I’ve long since faced the reality that I am not the tidiest person in the world. There are artistically scattered coffee cups, teetering stacks of unopened mail, even whole new breeds of dust bunnies. But I recognize my affliction and bow to the professionals.
I divert a chunk of my scant resources to hiring a housecleaner.
Recently, I needed to find a new domestic expert and so I set out with confidence. I am an employer contracting to a small business person who will no doubt be grateful for my custom – and I am willing to pay a reasonable rate for services rendered. I would be, in fact, in control.
We started with a businesslike inquiry as to rates and availability. She played hard to get with both, making a counter-offer of inspecting the premises before establishing her rate. As I looked around at the pile of wet towels on the bathroom floor (I like long, hot showers) and the Christmas ornaments still festively adorning my living room (I know it’s almost Valentine’s Day – I’ve been busy!), I felt my keen edge begin to slip.
No one should be forced to see how bad it could get; I blustered about competitive rates. Nothing. So, I lied like the cheap rug I wanted her to vacuum.
Like a coyote circling for the kill, she picked up on my lack of confidence and attacked with a straight question.
“How dirty is your house?”
OMG – don’t panic. Don’t panic!!!
Taking a deep, shuddering breath, I went into my cool, confident and full con mode. “A little dusty in a few spots, and the carpet could use a vacuuming…but overall quite clean.” Psychological titter here. “And of course I want to keep it that way.”
I wanted to scream “And that’s why I want to hire you!” Instead, a courteous, “When can you drop by? I can be available almost any time.” Oh, the groveling….
So, she’s coming at 9:15 in the morning. I have sixteen hours. No fear. No sleep.
I’ve been zig-zagging like a Tasmanian devil, spraying disinfectant, grabbing papers and mugs and ornaments and damp towels and dog bowls and…
There’s a five thousand pound sofa pushed against the closet’s straining door – she’ll never know how my shame has been hidden away. At least not until it’s too late.