It’s been three days since returning to ‘work’ life. There was a meeting two days ago, one in which I took minimal notes and pondered when my next vacation days might be.
My two colleagues and I were given a few tasks for this week concerning the arrival of 50 American students coming to study abroad in Germany. On the list of things to do: pick up 50 prepaid calling cards, pay the housing people $15 “administration fee” for changing rooms, register my room change with the city, and last but not least – clean rooms that were not up to the standards of the dormitory landlord.
Which do you think would take the most time of all of these tasks? Maybe the room change registration..maybe the cleaning of rooms? I actually think collecting the phone cards will be the most time consuming. I don’t know how it works where you are, but in some cities in Germany – the businesses are always shocked by groups of more than 6. When I walk into the phone store and say I need 50 phone cards..the automatic response is, “50?!”..yes, 50. The clerk will then look through the door, pull out a small stack of cards and say they only have so many – well, I’ll take what you have. The clerk counts out what usually turns out to be between 15-24 phone cards, I pay, I leave..and head to another phone store. It usually requires visiting 3, if not 4 phone stores.
Cleaning rooms today was a joke. There was a list of 21 rooms that weren’t left in ‘perfect’ condition. My boss agreed to help clean the rooms with us minion workers – so she’s there with her big winter coat on trying to smooth things over with the landlord. He shows us what “should” have been cleaned in the move-out process last semester.
Each room comes with a desk, table, tall bookshelf, and a closet that is just as tall as the bookshelf, and a bed. The landlord wants that every room have the top shelves of the bookshelf and closet -dusted- and the heaters to be -dusted- with a special brush (he only has one brush, for a building of about 300 people), and the light fixture on the ceiling to be – dusted-. Well, 3 of the 4 things he wants clean require a ladder. Are you telling me every person that moves out goes down to get the ladder, takes it to their room and -dusts- the VERY top of the shelving…the shelf no one can see when they move in and would most likely not be checking?
Add to my confusion with the whole idea, the boss asks if there is a vaccuum for us to use after we’ve -dusted- because the dust will land on the ‘clean’ floor .. he says there is no vaccuum, and it doesn’t matter if the dust is on the floor.
What kind of logic is that? Leave dust on the floor, because that’s really the first thing you want to see when you move in & have to clean up when you move in. So, dust on the floor means clean room? However, those top shelves, yeah, that’s the FIRST thing people are looking at when they move in.
I don’t have a problem with cleaning, taking care of the nooks & crannies, sure. But, trying to make me believe everyone does this when they move out and our group should have known to do so is really ridiculous.
All this discussion of rooms went on for 30-minutes before we could even begin the process of cleaning. The landlord told us how he was sick and when he started describing what was wrong with him, well, I didn’t quite catch it. It was really early in the morning, (ok, it wasn’t that early, but I’d just gotten out of bed, so work with me) and he was speaking Sächsisch (the local dialect in Saxony, Germany) – and I just couldn’t catch it…and I didn’t know if he was saying something really serious or something rather normal because my boss had on her “Oh, poor you.” face – which could mean anything from lung cancer to a paper-cut that wouldn’t heal. She really makes this face about anything that she can’t help – so, no telling what his ailment is. At any rate, he looks pretty healthy.
We had two ladders, two buckets, four towels, four people – so imagine how we split that up. Two of us took 10 rooms, the boss and my other co-worker took 11 rooms and their own ladder.
After working we felt entitled to a good lunch, and we all headed to a döner kebap – I hate to call it ‘restaurant’ – place nearby. It was pretty good.
Tomorrow is phone card & registration & pay to move day. Yip-yippee!
Song of The Day: Dig – Incubus