Sunday, October 11, 2009

Take me to the cleaners

I paid myself 50 big ones today to clean my house, and what do you think? Not a lick of work out of me yet. Barely adequate help is hard to find. I should have checked my references more closely -- they’re suspect, to say the least. And though not one for idle gossip, I’m also pretty sure I caught you-know-who with her hand in the cookie jar.

Pity. I had hoped that if this panned out, it might start a precedent and improve the quality and quantity of work around here -- such as washing my car, paying my bills, eating my vegetables. But apparently, financial reward is not the only kick in the dustpan I need. Thus far I’m extremely disappointed in the lack of results, and if I don’t see some serious action in the next couple of hours, we’ll have to call this a failed experiment.

Honest effort, that’s all I’m asking; honest work for honest pay. If and when the cleaning does commence, it had better come with elbow grease. O, I know all the tricks. Pushing dustballs behind the couch. Air freshener. Slipcovers. Paint.

It’s hard to do something that doesn’t promise at least a particle of fun. Even the cadaver dogs, who paw their way through some pretty bleak terrain, believe somewhere in there lies a squeaky toy. They’re trained that way. I wasn’t trained that way. I know, hard as I scrub that toilet bowl, no toy, squeaky or otherwise, waits for me. Just time and Tide.

So now I can do nothing but drop some pretty obvious hints. Sigh deeply and write “wash me” on the living room window. I’ll know better next time; next time I hire a housecleaner, it won't be for a sweet smile and ingratiating manner. Experience, that’s what’s needed, someone with experience and an appreciation of unemployment rates and precarious times.

No wonder no one hires English majors these days.

36 comments:

  1. I wasn't sure you were an English major, but I was kind of assuming it. How are we supposed to step away from the "correspondent breeze" on the hilltops and pick up lint? Trade in the Aeolian Harp for a banjo? Wait a minute--that should be a good thing.

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  2. I thought your title was gonna read, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

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  3. I'll never give up my Aeolian Harp, not even for a SuperDeluxe Bissel with pet hair attachments.
    (Thought I could do something with darkling, but got some Windex in my eyes.)

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  4. I've tried that "Hey, I'll pay myself $100" thing and it doesn't work - I suddenly find I don't really need the money. If I could program a time machine to go back to the first woman who decided to clean her cave, I'd finish her off before she could do harm to all the women of the future.

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  5. Cleaningfail? I have an idea, why not spend a few nights at the Bissel house on Orange Grove and Columbia? You could use the $50, plus a few hundred more, but I'm sure the ghosts of Bissel would inspire you.

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  6. Oh I"ve been there. I tried to pay myself to clean and the check bounced. The ONLY cure is having company. I"m having my other wine group in on Thursday afternoon. Trust me, on Wednesday I'll be the white tornado going through this place. Company works best if it's a mother in law, but if that's not in the cards, a crowd of friends will do. I'll check back with you on Wednesday and report my progress. A support group of sorts. That might work......
    ("Hi, my name is Virg, I use to be a cleaning fool and now I"m not worth a damn." )

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  7. I had a vision I would pay myself $75 for giving the house a good cleaning... All went well until three things happened...
    1. The dogs busted in, pulling in all the dust from the back 'yard'.
    2. Husband needed to hook up something behind the TV and he said "NEVER look back here, the dust balls will eat you!"
    3. I won $25 at work for being a good employee.
    Isn't life grand? Cleaning is over-rated for sure.

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  8. I blame all those tv commercials. None of them has ever successfully explained why every surface needs to gleam.

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  9. You all taught me a lesson -- I wasn't paying nearly enough. So one room, that's all I got for the $50.

    Back to poetry and the harp. What rhymes with lint -- tint, glint, hint, skin-flint...

    (Virg, we want a picture of those clean innards by Thursday morn.)

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  10. Well, I'm feeling pretty superior, frankly. I vaccuumed, dusted cleaned the bathrooms and did laundry all weekend. But, to be honest, I've got something that works better than money: Allergies. I think I'm allergic to dust.

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  11. It would be pretty tough to fire yourself. Perhaps a lay-off is in order. Just be sure to give yourself a decent severance package.

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  12. And don't forget to pay your social security and FICA taxes, just in case you ever want to run for mayor of Altadena.

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  13. English majors! The only thing we're good for is not cleaning our houses and watching "Mad Men."

    Which means I'm 2 for 2 today.

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  14. Sure, Marg. But I bet you're not ready to say you feel superior to Petrea.

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  15. Oh dear ~ I find cleaning therapeutic. If anything, I'd be paying myself for the privilege of cleaning for me. And I don't have Margaret's 'allergies' excuse, either.

