It’s Never Clean Enough

I would like to take a moment to share my woes of being a “maintainer of kitchens”. Well, the woes of cleaning after a long break that is.


(Dear Boss, if you happen to come across this little moment of open expression… Eh, just remember who’s writing it and I think you’ll agree.)


Was it Macbeth’s wife that said, “Out damn spot”?


I feel like I truly understand those words now. Maybe not in her sense but to that degree of losing my fucking mind.


It starts with wiping off the stainless steel prep tables at work. At first, all you wish to do is create a workable surface; sanitize the station. However, there’s that pesky little reminder that these surfaces went untouched all summer. (It’s at a school you see… college… no summer classes… yet.) If I clean the top I have to clean the shelf underneath but if I do that then I have to clean every cutting board, utensil, knife case, and stand mixer that goes with it. It is at this very moment, while cleaning the bottom shelf, I can see up-close and personal just how disgusting the floor is but I can’t do that just yet because I need to wipe down the stoves. As I’m wiping down the stoves I see how nasty the shelves are that hold every dish to be used in the kitchen. Those dishes must be washed, I say but in order for them to go back on the shelf the entire shelving area needs to be sanitized. (Yes, this is exactly how my attention wanders.)


What about the dishwasher?


Oh no… I have to clean the dishwasher before I can wash the dishes after I sanitize the shelves, which I noticed while cleaning the stoves after I wiped down the tables…


And the fridges…


I can’t clean the fridges without removing every shelf and sanitizing each and every little corner.


But wait…


The rolling rack of oversized cans of beans that no one ever asked for has grease on every inch of it… And then I look down again.


The floor… that fucking floor…


There’s a plethora of dried up carcasses of what used to be cockroaches covering its surface and I notice they’re staring at me with their deathly eyes; laughing at how they made themselves “at home” before deciding to stop living at that very spot. I’m reminded of how revolting those little bastards are and it makes me wipe down the tables again. Now, hold on, before I can do that…




It’s not one of the little ones either. It’s one of those Sun Spiders that look like they’ve been beaten with an ugly stick before being sent out into the world. This is what my nightmares feel like. I can’t deal with this shit. I start to notice curled up remnants EVERYWHERE. In the corners… under tables… next to the toilet in the bathroom…


My bladder creates a dam and my colon swells itself shut.


Now I’m looking at the walls. This building is never clean enough. They’ve been crawling all over these walls, I realize. I look down into the sink and find one belly-up, one of its legs extended slightly above the rest as if to give me the middle finger. I loathe you little sideshow freaks.


Great… Now I’m scrubbing the sink.


While getting a trash bag to dump the little victims into their mass grave I notice the state of the trashcan’s interior. Somehow I forget the moment when I end up shoulder deep in the smelly plastic container. It’s dark in here… but at least I’m alone.


After washing my hands I notice the faucet is smudged… And the soap dispenser… As well as the towel dispenser.


And I think I’m finished…


The last dish is going to it’s home when I turn around to find a brand new, grimy little spot right on the edge of the prep table. I hang my head, exhaling with much exhaustion, and remember that I haven’t done the floors yet. I meander my way to the mop sink to find my lovely mop bucket on its wheels with a slight bit of water in it. Apparently, this is the site of the spider’s pool party and I see that there were some casualties. The floors can wait.


When all is accomplished and the day is through, I’m left with a dire need to bathe. After finally getting home, I rest my palms on the sink in the bathroom and allow my face to drop. My eyes become fixated on the surface and I think to myself…


I need to clean this place…


3 responses to “It’s Never Clean Enough

  • Dan

    I would feel bad for you if this wasn’t so funny. But I do feel bad for… I CAN’T DO IT! I’M SORRY! THIS IS HILARIOUS!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jan

    I love you Tina! Wanna help clean my house?!!! Lol…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Lora Miller

    I don’t know what I would do without you. I understand every word you have written, and I applaud your ability to express yourself the way you do. Hopefully as time passes you will develop the ability to ignore some things long enough to finish the task you are working on. It’s the only way to survive in this school, this business, and this world. 🙂


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