“That Woman Who Comes to Clean”

That woman who comes to clean
What do you know about her?
She’s just the woman who enters your office after hours
Leaving your office nice and clean for the next business day.

That woman who comes to clean
Washes your urinals and toilets
Dusts your tables and desks
Vacuums your rugs and carpets
Mops your floors and tiles
Throws away your waste and garbage
Recycles your empty cans and bottles.

That woman who comes to clean
Her torn hands tremble with age
Her weary eyes reflect a deep pain
Her shoulders slump with the weight
of responsibilities too huge for her to handle
Her bones ache from the laborious tasks
Her breath comes out in short spurts
She sneezes and wheezes
The toxic smell of cleaning chemicals
constantly invade her nostrils.

That woman who comes to clean
She works diligently without complaints, without asking for a pay raise.
Hands you a “Thank You” note and a bottle of wine during the holidays,
Hoping you would not notice how she has slowed down over the years,
Fearing that you may take advantage of the fact that she is a woman
working in dark and dangerous places after hours,
Worrying about whether you would fire her when you find out how ill she is,
Praying that you would just let her keep her job.

That woman who comes to clean
She drives a pickup truck
from one door to the next
making your living environment
clean and habitable
for next to nothing in return.

That woman who comes to clean
She’s my mother.

I’m supposed to be brushing up on legal writing samples for job interviews this week but I had to get this out after someone referred to my mom as “the woman who comes to clean” in an email. I hope everyone takes the time to get to know their maids, janitors and other service-workers and treat them like human beings who deserve respect beyond “the woman who comes to clean.”

For more, read Angy’s Immigrant Mani Pedi.

Your Janitor is Probably Smarter than You Part II

Gasp! Your Janitor is probably smarter than you is back!!


Why is there a turkey walking around the parking lot of one of the buildings that we clean? The owners called Animal Control but they couldn’t help since turkey is considered ‘wildlife.’ In the meantime, the turkey continues to roam the building, poop on the front mat and make work for us. I don’t understand why someone doesn’t just take the turkey home and have an early Thanksgiving!

Janitors don’t tidy. We clean.
There is a very essential difference between cleaning and tidying. If your floor is covered with piles of boxes, paper and miscellaneous items scattered around, we can clean-up what is ascertained as ‘dirt’ but cannot tidy your floor for you.

Sunflower seeds should be banned from office spaces. Banned. Banned. Banned. Actually, it should be a question on the employee qualification forms and during the interview process: Can you aim all your sunflower shells into the garbage bin or do they just end up scattered on the floor? You can’t? Next please.

Women are usually much better than men at using bathrooms (and many other things). But, please stop flushing your tampons down the toilet! There’s like four signs in the bathroom — on the door, near the mirror, on the tampon machine and even on the bathroom door as you take a poop or piss. We just had to remove the tampon machine because people can’t follow instructions.

Stop bringing your dogs to work! Half of the vacuum is filled with dog-hair and bone fragments! Actually this reminds me — stop bringing your dog to the gym, and especially not the women’s room! It’s not like you are blind and need the dog around for work or exercise!

Nothing beats how some men use their urinals. Why on earth are pee stains found 6 foot above the ground? Please do the gravity-defying target practicing with your guns in your own home. Or better yet, clean up your mess after yourself.