    I thought Virginia was about to say that her solution was to invite the wine group over then have them do the cleaning when they arrive. Maybe you could try that, Hiker.

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  16. What a shame you live so far away, Shell. Sounds like between a lot of us here, we could offer you continuous therapy.

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  17. I think I'll invite Virginia's wine group over after they've sampled a few. Maybe then they won't notice all the pet hair.

    The thing I hate about cleaning is that you have to keep doing it.

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  18. They don't hire film majors, either. Same problem. But hey, if you ever want to create a documentary about your dustbunnies, just call me.

    (I was an English minor. That explains why I watched Mad Men instead of doing laundry.)

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  19. Oh forget it, the wine group will toss down a few and won't be able to find their reading glasses and well, you don't want any of us to do any heavy cleaning at your place. The more I think about it, if they can't half see, why am I bothering?

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  20. I like cleaning...mostly. I don't really care for cleaning the windows. The world outside is a murky pond color. Okay, not really that bad but I know it will be eventually. Then I'll clean them.

    No, really.

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  21. What rhymes with lint? Spent. As in, both you and your money if you take yourself up on the offer.

    Or, we could hold the next happy hour at your place, and you could test out Virginia's theory. Cleanliness is next to friendliness.

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  22. What an elixir! I awake quite early in the morning and have a first cup of tea. Today, jasmine green from a small tea shop in downtown Pasadena, with a dollop of honey from one of my great Armenian stores in downtown Glendale. I look about the pristine clean manor, complements of the housekeeper for now some 25 years. I am well disciplined in how I prepare the house for her arrival. I clean all dishes, empty all heavy trash, clean the back yard and place the pooches on the side dog run where they will remain until she sets them free at the end of her tasks. I hie me to my computer to organize my day, and peer out the window on the well trimmed and cared for surround for the manor, tended by the grounds keeper of almost 10 years. It takes a lot of discipline and hard work to allow oneself to be managed by the true keepers of the estate. I click the link, www.Altadenahiker.com and know I’m off to a good start. I have a good read. Ah, that I could have been her mentor. What bragging rights!

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  23. Linda Dove,
    I love that sentiment. Cleanliness IS next to friendliness! It's the Southern way you know. I, like most sort of aging Southern belles, love to entertain but what that's all about is the table, the flowers, the "stuff", and of course the food and vin! I'm less concerned about the dust bunnies that none of my friends would get down and search out. I'll share this dirty little Southern Secret...... we always get the dead roaches up before anyone comes in the door!! Oh I can see you all screeching in horror. Well it's a fact of life. We have 'em and we kill 'em with the help of Bengal's Roach Spray or a good BUG MAN! I have one very dear to my heart. I suppose there's a roach support group out there that will take me to task. Bring em on!

    BTW. Ask BSQURED what they call em in south Florida. Palmetto bugs. A nice way of saying a killer roach with WINGS!

    Well I must get back to cleaning now. The girls will be her in 3 days you know!

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  24. Margaret is far superior to me, Cafe. J. and I cleaned out the mud room today, but only because it was so bad Boz refused to go in there.

    We're saving up for a house-keeper. It's our fondest desire, more dear to our hearts than Paris, maybe.

    I majored in Rhetoric. I never got hooked on Mad Men. What is wrong with me?

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  25. Forget English, I want to major in Southern Belle.

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  26. Petrea.
    Darlin, I want you to remember this...good housekeepers come and go but Paris..... oh my ,my, my....lives in your heart forever. Keep saving those euros for that trip. I know I am!
    V

    KB, You're an honorary you know.

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  27. Ah, but one must remember; a squeaky clean can be one's reward.

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  28. Oh I know it, Virginia. That's why I put in the "maybe" and why I visit Eric T. every day with my heart breaking.

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  29. The treat (I mean threat) of company is the only thing that makes me clean... ever consider giving yourself a cleaning stimulus package/ it's done wonders for our economy - bu bumb chhhhhh

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  30. I am laughing over Virg's comment about roaches. It's true. I'm from Texas and I can tell you. Those suckers are the size of military helicopters and you'll always find one turned up on its back in a corner when you go to clean.

    I always wondered how they knew to turn over on their backs when they died.

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  31. You know, I tend to name my bugs, provide them with a split level modern home with all the conveens under the castles of paper piles.

    [katchoo]

    It may be a sty but it's my sty.

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  32. Yeah, those English majors are good for nothing, I tell you. I'd probably make more cleaning houses . . . my latest trick about housework is listening to podcasts on my ipod.

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  33. Even in England, Spanish & Chinese majors are doing better.

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  34. Bec, I like your podcast idea. I'll save up a bunch. We leave the cleaning until company's coming or until we can't stand it, whichever comes first.

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