title> unclean

I am not a cleaning person.

Of course, I realise this may cause me problems. For example, not clearing up properly risks causing food poisoning, and some forms of food poisoning can be dangerous, even lethal.

So why don’t I do something about it? Well, thirty years ago, before the internet was more than a nerd’s playground, I tried. It proved impossible.

from untitled

The first thing I did was to ask people who were into cleaning, who seemed to get decent results, how they did it. Unfortunately, I seemed to ask idiots, because all they all said to me was “it’s obvious”. Not wishing to sound rude or anything, but if it were obvious, I wouldn’t have asked. And, not wishing to be even ruder, that should have been obvious! So, anyway, what that shewed* me was that asking people into cleaning about cleaning was useless.

I think a lot of stuff about my profession is obvious, mostly because it is. But I do understand that many people do not find it obvious. When it was a new discipline, in the days of my youth, people would ask me to explain the bleeding obvious. So of course I explained, to the best of my not–so–good ability to explain things. Just because it was obvious to me didn’t mean it was obvious to others. It doesn’t take much intelligence to see that, but … well, my opinion of people into cleaning did rather fall after these experiences. I now accept, of course, that clean people are not idiots, that what actually happened is that I somehow managed to select only the stunningly dim for an information dump.

People, when they’re cleaning, use products. So I decided to take a different approach, by looking at those products. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve long since learnt that what a product says on the packaging is never accurate, rarely contains any actual truth, and is too often an outright lie. The people who make the product want to sell the product, and in order to sell the product they have to convince potential customers that it can do whatever it is that the potential customer wants it to do. They can either spend a lot of effort perfecting the product so it does that, or they can lie by simply putting some crap in a packet and printing on the packaging that it does whatever it is that it doesn’t do. Now, of course, some companies do the work, make the perfect product, but all that really does is increase their costs. Most do no such thing. Thus, even if a product is honest and upright about itself, all the other lies on all the other packets mean that product won’t be trusted either.

The way out of this is to look at the information put on the packet by law, such as the list of ingredients. Just looking at it isn’t enough, one has to understand it. This explains why I have never seen a product add any content to explain the legally required stuff, because if people understood that, it would demolish the big letter lies on the rest of the packaging. Admittedly, a company couldn’t print a scientific paper on the packaging, but they could have given an address to get the info. Nowadays, all that’s needed is a link to, say, a trusted source such as wikipedia. Anyway, given the lack of information or explanation, it meant that, to be able to select a good and appropriate product for any task, such as a cleaning task, I needed to read the literature.

And this is where things went completely wrong for me. There was no literature. I could find no book on cleaning. I went into major, big bookshops, and asked. There was nothing. It was sickening.

So no one would answer my questions about cleaning. There was no literature. I had no choice but to give up. I am still a messy bastard.

This history shows just how important the internet is to saving lives. Such books do exist, and now they can be found online. Thus, people now doing the search I did thirty years ago can get an answer, can address their lack of cleanliness. Fewer will fall ill from food poisoning, fewer will die. Thus the censorious wankers who stymied my efforts thirty years ago have lost, thank Gordon Bennett. Mind you, I’m still a messy bastard.

* ‘shewed’ was how my dad spelt the word; it’s now archaic.