CLA Connect Open Forum

Topic: Saggy Pants Syndrome

1.  Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
Edited by Larry Adamski 8 days ago
Guys,

I had a brief discussion with a customer yesterday about the way he was wearing his pants.  As a result of that encounter, I did some research this morning on Saggy Pants Syndrome (SPS).  Here's what I've learned so far.

1.  According to my customer, wearing his outer pants down to his crotch is "an ethnic thing".  I don't buy this explanation since I've seen both black and white males wear their pants this way.

2.  There are actually 2 categories of SPS - wearing one's outer pants low to reveal one's underwear and wearing one's outer pants low to reveal one's pajamas which cover the underwear.  It appears that the latter method complies with local ordinances while the former may not comply.

3.  SPS may have started in the 1960s in the US prison system where an inmate who "claimed" another inmate as his "girlfriend" or "bitch" required that man to wear his pants very low as a symbol of his "ownership" of the girlfriend.  If true, this would indicate that SPS was originally a recognized symbol of enslavement and control over another individual.

4. During my conversation with the customer yesterday, I indicated that I felt SPS showed disrespect to others (including me and my employees as well as other customers).  After my research today, I think SPS shows disrespect for the wearer way more than it shows disrespect for the viewers.

5.  If anyone actually showed up for a job interview wearing saggy pants, I'd cancel the interview just for that reason alone.

While I don't have a big problem with the way my customers dress, I do occasionally have customers arrive in saggy pants or, more often, pajamas.  Frankly, I think both of these groups are doing themselves a great disservice by dressing this way.  However, I'm not the pants police and I don't care how they generally present themselves to others.  I do care about what is going on within my laundromat and I find both SPS and pajama wearing to be somewhat disturbing.

What do you think?  Am I being too controlling?

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Larry Adamski
Muskegon Laundromat
Spring Lake MI
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2.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
Edited by Paulie B 8 days ago
Larry yes...I think you should let your customers be who they are and dress the way they want.
You may not like how some of them dress, but who cares? Who are they hurting?
As long as they are paying customers, don't smell or behave out of line, then they should simply be left alone, imo.

I heard the saggy pants, and the sneakers with no laces came from belts and laces being taken away from prisoners so they couldn't hang themselves in their cells, nor strangle others.

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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3.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
Larry,

I agree with Paulie. I would judge a customer by their actions, not their clothing styles. FYI, the baggy pant style has been out of style for a few years now and you'll see less and less of them in the future. The new pant style is still baggy in the legs but short in length with elastic on the hem. You might just be seeing the last of the holdouts of this droopy style. Pajama pants on the other hand...they might be around for a while. :(

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Richard Heighington
Store owner
Spotless Laundromats
Prince George, B.C. Canada
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4.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
I don't worry about it. If you want to address the Saggy Pants you would also have to address every form of underwear that is being exposed, including bra straps. I don't see any of it as a dispute I want to get involved in.

I had an attendant that seemed to think it would be a good idea to tell a customer to pull up his pants. It didn't go well and the police ended up being called as he was so upset about the situation.

I explained that we are not the fashion police and that she had called it out across the store from behind the counter made it even worse. In the end I had a very upset customer that probably wasn't going to return and I'm sure would be very vocal about his experience to other friends and family.

That employee is no longer an issue.



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Ken Barrett
Washin Oxford Coin Laundry

Ken@washincoinlaundry.com
Pell City AL
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5.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
This whole thread proves that some of us have a bit too much free time.  Where does this end?  Do we police tattoos, other articles of clothing, and hairstyles?  I think not.  As long as a customer is not directly harassing other customers or creating a disturbance then we should leave them alone.  The word curmudgeon comes to mind.  It drives me nuts that people are on their phone all the time, but I keep my thoughts to myself as it is none of my business.  The only time that I speak up is if it's an employee doing it or someone drifting into my lane on the highway (happened this AM).  I recently fired an employee for spending too much time on their cellphone after several warnings.

Live and let live!

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James DeLeo
NY / NJ
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6.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
Here's a few funny cartoons...










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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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7.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
​First laugh for many months, seem this BB too serious already, just something like this is fun, priceless. Keep coming.

