Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Window Cleaning - Great In Summer, Horrible In Winter

Worked for George again this morning. Cleaning windows in the summer is actually kind of nice. You get fresh air, some sunshine. You hair gets natural highlights from the sun, the work is fairly easy and you can use lots of water since it's hot and your water evaporates fast. Lots of water makes it easier. Summer is great.

I would get my own contracts, except for one small thing.


Just for fun, George asked me to go with him one time in the dead of winter. Once.

My first clue should have been when we added antifreeze to our water. Half water with with detergent, half -40 antifreeze. Oh goody. So we get out to this crummy filthy restaurant, early in the morning when the sun is barely up and it's -25 real with a -35 windchill. Oh boy. George sends me around to do the front. I plunge my applicator into my bucket of antifreeze and hot water, but the applicator won't go in because A LAYER OF ICE HAS FORMED in the time since I'd left the truck.

I calmly broke the ice and got my applicator nice and wet. Keep in mind that I was not wearing gloves. It's very difficult to wear gloves and handle your equipment properly. Also, George has no feeling in his hands and thinks anyone who works with gloves on is a pansy. Since then I have ignored George's taunts and jeers and have bought myself a pair of the most awesome gloves ever created.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Sealskinz.

But back then , I didn't have my Awesome Waterproof Gloves of Stupendous Glory. I just had my hands. My poor, sad, exposed hands.

So of course as I applied the water to the glass and it poured down onto my hand, the -35 windchill said, "idiot at seven o'clock!" and decided to give me a real thrashing. The cold was horrific. If you have ever been ice fishing and put your exposed hands into the water and then waved them around your head till they froze, you know what I am talking about. If you haven't done this, you can't understand.

I painfully and slowly worked my way across the front of the restaurant, my hands turning into lumps of ice, my feet slipping constantly on the skating rink that was the sidewalk, my very sweat dripping from my brow onto my glasses where it FROZE. I had to scrape the frost OFF MY GLASSES. Whee.

But the moment of true evil was yet to come. As I worked my way around the restaurant, I came to the final plate of glass. The window sat between the buildings in an area that hasn't seen sunlight since 1941. Somehow the cold had numbed my brain and it just didn't occur to that cleaning that plate might be a bad idea.

I made my first swipe my applicator and before I was finished the antifreeze on the glass had turned to slush. In the short time while I stood there stupidly, marveling at the emerging frost designs, my applicator FROZE AGAINST THE GLASS. I had to break it off. The solution on the glass froze solid every quickly, so I walked around to the other side, where the sun was and told George what had happened.

He laughed so hard he nearly split his pants. That George. Ha ha. What a kidder.

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