Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Hokey-Pokey Method

Some days are harder than others to be at work. Today is just such a day. The situation is always compounded when a customer wants me to come out from behind my wall to "fit" a suit to them. About 70% of the time I emerge from my Sewing Fortress of Solitude, take a quick look at the suit jacket, and declare it to be too big. At this point the 19-year-old young man looks at me blankly, apparently unsure of what the suggestion "try a size down" implies. Rather than wait for a coherent response, the boy's mother (or the salesman) helpfully tells me that the boy already tried on a size down, but it was too tight. Using the word "tight" informs me that the boy and mother were simply using the wrong method to find the necessary jacket size. Rather than using the correct method (find a jacket that 1. fits well in the shoulders, 2. has sleeves and body long or short enough, and 3. fits well in the body), these customers are using what I call The Hokey-Pokey Method.

Before I explain the Hokey-Pokey Method in all its glory, I feel the need to explain what one should and should not do in a properly-fitting suit jacket. The wearer should looked polished and professional. He should not look like a slope-shouldered Neanderthal. The wearer should be able to bend his arms at the elbow if he needs to gesture. He should not be able to achieve advanced yoga positions. Certain laws of physics prevent these things from being possible. The Hokey-Pokey method takes none of this into consideration. It involves (as its name suggests) a lot of arms going in and out, as well as much flailing of limbs and inhuman contortions.

After the smaller suit jacket is retrieved, the young man puts the jacket on and is given instruction from the mother.

"Stretch your arms out straight in front of you and cross your elbows. Well...that's not too bad. Bend over and touch your toes...No, no. I meant bend backwards and touch your toes. See? It just seems really tight."

It takes a bit of persuasion in my smartest Goddess of Sewing terms, but I can usually get the customer to abandon the Hokey-Pokey method and get a suit that actually fits. All in day's work.


Carrie & Karl said...

This is way too true. It's a good thing you're good at telling the mom that she doesn't know what she's talking about without actually telling her that...

Abbie said...

I swear that half the elders in the mission had hokey pokey suits. They looked like they were swimming in their clothes. Terrible.