I have a skirt that’s an awkward length, it’s almost half way between my knees and calves and I’m always tripping in it. In an attempt to support local small businesses where I can, I popped into a small tailor shop to have it altered. I was in a bit of a rush; really I wanted to be in and out. I need to make it to the grocery store before they closed. However, the universe had other plans.
I handed the skirt over and explained my predicament. I suggested he take 2 inches of the bottom that should be fine. At which point I expected him to hand me the receipt and I would be off. But no such luck.
Instead, he responds by saying: “hmm, two is not much. I don’t see that it would make much of a difference.”
“No,” I said. “I’m pretty sure that two inches will be fine.”
He smiles, shakes his head, grabs a measuring tape and makes his way around the counter. He then proceeds to point out the 2cm mark on the tape.
“Oh no,” I quickly say, “not 2 centimetres, two inches.”
“Yes, I know,” he says as he lays my skirt on the table and marks of 2cm.
Perplexed, I reach out and turn the tape over.
“No, no,” he says. “Don’t use that side”
I slowly and clearly say: “Two inches, please.”
I’m beginning to feel like I should not leave my skirt here. Surely, this guy must know the difference between a centimetre and an inch. Surely, he must know that one side of the measuring tape measures inches and the other side measures centimetres. Am I missing something here?
So much for my quick stop at the tailor shop.
“Ok. Ok, mister. Just 5 cm then… Just take 5 cm off.”
“Oh, now you want 5cm? Not 2cm? It looks like you are confused about the length you want.”
It seems there a lot of confusion going on in this shop. I’m confused, mostly because he’s clearly confused.
So, I’m wondering: What criteria should one use when looking for a tailor?
Is the confusion between an inch and a centimetre a deal breaker?
I don’t know how I feel about the tailor not knowing the difference between an inch and a cm. But I don’t want to be rude and like I said, I’m running a bit late. So I take the slip, leave and hope.
It’s alright, I tell myself.
I never really liked that skirt anyway.