Interview with the Cleaner

Well, things aren't what they used to be, I can tell you that much, and I've been here twenty-three years.

People work funny hours now. They work from home, they work on the road; it's all modems, mobiles and bullshit. What happened to an honest 9 to 5? I come in around 8 and they're still here, eating donuts, looking nervous, getting their feet in my way.

And if they're working late, they're working. It's been a good five years since I've caught execs getting down and dirty on a desk.

All the sexiness has gone out of the workplace.

You don't even see people photocopying their body parts anymore. Those all-in-one machines put an end to that. They're just not built as sturdy and they're always doing something. I mean, you can hardly hop aboard and xerox your ass when there's a fax coming through at the same time.

Hot-desking was another disappointment. A desk without knick knacks is like a body without a soul. Back in the day, I could look at the little troll doll on top of the monitor or the World's Greatest Golfer coffee mug and think, now there's someone I'd like to know better.

Now I'll tell you what hasn't changed, and that's my job. Have you see any great advances in Hoovers? No you have not. They're still goddamn noisy and cumbersome and they knock the walls around no matter how good you are. And they can give cleaning products all the fancy names in the world but at the end of the day it's the same old some chemical shit in a bulk container that makes my skin tingle.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

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11 thoughts on “Interview with the Cleaner

  1. The cleaning lady at the old place spoke Polish. At 3 am, when we would both leave the building sometimes, a large car would be waiting for her.
    Here, the office is much larger. There is the 6:30PM waste basket picker upper, then the 11:00PM special vacuum cleaner guy , then this other man, who arrives here at around 4am, I think, far too late for me to remember what he actually does…
    As for those above mentioned activities?… After the dot-com bubble burst, entire floors became vacant in buildings in Manhattan… they are the ones where no cleaning persons show up… except…?… Ever noticed that there are so many postcards of Manhattan at night?… This is because some people like to keep their lights on…
    (All just a wild guess, of course.) ; )

  2. Our cleaners come around at least three time during the day to empty our rubbish bins and give the place a little tidy. I’ve never worked in a workplace that suffered excessive compulsive disorder before!

  3. Just to reassure you – I spend most of my time blogging/catching up on other peoples blogs, my desk is indiscernable under all the crap that covers it, and if I had a photocopier that wasn’t one floor above me, I’d be experimenting wildly. oh. and sometimes I put my clock back so I can leave guilt free when it says 5pm.
    What can I say – my work ethic fell off when I was born.

  4. I still have dilbert cartoons on my partitions. Only they’re not cutouts, they’re printouts from an email a friend sent me… the lack of authenticity shames me, but the comic is still damn funny.

  5. I miss the work notice board, where people would pin funny FAXES (fun things to do in an elevator/change room at Kmart, etc etc) … you know, back in the days before you received the same faxes as FW emails 50,000 squillion times.

    I used to roll around laughing at that work noticeboard.

    Though I was younger then …

  6. now you stop rolling around and just clutch your hip and say “ow, you young’uns have it easy these days…”, momo? C’mon, you’re as youthful as the day is long!

    (V. funny post, Shauny. Fiction?)

  7. I will never forget the Xmas party at Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney (us media chicks used to get Snatchi & Snatchi) when some pissed idiot took a steaming dump in the lift thinking iut would be funny. It was.

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