Being A Cleaner – All That Glitters Is Not Gold

As much as I would love to be a full time SAHM, unfortunately our finances wont permit it, so because I didn’t graduate high school, learn any new workforce skills, go to university or even take any short classes, and because I simply don’t have time to do any of those things at this time, I clean the homes of families who can afford my services a couple of times a week to tie up the loose ends.

I actually find cleaning another persons home very therapeutic, especially the first time I go to some ones house to clean. When I get there it is dusty, a little bit untidy and in desperate need of a refresher. The lady who needs her home cleaned often has other things planned for that day, probably for two reasons, the first being they simply don’t want to get in my way, the second being when they come back, their home smells and looks wonderful! When I leave everything is clean, shiny and spotless. I LOVE getting that “Thank you so much, every thing is PERFECT!” Text message or phone call and it inspires me to do more. I will clean inside your cupboards, I will scrub your grout, I will clean your window tracks. I will clean the crap out of your home!! And all because you appreciate the hard work I put into it, that alone makes the sweat which ran down my back and into my bum crack totally worth it!

The fact of the matter is, every now and then I will get a ‘boss lady’ type who seems nice on the initial meeting before the first clean, then when I get there to clean on the first day, I find the bitch switch is on and I think,

“This is not the shit I signed up for!”

One lady in particular comes to mind. She was a full time stock rep for  dental companies. She had two teenage children living at home, one who was drinking a beer when I got there one day and lied about her age when I asked how old she was. Turns out she was 14, and she came with a smart mouth. This home looked like it had already been cleaned when I got there, so there was no challenge, no satisfaction upon leaving her house, and definitely, no “Thank You” note upon my return, only more requests, which I filled diligently due to my perfectionist nature.

One day this woman told me I needed to do a better job on the cleaning, and I am usually very open to this, I like to do a good job and if there is something extra someone would like me to do on my visits I will try to get it done, time permitting. When I asked her if there was anything in particular she would like me to work on she huffed and said “Everything.” That was the day I knew I wasn’t going to do my very best, in fact, at that very moment, as I smiled my widest smile behind gritted teeth and said,

“I will make your house sparkle today Honey!”

I had a mental image of throwing glitter up into the air, in every room of the house, into every corner, onto every surface, onto every carpet and rug and stomping it in, into every wardrobe – but leaving the money on the bench, because I finally just achieved that good ‘satisfaction’ feeling, and that feeling was priceless. This sparkly herpes of the craft world (because once you have it you can’t get rid of it) was going to be the bane of her existence for years to come and as I hid in one of the darkest corners of my mind from this dickhead for a few seconds, I giggled, and then straightened my face and walked away with my cleaning bucket. Her home did not get a spit shine that day, it got a basic clean. But that moment in my mind, while watching with fascination as the sparkly glitter fell I thought,

“This must be what crazy feels like.”

It was a good place to be in that moment.

A couple of weeks later I found a lump in my boob which had to be removed, and while they were at it they would tuck in a bulging hernia on my belly button meaning I wouldn’t be allowed to clean for 6 weeks. She fired me because I told her I wouldn’t be coming in during that time despite her putting in her best effort to persuade me to come in anyway. I’m not usually relieved when someone no longer requires my services, but this time I was.

Since then I have had a couple of ladies be a tad disrespectful, meeting these kinds of people comes with the job, and I have let those clients go because at the end of the day I want to do a good job and assholes are not what I would call an inspiring bunch of people. It is liberating but it also creates a win-win situation for both my client and I. I do love my job, and it will stay that way.