2008-04-04

The Cleaning ... uh .... Person

I work in an office of all men. We are all heterosexual, but we're also well mannered. It's not at all like scout camp. There's no farting, scratching, belching, or jokes about such. We do have a problem, though. We can't keep a cleaning lady for more than a month. Oh, excuse me ... cleaning person. (It just so happens that all our janitorial services have been provided by women.)

We're nice to the cleaning lady. We don't make big messes, we say hi, and we don't make outrageous demands at all. The worse thing she'd ever have to clean up is the chili that someone exploded all over the microwave (wasn't me!) That's why I don't understand why we're on our third cleaning lady in as many months.

The last time I recall a similar track record in driving people away would be the Sunday School instructors of my youth. In that case, however, I completely understand why we went through all those instructors. In fact, I'd say that one of our goals WAS to drive away the teacher. The collective efforts of four or five 12 year old boys at misbehavior would overwhelm Mother Theresa herself. Summarily deposited at a classroom by our parents, we thought we were prisoners of war. The instructors probably thought the same.

The key to most Sunday School insurgency was to "go to the bathroom":

A twelve year old can play outside for hours without any personal evacuations, but sit them down in front of a chalkboard with scripture references, and either his bladder will shrink to the size of a peanut, or he'll say he thirsts like man trapped in the Sahara for weeks. If you make the mistake of letting him out of the classroom, chaos may well ensue. His friends will clamor for similar release, which he'll try to facilitate by ringing the "5 minutes remaining" bell. If this fails, don't be surprised if he runs outside, darting past the window to the delight of his still incarcerated mates. If caught, he'll convince you to detour past the drinking fountain. Don't fall for this trap, his goal is to return to the classroom -- fully laden with cheeks full of water, ammunition for his next attempt at chaos.

I could go on, but sufficeth to say we were terrible. Don't worry, I've no doubt that I'll get my chance to teach Sunday School someday, and justice will be served. I just wonder what we did make the cleaning lady abandon us every few weeks.