The price of convenience

I don’t go to the drycleaner very often. This is because I don’t usually buy clothes that need drycleaning – although if by chance I do, I generally wash them myself by hand with very mild soap. (I’m just that cheap, you see.) It’s when I have to iron them – and they always need ironing after I’ve had at them – that I realize that this is the part that I really can’t do well. I mean, I can iron, but not well enough that my drycleanable garments look like they’ve actually been drycleaned professionally and not just stuffed under my mattress with a Febreeze sheet for a week.

There is a drycleaner across the street from me. When they opened up, I thought, “How convenient! A drycleaner right across the street!”

They have been there for four years now. I have been there only three times. But it is convenient.

However, it doesn’t appear that they actually have any drycleaning equipment on the premises. Oh, there’s a counter and a till and racks of freshly cleaned clothes. But that smell is missing. So is the steamy atmosphere that should be wafting from the back where the drycleaning equipment should be. Also, they don’t do same-day service. Or even next-day service. This also leads me to conclude that clothing brought in to them is actually taken elsewhere for cleaning. Not that this matters to someone who has only been there three times in the past four years, though.

I brought in a dress last week. It’s a black, filmy, pseudo-sexy party dress that I wear maybe once a year and that I have owned for about five years. I wore it to Porsche Guy’s work Christmas party several weeks ago, and since I fell off the dance floor in it, I thought I should finally get it cleaned.

The elderly guy at the counter didn’t speak English very well, but we managed to communicate reasonably well, I thought. He told me the dress would be ready in two days. I asked him about how much it would cost me.

“Oh – eight dollars,” he replied. “Yes, eight dollars.”

He seemed fairly confident of this, so I thanked him, pocketed the ticket, and headed out the door.

When I went back two days later to retrieve the dress, the same gentleman was there. He had a little trouble locating the dress, but finally did.

“That is fifteen dollars,” he informed me with a smile.

And that is almost twice what you told me two days ago! I wanted to shout. Do the words “eight” and “fifteen” sound anything alike in English or in any other language? Is this a language problem or are you just trying to rip me off?

But I gave him the benefit of the doubt, paid, and went home with my clean dress.

And glutton for punishment that I am, today I went back with a pair of dress pants that needed drycleaning. The same man was behind the counter (you’d think he worked there or something). I asked him how much it would cost me this time. “Five dollars,” he replied. “And it will be ready in four days.”

Ha. We’ll see. I’m expecting to pay at least eight.


6 responses to “The price of convenience

  1. Why would you accept that? Almost double! Best investment I ever made was a clothing steamer. All those things I can’t iron really well, I take the steamer to. I haven’t been to a drycleaner in decades.

  2. quackattack – I’m with you – normally. I just bought the dress and pants because I loved them (and I needed something dressy at the time) and the drycleaning part was kind-of overlooked.

    VioletSky – That would work better, wouldn’t it?

    Nora – But it’s the convenience of just popping across the street! I’ve also only ever been there three times, so I’m really not spending a huge chunk of my budget there regularly.

  3. I think you should go to a different dry cleaner’s.

  4. I used to work at a dry cleaners. It was horribly hot and stuffy. I actually passed out a few times from the steam.

    But, maybe you should get him to write down the amount on your ticket?

  5. I purposely will not purchase any clothing that requires drycleaning OR ironing. Yuck!