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Cleaning Experiences

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Mr.Mike View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30/January/2004 at 10:08pm

I found myself one day cleaning a rather large house which included 7 bedrooms. Such a large job required me to hire someone for the day. This person turned out to be a friend of a friend whom had no prior carpet cleaning experience. Of course I was weary at first to hire such an individual but this lucrative job opportunity virtually popped up out of nowhere so it left me with no choice.

Drove up to the hired hands place of residence the following morning and waited over 20mins for this person to get ready. Of course this made us late for the job but luckily the client wasn't overly angry at our tardiness. We brought all the necessary equipment into the house and began to get set up.

I told "John" to fill the machine with the hottest water possible while I surveyed the job site. When I came back John had filled the machines DIRTY WATER TANK full to the top with hot water. I quickly explained to him where the clean water was supposed to go so we could get this job underway. I thought to myself right then and there that this was going to be a long day with this person.

I decided that I would do the majority of the cleaning while he presprayed, dumped, filled and moved hoses for me. Well he was nice enough to see me sweating up a bit and asked if he could try cleaning a couple rooms. I showed him the proper way to clean with the wand including dry strokes. I left him in charge while I made a trip to the restroom. When I came back he had already finished two rooms and was on to the next. I thought wait just a minute...he's obviously cleaning too fast. Upon inspection of the rooms he had just cleaned there were no visible wand marks. My machine is 500 psi capable and the sound of the pump is very recognizeable when cleaning. To my suprise the quick coupler attached to the wand had come loose. He had cleaned two whole bedrooms using only dry strokes! Ughhhhhhh...I was beginning to get frustrated. Funny thing being that he shut the machine off and told me how great the last room looked that he had just finished cleaning.

When the upstairs was finally finished I told him to dump the dirty water tank and bring the machine downstairs. I had brought everything else down to the basement. On my way back upstairs "John" was at the top flight of the stairs holding the machine. He lowered the machine down one step then lost his grip. BANG!, BOOM!, CRACK!, BASH!, SCRAPE!, CRASH!, THUD!!!. We both just stood there shocked staring at each other and the machine as it sit on its side gushing out its dirty water tank all over the foyer's entrance tiles. He forgot to empty the machines dirty water tank! When I replay the incident in my head its all in slow motion. Although my heart was literally beating out of my chest. My machine's recovery tank holds over 10 gallons of dirty water when full.

Reality quickly set in as I uprighted the machine and ran out to the truck to get my trusty mop and squeegee attachment. Took over 45min to clean up the mess. To this day I thank my lucky stars that the client had left for work just after we arrived.

Definetely one day that I'd love to forget but it will always be with me. If smoking one cigarette takes one day off of your life. This incident took 5 years off in one shot.



Edited by Mr.Mike
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doug View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/February/2004 at 12:54pm
I can only imagine from your story that you dont believe in tecahing or trainig new employees weather temp or full time.  Why would you use a mop to clean up water when uyou have an extractor? I certainly would not use a job like this to train a carpeting cleaning tech.  This mess may have costed you a future client.  It should be more of a lesson to you as some people do not complain they just don't call back.
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Scott View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/February/2004 at 1:51pm
I had a similar experience with "hired help".  It was a friend of mine and I had him work with me a couple of times before.  When he was with me, I had no problems.  This day I sent him on a small job by himself so I could work on another one at the same time.  After he was gone for about an hour my cellphone rang.  He couldn't find the house.  I gave him directions and stayed on the phone until he got there.  About 5 minutes later he called back and said he couldn't get the rear door of the van open.  I asked him if he unlocked it and he said he couldn't get it unlocked.  I went over and opened the door for him using the ONLY OTHER KEY on the ring!  I went back to my job and hoped that he wouldn't call again.  He didn't. Later on we met at the office and he said everything went OK.  The next morning, the customer called me and asked if I was missing a couple of buckets and containers of cleaning solution.  I checked and said yes.  I went over and picked them up and apologized to the customer.  I haven't called this "hired Help" back since.
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Mr.Mike View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr.Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/February/2004 at 4:13pm

Originally posted by doug doug wrote:

I can only imagine from your story that you dont believe in tecahing or trainig new employees weather temp or full time.  Why would you use a mop to clean up water when uyou have an extractor? I certainly would not use a job like this to train a carpeting cleaning tech.  This mess may have costed you a future client.  It should be more of a lesson to you as some people do not complain they just don't call back.

You are missing the point of my story. This person was completely incompetent from the get-go. Time restraints also prevented me from properly training this individual.

I used a squeegee attachment that hooks up to my portable machine. This is how the majority of the dirty water was sucked up. The mop was used to "finish the job".

To this day my client is still ignorant about the large spill. No harm - no fowl. I just did the best I could in a panicked situation.

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CLEANWORKS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CLEANWORKS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/February/2004 at 9:05pm
you are the carpet cleaner that i warn my customers about.  why would you need help to clean a 7 room house in the first place.  what kind damage did ur machine do to the walls as it fell down the stairs.  if you don't have time to train employees, then supervise them.   stupidest story that i have heard this year.
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Mr.Mike View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr.Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/February/2004 at 9:47pm

This house was a 7 room mansion. The whole house was completely carpeted (even the 5 bathrooms) except of course for the entrance foyer. Not to mention the cleaning of two 3 seater couches...I needed help that day!. No visible damage to the staircase or walls except for a scrape or two that washed off (astonishing).

Moral of this story is shi* happens. An unfortunate turn of events that could have been prevented but my back was against the wall. We are all only human and we learn from our mistakes.

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doug View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/February/2004 at 10:35am
Mike: Did you get this job becuse you were the cheapeast?  Or just how did you manage to get this job not be prepared for it?  You are probably lucky that your customers choose to be away when you arrive to work.
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Mr.Mike View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr.Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17/February/2004 at 11:47pm
doug...you and me, live chat...i'll set you straight.
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kool-aid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kool-aid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/March/2004 at 4:54pm

Employee: "What is this stuff?"

ME:"Gum Remover"

Employee:"What does it do?"

ME: uh, removes gum.

Employee:

ME: Your fired!"just kidding"

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nightrider View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nightrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13/March/2004 at 2:38am
He actually cleaned 2 large rooms while you were in the bathroom. WERE YOU CONSTIPATED OR WERE YOU LOOKING AT DIRTY MAGAZINES.  Let me see what's wrong with this story, Ninja 500=very loud pump, if off i would know, ummmmmmmm ninja 500 very heavy machine when empty.....add 10 gallons of water= another 100 pounds.....fresh water tank close to empty...creating an unbalanced center of gravity.....machine is off balanced to begin with........my guess would be regardless of body strength difficult to pick up in one motion, thus a request must have been issued by helper and you being a professional would have noticed the extra weight of the machine.......unless your mind was still on all those titties.......conclusion  your story doesn't hold water and neither did your ninja 500.  Very entertaining though, ever think of writting childrens books.......like the little train that could........kids believe anything                 Jack from Montreal     aka  NIGHTRIDER
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