Do Over

Scenario 1: The valued customer enters your dry cleaning establishment to retrieve his Brioni two-piece, double-breasted suit. (Yes, the double-breasted suit is back in style.) He clearly told your customer service representative that the lapels should not be creased; they should instead be rolled. However, the suit inexplicably cleared its way through inspection with the lapels not rolled, but creased…very creased. It’s the type of crease that could slice through a stick of butter. This requires a do-over.

Scenario 2: Another customer is eager to discover if your stain specialists were able to successfully remove a coffee spot on her favorite white blouse from Ann Taylor. Oops, the stain is still clearly visible. The customer wants you to make another attempt at removing that coffee stain. This requires a do-over.

Scenario 3: Perhaps the tailor or seamstress you have on staff was having a bad hair day. The instructions were to shorten the hem of the skirt three inches. Instead of taking off three inches, the tailor inadvertently cuts off two inches. It’s only one inch, but it’s not right. Yes, this also requires a do-over.

We all know that the above mentioned scenarios never occur at your establishment. These types of mishaps only take place at your competitor’s dry cleaning plant. (Wink, wink.)

Although sometimes necessary, a do-over can be somewhat problematic. A do-over is an indicator that the work you did for the customer did not exceed or meet their desired expectations. The customer wasted precious time and expensive gasoline to pick up their garments because the work your staff did was not in the least bit satisfactory. The stain remains on their clothes, the pressing is depressing or the botched attempt at alterations has now escalated into an altercation with your seamstress.

It’s true that a do-over has negative connotations within the garment care industry. A do-over means that you must do the work a second time because the personnel on your team did not get the job done correctly the first time. So, a do-over is in order. If you’re an owner of a dry cleaner, your disdain for do-overs is understandable. Typically the do-over is done for the customer at no extra charge but you are still paying your employees to do the work a second time. If all goes well, the lapels get rolled, the stain comes out and your seamstress/tailor understands the difference between two and three inches (the answer is one inch.) The do-over is hailed as a success, the customer is happy with the results and everyone lives to see another day. Hooray!

Let’s switch gears now and look at the do-over in a different context. Jon Acuff (the New York Times best selling author, well known public speaker, prolific blogger and self-proclaimed aficionado of queso) has written a new book titled Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work and Never Get Stuck (available where books are sold.) I had the distinct privilege of reading an advanced copy of this literary gem before it was released to the general public (Jon Acuff is awesome like that.)

In Do Over Jon is a strong proponent of the Career Savings Account (CSA for short.) He likens it to how a bank account comes in handy in times of a financial crunch. A CSA (Career Savings Account) protects you during a career crunch. He addresses the four types of career crunches: A Career Ceiling, A Career Bump, A Career Jump and A Career Opportunity. Jon explains the four investments we need to make in order to “fund” our CSA: (Relationships + Skills + Character) x Hustle = Career Savings Account. It’s not your typical self-help book that tells you how to become an overnight success, but you can implement strategies that will immediately transform your career and life. Do Over is quite interactive and even has exercises that help challenge your focus and get you moving in the right direction to take the necessary actions to invest in relationships, skills, character and hustle. If you’re the type of owner or manager who has your own version of the Oprah Book Club or strives to improve your personnel by giving team reading assignments, I recommend Do Over for your entire staff (or at least the ones on your team that you care the most for: the customer service rep, the spotter, the tailor/seamstress, etc.)

If you had a job in the not too distant past, currently have a career, or want to someday be gainfully employed, you need to read Do Over. If you’ve ever owned a dry cleaning business, currently own a dry cleaning business, or intend to one day own a dry cleaner and or laundry, you should read Do Over. Jon Acuff possesses a unique blend of inspiration, sage wisdom, insight and self-deprecating humor that makes his latest offering a must read for anyone who truly desires to become a more valued employee or aspires to reach the heights of outstanding business owner. Perhaps you just want to be an all-around better person/human being who generously gives instead of always taking. If that is you, what’s required is Do Over.

About John Leano

John Leano can be reached by e-mail: or Twitter: @JohnLeano or