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Published July 31, 2011
People you clean for
By Tim Rogers

A Few years ago I cleaned houses with my mom. If you wish to enter this line of work, be aware that your clientele will look like this:

A Brief List of People Who Hire Other People to Clean Their Houses:

-The Busy Professional who's kids are slobs and they need help because without it their house will never, ever be clean. If you have at least one kid, cleaning this house will make you feel better about yourself. The job is great because you can pick some towels off the floor and the customer will leave you a voicemail later, gut-weeping about how their house has never been so clean. It wouldn't be at all surprising to pick up one of their photo albums on a return visit and see your picture hastily patched in over, say, that of a deceased parent. Expect a Christmas gift.

-The Person with so much money that they don't do anything at their house; certainly not cleaning. Often times their house is so large that not enough dirt is tracked in to make anything look dirty.  For these people, a cleaning service is more of a status symbol than a necessity.  Often they will hire a dirtying crew the day before they hire your service. If another person of status arrives, you are expected to be seen once to prove the home-owner's status, remain long enough for the home owner to remark about how "Lincoln got it wrong with the emancipation" and how she'd "never actually hire a colored person unless their color was bought at a tanning salon," then vamoose, using dim underground passages to go between the laundry room and the sideyard.

-The elderly person whose house is perennially spotless because old people don't cause dirt; who hires help to have someone to regale with shocking tabloid headlines. You can expect to be late to whatever you have planned after this house.  

-The Bachelor who is pathetically immature, but whose mom kept his house spotless when he lived at home, so he hires you to clean while he plays video games. He is likely very young and very divorced. Expect to fetch his mail. He may also expect you to dress him, pick up his toys, and scold him.

-The OCD, who probably spent a significant amount of time cleaning before you came, but it's never enough. They have preferred cleaning products for specific purposes, many of which are rare, toxic, and pointless (also included: imported and banned).  They may have a favorite garbage can wash from Brazil called Morte! de Pulmão! or "Lung Death!" If you encounter demands like this: "My daughter pointed out to me that there is some brown stuff inside the drain" and your pen camera indicates that it is rust 6 meters deep in the plumbing, do NOT attempt to explain how your cleaning responsibilities end at the exterior walls, or that you do not do subterranean work.  This will only strengthen their resolve to find outrageously specific things for you to clean. Solution- Tell them you have this awesome stuff called "Brown-Out" and have them watch you dump pink liquid down their sink (It could be just Pepto-Bismol, it really doesn't matter. A "clean" house for people often only means the illusion of clean.) If you fall out with this type, tell them on the way out your last time that you used their toothbrush to clean inside the shower drain.  They will vomit... everywhere. Also good: "I found a dead mouse in your flour bin but I left it there because I figured you put it there intentionally because why else would there be a mouse in the flour bin?" Or if you are in the driveway, loudly speaking your good bye, add, "I sincerely wish you well in finding a cleaning company that can get all the semen out of your husband's ties."

-The Business Peon. They are harangued by superiors all work day, and will pay anything (be it at a restaurant, or taxi service, etc.) to tell people what to do.  If they have kids, some attention will be deflected, but if they are single, woof, look out.  Doubly true if 40+ and female. Infinitely truer if divorced. Either way, you are the singular, flimsy buttress that supports the edifice of their self-esteem. They work at some huge corporation and have an employee number in the sextuple digits (ex. Jean Krupa, Employee #277895- Assistant to the Assistant Manager Of Human Resources for the Division of Subcontracting and On-site Repairs. Employee responsibilities include typing, seething, growing old and fat, and slowly feeling drained by the end of the day.) If they happen to be retired, laid off, or work from home, look out! They will be home and you will be constantly aware of it.

-Lazy People.  There is this one guy we clean for who is in a wheel chair who's house is always messy.  I can understand you not standing up if you didn't have legs, but this guy has legs I can see them! I'm only kidding.  The real lazy people are the kind who order delivery, shout "come in, the doors unlocked" when the food arrives, then strongly suggest that the delivery person "just set it down next to me on the couch here." Although this example comes from a previous job of mine, it explains what congenitally lazy people are like.  It bares mentioning that in the above example, I delivered 8 pints of ice cream to the customer too, and he kindly requested that I leave one with him and, if I didn't mind, could I just put the rest in the freezer? Judging by his complacence, he is undoubtedly used to the Are-you-fucking-serious?! look. 

-Queens.  Most men collect junk made of durable materials like iron, steel, hard plastic, and Kevlar and they are annoying to clean. Many women collect, on tiny shelves high in the air, countless figurines made of insanely fragile materials like balsa, razor-thin glass, paper, miniature ceramic, crystal, and toothpicks. While cleaning, I have broken many of these things, often with immense satisfaction in my heart. I just learned the term "curio closet"... a shelved glass cabinet that exists only to hold useless junk off the ground... a synonym for curios is bric-a-brac, and a synonym for bric-a-brac is bullshit.  But, like women, gay guys will collect junk made of these fragile materials that is also "priceless," "irreplaceable," and "Marilyn Monroe-themed." If you break this crap, and you will, you will be berated, followed by having a crying man on your shoulder, followed by being regrettably fired, and shortly after you'll receive a hand-crafted card in the mail apologizing for the scene, a doilied gossamer insert stating they are sorry things didn't work out between you, and/or a subpoena. (way to go run-on sentence!)

-Yourself. Just kidding. You will never be motivated to clean your own house, but never, over your dead body, hire some idiot to do it. They'd never get the stuff at the end of the plumbing pipes.


There are probably others, but probably not.  That's all of them.

Don't Forget to Check out The Men's Scrapbooking Website for more humor you can handle: TheMensScrapbookingClub.com
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