I have a confession to make. And it’s one I’ve been very reluctant to come right out and say. Because I feel people may judge me for it.
I haven’t been eating cupcakes on the toilet at night (recently, anyway) or having a pang in my knickers whenever I think about Boris Johnson. It’s much worse than that.
My confession is this. Every Thursday I pay some of my well-earned money for some complete strangers to enter my home and clean up mine and my boyfriend’s mess. Once a week I go to work in the morning, safe in the knowledge that when I come back, the carpets will be vacuumed, the toilet and bathroom cleaned and any residual dishes that have been left in the sink will be washed.
And now, after an unfortunate event with said cleaners of which I have wanted to publicly moan about, I realise how ashamed I am of of this. I’m a 21st century social network addict, moronically moaning about my first world problems via the mediums of Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis. However, this time I felt the need to hold myself back because I’d probably rather admit to bringing in the cleaners in the mafia sense than announce that I actually have to pay someone to help keep my place habitable. And to publicly complain about the problems that arise from this would just be wanky to the highest sense.
I’m not a mother with three kids struggling to do all the housework, I’m not a rich housewife, nor am I missing a limb and therefore unable to pick up the hoover myself.
I’m just lazy. And busy. And tired all the time, goddammit. And …. not… very domesticated. And Boyfriend’s no Suzy homekeeper himself. Basically, when we both get home from work we’d rather cook dinner and then sit on the sofa vegetating in front of two screens (21st century social network addict, remember) than get the marigolds on and making sure we can see our reflection in the sink. And besides, getting cleaners was good for our relationship. We don’t argue over who does what and no one does the washing up on Wednesday night because we know someone else will do it for us the next day.
Anyway, so last Thursday after a long day at work , followed by a commute on the London underground (of which really merits its own blog post some time in the near future) I arrive home with that little glow that comes with knowing the skid marks your other half left down the loo the night before will no longer be there (just testing to see whether he really reads this).
I arrive at my front door to find it ajar and think: “Wow, they’re here really late today. Damn. Now I have to look them in the eye knowing they’ve probably seen what we keep in our secret drawer,” and I go inside and the place is beautifully clean and tidy and … empty. The fuckers left my front door open. THEY JUST LEFT THE FRONT DOOR OPEN ALL DAY. People could have stolen our things and trashed the place. Or worse, a madman could have wondered in, tried on all my dresses while doing one of those cheesy Hollywood montages in his head and stretched my Karen Millen from Paris. KAREN MILLEN. STRETCHED.
Obviously furious, I sit down, open my laptop (after quickly checking the wardrobe for any wild-eyed vagabonds looking slightly fabulous in a purple bodycon) and open my emails to Sack The Cleaners.
And I hesitate. Because I feel bad. I’ve never sacked someone before. Only people in suits or housewives who look like Joan Collins do that, don’t they?
And it’s not even like we have the same person who always comes in, say, a chatty old bat called Shirley with a smoker’s cough who regales us with tales of her grandchildren and Yorkshire terrier whenever we cross paths. No, it’s a pretty impersonal company, who send two random people from their books each time, people I have only awkwardly glimpsed once or twice. But I hesitate, because I know that once I complain about this incident to the company and tell them I no longer require their services, someone will almost certainly be sacked. And I don’t like the thought of someone losing their job because of me. But at the end of the day they left my front door open and I don’t want it to happen again, so I did end my business with them.
And then of course I wanted to moan about the whole thing on Facebook and Twitter. But couldn’t for the reasons I’ve just described. Because really, I’d be irritated if I saw someone posting about the inconveniences caused by their cleaners. I’d be like “tidy up yourself then, you lazy arse”. But the truth is, as I get older, I really am finding more and more first world problems to quietly complain about. The other day I actually said aloud: “I hope this salmon is better than the last salmon we got from M&S”. Cringe.
Anyway, the cleaning company have now offered me a “compensation package” and are doing an “internal investigation”. Meanwhile, I might buy some cleaning products and actually have a go at tidying the place myself this weekend. And can guarantee I’ll be complaining about the price of bleach and how dry my hands are and finding a new cleaning company to moan about within a week.