Step One—Enter the room. Wait! Wait! Knock first, you idiot. Don’t you know what you’re doing?
Step Two—Oh Lord, now you’ve done it. Here comes Carrie. [In the background] Yes Carrie, we remembered to knock. No, I swear we did. And there’s no one in here. It’s fine… Yes, we’ll remember next time.
Step Three—So you’ve entered the room. Did you bring a linen bag? No? Okay, go get the bag. And what about the sheets? [Whispers to himself] This the last time I ever volunteer to train someone. No! You can’t have a biscuit, those are for guests… Not now… I don’t care if you’re tired…
Step Four—Strip the beds and then make a bed, and make damn sure everything is tight. When you drop a quarter on it, we want that sucker to bounce off at lethal speeds.
Step Five—That’s not a hospital corner. You better redo that… The sheet is not too small. Here let me do it. [Struggles ensue] This sheet… is a [pulls vigorously at the sheet] bit too small… but look, all done. I’ve got the edges in. Just don’t touch anything within seven feet of the bed.
Step Six—Clean the bathroom. The glass cleaner can be used on everything but probably shouldn’t. The spray-and-wipe should never be used on glass, but can be used on shower walls—but the smell could fry the whiskers off a ferret so no one ever uses it. The disinfectant goes on the toilet and can occasionally be used other places… I don’t know, other places… Yes, that’s as specific as I’m going to be.
Step Seven—Whew, we’re already on step seven. Check the time. What time is it? Whoo boy, we’ve already been in here thirty minutes, and it’s only half done. We better hurry through this bathroom… No, I said no biscuit.
Step Eight—So the bathroom’s done, more or less. You were a little fearful on that toilet; you have to put more heart into the scrubbing process. And that glass isn’t winning any prizes, that’s for sure. We’ll just hope the guests aren’t very observant.
Step Nine—Dust the room. And these glasses, uh, they look clean, right? [Wipes with shirt] Stick ‘em over there.
Step Ten—Haul out that vacuum. She’s a bit old, so give her at least fifteen minutes to warm up. I KNOW, LOUD RIGHT? DON’T EXPECT TO HAVE ANY HEARING LEFT AFTER A COUPLE ROOMS.
Step Eleven—Take out the mop and spend at least two minutes pretending you’re Jimmy Page before doing the thirty seconds of mopping required.
Step Twelve—Lock ‘er up.
Step Thirteen—Reenter the room. We’ve forgotten to put in the towels and restock the tea and biscuits.
Step Fourteen—Lock it up again. Remember the most important part: blame someone else if the guests complain about anything.
Ben Rietema (’14) lives in Wanaka, New Zealand at the moment. Besides staring at and running in mountains, he makes a wicked hospital corner and can clean a bathroom like Gandhi (if he were a housekeeper) at his job at a local lodge. He also enjoys saying “HOUSEKEEPING” in the highest pitch voice he can muster before entering a room to service it. benrietema.wordpress.com/