I often say (and hear from others) “that only happens to you Nicki”. Not in the sad, Charlie Brown kind of way, more in the “are you serious” while laughing kind of way. Last Thursday was no exception. I was leaving one appointment heading to another and caught my scarf in my zipper as I zipped my coat. No big deal right? Wrong!! I was really stuck. I was able to get the scarf out but the zipper was off track at the top and not at the bottom. If the zipper was caught at the bottom I could have stepped out of the coat. If the zipper was caught in the middle I would have had enough room to free myself or pull it over my head. Yep, you guessed it. The zipper was caught up at the top near my neck. It was in too awkward a position for me to do anything – and I didn’t have any tools to do anything with.
Here are the 3 lessons I learned while stuck in my coat:
1. Set The Intention
As I drove in my car I realized the best chance I had to get out of my coat was to find a dry cleaner who offered alterations. Instead of assuming there was no dry cleaner near me I set the intention and located what I was looking for on a street I have driven down hundreds of times. I’m sure it wasn’t a new business. I had never seen this dry cleaners because I didn’t need it before.
2. Ask For Help
Initially I was going to break the zipper and find another coat on winter clearance sale but I could not move it. My quick fix wouldn’t work, so I pull into the dry cleaner’s parking lot with great expectation. Instead of being embarrassed I walk inside and ask the seamstress if she repairs zippers. She tells me that she does but it usually takes a week. I tell her that won’t work because I’m stuck in my coat right now. She gives me that “are you serious” look. I’m surely she is thinking this grown woman can’t get herself out of her coat. She stands and tries to move the zipper with no success. She then asks for help from her coworker. They were both polite and experienced – awesome customer service.
3. Laugh At Yourself
I now have two women, who are five feet tall at best, trying to free me from my coat. They pull out about 4 different pairs of pliers. The seamstress even whips out a razor blade and instructs me to hold my head high so she doesn’t cut my neck. Because I am probably 8 inches taller than them both, the second worker is now standing on the counter. Yes, standing on the counter. I was laughing inside. I really wanted to take out my phone for a selfie but I didn’t want the women to think I was stranger than they already did. I have the habit of always thinking and going, but it was so funny to me that I was able to stop and be present.
After about 8 minutes the two women and their tools freed me. The seamstress took my coat and repaired the zipper in like 3 minutes. They smiled and gave me my broken zipper to keep as a souvenir. I smiled, thanked them and paid extra!
Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible corporate programs.
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