Keeper of the House/Housekeeper

There are some people who say housecleaning is therapeutic. Well, those people are stupid. Clearly, what they MEANT was, housecleaning will drive you into therapy. Especially if the house you are cleaning belongs to MY PARENTS.

Once upon a time, Jack Black was on Saturday Night Live, and he did a sketch where he played a white trash fella (a stretch, I know) who tried to climb a chain-link fence, only he was drunk, and also fat, and also wearing only underwear. So he didn't make it. So he kicked it and said, "This fence is a douche."

That is how I feel right now. This house is a douche.

I am house/cat sitting for my parents for a couple days. And I stupidly--STUPIDLY--agreed to clean the house while they are gone. My mom was all, "We'll give you forty dollars," and I was already not okay with that, and she said, "That's about ten dollars an hour." And I was like, "Excuse me? Four HOURS? I will be cleaning for two hours, TOPS." And she said, "Then it's twenty dollars an hour."

So here I am, eight-and-a-half hours later, trying to do some math, and I am coming up with about $4.30 an hour. That is less than minimum wage, and THAT is ILLEGAL. So there is going to have to be some negotiation with the union (um ... me).


Dusting: Considering that my parents are not messy people, and that they have hardwood floors in the majority of this house, there is far too much dust in here. It's no wonder my mother has allergies. There is a layer of dust on EVERYTHING. And I dusted every surface in the house, including ceiling fans and light fixtures,and when I got done and went back to the living room, IT WAS BACK. Clearly, I should not have bothered.
Living room (bookcases, tables, tv cabinet, picture frames, chair rails, stereo speakers, lamps, rocking chairs) $10.00
Dining room (curio cabinet, china cabinet, chairs, chair rails) $7.50
Bedroom (nightstands, curio cabinet, dvd stand, valet, dressers, ceiling fan, picture frames, lamps, blinds, standing mirror, jewelry box) $45.00
Guest bath: (picture frames, shelves, blinds) $3.50
Master bath: (picture frames, light fixtures) $3.00
Study: (desk, picture frames, bookcases, computer stand, end table, rocking chair, lamps, blinds) $5.00
Final cost: $74.00

Guest bath:
Toilet, which does not flush (not my fault): On account of I could not do this the regular way, where I flush the toilet and then scrub furiously before the water comes back up, and I had to STICK MY HAND IN THE WATER ... $50.00
Sink and surround: $2.00
Mirror: $2.00
Sweep floor: On account of the floor is ceramic tile and does not give up its treasures easily, and I swept it well and then two minutes later it looked like a trash heap ... $40.00
Wash floor: On account of the grout is full of hair and dust and yuck ...$15.00
Final cost: $109.00

Master bath:
Toilet: On account of I did it the usual way ... $2.50
Sink and surround: On account of it has some sort of residue on it, and I used a bathroom cleanser that apparently has bleach in it and I breathed in lots of fumes and there is no ventilation in the bathroom even though I kept the door open and now I probably have lung cancer or, at the very least, irreparable tissue damage in my nose, like a crack addict ... $300.00
Bathtub: On account of [see above] ... $200.00
Mirror: On account of the house owner had left me with two (2)Windex wipes, and I'd already used them both in the guest bath and they had dried out anyway and were of no use, and dust kept falling off the light fixture EVEN THOUGH I HAD ALREADY DUSTED IT onto the mirror and said mirror is ONE THOUSAND FEET WIDE ... $150.00
Sweep floor: On account of the dustpan is a douche, and also the little sweeper broom that is used with the dustpan is not so great either, so I kept sweeping the dust UP INTO MY FACE and that dust consisted of, you know, PERSONAL HAIRS, and also a spider that was under the counter ... $750.00
Added charges: On account of I pierced my foot SEVENTEEN TIMES when stepping over the threshold and someone has clearly NOT installed the carpet correctly so that the carpet tacks do not stick up INTO MY HEEL and I forgot EVERY TIME until something sharp embedded itself into my foot and on Time Seventeen I finally put a carpet over the threshold but when I bent over I hit my head on the doorknob ... $375.00
Added charges: On account I was so mad that the bathroom looked no cleaner that it had when I started, so I slammed the cabinet door and the house alarm went off and gave me heart attack ... $600.00
Minus charges: I bleached out a washcloth ... -$5.00 (even though it was not a NICE washcloth and is, in fact, probably twenty years old, but I am in a generous mood)
Final cost: $2372.50

Empty dishwasher: $4.00
Reload dishwasher: $1.00
Wash sink: $1.00
Wipe down and clean counters: $3.00
Wipe down stovetop and backsplash: $3.00
Replace "burner things" that go under the burners but I don't know what they're called: $1.00
Get mad because "burner things" don't actually FIT in the holes on the top of the stove, and because this happens EVERY TIME, like why don't people MEASURE THOSE HOLES AND BUY THE RIGHT FREAKING SIZE PLEASE: free
Sweep floor: $3.00
Final cost: $13.00

Added charges: On account of when I was dusting the dvd holder, it tipped over and rained dvds upon my head and shoulders ... $50.00

My mother asked me to mop the house too. Well, that is going to be quite the accomplishment, given that THERE IS NO MOP IN THIS HOUSE. I mean, unless she wants me to use the Swiffer, WHICH HAS NO PAD ON THE BOTTOM. I'm pretty sure she would love for me to dry mop her hardwood floors with the velcro on the bottom of the Swiffer.
Final cost: -$20.00, because I'm NOT doing it by hand

Minus charges: On account of after the alarm went off I turned on every light in the whole house, just in case there really was a burglar trying to get in to kill me ... -$40.00

Minus charges: On account of I think I am high from the bleach fumes and that's kind of okay ... -$500.00

Minus charges: On account of I drank six cups of coffee while I was cleaning ... -$30.00

Minus charges: On account of I am writing this instead of vaccuuming ... -$100.00

I will throw in all the curse words for free.

TOTAL: On account of my math is sketchy at any given time and I am really dizzy at this very moment from the bleach and also--is this crazy?--I am starting to think it would be cool to be paid in olives barbie elvis weasel bright jazz wheeeeeee...
oh, let's call it $150 and leave it at that.

In the meantime, I ... I think it would be a good idea for me to lie down. Maybe at a hospital.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you not use a toilet bowl cleaner (a brush on a stick, so you never, EVER need to stick your hand in the toilet)? And, just FYI, the Swiffer works great on hardwood floors.


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