When I loaded up my van today, and headed off to my first job of the day, I thought it was going to be just another day. I go in, asses the damage, let the customer know the cost including materials and labour, clean, and then get the heck out. Well, that is what I thought. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
Now I have been in this business for years, and I have pretty much seen it all. From flood damaged carpets to carpets so full of poop you would think an elephant with irritable bowel syndrome had broken in there just to use the bathroom. So, when a local hotel called me up asking for my services to clean up a carpet after a party, I told them it would be no problem.
After all I have dealt with them many times before. They are good customers that let you know exactly what they want, and do not try to haggle you with the price. You know those people that stand over you while you work, and tell you exactly how you should do everything, and then expect you to give them something for free, because they know someone you know. I have a family to feed. I am not running a Charity.
My first job of the day was simple. One of my other regular customers had me out for a monthly cleaning. I told her before she doesn’t need me to come out there and clean her carpet, because she never even uses that room, but she insists. She’s a sweet old lady that always has a cup of coffee and a muffin ready for me, so I can’t refuse her. Even if it costs me more to drive out there than what I’m going to make off the job.
Anyway, about 10 A.M. I got a call on my cell phone. It was the hotel calling back to let me know they had cleared the room, and were ready for me to come over. Before I hung up the guy on the phone said to me “You are not going to believe what I’m looking at.” I assured him I have dealt with the nastiest messes you could imagine. Looking back on it now I should have brought a torch with me.
When I arrived the hotel manager walked me to the room. It was one of those expensive ones on the top, you know. On the way up he explained to me that there had been a celebrity staying at their hotel for the past few days. I do not remember the name of the band. Cocheese, Co-something. Something that sounded like cheese. I am not really sure. I am more of a classical rock person myself.
Finally we reached the room. I pulled out my notepad and headed in. What I saw made me almost have a seizure. Rock star party? It looked like a angry mob of preschoolers had raided the Crayola crayon warehouse and went crazy up in there. There was so much colour, and the over powering stench of beer and piss made me want to just throw a match on it, and call it a day.
It turns out this person is very fond of M&M’s, but only the brown ones. The caterer forgot to take out all the coloured ones. This pissed him off, and he proceeded to redecorate the room with enough bags of candy to feed a small army of leprechauns. Long story short it took me the rest of the day to clean that mess. I had to refill my steam cleaner about 30 times. The sound of M&M’s flying into the vacuum was like a machine gun going off.
You know the movie Scarface? Yeah, that’s what I felt like in there. “Say hello to my little friend.” Except instead of some Cuban gangsters I was fighting against Rainbow Bright and the Care Bears. Note to self: buy a torch. I guess even after all these years there’s still surprises waiting for me.