Friday, February 1, 2008

Dirty Cleaners

It was love at first site.

He was handsome. Just my type. He felt good in my arms - soft and warm. Smelled good, too. We were a little out of each other's "preferred" age bracket. But it's OK. He loved me, too! (Sorry, Joe).

$54.00 later (made possible via a birthday gift card from my fabulous cousin Julie), I bolted out of Nordstrom with my new love: a previously unwanted "hoodie."

Who am I to blame? This hoodie was left for dead on the sale rack. But now, he's mine. All mine! Sure, I am 41. Not 100% a skateboarder boy (more like "less than 2%" only because I briefly rode a skateboard in 1976), but I can pull-off the skull-and-cross-bone hoodie with a cap, a day's stubble and frowned-lip, right?


"Skully" and I made our first reveal at a party for Thanksgiving, 2007. We were the perfect match. Boy meets joy. The couple everyone was talking about.

The more I ate, the more Skully forgave. My Thanksgiving pot-belly was cleverly disguised behind two pockets and one bad-ass design! (check it out above, if you don't believe me). Stacy and Clinton would be proud.

We made two public appearances thereafter... one of which happened when we went to the cleaners to drop-off the "undesirables." (a.k.a. the dirties). You're probably asking "Do you usually remember what you're wearing when you go to the cleaners?" Well, um, "Nope." But this day was special because I was wearing my Hoodie.

The Un-Freakin'-Believable Hoodie!

Two weeks later and after many unfulfilled searches-turned panic, I discovered the tragic: "Skully" was officially missing!

I checked and re-checked the clothes-bin. The closets. The trunk of my car. The roof. My Hoodie Love was nowhere to be found.

I stood motionless in front of the closet admiring all the freshly-pressed clothes. I rechecked them again. And again. No Skullie. No way! It was obvious to me the place where we were last separated. The Cleaners. U.S. Cleaners on Greenville Avenue, to be precise.

I did the absolute: I called the cleaners to inquire into the whereabouts of The Hoodie. The dealio went down something like this (please note the customer service guy's real name has been replaced with "Bocefus" to protect the guilty - or at least the one who works for a crooked organization and defends it).

Bocefus re-educated me on their flawless QA Process. You see, there was absolutely no way that The Hoodie could have been lost while in their care because: 1) when clothes were dropped off, they were counted in front of me before I left; 2) recounted again internally at various check-points as the workers personally checked, verified and initialed the quantity so the order was certified complete; and 3) the hi-tech computer system authenticated the quantity of articles.

Sounds flawlessly great, right?


Here's where Bocefus went wrong - I was a customer of U.S. Cleaners for about a year so I'm 100% aware of the process. The real process. Not the one to "speak to" when things go wrong. Clothes were NOT counted in front of me before I left. I'd hand them to Bocefus and he'd print a receipt with NO QUANTITY on it. After I left the store, Bocefus would "do his magic."

Well, this disappearing act had me steamed like a lobster! The kicker was when Bocefus told me that he was sure The Hoodie was at my house or "I left it at a friend's house."

Gee, Bocefus, you must really think you know me well but you really don't know me at 'tall.
  1. I hate people. And therefore I can count my friends on one human hand. None of these fine folks have my Hoodie;

  2. I would NEVER leave The Hoodie "at a friend's house" because: a) um, re-read #1 and b) oh yeah, I don't take my clothes off at people's houses!
I know this for fact because I wore Skully proudly as a shirt - not a jacket. And I don't take my shirts off at people's houses.

I was oh so careful with the thing and had it dry cleaned because it's hems were deconstructed and I wanted only the best for the little guy. This love was going to last the long-haul.

Bocefus, I understand if things get lost, but fess-up to it. It is clear to me that if the thing wasn't lost, it was stolen.

Perhaps Bocefus admired my Hoodie that day when I walked my Rock Star Ass proudly into the store.

As a result, U.S. Cleaners has lost this customer for the rest of his lovelost life! What may seem like a trivial loss was much more than that. My Skully love and I were torn apart.

U.S. Cleaners? You really take the cake. AND the Hoody!

Because of this, you've lost my love and won my hate and my vote and for being "the dirty cleaners!"

This experience is another impeccable example of living my large life stumbling upon consumer victim tragedies almost faster than I can write 'em up!

Ironically, while researching the hoodie details for this post, I was surprised of a few things: 1) The hoodie is still being sold by Fender; 2) Fender's tagline is "Fender Clothing - the ultimate Rock Star Status"... and this was exactly how I felt while wearing The Hoodie; and 3) Per Fender, The Hoodie was cleverly named "SKULLY Argyle Hoodie." It is fate or happenstance that I also coined the name Skully for the little guy?

Inquiring minds may never know!


Nikki said...

I really hope you reordered Skully. I want to meet him.

ActionNeeded said...

freaking cleaners...I have the problem with princes cleaners on lemmon....every button will get broke...then, they say "not responsible for button"...quit breaking them!!!

Web Justice

Patrick said...

OK, folks, looks like I'm going to reorder the hoodie per the votes.

Love CAN be replaced!


WTF said...

Whaaaaat?!!! Can it now?!!!!!

WTF said...

That same cleaners, I believe, "acquired" one of my favorite Eddie Bauer polos!

I used to have that "button problem" at my cleaners in Arlington! OMG! The cleaners are out to get us all!!!

Patrick said...


Based on the votes I reordered the hoody and it came in on Thursday.

It's awesome. My rage is dwindling somewhat... even though I had to pay $35 MORE for the replacement than the original.

Good times!

Will I be taking "Skully 2" to my new cleaners? Stay tuned to find out!

Patrick said...

4.4.08 - VICTIM UPDATE, USA - Amazingly, Skully2 made it back from the new cleaners! Goodbye old dirty cleaners!

Patrick said...

Update: 7/31/08:

So my new cleaners "Faulkners" on Greenville Avenue developed a habit of not having my order ready when promised. It happened for the 3rd time within 6th months.

So the last time I took my comforters in, I asked for a discount since they were over a week late returning my bedding.

So what did they do? They MARKED UP the quoted price then gave me a 10% discount, so I wasn't getting the discount after all.

Now that's classy!

I'm in search of another cleaners, so if you know of one, reach out. And fast! The dirty clothes pileth!