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The Suit Fitted Twice!

, , , , | Right | August 10, 2021

I am a customer service manager at a dry cleaner. I’m on the register when a guy calls up around 9:20.

Caller: “Can you clean my suit? I just got a call for a job interview tomorrow morning!”

The name on the caller ID is a very Irish-looking name, starting with O’N***, and the phone number doesn’t belong to any existing customer accounts.

Me: “No problem. If you can get it here by 9:45, we’ll have it ready this afternoon.”

Caller: “I’m a ways out, but my GPS says I should be able to get there by ten. Could you still do it?”

Me: “That wouldn’t be a problem. They start the final load of same-day rush orders around ten; I’ll just have them hold off a bit to make sure your suit gets cleaned in time.”

At 9:50, he calls back to say that the traffic is heavier than expected, and he is still about twenty minutes away. I tell him not to worry; we’ll still hold the machines for him. I then tell the plant manager out back that the customer is running a bit late, and she says to let her know as soon as the suit comes in so they can start the load.

At 10:05, a guy comes in with a suit.

Customer: “I have a job interview, and I need my suit done for tonight!”

Me: “Are you the guy who called ahead?”

Customer: “Yes. I’ve never been here before.”

No problem. I create a new customer account, but the name he gives looks Spanish. I don’t notice that the phone number is different, too. I have only spoken to one person on the phone who needed something rushed, but sometimes the caller ID gives the name of the previous person who had that number. I didn’t actually ask for the customer’s name over the phone.

After I make the tickets, I give him his copy and comment:

Me: “Funny thing, the name on the caller ID was O’N***. Must have been the name of the guy who had your number before you.”

Customer: “No, that’s actually my dad’s name.”

This seems a bit odd to me, but I figure maybe he’s adopted or has his mother’s last name.

I tell him to have a nice day, and then I bring the suit to the crew out back and tell them that this is the suit we’ve been waiting on. They start the machines, and I return to the register.

Ten minutes later, a red-headed guy comes rushing in with a suit.

Caller: “Thank you so much for holding the machines. I’m new to the area and didn’t know how bad the traffic got. I really want to make sure I look good for the interview tomorrow!”

My heart sinks.

Me: “Oh, are you Mr. O’N***?” 

Caller: “Yeah, how’d you know?”

Me: “That was the name on the caller ID. I’ll be right back.”

I had to go tell the crew and the plant manager that the real suit we were waiting on just came through the doors. 

It was too late to stop the load to add another suit in. We had to run an extra load to get them cleaned as promised, and it put our schedule back a bit for the day. 

The previous guy probably figured it was a harmless white lie to say he had called in when he hadn’t, or maybe he thought we’d say no if he was honest, since it was past our advertised cut-off time for same-day service. If he had been honest, he still could have gotten his suit cleaned on a rush since we were already holding the machines for someone else. Why he went as far as claiming O’N*** was his dad’s name is completely beyond me.

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