The Most Satisfying Chore

My name is Jackie and I work for City Wide Maintenance. For the past two years, I have written many of these blogs about City Wide’s various services with the help of our stellar Operations teams and Service Providers nationwide. Rarely, however, do I discuss my 18 years of experience in building maintenance.

I was on the “crew” of the janitorial company at my parents’ small business. As my grandpa owned the building, we were the “property management company” for six storefronts (25,000 sq. ft.) in a strip mall in Overland Park, Kansas.

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This included four retail stores, a restaurant, and a Pay Day Loan business that are located just 15 minutes away from City Wide’s national headquarters. While most people spent time cleaning up after dinner, my childhood chores were focused on the cleaning and maintenance of these businesses, specifically, the 2,400 sq. ft. retail store that my parents owned, The Camera Center.

There were the typical chores that you expect children to do, although instead of dusting bookshelves at home, I was cleaning (and high dusting) the glass retail shelves and re-arranging the items. I swept the floor, picked up trash in the parking lot, vacuumed, and pulled weeds. Almost every day, I got out the blue spray bottle and cleaned the glass front door, mainly of my own fingerprints. There were horizontal bars across the window, to avoid break-ins, which I would climb on to reach the top of the door. And of course, I cleaned the bathroom, took out the trash to the dumpster, and cleaned the ‘break room,’ which was just a microwave in the back room next to boxes of inventory.

But the most satisfying job was pressure washing the sidewalks, windows, and brick pillars of our proud little storefront. The immediate gratification of watching the dirt wash away along with months of grime, dust, and sometimes moss on the bottom of the pillars.

However, I also learned that pressure washing was not always simple. If I didn’t keep it at the same pressure and about the same distance from the sidewalk, I would have to re-do at the highest pressure to make it look even. No matter how dirty the stone on the front looked, I couldn’t pressure wash it, as it would disintegrate the soft stone facing. I learned fast that I had to wear shoes during this chore, as the water did NOT feel like a sprinkler when I accidentally pointed it at my (or my sister’s) foot.

Once, I used a rented pressure washer, with a higher pressure setting. I accidentally went over the water hose and ripped it. Not only was my pressure washing done for the day, but we also had to pay for the repairs.

Does this sound like you? Do you spend hours and days on commercial maintenance and on a sidewalk that lasts more than 50 feet? When your roof leaks, does it stop the flow of business while you deal with it? For your commercial building, you need a crew, and not just a few more kids. Call City Wide and we can help with the pressure washing and more!