We have new housekeepers, that’s the name for the army of people who keep our offices clean these days. Often, they are invisible, in at the crack of dawn, in charge of vacuum cleaners, dusters and bleach and gone before we leave the house. Not so the pair that clean our block, which is a two story rabbit warren a bit like the Tardis. I get there around 8.15 and it’s usually bin emptying time – I must be annoying because mine has orange peel, plum stones and yoghurt pots- and the cleaners are noisy. They are sisters and both built for comfort rather than speed, one blonde, the other dark and a laugh a minute in their lavender tunics and trousers, pushing a trolley stuffed with spare loo rolls and soap refills.
Today, being Friday the dark sister told us she is going ‘on the lash’ tonight and when asked if she will be in a sorry state tomorrow she insisted that no that never happens. Her prophylactic is a full tummy and a glass of milk beforehand and lots of water at bedtime, I’ll check on Monday to see if it worked!
Last week I caught blonde sister teasing, really, really big time teasing our senior department manager, a reserved, formal man of few words. She actually called him a miserable old so and so, because he only grunts a reply to her cheery ‘good mornings’. I felt for him and tried to take it down a level by telling her how busy he is but she wouldn’t be halted. He later confessed that the situation was rather embarrassing, no doubt he has the wherewithal to deal with it.
I remember in the early part of my working life an outside company used to come each week to sterilize the telephones and twice a day a lady arrived with a trolley load of tea, coffee and biscuits. Those days are long gone, and now of course we have to clean our desks, and that’s fine.
Do you have a valiant team of office cleaners? Do you remember the days of the tea trolley? Perhaps you are the office housekeeper, if so I bet you have stories to tell?