenever the drycleaning industry gets portrayed in a bad light, it really bugs me. Some of my American friends have stated that I likely don’t have a sense of humour, or need to get one. For those of you who have met me, you know I love a good laugh as much as the next person, perhaps even more. (Check out my Facebook profile, you’ll likely see examples of what I find humorous posted there.) https://www.facebook.com/darc ymoen We all work hard to step out from under the shadow that popular culture places over us. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of my industry, that I am so passionate about, being portrayed as the butt end of many jokes. Do you think I exaggerate? Check out some of the examples of what I mean. Go ahead and Google: ‘Seinfeld drycleaner youtube’ and up comes a list of links to skits that the stand up comedian Seinfeld made his fortune from by mocking our industry. We have all stood at the front counter addressing the accusations of an irate customer. As a former drycleaner myself, I know all too well that gut sinking feeling when one of your staff call you to the counter to address yet another mislabelled garment that failed in the process of being cleaned. As you well know, it’s not a laughing matter when one of your very best customers is giving you a dressing down over something that is completely and utterly beyond your control. It’s never funny watching your livelihood walk out the door over something you never had a chance of preventing or controlling. And then along comes another shot, this time from an advertising agency. Check out this video: http://www.drycleanersuniversi- ty.com/tinyurl/2s This ad is being broadcast in the UK. Personally, I find it about as accurate a representation of the drycleaning industry as Fosters is of an Australian beer, and just as offensive. Since when is working at a dry cleaner any type of ‘temporary’ job? There is so much to know, from being able to identify a wide range of fabrics and how they react to certain cleaning procedures, to the delicate art of identifying the myriad of stains and stain combinations and which ones have the greatest likelihood of being safely removed. The job of working the counter is much much much more than simply showing up for a shift and taking in and giving back clothes. You have to be part Father Confessor through to Sherlock Holmes with a goodly dash of Sigmund Freud thrown in. And yet this commercial has taken to promoting the idea that it’s a job just about anyone can do, and better yet, there are fringe benefits such as borrowing customer’s clothing. We all know that ‘borrowing’ a customer’s clothing is just plain wrong, and I doubt there is a dry cleaner on the face of this earth that would engage in the practice, let alone condone an employee doing so. Yet, in this video, this employee is taking change of clothes after change of clothes to impress women and their fathers, and more. 24 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER APRIL MAY JUNE 2016 I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! My good friend, the well travelled Darcy Moen (at right) , whose sense of humour and passion for our industry I can vouch for. :) At CleanShow Atlanta with another industry great, Syd Tuchman, and Ellen Tuchman, of Tuchman Training Systems.
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