November 10, 2012 by benmblackman
So it turns out we have a cleaner. I knew this, obviously, although I do wonder why housewife’s don’t get them in secret to pretend to their husbands that they have been busy cleaning all day when, instead they could have their feet up watching Loose Women or whatever it is you do when you’re at home alone.
It’s not something I mention often because I assume there will be a backlash of judgment, resentment and, oh, he’s got a cleaner but it turns out, not so much actually. I know this because yesterday I posted the fact on twitter. Not as a fact in itself, rather related to the chicken incident.
I was happily creating a better world at work on Friday morning when a call came through from reception, ‘there’s somebody on the phone Ben, there’s a chicken in your sink.’
‘Oh, ok, put it through.’ (I don’t get many calls about chickens in my sink so I was interested).
‘Hi Ben, there’s a chicken in the kitchen.’ (It was the cleaner).
‘Ok, how did it get in there?’
‘I left the door open.’
‘Well can’t you just get it out then?’
‘No, it won’t leave.’
‘Well it won’t want to, it’s warmer in the house! Which one is it?’
‘The white one.’
Oh dear, this was not good, the white one is the naughtiest by far. So it turns out we have a cleaner and chickens. Yes, quite the middle class Jones’ aren’t we? I’d like to get a few things clear at this point. I work full-time (and my job is one of those that really takes a lot more than that, and then some. My wife runs 2 businesses. We are not workaholics, just seeking to cement the brightest future for our little family. We live 75 miles away from our nearest family member, 250 away from the rest. In business jargon, we have to think smart. Smart means having a cleaner for 2 hours a week. 20 quid it costs. Don’t worry, I don’t have too many ideas above my station, having a wife and daughter, working in an organisation of 2 men (I am 1 of them) and 20 women has put paid to that! We are a 1 car household that really needs 2. I get the train most days, the bus others. Yes, we have the chickens but we don’t have the country cottage yet.
‘Have you phoned Mrs B?’ I enquired.
‘Yes but she’s not answering.’
‘Well you’ll just have to sort it out yourself then.’
‘I can’t leave work to come and take a chicken outside, just shoo it out with a broom, you won’t hurt it.’
‘But it’s up on the worktop, I might break something, it’s making a right mess.’
‘Fantastic. You’ll either need to shoo it off with a broom and then out of the door or pick it up.’
‘Oh no, I can’t pick it up.’ Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam.
I say we have a cleaner, she doesn’t clean much! There is a list of things she can’t do longer than those which she can. Spiders webs are a no go (arachnophobia), moving the rug to mop underneath it or the sofas to get behind them are impossibilities (the bad back), she has to leave the rubbish bag outside the back door (she can’t open the back gate), the list goes on.
In my job I get quite a lot of hassle and have to give out my fair share too. The last thing I want to do at home is the same so we let it slide. When I mentioned the cleaner on twitter I followed it up with a, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, I have a cleaner, so shoot me.’ But the opposite happened. Apparently quite a few of you do too, and those who haven’t would like one. People agreed it’s a sensible thing to do to get more time with your family and less with the Dyson (by the way,
I still have to use Derek – the Dyson – on a regular basis and excel at this. I challenge anybody to strip and re-assemble a clogged Dyson DC25 faster than I – sub 45 seconds, easy). Others said it was a duty for society, creating employment (I can’t say we’re entirely philanthropic about this arrangement, we would really like some cleaning done, but we settle for a bit).
‘Listen, I’ve got to go, I’m about to start a meeting, you’re just going to have to sort it yourself, good luck,’ I finished and put the phone down.
Ten minutes later there was a knock on the meeting room door and a note passed to me. I looked at it with a serious, this is important, I’m a pro, type face. I nodded sagely, frowning a little to pretend it was significant. It read, ‘Chicken is out.’ We continued the meeting, it wasn’t nearly as important.
I know my friends will love to learn of this indulgence. ‘You’ve got a cleaner?!’ If any of those cheeky blighters question me, I’ll remind them that we spend less on our cleaner than most of them do on a third of a night out. Anyway, it’s a steal compared to the nursery fees!
Oh, my daughter goes to nursery (3 days a week) – shoot me!