Also, I think we can agree the D.C. pants judge has issues. If you hadn't heard, he broke down crying in the courtroom yesterday when discussing the pants for which he has sued his old dry cleaners for $54 million. Now, don't get me wrong. This guy is a tool. This dry cleaning couple run a mom 'n pop operation. They sound like nice old people. They mean well, etc. Occasionally the misplace or outright lose items, but what dry cleaners doesn't from time to time. Easy for me to say, of course, because they haven't lost my stuff.
So to rehash, Judge Pearson originally sued the cleaners for around $65 million, because they lost the pants to his new suit when he needed them most - he planned to wear that suit to a new job. He distrusted them so after that incident even though they found the pants a week later - that he determined, based on an obscure D.C. law, that he was entitled to millions for the inconvenience, because he would have to find a new dry cleaners, and so on and so forth.
He has since amended his suit for the "lower" amount and changed its focus to alleged fraud on the part of the dry cleaners for posting signs in their windows that said "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service." Clearly Judge Pearson was not satisfied. Nor did he get his pants back the same day.
However, while I won't defend Judge Pearson for his outrageous lawsuit, one thing bothers me about the dry cleaner's defense. At a news conference yesterday, one of their attorneys, Chris Manning, said this: "This case is very simple. It's about one sign and the plaintiff's outlandish interpretation."
There was a time in this country where "satisfaction guaranteed" was a badge of honor for the small business person who knew his product or service was great. It was a bragging point. Now, according to this attorney, taking that sign and the "same day service" sign literally is an "outlandish interpretation?"
Have our expectations for good service - or at least promised service - gotten so low?
This strikes me as one of those I-didn't-say-that moments. Remember when Charles Barkley wrote an autobiography a few years ago and had some controversial statement in there? When asked about it, he answered "I was misquoted." They were his words! How do you misquote yourself?
Again, Judge Pearson is a jerk for abusing the system and suing these poor folks over pants that they found (plus they offered to give him a few grand for the hassle). But the cleaners can't be let off the hook either for making shallow promises. Ironically, they've since removed the signs.