Thursday, July 17, 2014

Time to clean up our act

Smear campaign
After trying to keep up with post
construction dust and dirt, it has
become highly apparent that we
both hate cleaning. Now don't get
me wrong, we adore organization,
cleanliness, and having all things
in their proper place. Yet the fact
and act of managing the filth only
confirms that we are not the men
for the job. This house is HUGE
and while both of us boys are neat
nicks, neither wants to spend his
retirement mopping up man muck.
Limited quantities
For most of my life I've heard ladies
of a certain ilk bemoan the fact that
"one can't find decent help." When
it comes to allowing somebody to
come into your house, service gets
quite personal. Layer on top of that
the disparity between where we've
come from and where we are now.
Our humble home is an anomaly as
compared to the majority here in
Lewistown, Montana. The things
that we use everyday and take for
granted are actually quite precious.
Secret ingredient
When we lived in big cities, I never
worried. During our tenure in Dallas,
I never repeat never met our cleaning
people. The concierge arranged for it
all to happen and voila, once a week
everything was clean. In Manhattan
the same applied. Mysteriously our
home was dusted and vacuumed, our
linens laundered, our dishes washed.
While often not as good as I might
have done, I was willing to put up
with a bit of mediocrity given I didn't
have to get my hands dirty.
Handy man
Sometimes it can get a bit more personal.
In Minneapolis my able right hand Diane
found us a cleaning man on her morning
bus ride. "GG" was a classic Minnesotan.
He arrived with his own equipment and
was unwilling to use anything except his
approved brands. After donning his knee
pads he scrubbed every inch of our home
for four to five hours. His only break out
of this cleaning mania was when he sat
down to nibble on his sack lunch. Proud
of what he did, GG accomplished it with
a "you betcha" attitude. Boy oh boy!
Rough and ready
The predominant home labor pool in
these parts are Hutterite women. They
are a rather stoic and solid collective
who are definitely NOT dainty. Often
they can be a rather rough bunch most
especially when it comes to cleaning
your home. The brave who hire them
are resigned to breakage given it's part
of the deal. Recently a family member
retained a group of "Hutes"to clean up.
The end result was several destroyed
items, a hole in a wall (via broom stick),
and bucket rings on her piano bench.
Handle with care
While we live in the wild west, the
last thing I want is anybody going
wild with my family jewels. We've
asked several friends and neighbors
about their support staff. It's apparent
that most are reticent to share given
nobody wants to over work nor lose
a good one. One friend drives miles
to pick up her "girls." Not only does
she pay them amply, she's indulgent
with tips plus provides beer on the
ride home. Apparently it's worth it.
She states "Now they come back."
Equal opportunity
In the end all we want is somebody we
can truly trust. While not a full time job,
we're willing to commit to part time plus
the benefit of our loyalty and friendship.
Key job requirements include an anal
retentive commitment to keeping things
in their proper place. Add the ability to
polish furniture, silver, and knobs. Must
be able to handle pressing situations.
A willingness to do windows is a plus.
Finally, candidates must be patient and
allow two persnickety old men to spoil
them absolutely rotten! Apply in person.