Dry-Cleaning Confidential
Dry-Cleaning Confidential
WHAT YOU LEARN ABOUT PEOPLE WHEN YOUR JOB IS HANDLING THEIR DIRTY LAUNDRY
Brady Langmann

I DON’T REMEMBER if he saw it or smelled it first, but Kyle was for sure gagging. And laughing. Someone had just dropped off a bag at Sam’s Dry Cleaners in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania; paid for a pair of pants to be cleaned; and nearly sprinted outside. Kyle had this huh . . . huh . . . huh laugh, but there was a gag between each huh, and I was laughing at him laughing and gagging. Then he yelled the four words that strike fear into the heart of every dry-cleaning clerk: “Someone shit their pants!”

You learn a lot about people and their relationship with clothes working at a dry cleaner. I was 14 when I started manning the front desk at Sam’s, and it was my first job. Back then, I was partial to band T-shirts, so it was an epiphany when I realized that people cared about clothes—to the extent that they’d rather give a stranger a bag of shit than throw away a pair of pants.

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The Big Black Book - Fall/Winter 2019