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Phu Tran
Store Owner/ Employee
Garland TX
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8.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 7 days ago
Larry:

i read somewhere that SPS did start in prisons but not due to reason listed by you. It was because prisoners were not permitted to use belts for fear of harming other inmates or themselves and their pants were sagging due to this. And they continued this after they exited the prison. It was a demonstration of their having been in prison.

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Pari Khosla
Store Owner/ Employee
Fillmore Laundromat
San Francisco CA
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9.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
Edited by Michael Walsh 8 days ago
Larry & others,

I think along with you there is a consensus here on the saggy pants as long as the incidence does not constitute the description of most "indecent exposure" laws.  We do not have a "no shirt no shoes no service" sign.  While we do not encourage shirtless men ... here again "include that" in our avoiding being too controlling on how our customers appear.  Also t-shirts with obscenities is another one that I think we are tempted to do a confrontation like Larry did.

For the sake of info:  http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2012/08/17/cops-man-attacks-ticket-taker-for-being-kept-off-bus-over-saggy-pants/

Based on an actual specific horrific first hand experience with the specific above attacker ... the former Detroit man very likely would have attacked no matter what.

I do applaud Larry for bringing this up because there has to be a range of behavior as to when we need to put a stop to it!  Such as 2 weeks ago a customer talks in an obscene (f word etc) way very loudly or decides that he wants his own music playing ... oblivious to all the other customers & potential customers coming in & staff.  The music may or may not even include obscene rap.

I remember one time 2 very permissive attitude police officers tried to tell me there was no law against being rude ... even though the person's words & actions definitely were beyond "rude"!!!  Worst yet they made sure the perp heard them telling me that ... which of course emboldened the rascal even more!

I am sorry ... but when citizens rail about dollar coins & other even higher denomination coins making their pants fall down ... the saggy pants crowd image gets in my brain ...  & I have trouble getting rid of that sickening image.  Is it too hard to have a belt ... it is rare that a person would need suspenders like the weight issue people including some media suggest would be necessary.  If I was a smoker ... I am afraid the smoke might start coming out my ears when I am around them much less vote for their "ilk".

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Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
Store Owner/ Employee
King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
Bismarck ND
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10.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
Unattended laundries are made for no shirts or shoes, profanity, sitting on machines, fake service dogs, etc.  Any customer who goes to attended laundries bringing the described us arrogant or disrespectful.  A business owner has an obligation to provide employees with good work environment.


11.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
I have cancelled interviews and fired people for this as well as piercings, cell phone use, drawstring underwear hanging out, pants too tight, etc.
As for customers, if I don't see anything I don't want to see, just give me your money!

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Janet Carson
Store Owner/ Employee
Busy Bubbles LLC
Port Orford OR
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12.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
Edited by Michael Walsh 8 days ago
Larry,

As long as Phu wants more humor ... We all decided that you were way too lenient based on the following:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/sports/tennis/underwear-wimbledon-dress-code.html

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Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
Store Owner/ Employee
King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
Bismarck ND
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13.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 8 days ago
Paulie,

Thanks for the humorous cartoon post.  I laughed and laughed.  I still have to show that to Barb, my wife.

James,

Yes, I probably DO have too much free time on my hands.  That happened when I stopped offering drop off laundry service and focused my attention on my self service only.  Since then, self serve sales have doubled.  So today, I work smarter and not harder which leaves me more time to think about SPS and its effect on my laundromat.

Guys,

I really appreciate all your comments.  I'm still trying to decide if actually eliminating SPS from my laundromat might help grow my sales or not.  I already have a reputation for requiring customers to toe-the-line to a large extent - no sitting on tables, no running, no yelling, no swearing, no insulting, no fighting, no playing with carts, no playing with electric doors, no coloring outside the lines ... okay, I just threw that last one in to see if you're still paying attention.  Anyway, you get the idea - I don't allow too much crap and I think this strict policy is a root cause of the aggressive growth I've experienced over the past 4 years.  With this as a backdrop, I think you can see why I'm even thinking about seriously addressing the SPS issue.

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Larry Adamski
Muskegon Laundromat
Spring Lake MI
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14.  RE: Saggy Pants Syndrome

Posted 6 days ago
I have made comments to customers specifically "I would appreciate if you would pull up your pants young man" and they do.

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KATHY GWIN
Store Owner/ Employee
CHICAGO IL
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