Sunday, February 14, 2010

Self Employed Housecleaner

That’s the phrase I write on the employment line of forms. In the last year I have filled out many of them to apply for jobs or free medical assistance; then there are always my son’s school forms or the yearly forms to keep him enrolled in state funded health insurance. On tax forms where you have to pick from a list of options I finally settled on the category ‘janitorial services’ though I don’t feel that describes my business. I have called myself 'the maid,' or since I’m rarely on time and have a reputation for free living, 'the delinquent maid.' I’ve been called an angel and 'the white tornado.'

I think of myself as a housecleaner, but when it comes to my job what I really think about is my customers and how happy they make me feel about my work. I never leave a house without being thanked unless of course no one is home, in which case I have the pleasure of looking back, as I gather my things, on the spotless floors and counters, freshly vacuumed carpets and winking dust free furniture.

New customers are fun because I have a chance to transform a home from the baseboards to the trim over doors and windows. Each time I return to a house I can enjoy the progress I made on the previous visit. Usually I am able to finish at least one room in several hours of vacuuming, scrubbing, moving furniture or appliances to go after the dirt trying to hide from my determined fingers. I know in the end I will win, it is just a matter of time and effort. Each little task; the window ledges laden with black or yellow powder, sprinkled with bugs or leaves, the storm windows that must be removed to reach the outer panes of the inside windows, the screen with cobwebs fanning out from an upper corner, the trim, the walls, the baseboards, the floors under the rug, behind the sofa …dirt is everywhere and I am right behind it.

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