Life as a cleaner

Haven’t we all done jobs we hated just to pay the bills. Have you not had days when the bank balance was so low that debating whether to sell your body became less of a debate and more a matter of ‘is it up to it?’ Mine I am ashamed to say never was up to it and a life on the streets is something I will never be able to blog about but I can blog the next best thing. I became a cleaner. Oh yes, a cleaner and proud of it and not just any cleaner either. This job had great perks. I could work alone, get paid cash in hand and do more than one job in a day. As time went on I built up my clientele. This was all by word of mouth I am proud to say. Many had their kinky little cleaning obsessions. One did not care if the whole house was filthy as long as the shower door shone. Another was obsessive about cobwebs but her loos were far from whiter than white. I won’t even go into what colour they were but my time spent on the shower door meant there was little time for much else. I don’t mean just cleaning shower door. I had to wash, clean and then polish shower door and with special shower polish.
My week began with my first visit to an elderly lady whom I cleaned for every day. At least the idea was that I would clean every day but most of my time was spent putting her to bed with a calming cup of camomile tea after a heated row with her husband and attempt to prevent her having a heart attach of which she was prone. They were then both in their seventies. Or I would help her choose an outfit for a dinner she was attending that evening. Very little housework happened there. I would leave her and move onto the dreaded yuppie couple. This one had been working out fine. I would let myself in, clean and leave, until one day the husband came home early and my two hours were spent trying to squeeze by him or fight him off in the bedrooms using his children’s soft toys as weapons and pray his wife would not walk in and blame it all one me. I eventually had to give that one up or sleep with the boss (very unappealing). Tuesdays I would clean a weekend home, which was barely ever lived in, and full of spiders and webs and lots of other horrid creepy things. I was always paid weeks in advance and usually removed the cobwebs and spiders as that took most of my time. I hated that job as I hate spiders but take the money and run is my motto and even faster than the spiders if you can. During this time I discovered ironing at home as another way to make some extra money. Again I built up my regulars, some more weird than the next. One would bring all his washing, including underpants and socks. He was very particular about how his underpants were ironed and folded. This I always found very odd as they were faded and had holes in the Y fronts where holes shouldn’t be. He would collect a few days later and stand on my doorstep with a bowl of coins. I felt guilty taking his money but after twenty minutes we managed to get the amount needed although I could barely climb the stairs so weighed down was I with his coins. Often he brought his clothes so damp they stank to high heaven. Then there was my favourite. Well, he would be wouldn’t he seeing as he paid me a fortune by the hour? The first time I went I was a little nervous. He had already advised me he was a naturalist but I figured that meant he walked around naked when alone or with like-minded people of which, I hasten to add I was not. My husband (dum) thought it would be fine as his idea of a naturalist was someone who was into nature, green peace, plants and so on. I did not enlighten him. I would not make anyone suffer my naked body against their will. My first visit was great. He kept on a dressing gown and we chatted as I cleaned. I can do this I thought. The next visit the dressing gown disappeared. Now, I cannot tell you how hard it is not to look at something when you are determined not to. As much as I tried to focus on Henry the Hoover my eyes did wander to my clients John Thomas. I did try, I really did. But I had to look. Oh, dear, I remember thinking he has a lot of tattoo’s. Four visits later and I am cleaning around a naked man like it is the most normal thing in the world, oh god am I really revealing this? I even sat with him to sort out his ebay account, and yes he was naked and no nothing ever happened. I went once a fortnight on a Saturday and sometimes did his ironing. Then I progressed to working for an agency for a short time and this was a real eye opener. Now I did not work alone but had a partner. These were not homes; basically they were shit holes with toilets that stank. The cleaning rules here were, basically, hold your nose, stand back and spray bleach. Toilet done. Lounge was basically throw out the bottles, straighten the furniture and spray with fresh air fragrance and get out as fast as possible. A bit like robbing a bank really, in, do the job and out. The money was good so it was hard to say no. The Kitchen, no I wont even go there, you really will prefer me not to go there.
Eventually I had so many jobs I was racing from one to the other and had so many keys I looked like a jailer. But it was good fun. I played music I liked, worked for myself and had no one bossing me about. But eventually one comes down to earth and husband says having a cleaner for a wife is not cool. I get that. I had my fun!

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