I’m covered in someone else’s DNA (or Nightmare on Memory Lane)

January 22, 2008

billy-mays.jpg
I spent the day cleaning one half of a duplex I own. It’s a one bedroom garden apartment (such a nice term for living in a basement). The former tenant lived there for almost eight years. He even paid me over $40,000 for the privilege. The downside is I spent my day on my hands and knees sucking up and scrubbing off his detritus (and how the fuck does ketchup get on the ceiling?).

All this takes me back. In college, to support myself, I worked for a janitorial service. I had three regular gigs that I did six/seven days a week. I started at 4 AM at a bar (the smallest but the most disgusting job, especially with a hangover). The biggest headache was vacuuming up all the popcorn spilt from their free popcorn machine.  The biggest barf factor was the bathrooms (and to anyone interested, men and women are equally disgusting in different ways (ask for details)). That took about an hour and a half. I then drove halfway across town to a Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican restaurant. I cleaned the dining area and the bathrooms there (who cleaned the kitchen was a mystery to me. I made it a point to never to eat there). Most of my time was spent on my knees with a handvac under the booths, where my trusty Electrolux couldn’t reach. I had the greasiest knees in town but I always found a ton of change and an occasional bill ($20.00 was the largest and when you make $4.75/hr that’s a fucking gold mine) I bought my work jeans at Goodwill (whether they fit or not) since I went through so many pairs. That job took about two hours. After that, home, a long shower and classes. Then at night, I cleaned a newly built car dealership. So nice in comparison. No grease, no popcorn, no pissy bathrooms. My main complaints there were the white ceramic tile floor in the showroom that showed everything (I had to take a scrungie to all the black heel marks) and the passive-aggressive notes left by the salesmen (assholes).

If my schedule was open during the day, to earn a few extra bucks I would clean vacated apartments. Sometimes I got lucky with a nice apartment where people actually cleaned a few times during their stay and it would be a breeze. Most of the time (we’re talking college students here) it was four years of soap scum in the shower and unyielding chunks of baked on frozen pizza residue in the oven. I think this is where my misanthropy began.

I’ll tell you one thing; I’m always nice to people who are doing this sort of work. .

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16 Responses to “I’m covered in someone else’s DNA (or Nightmare on Memory Lane)”

  1. superdave524 Says:

    I had to clean bathrooms when I worked for Chic-fi-A in college, and you got it right about the boys and gals both being disgusting, but in different ways. Nice little analogy for the species, eh?

  2. Quakerjono Says:

    I used to work as a waiter at a Chinese restaurant and one of the closing jobs was “wakum”. The lighting in the restaurant wasn’t great, so even though you never knew what was going to come rolling out from under the booths or tables, you probably weren’t going to be able to make out any disturbing details if you just moved fast enough.

    The horrifying part was, as both of you discovered, the bathrooms. It was shocking how filthy people are that close to their food.

  3. Quakerjono Says:

    Oh, and I find Billy Mays to be incredibly attractive for some reason.

  4. Jamie Says:

    When I was about half the age I am now, I cleaned the girls’ dorms at a local college. There is no comparison at all among men to women of that age group. I would regularly find used tampons in cups on the sinks in their bathrooms, quite near to their toothbrushes. And there were sanitary boxes on the walls.

    I defy you to show me an example of men being that disgusting en masse. Sure, they make a mess of their toilets and bedrooms, but they I’ve never seen used condoms propped up next to toothbrushes.

    Just sayin’.

  5. PatrickP Says:

    Are you going to let QJ’s last comment stand without a response?

  6. John in IL Says:

    You’re going to hate to hear this Patrick, but I agree with QJ. I was going to put that somewhere in the post but I was too ashamed.

  7. John in IL Says:

    I’m not exactly sure what I’m attracted to. The screaming? The perfect beard? The incredibly incredible products that he hawks that I always want to buy? (oxy-clean really does work)

  8. Quakerjono Says:

    It’s the whole package. I wanna fuck him senseless and then make him wash the sheets. See, it’s the package.

  9. John in IL Says:

    That’s hot. I feel so liberated now that I’m out of my Billy Mays closet.


  10. In college during the semester, I worked opening and lunch shift at Pizza Hut during the week (you don’t know the meaning of hustle until you are trying to convince people to tip you for waiting on them at a lunch buffet). On Friday and Saturday, I bused tables at the country club from 6:30-10 PM, then drove across town to the Valentino’s to clean the floors from 10:30 PM to usually 2 AM (two floors, umpteen booths, and a ghost). All this while I was playing football, carrying a full academic load, and singing in the touring choir, which invariably had Sunday morning services that you left for at oh-dark-thirty.

    It just goes to show that you can take the boy out of the ranch, but you can’t take the need to work sixteen hours a day for slave wages out of the boy.

    Meanwhile, in the job I did during the summer and graduate school, a minimum of every three days, I and the rest of the staff were responsible for cleaning cabins that slept approximately 1,500 people, with one toilet and shower for every six of them. Suffice to say that I have never used a leaf blower to actually blow leaves, unless they were inside on the floor.

    And yes, girls coming of age and continuing of age are disgusting, especially when they innocently flush their feminine products into a pot that has trouble with a healthy dump, much less a discreet plastic applicator.

  11. John in IL Says:

    innocently flush their feminine products into a pot

    Funny you say that. I had to have the drain cleaner guy (not hot) out to ream out the drain in the duplex. He said and I quote: “you have renters, you have tampons flushed down the toilets”.


  12. That worries me a bit, since your previous tenant was male. 🙂

  13. PatrickP Says:

    I love that you thought to preempt our questions by letting us know the rooter guy was not hot. Saves so much time.

  14. John in IL Says:

    NDT: To clarify; He had a live in girlfriend and the upstairs tenant is a female.

    Patrick: I know how you bitches are.


  15. […] qualify as income when figuring if I get a stimulus check. And the little bit of money I get from the DNA duplex? Nope. That doesn’t count either. Both types of income are considered “unearned […]


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