Do You Care?

Ok kids, I got a little behind (no pun intended) when I had my colonoscopy done this week.

Earlier this week we played a Facebook game of “What will give CarpetKev a heart attack?”  when we posted the photo below.


The “blood-pressure-raisers” in this photo are many.

We found this backpack vacuum lying on the floor in the back corridor of a mid-rise building in the Phoenix financial district.  It was basically new, you could tell by how nice it looked, along with there being no scratches on the canister or the floor tool.  And even though the cord is a spaghetti mess in the picture, it’s still shiny, it still has very few marks on the insulation and it isn’t all twisted into little knots… yet.  This piece of equipment cost someone about $500-600.00 when it was new, depending on the exact model.

So the first problem we identify is this expensive piece of equipment, lying unsupervised in a back corridor, where it can easily be “borrowed” by anyone.  I have had several copies of this very same vacuum walk off jobsites over the years and it really ticks me off.  Sure, I’m irritated that I lost the vac, but what’s even more irritating is the fact that we can’t finish the job until someone, like an area supervisor, brings another vacuum to the jobsite wasting time and money.

Ok let’s dig deeper…

Problem two, you already know how grumpy I get about cords.  (Don’t remember?  Check here!) That one is fairly obvious and shouldn’t be worth any points. But something noteworthy is this; that is a 100 foot extension cord in the picture, it’s all tangled up.

The reason you buy a long cord in the first place is to save time.  It lets you travel farther without stopping to find a working outlet.  A big downside to a long cord is that they didn’t train your cleaner on how to take care of it (coil it, manage it and protect it) so it’s going to get messed up.  And the longer the cord, the bigger the mess can get!  How are you going to save time if your cleaner is fighting with the cord that he/she has so effectively tangled up?

(It amazes me how few outlets there are in offices and corridors available for operating the cleaning equipment.  There are many buildings that don’t have any electrical outlets in the corridors.  Do owners, property managers and architects think cleaning equipment operates off of Bluetooth technology?)

Another problem with a long cord is that the janitor is going to go as far as they can in order to avoid having to stop and move the plug to another outlet.  (when they can find one, many times it is out of order)  Once again, they failed to train the people so he/she is going to drag that big long cord around every corner and tear up the paint, wallpaper, drywall and doorjambs, (see my post on “…cord damage here…”) they may even knock the end caps off of some cubicle corners and then slice the cord, on the exposed metal frame, right down to the bare wires.  How much money do you think they figured into their bid for being the cause of wall damage and paying for the repairs?

Next we come up with a less obvious item, the wand leaning against the wall.  It doesn’t look like it’s a problem right?  Well, news flash, some people can be picky about their walls.  They want the walls to look nice and clean.  They don’t want marks.  Here, we find the aluminum wand leaning against a wall that is painted with flat-finish paint.  The issue is, the aluminum wand will leave a mark (like a pencil mark) on flat paint… … and you can’t wipe it off.  If this wand were to get bumped or even fall down because it isn’t standing up straight, it’s going to leave a mark.  If the building is particular, someone’s going to pay for a re-paint on that corridor.

Fourth and finally, this is a trip hazard.  I didn’t get it in the frame of the picture, but this is a narrow corridor that leads to the freight elevator and the passenger elevators.  Anyone using this corridor; carrying something, texting or simply not paying full attention as they leave the office, can stumble over this obstacle and possibly get hurt.

This next photo is an example of a safer way to stage equipment while it is waiting to be used.  We actually captured this photo in another building on the very same night that we got the messy one!


This vacuum was still sitting unguarded but, at least, it was out of the traffic lane and the cord was rolled up.  The wand is not in the best position but it is against a brick wall with a slightly lower chance of falling over on its own.  I don’t like the hose dragging through the plant because that can cause leaf damage.  (Corporate buildings contract with plant maintenance companies to keep their decorative plants alive and healthy).  A simple rule we try to live by is, “Don’t be the cause of breaking the plants”.

So, “How does all this chatter about plants and vacuums and cords relate to my carpet,” you ask?  It comes down to one word, “Care”.  How much do the people and the company you hire to take care of your things, actually “Care” about your property and belongings?  After all, these are the people you trust with your carpet too.

Most of them are focused on their money, not on taking care of your building.  I know this because I see it in the little things.  How the crew treats their own tools and equipment will be directly reflected in the care that they give to your office.  Most of the time you would be disappointed.

I’m going to have to take a chill-pill now.  Let me know what problems you have with your cleaning crew.  Maybe I can address it here in another post and help someone else that has the same or similar problem.

Popping a little gasket here.

Carpet Kev

‘Til next time…