Several years ago I worked as a seamstress for a bridal shop. After the other girls made the sale, I would step in and make the alterations. It is amazing how everyone thinks you can take a tuck here and a pinch there and work miracles.
I remember one particular customer. She came in and tried on the dress she'd ordered several months earlier. It fit her perfectly and only the hem needed to be taken up. The problem was she wanted it tighter. This request came on the assumption that tighter would make her look skinnier. We tried to explain how this wouldn't work, but our advice fell on deaf ears. I looked at my boss, silently pleading with her not to make me do this job. I could only predict problems. But the customer is always right.
Several days later she came in for her next fitting. She wasn't happy with the alteration. She insisted on us making it even tighter. Apparently she still didn't think she looked skinny enough. We repeated our original conversation about the problems with making it too tight. But, once again the customer is always right.
The third time she came in, I knew the bride would not be happy with the new look. When she put the dress on, she came close to tears. The fabric across the front of the dress pulled in unattractive horizontal wrinkles and the seams were strained. We could barely get the zipper up. The mother was thrilled, she thought it looked great. The bride started blaming us for wrecking her dress. I reassured her that if she wold come back the next week, we would try one more time. She didn't look like she wanted to trust us, but she agreed. I talked with my boss and told her my plan.
The next time the bride returned and tried it on, the fit was perfect. The fabric hung smooth and the seams were unstressed. She looked in the mirror and beamed. We looked at her and said, "Wow, you must have lost weight. It looks gorgeous on you." The bride and her mother couldn't stop gushing over how great the dress looked. They were amazed at what losing a few pounds would do. I looked at my boss and she winked at me. I had let the sides out to the original measurement and pressed the stitching lines away. But as far as the customer was concerned, we had taken in the sides to make her look skinnier and performed a miracle in making her dress fit her perfectly.
I still chuckle when I think of this satisfied customer. It makes me think of writing and the steps I take to please my "customers". I let them read drafts and make suggestions. I let them read more drafts and make more suggestions. But when it comes down to the final version, it really is up to me to take the suggestions and use or discard them as I see fit. And hopefully when the they get the final copy, they leave satisfied, because the customer is always right.