Friday, August 29, 2008

Believe me, I can't meet my own expectations, let alone yours

So, approximately a lifetime ago, when I held a managerial-type position for another company and thought I had money, I had cleaners that came to our house and cleaned every two weeks. It was heaven - the highlight of my domestic career by far. Since that time, I have changed jobs (to include a pay decrease) and adopted an actual budget. Hence, the house cleaning angels had to go.

One of the most memorable moments of the house cleaning angels was a conversation I had with them one day when I came home before they were finished. They have German accents, which I cannot even begin to inject into the typed word, but sure do help when trying to retell the story!

Housecleaning Angel - Your house is pretty messy.

Me - I know. (thinking, that's why you're here!)

Housecleaning Angel - No really, you're not a very good cleaner.

Me - (feeling a bit awkward) Yep, you got me there.

Housecleaning Angel - Do ya at least cook for your family?

Me - Oh yes! I love to cook!

Housecleaning Angel - (with a look of relief at her partner) Good. At
least Matt can count on that.

So, properly reprimanded in all the ways I was a sub-par wife and mother, I made sure that I never again came home until they were done, and basked alone in the clean lavender smells every other Thursday.

Fast-forward approximately 6 years, to the present day.

We are getting some painting done at work, and the painters had some over spray issues while trying to spray the primer on a bit of a blustery day. 12 cars at our facility got speckled with primer that needed to be buffed off.

So, we are taking turns delivering our cars to the detail shop in town, to have them washed, waxed, buffed, and sealed. To the tune of $500 a piece!! Thank goodness that's not my money! Anyway, I decided if the outside was going to look that good, I should have them do the inside as well. I'd drive away in a brand new car. Except the 170,000 miles. Otherwise, brand new.

They agree that they have time to do the inside as well, and tell me it will be done after work.

Later in the afternoon, Darla calls to make sure we are on schedule with the cars set to go in the next day.

They don't call back for a long time.

She calls again.

Their excuse (for not calling back) was that they didn't know they were going to have to do interiors as well, and it was taking longer than they thought, and they were behind schedule. Great.

So, to make a long story long, we head in after work to pick up my car.

We get there, and they are almost done, but not quite. The conversation goes something like this:

Punk Car Cleaner Kid - Your car was really messy.

Me - I know. (thinking - that's why we're here!)

Punk Car Cleaner Kid - No, really, I found all sorts of junk in there!

Me - Yeah. I have 2 kids.
Punk Car Cleaner Kid - Seriously! There was like wrappers and candy . . .(making shoveling gestures with his hands)

Me - (I can't hold it back any longer) THAT'S. WHY. WE'RE. HERE.

Yeah. It was that good. The owner (not to be confused with the Punk Kid), was actually sheepish when he gave me the bill.

Owner - We usually charge $79, but we really had to spend a lot of extra time . . .

Me - You know what? I log about 30,000 miles a year in that car and have never had it detailed. You don't have to tell me how bad it was. I live there. I will gladly pay the extra charge - no worries.

I'm just not the type to do much "cleaning before the cleaner" type of stuff. I obviously can't get it done, and that's why I am hiring a professional. It just seems to be a moot point.

*****BTW - It looks beautiful. Almost brand new. Except . . . . Anyway, it looks great.

So, this morning, I head back to the detail shop to pick Darla up, because today is her car's big day.

I call after I drop the boys off to make sure we're still on schedule.

Wanna know where she was?

At the car wash, vacuuming her car out.


Ande Payne said...

Here is another classic post. I love your title. I love your self-incrimination. I love that you have a new clean car with only 170,000 mile, I just wish you had another cleaning lady that could speak no English.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Dang. I've got to start paying attention. I didn't see that Ande was logged on instead of me. Sorry.

Darla said...

A true friend would have left her's dirty so the punk car wash guy would have thought .. wow.. she must have 7 kids too.. but instead I had to vaccume it ...SORRY!!!! but yours does look awesome.. Just know I have bets on how long it is till we hit that drive thru :)

Hope you have a great weekend!!!

tina said...

I have often thought that I should have the car detailed, but not if they are going to have to make comments like that. "there's wrappers & candy and stuff . . ." YA THINK!? I'd have to be a little perturbed by that and not be very nice probably. We cleaned our cars today and had a 3/4 bag of garbage between the two of them. Plenty of uneaten candy with the wrappers not on the candy; 1/2 smooshed pop tarts and many 3/4 empty water and propel bottles! Oh, I think there were some fries down in between the seats also! It was great!