Bob, the “dry cleaning guy”

Cops are probably (or at least used to be) dry cleaners’ best friends, and maybe not for the reason you are envisioning.  Uniforms have gotten more casual now (a change I personally don’t think is a great “look”), but when Hubby started out as a young uniformed officer the uniforms he wore could be washed and ironed by a devoted wife, but they looked much better (and saved the wife from all that ironing) when they were dry cleaned.  So that means that for almost all of the 36 years that Hubby was a policeman, we were on the “frequent flyer” plan with dry cleaners — first with uniforms, then with suits and dress shirts when he moved up into “plain clothes” jobs.  One of the decisions that regularly had to be made before we both left for work in the morning was who was going to drop off or pick up the dry cleaning.

Ahhh, but when we moved “to town” six and a half years ago, one of the big pluses was that we could be on a dry cleaning route.  What a wonderful service!  The “dry cleaning guy” came by twice a week to pick up the dry cleaning bag hanging on our utility door.  And as long as Hubby was working, it was always there, and full — we definitely made it worth his time to come by.

But things really changed when we retired.  We went from having dry cleaning to be picked up almost every time the guy came by, to only having something for him to pick up once or twice a month!  We fully expected to hear from the company that it just wasn’t any longer worth their time to have us on the pick-up route, but that never happened.  So “Bob” still faithfully pulls into our driveway twice a week to see if we have anything for him, even though we seldom do any more.

But what I’ve never thought about before is that because Bob comes to our house twice a week (and I think he’s been our route driver for most of the 6+ years we’ve been on the route) he is pretty familiar with our house … and apparently notices any changes.

We needed to have our front door and shutters painted, and decided to use that opportunity to change the color from the dark red that was on them when we moved here.

So the painter used one of the shutters on the window next to the utility door to put up samples of five different colors we had selected, so that we could “live” with them for a little while and decide which color we wanted to use.

We chose the middle sample and are happy with our choice.

A few days after the paint job, Hubby and I drove in the driveway and saw a note on the dry cleaning hook.  I said, “Oh oh, I bet the dry cleaner is finally giving up on us and saying that we won’t be on the home delivery route any more.”

But I needn’t have worried.  The note was just our long-time “visitor” Bob, giving us an “atta boy”.

Bob’s note made us smile.

In a world that in many ways becomes more impersonal by the day, there are still people like Bob who will look for opportunities to have a little personal interaction.  And I thank God for them.

18 Responses to Bob, the “dry cleaning guy”

  1. Candy says:

    That’s pretty cute! I really like the way it turned out. Looks really nice!

  2. Sandra says:

    Candy — You gave us good advice though about gray. Even though we didn’t use gray, it did make me look for a green that had a gray tone. And I think that is exactly what was needed. It really toned down the brick so that it doesn’t look nearly as pink as it did with the red shutters. Thanks for your input! 🙂

  3. C. Beth says:

    That is really sweet! Can Bob make it all the way out to my neck of the woods?

  4. Sandra says:

    Beth — I thought Bob’s unexpected note was really sweet too.

    When they finally make Bob kick us off his route, I’ll suggest you to replace us! 🙂

  5. lesley says:

    Hi Sandra,
    Guess what the most relaxing colours are on the eye?
    Green & brown! Why you may ask? well because they are natural, brown trees, green grass etc…we had our lounge done in those colours for years lol actually a bit too long…Baz doesn’t like decorating! I think Bob has a great sense of humour :0)
    I always leave a flower in my friends letter box if they’re out hee hee…if i can’t find a flower they get a dandelion!

  6. Sandra says:

    Okay, Lesley. I’m convinced. I want you and Baz to move here (of course you’ll have to bring adorable Layla with you!) and live in my neighborhood. I know I would enjoy getting to know you (and finding dandelions in my mailbox)! 🙂

  7. As the President of a drycleaning company that operates 25 home pick up and delivery routes this article was music to my ears. I constantly talk about the fact that we dont sell drycleaning we should create relationships. Glad to see that Bob gets it!!

  8. Sandra says:

    Michael — I’m so glad that you enjoyed my story about Bob! He really does “get it”. 🙂

  9. Dee says:

    Love the new look and what a treasure in Bob! Just a thought…maybe let the home office know that he IS a treasure.)

  10. Sandra says:

    Dee — I’m with you on that. After I read the above comment from Michael yesterday afternoon, I immediately made a copy of it and the post and I’ll put it out on the dry cleaning hook for Bob with the suggestion that he pass it on to his boss.

  11. James says:

    I’m in the dry cleaning industry too, and your blog came up under my Google alerts.

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing. I hope customers on our routes have similar stories they too can tell.

    We can always use more “Bobs”

  12. Sandra says:

    James — The best wish I can have for you is that you are blessed with many “Bobs”! Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Bob the dry cleaning guy. says:

    Jim and Sandra,
    I thank you for the very kind words and the thoughtfulness in leaving me the note. I pulled up and thought “Uh oh…a note…better go see what happened.”
    I’m kind of glad that you didn’t see me sitting in your driveway all teary eyed. Having been a man most of my adult life,I am not prone to public displays of “sensitive” emotions.I am no Alan Alda… although I have been known to cry at non-stylized four part harmony versions of The National Anthem, Taps,Amazing Grace done on the pipes and the 1812 Overture (with cannon).
    I cannot wait for a reply from my Sister as I have told her to Google “Bob,the dry cleaning guy.”. Never thought I could be number 1 without committing some nefarious act…
    Thanks again and this pretty much shot a hole in the bucket of humility I have been working so hard to collect.

  14. Sandra says:

    Bob — I’m glad this made you feel good — that was my intent in giving you a copy! Thanks for being our faithful, efficient, interesting “dry cleaning guy”. 🙂

  15. Sandra, thank you so much for your comments on “BOB the dry cleaning guy”. I am very pleased when we get good comments on our employees. It lets us at Peerless Cleaners know they are doing a great job and love the job they are doing. Peerless Cleaners is always striving to be the best in the area in customer service and are appreciated when they go the extra mile. I rewarded Bob for his efforts with a steak dinner for two.

  16. Sandra says:

    Steve — I am so glad that my story inspired you to honor Bob in such a delicious way! 🙂

  17. suz says:

    What are the paint colors? I’m in the middle of choosing paint as well. Sweet story

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