Window Cleaner Wars

On the BBC website last week there was a calculator which, when you enter the hours you work every week, tells you how many more or less than the average person in your country you work.

Here it is:

I work 1,162 more hours a year than the average

In view of this, I must admit that I ‘worked’ from home for half a day last week.  The sun was shining and a glass of wine on the balcony seemed appropriate.

Now, our window cleaner has been missing these last 6 months.  So, when I saw a new fella with his bucket and ladder (actually it was a pole fed pure water system) I jumped at the chance to get my windows cleaned.

So, the bronzed twenty something Adonis started cleaning away and seemed to be making a jolly good job of it, too.  I was just settling back on the balcony to admire the view when who should I see hove into sight around the corner?

Yep, on this occasion, you’re quite right… it was the previous window cleaner we hadn’t seen for half a year.

I couldn’t believe it and several thoughts crashed through my head at pretty much the same time.  Here they are in order of annoyance:

  1. It’s just not fair – that’s what I get for trying to work slightly less:  taking three hours out to enjoy an afternoon in the sunshine and I had to bloody well hide in my own house
  2. Why was I feeling so guilty?  After all, the old window cleaner had been absent for 6 months; it’s not my fault if he’s losing his custom… is it?
  3. I bet it’s no coincidence that the old git has turned up on the very afternoon a rival window jock was doing a roaring trade where I live.  It sounds like a tip off to me
  4. The old git hasn’t been visible to his customers and therefore was losing them.  OMG: I’m out of the office and not visible to my clients… who’s nicking them from under my nose?  Back into work gear and back down to the office
  5. I wish I’d never taken that survey on the BBC website.

I think my aborted afternoon in the sun perfectly illustrates one of the key dilemmas to business owners in EB.

We work hard… probably harder than is really good for us and we worry about our customers which means we work even harder to get things right.  It’s either a vicious or virtuous circle, depending on how you look at it.

I do still think it was a bit unfair that I couldn’t even take three hours, though.

2 comments for “Window Cleaner Wars

  1. 14 June, 2012 at 07:46

    Brilliant blog post … I’m sure they will forgive you us Window Cleaners have a forgiving nature

  2. 1 June, 2012 at 08:35

    I am sure you have no need to feel guilty. Your window cleaner has. Sorry, but you were mad to panic like that. You obviously give a service to your clients: they will not dessert you for missing a phone call. 6 month’s phone calls: yes. The window cleaner deserved what he got. There is no point working 24/7 if you cannot enjoy the fruits of your labour. Use your time wisely and ensure you have ‘me time’. Let’s face it, Adonis or Mr Lambert? Consider Richard’s blog about the Gent who died suddenly. Life can be too short. Take quality time away from work and enjoy it. Do not be afraid of losing your clients: most will be more afraid of losing you!

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