Cleaners, though, are often privy to all kinds of information Homes are private domains. They contain pictures, treasured objects, books and other items that reveals the bits and pieces of our personalities.
A Manhattan cleaner recently wrote a piece for The Guardian where she revealed what she had seen when she took a job as a cleaner in New York.
Lizzie Feidelson took the job after hearing about it from a friend’s boyfriend who had cleaned for two years to support himself as a musician.
She worked for a boutique, environmentally friendly (a bit like our maid service Columbia) service that specialised in one-time detoxes, rather than regular cleaning. She was sent to a different apartment most of the time.
The company Ms Feidelson worked for specialised in vigorous scrubbing and minimal use of soap, also using essential oils and pre-approved cleaning liquids.
No Desire to Snoop
According to Ms Feidelson, people often left out important documents and items that were for things like receipts for an abortion or notices of academic probation on their fridge doors?
Her favorite client was a man whose bookshelves, she discovered as she dusted them, didn’t contain real books, but blocks that were hollowed out and whose wife she guessed had been one of the September 11 victims.
On one occasion, a client asked Ms Feidelson to give the bathroom special attention. Opening the door, she discovered inchoes of soiled cat litter all over the surfaces which took several hours to clean.
“People with appalling habits were interesting, at least,” Ms Feidelson wrote. Being around them made her feel observant and if they were readable – although of course they were not.
“[O]n the whole, of course, my clients were more complicated than that, and more ordinary.”
Ms Feidelson’s account of her two years’ cleaning job is fascinating – and reassuring. While some of the account is uncomfortable – she did snoop a little bit, reading a diary at one point – for the most part it demonstrates the professionalism of the cleaning industry.
Read the whole article here.
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