Monday, June 04, 2007

Captain Grim

This is probably an unfair posting but I just can’t help it.

Part of my duties at work involve managing the small team of cleaners that maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of the building. Now before I get accused of snobbery I’d just like to point out that I did such work myself during my twenties. It’s demeaning, thankless, boring and ultimately unrewarding. However, it did allow me the freedom to write to my heart’s content for years and years without my creativity being debilitated by a stressful working life. And cleaning does have some amazing pros: you’re pretty much your own boss, there’s precious little responsibility, it’s not difficult and when your work is done you can go home, forget all about it and concentrate on the stuff that’s really important to you.

I have a tremendous amount of respect and even a little envy for anybody who cleans for a living. I really do.

So why is it that I absolutely can’t stand the cleaner where I work? I shan’t mention his name because that really wouldn’t be fair.

There is something so... spiritually desiccating about the man, it’s unbelievable. He only has to approach me and I feel my life force being sucked out of me and a dark rain cloud of gloom being inserted into the cavity it leaves. He’s a depressed and depressing vampire. Everything this man says is a lament or a tale of mundane woe. Everything. But worst of all it’s also so grovellingly accusing.

  • Steve, we’re run out of loo rolls... and it’s your fault.

  • Steve, the toilets are blocked... and it’s your fault.

  • Steve, vandals have broken the sinks and are running amok with AK-47s... and it’s your fault.


But what I hate most of all is the simple fact that this man doesn’t EVER listen to whoever he’s having a conversation with. He’ll ask the same question or make the same point eight times in a single conversation without once registering that it was responded to after the first instance. It’s maddeningly infuriating!

Steve, the toilets are blocked.

I know. The plumber is on his way.

Steve, the toilets are blocked.

Yes. The plumber has been called. He’s on his way.

Steve, the toilets are blocked.

Are you listening? The plumber is coming RIGHT NOW to deal with it.

Steve, the toilets are blocked.

Look I’m gonna shove this plunger up where the sun doesn’t shine in a minute!

Steve, the toilets are blocked...

And so on and so forth. Ad bloody infinitum.

Lastly – and this weirds me out big time – he sings to himself.

Nothing strange about that, you may think. But... he sounds like a ruddy Clanger. With a Geordie accent! I kid you not. “Bu-bu-bu-booo-boooo! Boooo-booo-bu-bu-bu-boooooo!” The corridors resound everyday to the ghostly yet faintly melodic wailing of hand-knitted children’s television show puppets from the 1970s. The toilet pans echo to their plaintive cries.

Ha-wey! These bogs are blumin blocked agen, Steve man! Is the plumber comin’..?!

It’s doing my effing head in.


Old Cheeser said...

Call in Kim and Aggie and sack him!

On second thoughts, they're probably slightly more expensive.


He sounds a bit like Frank the miserable receptionist in ER who is mean to everyone in work but at home he tells his family how much he loves his workmates(and he really does). And at home he is the most loving,most caring ,sweetest man you can meet but he lets his work mates believe he is a pain in the butt.
Perhaps your cleaner is like that.... a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde character.
What do you think?
(And now I have you she joking?)

Steve said...

Kim and Aggie? Now there's an interesting thought... he'd probably end up wearing black marigolds decorated with nooses and dead ravens...

Jekyll and Hyde? Now that's a bloody scary thought. Which is he at work? Jekyll or Hyde? Maybe he's worse when he's at home? Maybe I should be listening to the police band for early tip-offs before I come into work?

Rol said...

Yeah, but Steve, about those blocked toilets...

...could they possibly be your fault?

P.S. Do he do fridges?

Steve said...

Er... well, I have been known to chop the odd log or two...

I think he does fridges like Jack The Ripper does Victorian Ladies of the Night... and that's bad for anybody's cheese and onion sandwiches...

-eve- said...

Ohh, I loved this.. read it aloud to my sis. Gotta save this.. it's laugh-out-loud amusing. Good one!