Friday, July 9, 2010

Because I Do.

Today I met a lovely woman.

She was 88 years old. Her sight wasn't what it used to be. She utilized a walker to help steady her gait between rooms. Her handshake was frail and tentative because of the arthritis that had taken over.Her mind was sharp as a tack.

I got an email from Service Magic, (a clearing house of service companies) that a person was requesting cleaning services at such and such address. I call and find that it's a daughter calling to look for cleaning services for her elderly mother. Mom lives down here in Florida, while the rest of the family lives waaaaaaay up north. No one even remotely close to help Mom, so Daughter is doing the next best thing, finding a cleaning company to help out Mom. I tell the lady we can definitely help out, and when would she like me to go see the house? Daughter calls Mom and we set it up for me to go over in about an hour.

I drive out to see the Mom. She is a lovely woman who asks me in and beckons me to sit down. I do, and we chat about where we're from, the weather, cleaning, what she needs in a cleaning service, etc etc etc. She tells me that this was her son's home, but he passed away 2 years ago, so she is down here trying to sell so she can move back up north to be with her family. I get up and look around. It wasn't the worst place I have been, but she needed help. The dust was a couple centimeters thick in some places. The rugs were in need of a good vacuuming, and the kitchen was cluttered. It wasn't so untidy, as it was just untended. We could definitely help her out. I could sense the fierce independence that ran through her. We haggled over price. I knew right away that I couldn't give her the price she wanted, but I heard myself say $45. Um.... what? It was easily a $90 or more job, but I could not bring myself to say it. This lovely lady, with her reminisces of Panama where she grew up, her love of the son who passed away, and her want to live on her own terms had charmed me. When I looked at the clock, and hour and a half had gone by. Then she announced that I would do, and when could I come back to clean? I said I needed to call her daughter and tell her we were a go for cleaning, and I would get my computer appointment setter up and call her back with my first available appointment next week. Then before I left, she asked if I could move some stuff for her. I end up moving a TV and a dresser for her. They were light enough for me, but for her it would have been impossible. She then went to give me a check for $10 for moving the things and even though I try to deny taking it, her stern look tells me I better take it or ELSE! Never mess with a little Panamanian woman who was raised by Catholic nuns! I take the check contritely and make my leave. When I call the daughter, I mention to her how I dropped the price so her Mom could afford us. The daughter say she will gladly make up the difference, just make two invoices: one for Mom, and one for her. We make the arrangements, I call Mom and set up to come next Tuesday, and it's a done deal.
I still would have done it for the $45 even if the daughter had not made up the difference. This nice lady wasn't a slob, she just had the years against her.

And I care.


Christina LMT said...

You're wonderful, and the lady and her daughter are lucky they found you!

Nicole said...

I <3 you!

Putz said...

i am so glad to hear this of you>>.yopu seemed so against us when talking about slow senior drivers, but now Now>>>yoou still seem but at least a little 88 year old gets attention>> want to cleanon your crew>>.this from a snazzy senior myself< a spry 67 year old who has been bugging you for, is it years now??????

Bubblewench said...

You are pretty freakin awesome. Nice.

Kathy in San Diego said...

Long time lurker -- this moved me to comment. What you are doing is wonderful beyond my feeble words! Thank you!!