How to mop a floor in less than four hours.

Scene: Housewares. Time: 1:30 pm PST.

Customer picks up bottle of liquid soap. Liquid soap turns out to be uncapped and upside down. Customer doesn’t notice this until she’s left a three-foot long trail of soap on the floor.

Rilchiam: Oh, oops! No, just leave it…did you get any on yourself? Oh, good. Here’s a clean one. Yes, the register is up there.

Rilchiam goes to phone, pages housekeeping.

1:45 pm. Still no answer from housekeeping. Rilchiam tracks down Jim, from carryout.

Rilchiam: Can you do me a teeny-tiny favor? Call housekeeping on your radio?

Customer: Miss, where are the All-Clads?

Rilchiam: I’ll show you in one second! [To Jim] When they answer, tell them there’s liquid soap on the floor, against the wall, in front of where the utensils are.

2 pm. Brooke is unloading new products, steps in soap.

Brooke: Aah! How long has this been here?

Rilchiam: 'Bout half an hour. I paged housekeeping; I don’t know why they haven’t shown up.

Brooke: Lotsa luck. Well, I’ll just put this cart over it for now.

2:30 pm. Soap still on floor. Rilchiam finds Jim again. (He’s moved the cart, incidentally, but who knew it was going to have to be there that long?)

Rilchiam: Did you get ahold of housekeeping?

Jim: I tried, but they didn’t answer.

Rilchiam: Great.

Rilchiam finds Sean (manager).

Rilchiam: Can you page housekeeping, please? There’s liquid soap on the floor, along the far wall, in front of where the utensils are. It’s a real slipping hazard.

Sean calls housekeeping on his radio. Rilchiam overhears him giving location of slipping hazard. Rilchiam resumes duties.

3:30 pm. Rilchiam spots customer about to step in liquid soap. Customer almost falls, catches self on table.

Rilchiam: Oh wait…careful…oh.

Customer: Ah! That shouldn’t be there! You should get a mop and clean it up!

Rilchiam: Yes, I’m really sorry. You okay?..Okay, sorry 'bout that.

Rilchiam goes back to loading dock.

Rilchiam: Where can I get a mop?

Gabriel: You can take one off the display, I guess.

Rilchiam: No, I need one to mop up soap.

Gabriel: Why don’t you page housekeeping?

Rilchiam: I have. Can you call them for me? Again?

Gabriel pages housekeeping. No answer. No answer. No answer.

Rilchiam: Thanks anyway.

Rilchiam goes to office.

Rilchiam: Can you page housekeeping, please? There’s liquid soap on the floor, along the far wall, in front of where the utensils are. And a customer already slipped on it.

Laura pages housekeeping, first on radio, then on PA system. Rilchiam resumes duties.

4 pm. Soap still on floor. Rilchiam calls Laura, asks if housekeeping ever responded.

Laura: Oh, I sent her to Children’s. I’ll page her again and tell her to go to your register; you can show her where it is.

Rilchiam returns to register.

Rilchiam: Hey, guys, just so you know: if housekeeping shows up here, tell them there’s liquid soap on the floor, along the far wall, in front of where the utensils are. I just know the minute I step away, that’s when they’ll show up.

Diane: Why would housekeeping be here?

Rilchiam: Because that’s where Laura told them to go.

Diane: Why don’t you call them yourself?

Rilchiam: They have been called. Several times.

Diane: What’s the big deal?

Rilchiam: It’s a slipping hazard. Someone already has, in fact.

Diane: How did soap get on the floor?

Rilchiam: It spilled.

Diane: Well, they’re probably busy. Why don’t you page them again?

Rilchiam, gritting teeth, pages housekeeping on phone.

4:30 pm. Sean passes by.

Sean: I just talked to housekeeping. She had her radio turned off; she’ll be here in a minute.

4:35 pm. Housekeeping shows up, mops floor, departs.

I’m not sure who to be the most fed up with here: management, who employs one person to do housekeeping for a three-level store, the housekeeper who turns her radio off at random, Laura, for sending her to Children’s when I clearly stated the hazard was in Homestore, or Diane, who must have been a Swamp Tower guard in a previous life. I will note, however, that this is a common occurence; it’s happened before, with broken glass, even. If I had access to mops and brooms I’d gladly take care of it myself. But I don’t.

Well you obviously couldn’t clean up the mess right Rilchiam. Technical implements like mops and brooms (and buckets and dustpans) are complicated and should only be used by professionals.

You must have missed this part:


I think the point **Rue De Day ** was making was that the company won’t give access to mops and brooms to floor/register monkeys, as they can only be handled by the ***specially trained *** cleaning staff…

It’ll probably take a customer actually slipping and injuring themselves and suing the store before they make any changes.

Hmm … I am in a bit of a financial mess, too bad I don’t live nearby.

While unloading a delivery truck at mcDs years ago, we broke open a 5 gallon bucket of hand soap and lost about a gallon of it to the floor. Took AGES to mop that up.

Mopping up soap just makes more soap. It’s like the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

I didn’t know that you worked at my hospital!


It’s the chronic not-responding that raises my ire. If someone had answered my page and said, “Well, I’m busy,” or “As soon as I finish the bathrooms,” that’d be one thing. But the idea that paging someone can be hit-or-miss is mind-boggling. In fact, I should have made a bigger issue of it last year, when I had to put paper towels down over wet vomit for a similiar length of time.

And again, it doesn’t give me a cozy feeling to think that management gives “register monkeys” a HUGE song-and-dance about what a great place this is to work at, then hires one person for custodial duties and works them like a rented mule.

However, I’m more inclined to sympathize with people who do their job, no matter how badly it sucks. Mr. Rilch gets one second chance if he doesn’t respond to a page. After that, phhht.

And haardvark, I remember you telling that story, and I reflected on it more than once! But this was roughly 3/4 cup of liquid. The problem was that it was spread over three feet, along an aisle. Fortunately not a heavily trafficked one, but SFW?! I do my job; other people can bloody well do theirs.