The end of an era is here. I have been cleaning houses for 21 years. I started when I was 10. Okay, so that was a joke, I’m not really 31. I was once, but that was a very long time ago. I digress, however. Seven years ago I took on some commercial businesses and my part time house cleaning gig became a small, home based business. It also served to fulfill a goal I had, my desire to have a family business.
My kids (and husband too) became my contract laborers…without the contract. It was a given. That’s when life became extra interesting. You don’t really know a person until you work with a person. You really don’t know a person until you become their boss in a work environment.
I fired each of my kids over the course of seven years, some of them multiple times. Yes I did.
Jacob, my middle kid, was the one I fired most often. He was actually the one who wanted to work for/with me the least. He did his job for the most part, but his heart wasn’t in it. Hey, it’s cleaning, how much is ANYONE’S heart into that?
Jacob was the first to leave me when he decided he needed more money and more hours. He has been working at Kroger, putting himself through school for the past 4 years. He is a valuable and trusted employee and I’m just sure his time with me aided him in all respects. Who knows, those firings could have made a lasting impact. 🙂
My husband was the next to go. He wasn’t really looking for a part time job. He got the job by default…my fault actually. I had mixed emotions about his leaving. He could clean a bathroom like nobody’s business. You could eat on the bathroom floor and feel good about it when he was finished. The problem was this: time is money. It was hard to keep him from fixating on the minute things in this biz and keep the job moving. He would make an excellent detail guy as long as he charged by the hour, just saying.
Brittany was with me until a few months ago. She had a love/hate relationship with the job, and oftentimes her mother as well. She too needed more hours, more money and a new boss. She left with my blessings.
We had adapted well with the first two losses suffered, h0wever, I must admit I was concerned when the five of us became two.
Luke, the baby of the family, and I were left to carry on our cleaning tradition. What was once very good money for an 11 year old kid had now become just so-so. It worked for a while, since he was a senior in high school and wanted the flexibility his position had to offer, but now that he has graduated he too sees the need for more money and hours. His final time to clean will be this weekend. The end of an era is upon me.
I knew this time was coming. I’m sad in a small way, no really! I know I have a hard time letting go of things and you know this too if you are a regular reader. But I say good-bye to this time with only a bit of sadness. I will miss the small amount of time I have with Luke when we work together, but I am excited about the next chapter, the growing chapter, the re-structuring chapter, the working with someone who isn’t a part of my family chapter.
All good things must come to an end. This family business that I had is following suit. The end of an era is here.