Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Cleaning Ladies

My apartment here is a “serviced apartment” which means I have maids who clean three times a week. On one hand it’s clearly a nice privilege to not have to worry about cleaning up after myself. On the other hand the cleaning people here in Japan take service to a whole new level which can make for some odd situations. For instance, here’s a few of the odd situations I’ve run into:

-I have piles of change that I leave sitting on the counter in my apartment as a reminder to spend it (Japanese currency uses a lot of coins). On the way out the door the other day I was in a rush and I accidentally knocked over five piles of coins. I came home and found that the apartment cleaning staff had neatly re-arranged the piles of coins for me.

-If I leave dirty dishes in the dish washer with the plan of running it at a later date when the dishwasher is full I come home to find the dishes put away. It’s unclear whether the cleaning staff is washing the dishes by hand and putting them away, or if they are putting away my dirty dishes. Needless to say I have made it a habit to run the dish washer the night before cleaning days.

-Every time I come home after a cleaning day my toiletries are always re-arranged in a new and unique way, it’s amazing how many places my razor has ended up.

-Since the cleaning ladies have keys to my place they bring things into my place and put them where they think they should belong. So when I send my dry cleaning out, my laundry comes back and the cleaning ladies hang everything in my closet where they think it belongs. And when I get Fedex documents, faxes or large mail they put them in random places in my apartment.

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