Hate the Game, Not the Player

window washer

If you’ve read my bio, you know that I’m a professional window cleaner, and truthfully, sometimes window cleaning doesn’t feel very glamorous. But usually it does.

As a window cleaner, you are the master of a universe. Your brain surgeon client probably knows more about brains and surgery than you do, but when it comes to his windows, he’s like a newborn fawn. He’s totally dependent on you, and that’s a wonderful feeling; for you. But not for him. It leaves him feeling helpless and foolish and envious.

Sure, just like any profession, window cleaning has its drawbacks. First, you get tan and your muscles develop a decathlete’s tone and there’s no way around it. Second, you have to hang out in fancy houses with rich, awesome people, which eventually turns you into a sophisticated snob with expensive tastes. Third, you become accustomed to having access to cold, refreshing water from a hose at any given moment. Fourth, you get paid Benjamins twice a day instead of twice a month.

At this point you probably think window cleaning is all glory and no guts. It’s not. Maybe the following scenario will convince you:

Imagine you’re cleaning Chick-fil-A’s windows on a balmy afternoon. You’re up on a ladder firing off quick, graceful movements that have become instinctual. Your grey polo is form-fitting (you may or may not have bought them that way because they help land the ‘rich widow’ clientele that is so ardently sought after by every window magnate) and you know your bum cheeks flex a little when you reach for the top of the window, making them appear more shapely than they otherwise do. You’re getting things done and having a ball doing it. You feel like a million dollars, but you sense something awry. You realize that the casual spectators behind you are burning holes in your uniform with their judgmental retinas. People are making assumptions about you, the “window washer,” based on nothing more than 5 seconds of bored observation and a life’s worth of ignorance. You can almost hear their thoughts:

“He’s so lucky. I bet he doesn’t have any problems.”

“Sheesh. I bet that dude has a hot wife.”

“That guy is probably from a rich family and his dad owns this business.”

“It’s easy for him because he’s around 7 feet tall.”

Oh, I’m sorry, did I give you permission to tell me who I am and that I’m perfect and don’t have any problems? My wife is hot, but for your information, my family is upper middle class but not rich, and I’m only 6’4.

So yes, window cleaning is rad. But it comes with a burden. I remember reading of Marilyn Monroe telling her therapist how hard it was that men had all these unrealistic expectations of her. At the end of the day, under the patina of perfection, she knew that she was just a woman. And I am just a man.


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6 Responses to Hate the Game, Not the Player

  1. hasselboff says:

    lolol. i understand what you’re going through. when d and i were making a go of the laundromats, i often would see those same envious looks when i told people about my aspirations for the laundry business.

  2. Davis says:

    “You know your bum cheeks flex a little when you reach for the top of the window, making them appear more shapely than they otherwise do.”

    In the interest of full disclosure you should probably mention to your readers that your bum consists of skin covering two ziploc bags each holding 3 teaspoons of water.

  3. Ryan says:

    It’s no exaggeration to say that when there’s someone doing something in my home- a plumber, a carpet-layer, a furnace guy, whatever, I am completely helpless, and yes, envious. I hate that feeling. And when they tell me about the incomprehensible problem that arose while they were working, that raised the cost of the job by $250, and then ask for my ‘autograph’ on the little pink bill, I just feel so . . . dominated.

    I trust you’re using that power disparity to your advantage.

  4. Rebecca says:

    lololol. i dont’ usually lol. but, i made a special exception for this one.

  5. Braden says:

    Excellent post, Kook. Its hightime somone demystified the American windowwasher. You hit the naiil right on, Ry.

  6. Squewerosityocous says:

    I’m glad that you’ve shared your comments on this important topic. The guy in the latest season of the bachelor is pilot. The advertising folks are making a big deal about his occupation because being a pilot alone makes him a great catch or something. I’m glad someone else is having to deal with the pre-judgments associated with a prestigious profession. Together we can get through this buddy. On a unrelated note, Chris you want to get together later, oil up, and play volleyball on the beach in our blue jeans?

    Glad this blog is finally up and going! A welcome diversion! Are you looking for guest posters?

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