Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pause for interlude

Growing up I never really put too much thought into my future. Even though pretty much middle school and high school is a constant prep for the after, I never seriously considered what I was going to do, be, live, etc. I just rolled with the punches.

You see, I have this gift for selective thought and memory. Some things just go right by me. A little bit clueless I am. Maybe. Or a master of denial.

I blame my parents a bit. But only a little bit. I think I just have a problem thinking ahead long term. Next week? Planned, hour by hour. September? Consider it booked. January? Nope. Not even on my radar. So how could what I would be doing at 20 be important to a 13 year old? I mean, really. Outside of my day to day schedule at that time existed sleep. I had basketball, softball, cheerleading, long winded phone conversations with my BFF. But where to go to school, what to study, and to what end? No idea. And I didn't care.

Now maybe if I had cared I would be successful ________ now.

But one thing that I took for granted was that I would be at home with my children. (Cause for some reason marrying and having children was always an assumed thing for me...maybe I should check myself into therapy to discuss that with someone).

However, due to the economy, poor (aka, fun) choices in my 20s, and a strong work ethic, I am not home full time with my child. Nor have time to clean my house or do other 1950s housewife duties. After some thought and creative budgeting I decided to get outside help to clean. Because when I come home after work, I don't want to scrub the tub, I want to play with my child. But the tub must be cleaned somehow, and the spiders living in the corners of the bathroom don't seem to be pitching in.

So we hired a cleaner. I was excited. For a reasonable price, these people would come in and scrub my floors, do the windows, and organize my bureau top. I interviewed--in person--the company and chose them because they were nice and affordable. They were a Brazilian couple who, despite making a disparaging remark about my age and my single child status (they were proud grandparents 3 times over at 42), seemed promising. However, she barely spoke English. Not a problem, he promised. He was fluent.

Hubby was a bit more nervous as he had never had a cleaning service before. My mother had at times during my teenage years hired cleaning people in, much for the same reasons I was looking for someone. Except by that time she wasn't looking to play with us as much as she didn't want to hound us to clean anymore. Or clean after working the night shift at the nursing home and then wake up to make it to whatever sporting event, theater performance, or awards ceremony we had. My sisters and I had been more pliable as preteens in her bribes to make us clean the house than when we were in high school. Because by then the promise of pizza no longer carried much weight when we could jump in our cars and get the pizza ourselves.

On Tuesday, the day of the first cleaning, I sent many reassuring emails to husband about the cleaning company. Yes, I had checked references. Yes, I trusted them. No, we really don't have much worth stealing. Yes, I told them about our cats.

Arriving home Tuesday I was excited. We walked in and the back porch was clean. Floor washed, furniture spaced properly. Kitchen was immaculate. The house smelled clean. Like it never had before, despite my investment in every single brand of plug in air freshener.

I felt satisfaction. I could sit. Play with the kid. Maybe, just maybe, even make dinner.

Then it happened.

Husband came out of the bedroom with a frown.

"They broke the shower door."

Our brand new glass shower. I ran in, expecting to see shards of glass and quite possibly blood from some poor cleaner on our new tile.

Really, that may have been preferable. Not the blood, but a big break. But it was a piece of the bottom roller on the shower. It helped keep the two glass doors together and sealed the bottom. Probably a $2 part really. But, it was broken.


No note or explanation left. The piece had been tossed into the center of the shower. We couldn't even figure out how it had snapped off.

The next day the agency called to see how we liked the cleaning.

"Not bad, but we would like to know what happened to the shower door," I calmly said.

"What do you mean? You like job?"

"The shower door is broken, what happened?" I remain calm.

"I don't know what you are talking about. Something broken? These things happen. Maybe it was already broken," he said.

Sigh. Great. Not only does he claim to not know what happen, but then goes the whole, not us route?

"It's a brand new shower. It wasn't broken before today. Your company broke it. We're not angry, but we need to know what happened. And we also need to know why you don't know about it, and why a note or something wasn't left."

Guess what happens? His phone begins to go in and out, his English is suddenly "not so good," and he wants to schedule the next appointment. I told him that he can call me back when he knows what happened and then we can talk about our next cleaning.

I could almost hear the phone being moved to and from his mouth when it started to go in and out. Not good.

Until then, we are back to cleaning ourselves. At least we have a base clean to work from.

Maybe I can start training the spiders.


Elle33 said...

Aughh! That is so incredibly frustrating. I have so many mixed feelings about cleaning services. My broken antique cup, the broken mirror, my shoes placed neatly atop my pillows on my bed (culture???) not to mention "cleaning" before they cleaned...but that was due to my own insanity. I think you have a good rapport with the spiders, you always have, and maybe you CAN work something out...

Nancy said...

Wow... this sounds like the story of my life. How frustrating. I've often considered bringing someone in because of the fact that Kris and I both work way too much to worry about cleaning. But with the dogs it's damn near impossible. And after reading this, I could see something like that happening and driving me up a wall. Hopefully you'll get to the bottom of it (I think I know you won't, though).

Claire said...

Ordered the broken shower piece through the manufacturer at no cost! :) Gonna give them another shot IF they call with an explanation. Otherwise there is a woman who charges less that I will try. At least the house is clean! :)

Nancy said...

Jenny and I decided that your trained spiders need to come by my place and put away the laundry. Just point them westward :)

Claire said...

Had to fire the cleaners after giving them a second chance. They left my back door wide open. As in not just unlocked, but wide open. My two cats escaped. Fired!