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A Cleaner In The Middle Of A Soap Opera

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 23, 2023

When I was younger, I didn’t put any effort into finding a job. I wasn’t lazy; I just couldn’t find anything I really wanted to do. 

Rather than letting me sit on my a** waiting for inspiration, my parents found me a little job working a few hours, cleaning for some business contact they had.

It started with a few hours a week. Then, suddenly, after some big argument, one of the other cleaners disappeared and I was asked to work more.

I agreed, and I’m glad I did because a few days later, the cleaner turned back up. She was shouting at the owner, saying something about his wife.

I started “cleaning” around the window to see what was going on.

Cleaner: “I told you. You could have prevented all this.”

Owner: “I’m not going to be blackmailed by you!”

Cleaner: “You could have avoided all this. Now she is going to know. Big mistake.”

The owner’s wife came out.

Wife: “What’s going on? Is this the cleaner you fired?”

Owner: “Yes. Go back inside, please.”

Cleaner: “Yes, go back inside. You don’t want to find out about the other woman. Oops, now you know.”

Wife: “What other woman? What is she saying?”

Owner: “I didn’t want you to find out. It’s my sister; she’s been coming round.”

Cleaner: “Oh, don’t believe him, sweetie. He is full of lies.”

Owner: “She’s been coming round to help sort out your surprise party. Look, we’ve planned everything.” *Hands her his phone* “My sister’s friend is a baker and, well, look.”

Wife: “Oh, darling, it looks amazing. Thank you so much!”

Owner: “I know you didn’t want a fuss, but…”

The three of them stood there. I was surprised the cleaner hadn’t run for it.

Owner: *To the cleaner* “As for you, I’m speaking to the agency tonight. And the police!”

They went back inside. The cleaner looked shocked and didn’t move. I ended up going back to cleaning with her still standing there.

I never found out what happened to the cleaner, but I was offered extra to clean after the party, and judging by the mess, I’m sure that went well!

Bring A Bucket And A Mop For This Weak A** Security

, , , , , | Working | November 1, 2023

Carrying a broom or pushing a mop bucket can get you into a lot of places; people will hold doors and everything. I used to work in secured office buildings as a cleaner, and it was ridiculous the amount of trust and access I had.

I was alone, after hours, in offices so secure that they didn’t have security recordings for fear of someone seeing the data handled there… and people just left files on desks, or left the door to the file room propped open, or forgot to log off their computers.

It was insane what I could have stolen if I was that kind of person. I had to go through a bunch of background checks when I was hired, of course, but everyone has a price for their first time to commit a crime, and I was only getting paid $8.50 an hour, so that price might’ve been lower than I’d like to admit.

Some Magic Words Are… Well… Magic!

, , , , , | Right | October 18, 2023

I’m a self-employed home organizer and get my clients through word of mouth.

I work very hard one day so I can take a week off. I decide to organize this guy’s whole house beyond the day-to-day. I reorganize his closet, and after throwing away trash and doing dishes, I am able to put everything away in the closet neatly. Then, I leave town.

I receive a frantic call while on the road, so I get off the freeway and call my client.

Me: “Hi! What’s up? Do you need me to tell you where I’ve moved something?”

Client: “I… Yes… Where is my stuff? It’s all gone! What happened?!”

He sounds worried. He trusts me and doesn’t want to accuse me, but his stuff has all disappeared.

Me: “Did I forget to tell you I organized the closet? Have you looked in there?”

Client: “I don’t really use the closet, so no. But… where is everything, though?”

Me: “Go look in the closet; I’ll wait on the phone.”

A moment later:

Client: “YOU’RE A WIZARD!”

That had me smiling for a few reasons, including the male-gendered word since I’m a trans man. [Client] rarely sees me in person, so I was happy he remembered.

Over my break, he sent me a few texts saying I was magic.

I had to stop doing this work in part due to a physical disability, and in part due to other time commitments, but I loved how happy it made people.

Divorcing Yourself From Bad Clients

, , , , , , , | Right | October 17, 2023

Back when I was working as an organizer and got work through word of mouth, a community member hired me at minimum wage to help him clear out his basement as he was moving.

He was getting a divorce, and he and his ex-wife were dividing up their belongings. My role turned out to be more of a mediator than an organizer. I had agreed to minimum wage as he was a community member and claimed times were hard. The huge fancy house belied that somewhat, but he was also adamant that we finish quickly so he could be done before his vacation to Fiji.

I helped them over eight hours a day for a couple of days, and my mental health was rapidly declining. One of my other self-employed jobs was actually as a mediator, for the very low price of $60 an hour. However, I would only meet with people for a couple of hours at a time, not like this.

I sent an email.

Me: “Hi. I can’t come in tomorrow unless you pay me $20 an hour. I didn’t expect to be breaking up your arguments all day.”

Client: “How could you do this to me? You know I have a vacation coming up! I can’t do this without you!”

Me: “Then pay me. I’m miserable, and $9 an hour isn’t worth this.”

Client: “You are a terrible person! You can’t do this! This is price gouging! I will never forgive you!”

He said a bunch of awful things attacking my character that I won’t repeat.

Me: “I’ll take pity on you even though you are being mean. If you agree to pay me $25 an hour, I will pretend you didn’t say all that, and I will give you two days of work. If you speak like this to me — or to your ex-wife in front of me — my offer to help you will be rescinded. My helping you is a favor.”

Unsurprisingly, he was very angry and said a lot more mean things. He sent a few nasty emails over the next few days. However, this was just funny to me because I felt so free. I am still happy with my decision fifteen years later.

He wasn’t entitled to me. I was more than generous.

No Amount Of Money Is Worth Helping This Creep

, , , , , , , | Right | October 6, 2023

I was doing house cleaning and life organizing for a… man. He tried to have me snuggle him while on the clock. I quoted a rate three times higher for that, and he complained that he could get a massage from one of those “Oriental girls” for that price, so I should at least make out with him.

I could have just called him a dirty old man.

In any case, he has an in-law unit he wanted to rent out to make passive income. He wanted my help finding a tenant because he only wanted to rent to a single woman in her twenties.

I asked why. I regretted asking because he apparently had a fantasy that he would woo the tenant and they would live happily ever after.

I signed him up for a dating website instead and spent quite a while, on the clock, helping him sound worth dating. I even took a nice picture where he looked cute. He is rotund and balding, with less than ideal hygiene. He sort of looked like a frog normally, but frogs can be cute.

When I returned to work next, he complained that no one had responded.

He was only looking at women under thirty. I set his search parameters to between fifty-five and seventy-five since he was at least in his sixties. 

He complained that older women weren’t attractive. I told him he needed to learn to see their beauty or get really comfortable being alone.

I also suggested that he look in the mirror before going on the website, every time, and then aim for a similar level of attractiveness.

I didn’t keep working for him long after that.