Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Carpet Cleaning Nightmare

In the retail world, there is no good time to clean the carpet. Whoever decided that stores should have carpets were crazy. Maybe they make customers feel at home. Whatever. They weren't thinking of the reality of the carpet.

A store that does any kind of business has a dirty carpet. Next time you're in a carpeted store, look at it. It is discolored and fraying, and probably has gum on it. The paths to the most popular sections are well worn. Please! Don't sit on it. You don't know who's been walking on it.

Every six months or so, this carpet gets cleaned. The carpet cannot be cleaned during store hours, so if you are a store that has particularly late hours, someone has to stay and wait for the carpet to get all nice and clean for hours after the store closes. I have only been subjected to this once, and I mostly did paperwork while waiting for the guy to finish up.

Our store did not close until midnight. I was there with the carpet cleaner until after 3 a.m. Employment sucks.

The bookstore's carpet just got cleaned Sunday night. The intrepid manager (read: not me) stayed until four in the morning, waiting for the carpet cleaner to be finished. Its a late night business and no one is happy about it. Least of all the manager who mostly works mornings.

Fast forward to his next shift, beginning at three o'clock the next day. Almost as soon as he arrived to the store, he is pulled aside by the security guard.

"I need to show you something," he said, and these are perhaps the most ominous words that can be spoken by a security guard.

The manager is led to the center aisle.

Down the center aisle of the store are puddles.

Brown puddles.

Of shit.

Ten of them.

Leading to the bathroom.

On the newly cleaned carpet.

Apparently a homeless man was in Dupont Circle, and was too drunk to notice that he was shitting down his leg. A friend, taking initiative, helped carry the shitting man into the bathroom of our bookstore.

Please, don't sit on the carpet.

And I'll thank you kindly not to shit on it, either.

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