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Chapter 4 of "The Cleaners - An Adventure in Filth"

‘Real cleaning begins when one can clean a toilet as if one is cleaning a church.’ The Cleaners

“Where the fuck have you been?” were the first words that hit me when I walked into the office Monday morning. My boss was 'none-to-subtle' in-house, though he was a real diplomat in public.

“You know, I had a death in the family,” I replied quickly.

“Well, get over it, we’ve got work to do,” he declared and promptly marched to his office.

I followed him in, “What’s up?”

“Just the normal crap” he said. “I’ve had orders from the Board to put in place some ‘cost-saving’ measures. You know, giving a whole heap of people the arse because some fuck-wit upstairs thinks selling off one of our subsidiary companies is a good idea.

“These show ponies give me the shits. All they care about is sucking up to boost their careers. You know, the only reality that matters to them is what fits on a spreadsheet!”

“Anyway, enough whinging. I’ve looked at what we can off-load before we start sacking staff. There are a couple of facility services we can cut back on and get some cheaper foreign labour.”

“What facility services were you thinking of?” I asked.

“Well, for starters we can drop the cleaning service. I’m sure we can find something cheaper,” he replied.

“What’s the name of company we currently use?” I asked earnestly, coloured by recent events.

He reacted immediately and said, “Since when did you give two fucks about a cleaning company?”

“Oh, just curious,” I said trying to hide any hint of interest.

“Here’s what I’ve drafted so far. It’s all in the file. Get to work on these ‘cost-saving’ measures,” he said sarcastically. “I need strategies and figures by the end of the month to present to the Board. I don’t want them crawling up my arse on this one. Besides, you’re good at this shit. You know, toe cutting.”

I took the file back to my office and tentatively opened it. It didn’t take long to locate the name of the cleaning company … it was Commonaim. Worse still, the cost-savings were to be made across a number of buildings leased by the company, including the TXU. Apart from the fact that Commonaim seemed to provide significant cleaning services, their fate was in my hands.

I immediately called Rick. To my surprise, he didn’t seem surprised. “Yes, this often happens,” said Rick. “But the cleaning must continue.”

I was perplexed. “But how,” I replied. “I’m being forced to give Commonaim the axe - its almost certain that you’ll need to shut-up shop in a few months. Nothing can stop that now.”

Rick fell silent on the other end of the line, and with a gentle warmth said, “Don’t worry.”


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