Oink, Oink – My Close Encounter with Shakes The Pigster

Contrary to what you may believe, I do not write this post because of the name of my company. It is a true story about what happened to me a few years ago in one of the funniest episodes of my cleaning career.

One day I got a call from my boss that I will have to take a new assignment, a weekly housekeeping visit. Nothing extraordinary – at this stage of my career, it happened to me almost every week. What the manager failed to mention (or probably the customer did it) was a little caveat – the family had a 200-pound friendly pig as a pet.

Wait, a 200-pound pig?! Well, when they bought the guy for their 13-year old daughter as a birthday present, it used to weight some 180 pounds less. Two years and countless meals later, our chubby pink friend had turned into a heavyweight walking mess.

The problem was that the family in question was not living in a spacious house with a large backyard in the suburbs – they inhabited a small brick-stone house in Barnes, overviewing the Thames. While Shakes (the pigster) was not particularly messy, he did create some scatological issues. He also left his prints all over the place, which was particularly annoying.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the idea of pigs as pets, though I do prefer them in the form of bacon or steaks. There were more than a few occasions when I had to bite my lip when my customers complained about the floor cleaning. One particularly rainy day, the now teenage daughter of the clan walked merrily in with Shakes minutes after I had cleaned the floors. It was the last drop in my cup of patience – I notified my manager and the customers that either I quit or Shakes has to go. Obviously, I resigned.

The lesson I learned was worth it – you have to expect everything on the job, but at the same time you should demand some healthy respect for your efforts. Shakes, nothing personal, buddy – I hope you are still roaming the streets of Barnes!