Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Houseboy & The Mystery of the Vacuum

Robert is rather pleased with having a new cleaning person for our home. I am rather indifferent about it. This divergence of enthusiasm is likely due to our very different perspectives on the matter. I would expect to come home after the cleaner has been through the house and see a marked improvement. This was not the case. Except for ironing napkins and misplacing my cleaning products, I have no idea what else he did on his first visit. 

Robert, on the other hand, now has "staff" in Canada.  In principle alone this has him very excited. The role this staff person has taken on, unwittingly, is that of “houseboy”. And that is actually all I know this man as – “the houseboy”.  

I fear to ask Robert houseboy's name as it might somehow take away a little of the magic of it all for him. While I will likely never see this man, I will be shopping for him. He has given Robert a list of cleaning products, for which he thoughtfully emailed photos, put in a request a specific brand of mop and has asked that we purchase a vacuum.

Robert had phoned me at work on that initial day to ask if we owned a vacuum. We do not. We don’t own one in Ottawa, as we have hardwood floors throughout, and we don’t own one in Venice, as we have marble floors throughout.  This came as a bit of surprise to Robert – the lack of a vacuum, not the respective flooring materials. As an aside, if vacuums cost ten thousand dollars apiece and served merely an aesthetic function, he’d own five - with three still in their crates.
Wanting to keep the new staff happy, Robert has tasked me with purchasing the vacuum. His reasoning was that he felt it to be more in my area of expertise. I, however, suspect that it is because he doesn’t know what one looks like.

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