Do You Settle For Ordinary?
I have always stood up for what I believe in whenever I can and consider myself an individual most of the times. Just because everyone does something a particular way, does not mean I should have to settle for second best. I have always strived to do my best in whatever it is I do, so when I ask something of someone else I usually hold these same standards. However living in Punjab I have found that no one else seems to hold these same standards. Most people are happy to settle for ordinary and will do things just because it is the social norm. The thought crossed my mind when I had a fitting with a local tailor because I was not happy with the way she had stitched my Punjabi Suit. As I stood in the suit she had stitched finding it difficult to breath as it was so tight, my husband translated my concerns to the tailor. My mother in law and her friend also joined in the conversation. As he explained how I wasn't happy with the stitching all three women chuckled in amusement at me. The tailor said to my husband with a smile in her voice, this is how Punjabi women wear their suits it is only your wife who is not happy with it. However she was willing to oblige my concerns although with much amusement.
So what was so wrong with the stitching you probably ask? Apart from the obvious concerns that any woman would have raised like it being too tight after she had my measurements. The stitching along one side of the suit was not straight but rather curved outwards so it did not fit along my body. Yet the other side was straight and sat against my body perfectly. The darts in the bust area didn't sit right, I am no expert but they were either too high or low. So that it appeared that my bust disappeared into my waist. The lining was transparent making my underwear visible when out in the daylight. The hemline on either side of the kurti where the splits start were bulky and therefore not straight. A kurti is essentially a tunic, where the splits start on either side they should fall symmetrically. It would be rather noticeable if it wasn't symmetrical given that is the style of a Punjabi Suit. If you are a professional in what you do shouldn't you aim to provide your best each and every time? I found it frustrating that I had to argue my point across to make them listen. What is worse is the tailor then asks me how I'd like her to do the stitching. If I say it needs more shape to fit my body better without looking frumpy a tailor should know how to achieve this. I do not know the science behind stitching. This seems to be the norm here with a lot of businesses, as this isn't the only occasion. Given that I have sent it back on more than one occasion to have the stitching corrected, the tailor has since quit. Wouldn't it have been best for everyone if she expressed to me at the beginning if she could meet my expectations? Now I have a semi stitched suit cut in the wrong dimensions and am out of pocket for the expense of this.
As I have written previously I had a similar experience with our wedding photographer. Typically you would expect a photographer to be able to take photos with depth of field, changing the aperture and shutter speed to create different moods or even know which angle to take a photo from. Alas our photographer simply took every single photo from below and didn't once change the camera settings. Who needs to when you simply use the auto function on your DSLR camera? When it came to creating a vision for the photos all he could manage was zooming in. There are endless ideas for creative vision if he simply took the time to do some research. If you have a look at all the beautiful Punjabi Wedding photography online you will see what I mean by creativity. You can read the full article here.
There are many everyday tasks that are done a certain way just because this is how they always do it. Such as cutting vegetables in preparation for meals. I have watched my mother in law and relatives cut vegetables by hand many times before. They slice piece by piece individually from the potato. I couldn't understand why as there are more efficient ways, so I asked why do you do it this way? The answer was because this is how we have always done it. When I asked why have you always done it this way, no one had an answer. Simply no one had bothered to question the norm and continued to do it in this manner despite it not being efficient. Majority of people are already time poor so wouldn't it be in their best interest to use a more convenient method. I therefore showed them how to dice a potato by cutting it in half then slicing it into cubes. I had finished one potato in a matter of seconds. Although I had showed them a more efficient method they weren't interested in learning a new technique and continued to do it as they always have. Which is their prerogative, I just am questioning why.
I certainly don't criticize those who are happy with where they're at in life or those who make the best of what little they have. It is those who either profess to be the best or those who are just doing the bare minimum yet they have so much more potential. Is it not human nature to be curious and learn new skills or to strive to be better than you were yesterday? Some might say that I am being a perfectionist although to me I am simply striving for the best or at the very least a version of it. Does it not give you a sense of accomplishment when you achieve more than just the standard. These are questions I find myself thinking each time I encounter people who are seen as the best in their field. Especially if it is your trade or profession. If you don't profess to be the best I won't have expectations. Better yet I would take my business elsewhere.
Do you settle for ordinary?