Life Tips: Kathy, 66, dry-cleaner


‘You might have a customer for two or three years, and then one day they come in and say, “Can I pay you the day after?” and you never see them again.’



I am emotional, I get upset, but people return to the shop because they need that
‘I am emotional, I get upset, but people return to the shop because they need that’ Photographs: Tom Storr

1. You can’t wear your clothes for months on end and then expect them to be brand new when you go to the dry-cleaner. Most people understand that, but some don’t, and some never will.

2. You might have a customer for two or three years, and then one day they come in and say, “Can I pay you the day after?” and you never see them again.

3. Lots of people just want to chat. Tell me their life stories. I really enjoy that part of the job, it keeps me going. I am emotional, I get upset, but people return to the shop because they need that.

4. Most people are clean, but some have a horrible body odour when they sweat, and dry-cleaning doesn’t remove it. This woman said, “My dress still smells,” and I was forced to answer: “So what – we can’t do anything about that. We are dry-cleaners – and the garment says dry clean only.” She started screaming and I had to call the police.

One 20 year old boy left his jeans and then committed suicide on the railway. I think suicide is a spur of the moment thing
Kathy has run the Moderna Dry Cleaner’s on Queen’s Crescent for over 25 years.

5. Sometimes people put their clothes in and then die. Relatives tell us. One 20 year old boy left his jeans and then committed suicide on the railway. I think suicide is a spur of the moment thing, not something you plan after taking your trousers to be mended. And the ones that plan it – they don’t go ahead with it.

6. If God was fair he’d let us live so many years each, and then take us, not take young children, healthy people. There are people lying in bed for years and years, and they’re still here.

7. I was an innocent little girl before I became a dry-cleaner. I’ve learnt a lot about people dealing with them every day. It really has been my education.

Find Moderna at 70 Queen’s Crescent NW5


Tags:

  • Show Comments

  • VantageNW

    Thanks for this. What a genius idea and a wonderful article.