personal assistant at computer

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among my clients in recent weeks. It seems they have all blurred the lines of what I do for them with what a personal assistant does. No, not wipe their nose and change their undergarments, although if it keeps up, I can see me having to do this down the road.

While the Friend vs. Cleaning Lady line has always been a bit murky with my little train wrecks, this trend is taking on a more “all around helper” tone. Maybe it was the extra care I afforded them at the height of the pandemic, like playing “Cleansyiatrist” (cleaning their mind and their home). Or maybe my accommodating nature has come back to bite me in the keister (for some of you who have never heard that word before, it’s the part of the body you sit on, I said “SIT” on. Where is your mind!). Either way, my role as cleaning lady is morphing into something else entirely.

For the past two weeks Midge has been taking her coffee in bed. As in, I bring it to her when she wakes up. While I’ve always brewed the coffee when I arrive (should have never started that), this is certainly a new behavior. I am tempted to show up in the traditional black and white maid’s uniform next week and bring a silver tray. Scratch that, the silver tray is overkill.

Also, she has now started making a list of phone calls I need to make for her. Like to her doctors and the cable company. While I did act as the go-between for the restoration of her condo when it caught on fire, it has since been fully restored. And the only reason I did that is because none of the construction people could get ahold of her. She sleeps until 2 if I’m not there and starts drinking an hour later. So it’s either the answering machine which she always accidently turns off or Midge answering the phone thinking she is talking to the pizza delivery guy and ordering a case Vodka.

And the phone calls have been an exercise in comic relief. As soon as someone answers the phone and I start speaking, she inevitable starts yelling over me telling them what she needs. I try to respond, the person on the phone is trying to talk and from there it turns into a skit of “Who’s On First.” I should hand her the phone but she’ll forget who she’s talking to and order a case of Vodka.

Courtesy of NYYGehrig

As for Ole Ironsides, I picked up a prescription for her once six months ago and dropped it off at her assisted living facility because one of her family was unable. Now that I am allowed back in to clean, it seems the task has been permanently relegated to “the help” and she has now scheduled her pickups on my cleaning days. I’ve often thought about getting her a prescription for medical marijuana so she can dream sweet dreams while I’m there. And does she pay for the extra gas and time it takes for going out of my way? I think not.

The Bachelor now texts me the morning of his cleaning to see if I’ll run to McDonald’s for him. “Get whatever you want. My treat of course.” My treat indeed. So one day I ordered 6 big Mac’s and fries and fed all my friends and handed him the bill. He never looks at it anyway and just shoves it in a draw, typical bachelor thing.

I’m not sure how I’ll go about getting my original job description back. The post-pandemic genie seems to be out of the bottle. I miss the days when I just went to someone’s house and just cleaned. Good ‘ole fashion mindless cleaning. I used to daydream about being a famous writer while I was cleaning the toilet. Now my head is filled with doctor appointments and prescription refills. So whatever you do, remember your cleaning lady is there to clean. Don’t take that away from her. Or I’ll have to raise my rates based on all the other hats you make me wear.

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