I was alone in the hostel dorm on Wednesday afternoon, reading in bed, when one of the girls that work at the hostel walked in and asked me if I wanted a job for Thursday. Since I didn’t have any plans I jumped at the chance of earning some money. The job was to help a lady clean her house, only lasted for 3 hours and paid $50. The lady would pick me up from the hostel and drop me back when I was finished.
On Thursday at 1.30pm (lie in, Yay!) the lady, M, picked me up at the hostel as planned. She was very nice, and very chatty. I could hardly get a word in edgeways. But I guess it’s better than awkward silences, right?
When I got to her house I could tell why she needed help, although how she could let it get in that state in the first place is beyond me. It wasn’t as bad as those cleaning programmes on TV, but bad enough. It’s probably one of the worst places I have seen with my own eyes. Clutter everywhere, dirt everywhere and a mountain of dirty dishes.
M wanted me to start with the dishes. I struggled a bit with the sink at first because the taps were on the opposite sides of what they normally are, so I didn’t think she had any hot water (washing dishes in cold water, eurgh!), but I worked it out in the end. She had no dishwashing brush, sponges or scrubbers so I had to use those thin, flimsy disposable kitchen cloths, and loads of elbow grease.
After I had washed, dried and put away the dishes (very little space by the way and no real system as to where she put things) M wanted me to clean two of her kitchen drawers. I also tidied the things in those because I couldn’t stand the no system thing! (Who are you calling obsessive?!) When I was cleaning the drawers I found a dead cockroach in one of them! Eurgh! At least it wasn’t a big spider though!
Next on the list was the fridge. M hadn’t been shopping in the last few days since she knew she was getting it cleaned, so thankfully there wasn’t much in there that I had to take out before I washed it. It was quite dirty. I can understand how it gets dirty on the inside, unless you have a glass door on your fridge it’s easy to not clean it very often, but on the outside… I’m not kidding; there was mould on the outside of the fridge door! Seriously, it takes 2 seconds to wipe the door with a cloth once in a while, and by that I don’t mean once every 6 months!
Then there was the hob. Oh dear! The hob! I almost wish I had taken a picture just so I could show it to you, but I don’t think M would have liked that. It was covered in dirt! You could hardly see any of the original steel anywhere. Since I started using the hob as a kid my mum has always taught me to wipe it off as soon as I finish cooking so that it always stays relatively clean. No matter what kind of hob you have, it’s one of those surfaces that dirt shows up really easily on and it ruins the look of your whole kitchen if it’s dirty, makes the whole kitchen look dirty. Luckily the dirt came off fairly easily without the use of a chisel or anything.
The last thing M wanted me to do (or at least the last thing she had time to get me to do) was hoovering the two bedrooms upstairs and the stairs. As she had cream carpets I could tell it hadn’t been done in a while. I can understand that one though, because the hoover she had was really quite hard to push on the carpet and I even worked up a bit of a sweat in the 10-15 minutes I was hoovering.
M was chatting to me all the time when I worked, and she really is a nice lady, she made me stop working a couple of times to talk to me or show me something and we had a little break and had a cup of tea and some watermelon. Because of that I probably only actually worked for 2-2.5 hours, not that I’m complaining. I still got my $50 and it was a nice job just for a day.
In a weird way I kind of enjoyed cleaning M’s house, it was nice to see the change I made just by cleaning a little bit, and to know I had helped someone. And of course making some money was nice. In my eyes there was still lots left to do, and I would have “loved” to clean the whole house and arrange a proper system for everything, and see what a change that would make (Just call me Monica! (From Friends for those of you who didn’t get it...)), but I had done everything that M wanted me to do, and it’s not like I was going to start cleaning random things she didn’t want me to. I’d be there a lot longer than 3 hours if I did and I would also want more than just $50!
M had gotten a phone call from a friend while I was cleaning, inviting her to a concert that evening, so she didn’t have time to drop me back into the city. She did drive me to a bus stop in Toowong though which was nice of her. But because it was quite close to the city and the weather was quite nice I decided to walk back along the river.
As I was walking along the river I walked past a restaurant which had gotten damaged during last year’s flood and not fixed back up again. I think that is probably the first proper damage from the flood I’ve seen, everything else has been repaired. It was sad to see how it was all ruined on the inside and had loads of graffiti on the outside, and even more so because it had won an award for best restaurant in 2010, only a year before the floods, or less depending on when they gave the award out…
I must have worked up an appetite doing all that cleaning, because when I got back into the city I went to Subway with C, I bought a foot-long and was going to have half for dinner and save the other half for breakfast the next morning, but I ended up eating the whole thing there and then. Plus a cookie!