Monday, 21 May 2012

Elbow grease.

There is an apocryphal story about accountants touring NASA, looking for people whose  jobs they could cut.
They come across an elderly man , clearly a cleaner, who is washing a floor.

What do you do here ? they ask him.

I help to put men on the moon, he replies proudly.

Now we can all agree that  he is absolutely correct in the sense that cleaners are needed in any organisation...even NASA.
And we can only but admire his dedication to the greater good.

But he is wrong, in the sense that his work and the decisions that he needs to make, can be done by anyone...and generally,-unfortunately-, in our Unit , cleaning work is typically done by someone who could pass for a zombie...and a militant 70's socialist zombie at that.

Our cleaners don't clean any 'biological' spills.Blood.Vomit.Urine.Faeces.
(Don't ask!!)
The Nurses clean all biological spills.
It makes sense I suppose.
Although I don't really think it took 12 years of university for me to know that blood carries germs.
Or that I couldn't teach a monkey how to clean blood from the floor in about twenty minutes.
Whilst on roller skates.
The monkey, not me.
They also don't clean the rubbish bins directly outside our front door, despite the fact that we own them...and the sidewalk.
They also don't clean the kitchen where staff eat.
And so on and so forth.
They also tend not to clean my office.

I work most weekends.No secret.There are no managers wasting my time and the patients are more interesting because they are typically sicker.
Every single Saturday and Sunday for the past six  years I have started work at 0745 in Room 3.
I always use Room 3.
Like Sheldon , I have worked out the optimal ratio of access to radiology and the front door /availability to sunlight/best distance for shouting for a nurses-aid to come and do something for me/to be opposite the passage where the tea trolley is pushed.
Also, I have mild OCD.

Every single Saturday and Sunday for the past six  years Chakalaka Cindy has also started work at 0745 in room 4.
The room right next to mine.
She  always uses Room 4.

Every single Saturday and Sunday for the past six  years the cleaners have started to clean the Unit at 0745, 15 minutes before we open the front doors to that days coffin dodgers and snot jockeys .
Every single Saturday and Sunday for the past six  years they have started to clean at the other end of the Unit in Room 9.
Then Room 8.
Room 7.
Room 6.
Room 5.
Resus Room.
Triage Room.
Room 1.
Room 2.

Every single Saturday and Sunday for the past six  years either Chakalaka Cindy or I have asked them to clean our rooms first..before the patients' come in...every weekend, they still start in Room 9.
Every weekend they get to our rooms at about 0900 and ask us to vacate the rooms so that they can be cleaned.
Every single Saturday and Sunday for the past six  years I have refused to budge.
I know its petty.
I know I could easily log off of my computer, grab all my bits and pieces and move to another room, but honestly, I just cant be arsed.

And then I get it at home.
I was sitting enjoying a sandwich and watching a recent episode of the "Good Wife" when my cleaner arrived today at my  flat.
After her usual 20 minute moan about her life, -on my dime-,she deigned to start cleaning.
Her moan today  included the fact that she thought that my landlord,-a nice old fellow of 92 who has just had a left hip replacement-, was looking morose and that she thought that he has developed postnatal depression and wondered what I was going to do about it.

Finally she walked into the bedroom to do the ironing and immediately screamed.

I was sure there were no naked women chained to my bed but I couldn't remember if I had picked up my underpants so I dropped my sandwich and rushed into the bedroom.
My flat is at the top of the building and overlooks our car park.

OhMyGod...she screamed...someones driven over a fox in the car park and killed it and squashed it flat...and I expect I'll have to clean the mess up...!!!

I looked  out of the window.
The big fat black and white neutered cat from next door glared back at me...and then continued to wash his face.

I came back to the lounge and printed her off a voucher for Specsavers.
Maybe she'll get the creases correct.


  1. Thanks to you, I now know what apocryphal means.*Covering my face.*

  2. or maybe she wont - but then creases are creases.....