Saturday, December 4, 2010

Report #9

Dear Chinese Cleaning Lady,

Hey, it’s me the American. You know, the one that showed up too early on the first day and you had to unlock the door after hearing the doorbell ring repeatedly? You were pretty confused, especially when I tried to tell you that I just started working here. We didn’t understand one another, so I just sat at the table and read a book while I waited for other people to show up. Anyway, that was two months ago and I’ve had time to get to know you a bit better. I know we haven’t really talked much, except for the occasional “Ni hao” exchange, but I’ve done some reflecting on your services.

First off, I must say that I’m a little uncomfortable having a cleaning lady, like when I tried to wash my own mug and you took it out of my hands. Hey, you wanted that mug and I backed off. Don’t worry, I wasn’t trying to make you irrelevant, I just thought I’d give it a pre-rinse to make things easier for you. I’ve since moved beyond my initial sheepishness of your services, and now I marvel at the fact that I can create dirty dishes and just leave them in the sink for you. This makes me feel wealthy. In fact, I’m so comfortable with your services that I inquired about hiring you to clean my own apartment. I mean, two-dollars an hour! That’s a deal! My place would be a cakewalk for you it’s so small. But apparently you’re too busy with other clients for the next two months. No need to worry, put me on the waiting list. I do however have a few tips and suggestions.

I’ve noticed that you continue to use the same kitchen towels for most tasks around the office. I realize that we don’t have a washing machine, but it’s a good practice to change these towels once and awhile. It’s been two months since I arrived, and I’m pretty sure that white dish-towel hasn’t been washed once…and it shows. I even feel a little queasy just thinking about the few times early on I used it to dry off the rim of my glass. And that brings up another issue, all the hand washing you do. The large serving plate that you use to dry the glasses upside down inevitably creates a small pond. This prevents the cup from drying on the inside and taints the rim of the glass…hence my propensity to seek a drying cloth. Maybe that’s just what you’re used to but our kitchen has a dishwasher, however you seem to use the dishwasher to store wet plates and bowls. I realize the dishwasher may look like the perfect place to store wet dishes, but this is quite backwards. When I open the dishwasher to fetch a plate or bowl it smells damp like a moldy cellar because you continue to populate it with wet things and proceed to close the airtight door. This is bad. Please run it once in awhile, and it will even dry everything inside so you can put bowls and plates in the cabinets where they belong.

While on the subject of misused storage spaces, I must inform you that the shower is not a closet. Yes, it does share the same shape as one, but unlike a typical closet, which is used to hide unsightly things, our shower has glass walls. I’m sure we can relocate your brooms and mops to a more appropriate storage area, like the closet. Don’t worry, I’m not angry with you, I just think there is some room for improvement. I still want to be put on the waiting list, if you even have one.

I do have some positive feedback to give you as well. Thank you for the fresh fruit you bring each morning. I certainly eat my fair share of clementines. One time I ate so many when I looked at my tongue in the mirror it was orange. Weird, I know. I also appreciate how each morning you try to straighten the things on my desk so everything is perpendicular to each other. But please stop returning the books I’ve taken out from the office library. These I have on my desk because I’m reading them, they’re not misplaced. Oops, here I go complaining again. Let’s just leave things on a positive note. Chinese Cleaning Lady, you’re worth every penny!


The American

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