I got off the phone with my brother and he had excitedly informed me of his wedding date. You see, they had been going back and forth on it for a while so I was glad they eventually settled for a date – December 6, 2014. Preparations were in top gear and since I was in Lagos, mummy had to waybill my asoebi material. I picked up my parcel and drove straight to my tailor’s house in Magodo area of Lagos; a section of her father’s beautiful duplex served as her workshop and she had a good number of employees. I had no doubts whatsoever that she would do a great job. After all, she made the lovely maid of honour dress I wore for my big sissy’s wedding sometime in 2013. She had also made several dresses for me afterwards….they all came out lovely and she delivered on time too.
Within minutes, she came out of her office with a beautiful catalogue of styles. I already knew what I wanted….a classy but not so complicated style! She made a quick sketch of my description and it looked perfect. We talked about the price and she willingly dropped a few thousands after a little bargaining. I quickly transferred 75% of the price as down payment. The balance would be paid in three weeks (29th November to be precise) when I’d come to pick up my dress. I proceeded to book my flight for 4th December, applied for 2 days casual leave at the office and went shopping for my shoe and bag to compliment the dress. In the afternoon of 28th November, I buzzed my tailor to remind her that I’d be coming to pick my dress the next day. She read my chat but didn’t reply, I thought nothing of it and carried on with other activities lined up for the day. I tried reaching her on 29th November but her two lines were switched off. I finally got through to her a couple of times but she didn’t pick up.
At this point, I knew something was definitely wrong. So I immediately dressed up and got into my car. Her call came in just as I was driving out of the estate gate; her voice was a bit shaky and she apologised for missing my calls. I told her I was already on my way to her house but she pleaded with me to give her one more day to finish up the weaving. According to her, she was busy trying to fix some bridesmaids’ dresses and they were already in her shop waiting to collect their dresses. Her reason sounded genuine so I believed her. She then promised to send one of her girls to deliver the dress to my office on Monday since I couldn’t pick it up over the weekend. I waited endlessly on Monday but nobody showed up. I kept calling her in-between my busy work schedule but she ignored my calls. I sent tons of messages but she never replied. I thought of dashing out of the office during lunch to get to her place but then the timing was just crazy…I had a couple of projects I needed to deliver before traveling. Tuesday passed and I didn’t hear from this stone-hearted tailor. I sent her messages when I got home that night. I told her I wanted my dress or material in whatever form and I also threatened to storm her father’s house with the police if she failed to produce my material by Wednesday.
I had barely dropped my phone when her reply came in. By this time I was already mad with anger. She went on babbling about how she had finished making my dress and asked one of her girls to iron it and it got burnt; so she spent days trying to get the exact material to replace it. She eventually found the material and has already started making a new dress. She then suggested I travel while she’ll waybill it to Owerri when she’s done.
Jesus! I couldn’t believe my ears! You burnt my dress and you’re acting nonchalant about it? How wicked can one be?
I just burst into tears and dialed my mom’s number.
I didn’t realize when she picked up. She was already fretting on the other end of the phone thinking something terrible had happened to me. Oh well, isn’t this terrible enough?
Mum: Nne o gini? Why are you crying? She asked.
Me: In-between sobs, I managed to respond…mum, the tailor burnt my dress.
She sounded a bit relieved…at least her daughter was not in any form of danger. She asked me to come back with the material so we could look for another tailor back home.
On Wednesday night, the tailor sent her driver to return my material and the deposit I had earlier given her. I travelled to Owerri on Thursday afternoon and mum took me straight to her tailor’s place. I just chose a plain style and by Friday evening, the dress was ready. I manged to wear it on Saturday for the wedding but I was far from being confident in it. She did not even have the courtesy to ask how I was able to pull through knowing fully well that she disappointed me. I later found out that she clinched a contract to dress a certain OAP (on-air personality) during that period. I felt betrayed that she abandoned my dress and my customer loyalty all because of one celebrity. Well, I guess she made her choice. I also got the message loud and clear! That was the last time I ever went to her shop or even referred my friends to her. Some tailors can make you mad but this one surely deserves an award! She made me shed tears!
Abeg share your thoughts; if it were you, what will you do?
Story by: Oluchi Onuekwusi – Instagram: @lulu_ononiwu
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