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kotmj

The suiting thread

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I can't imagine companies removing people with such traits. After, places like Patek Philippe, BMW and such employ thousands of people. Each is fundamentally flawed in all kinds of ways. Yet, the system is such that such people remain gainfully employed. The question is, how does that system look like?

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I have not done any marketing activities in a long time. Instead, I have been growing the organisation from within. Never before has JT been more organised or have this degree of on-premise production. The quality of construction is at an all-time high. 

But today, on my off day, I watched videos on copywriting and came across an interesting tip. To write better copy, write down by hand copy you admire. By writing it out with a pen on paper, you absorb the stylistic quality of that copy. 

I spent the last half hour writing out by hand Rolex's copy. 

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DSC03712.jpg?raw=1

So, originally, on my IG post of the bush jacket, I wrote:

"Safari jacket in Kurabo selvedge denim" 

That was it. Now, after an immersion in Rolex copywriting, I edited it to this:

"A jacket for the rugged outdoors. The Jeremy Tok Safari Jacket in Kurabo selvedge denim softens with age and takes on an individual character. Featuring an inverted box pleat on each pocket and with the addition of gussets on the lower pockets, the jacket becomes a wearable piece of luggage, securely and accessibly stowing tools and valuables close to you. The epaulettes are detachable - the most deluxe execution of this military feature. At the rear, the jacket features an inverted box pleat and a half belt for unrestricted range-of-motion. It is fitted with genuine horn buttons. "

  • Haha 1

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I follow on IG a French tailor by the name of Maison Sirven, named after the founder Florian Sirven, formerly head cutter at Smalto. He works out of a townhouse apartment. He cuts, his wife sews. What a compact arrangement, I thought. He cuts in a very rationalised, very modern system.

This morning, he announced the end of Maison Sirven. He and his wife will join Berluti as employees. He said it just wasn't working out. 

I learnt a lot by observing him. I think he failed because he doesn't understand presentation. 

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IMG-20191201-WA0046.jpg?raw=1

My 8.5' red oak top being sanded by the carpenter. Red oak or white oak does not refer to the colour of the wood, but rather the colour of the flowers of the oak tree. 

I previously ordered a 6' top from him in white oak. That top suddenly made something possible: lay optimisation, i. e. cutting the entire suit (jacket, trousers and vest) to minimize scrap. I would save up to 0.8m of cloth per suit in such a way. It then became obvious that if a 6' top works so well, a longer top would work even better. Moreover, we found ourselves always having to clear the 6' top of patterns in order to do lay optimisation. With a separate, longer surface dedicated to lay optimisation, life is better. 

The previous unit we were in did not have the space for such a long table. The new unit does. 

I do now have a surplus of working surfaces.

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IMG-20191201-WA0047.jpg?raw=1

This is the trestle the carpenter uses to hold up the workpiece. I told him to make me a pair of such trestles to hold up the new worktop. 

I'm amazed by the sophistication of its construction. Do you see it? 

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I believe carpenters call this a 'sawhorse'. The I-beam on top is typical of a good one, and could be removable (but looks nailed-on). Not sure if the tapering of the lower horizontal "I" leg nearer to the camera is intentional or not. But I've never seen those 'A' legs before; tapered at the top. I give up...

Most sawhorses I've seen don't bother with lapped joints, like the ones near the base of the sawhorse.  Whatever the mystery, this is one sturdy sawhorse, if not pretty.

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On 11/25/2019 at 2:09 PM, kotmj said:

So I have this problem with Employee #2. He has a certain problem with "authority". I, too, have a problem with authority, so I totally understand this. He just doesn't communicate with people of "authority". In this case, I am, for obvious reasons, an authority figure. 

I would give him a job, and he will work on it without ever soliciting my feedback during the process. He would even change the specification of the garment to suit himself, like dropping the half belt on a bush jacket, or deleting vents if they inconvenience him. He makes these decisions without ever consulting with me. 

I have made it very clear that he is to show me the result of every step that he makes to the garment. It is his responsibility, I told him, to show me the result of every sewing step. This is because many things require my attention, whereas very few things require his attention. But, this is ignored. He has no problems communicating with peers. 

The question I have is: What is the best approach to managing such people? Do I stop investing in him, and just use him as labour until he quits? This unwillingness to communicate with higher ups is a fatal flaw. I don't see that many workarounds. 

Maybe some of you have experience with such situations. 

i’m curious on this as well. 

think firstly you have to consider whether he’s good enough for you to want to put in effort to change him. even if not, you might encounter another similar personality, would be a good learning point in management either way.

self esteem, lack of communication (both ways) and even how you treat him might be an issue. your communication skills are pretty polished and might deter him from opening up etc, so many reasons one can guess.

instead of being a figure of authority, treat him more like a friend? ie care about why he’s being such as asshole lol, after all you guys will spend a ton of time together.

do you explain your reasons in asking him to do x etc. 

i also find asking a person directly why they act a certain way pretty effective and often overlooked, of course with genuineness.

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He's pretty unevolved. Many unadmirable traits: self centeredness to an uncommon degree, inability to delay gratification, very poor heuristics in dealing with routine life situations, and I think he is looking for the silver bullet to life---the one act that will relieve him from  the drudgery of working for a living. He has a strong disposition to being addicted to substances and transient thrills. 

He has also relevant strengths for the job: he's a born craftsman, and has a very strong interest in tailoring. That interest does not extend to the business of tailoring, or to tailoring operations. It's limited to cutting and sewing only. He couldn't care less about the other stuff happening around him.

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He does what he likes to do because it gives him a thrill. He doesn't do what it takes to succeed. 

Successful people do a huge amount of stuff they loathe. They do it because it's necessary. Without doing the stuff they loathe, they don't get to do the stuff they like. They can do it because they are not selfish, and because they know it leads to good things in the future (delaying gratification). They are "responsible". 

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Today, the co-founder of a Hong Kong tailoring business dropped by to have a chat. He started the business with two other friends about 2 years ago out of interest for good classic clothes. He's a young guy---much younger than me. Here he is:

IMG_20191205_144015.jpg?raw=1

His mother was originally from PJ, but he was born in HK. Here's his watch. This is the FOURTH BB38 to come into the shop. It is a much hensem watch. 

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We talked about our respective businesses for about an hour. It was very engaging. I learnt a lot. He, too. 

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IMG_20191218_160615.jpg?raw=1

With custom saw horses in African sapele wood, which looks remarkably like meranti, only more beautiful and more refined. 

Everyone in the shop seems satisfied with this worktop. 

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It's the same width as the previous table. It's the aspect ratio that makes it look narrower. I was told by a tour guide once that cathedrals use the same effect to appear taller. 

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