RHKOA: A Streaky Finish II

I’ve met Hillary before, several times in different stages my life, actually. When I met the first version of Hillary, I was in high school and detested her immediately. However as I got older and met other versions of Hillary, I learned to get along with her by ignoring her.

As I’ve mentioned before, Big Lou, Harriet and Hillary are all very light skinned, which has its benefits and detriments here in the South – just as being dark skinned does. I can’t say that current Hillary suffers from a color complex, but I can say that she has complete confidence in her looks – and to that end, her ability as well. Unlike Samira, Hillary has several goals. She wants to join the army, become a masseuses (or some job that requires her to touch people and put them to sleep) and a third occupation that completely escapes me now.

As I said before, Hillary is completely confident, so much so that her confidence reeks of arrogance. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t challenge you on every bloody thing!

Lest you think I exaggerate or decry youthful exuberance, allow me to provide you with two examples to illustrate my assertion.

Hillary and I went to a house somewhere in Norcross to do a cleaning. The owner had purchased an add on service and requested that we clean the baseboards (in her entire home) for an additional fee. I groaned inwardly. Cleaning baseboards requires loads of water, several rags and an hour on your knees to wipe them all down, at the very least. When Hillary walked into the master bathroom to find me doing just  that, she asked me what I was doing. It was a hostile question.

“You have to wipe the baseboards with a wet rag,” I replied simply.

“Well, I just swept mine with the broom,” she said dismissively, “and it looks just fine.”

I straightened up and shrugged my shoulders. I have no authority over Hillary, and having met her ilk before, I know it’s better to leave her to her own devices.

“Okay,” I said, feigning neutrality. “I just know that the first time I did base boards with Harriet, she told us to use a wet rag and wipe them all down.”

I wet my rag, and continued cleaning. Hillary paused for a moment before declaring her intentions.

“I’m going to call Harriet and ask her,” she said resolutely.

Of course, Harriet was at work and unable to answer the phone. However Carla, Spic n Span’s administrator, was. When Hillary placed the phone in her pocket, she admitted that I was right: we had to wipe the baseboards with a wet rag.

I know I’m right…but you go ahead and get through your days the best way you know how, little girl.

On a separate occasion, virtually the same incident took place. We’d gone to clean a client’s house in West Bubble Fart, Ga. His name was Ajax and from I gathered, he worked as a contractor for an oil and gas firm in the Middle East. On this particular day, Ajax was having new shelving being put it, windows in his living room tinted and his house cleaned. However, Ajax was not at home on this particular day. His house-sitter was in charge of overseeing all the activity. After informing me that Ajax was very particular about dust on the blinds and asking if we could wipe those down, she generally ignored us and settled down to watch TV. I didn’t mind, because I had just as much interest in The Bernie Mac Show as she did. I was content to clean and watch at the same time. Hillary should have been just as content, but she was quite busy directing me.

“Don’t sweep the stairs,” she whispered loudly. “They don’t get that as part of their package!”

“I have to sweep the stairs,” I replied tersely. “When I swept the hallway, some of the dirt floated on them from the landing.”

For Heaven’s sake! There were 12 stairs. It was no big deal…not in my estimation. But I was glad she had come to find me. I reminded her about the blinds.

“That’s not in their package either,” she hissed. “That’s a deep cleaning.”

Now here’s where the trouble began.

A few weeks prior, we’d had a “company meeting” (which always ends up being a bitch session with the members gossiping about an absent party or pointing fingers at others for a job badly done), and in this meeting it was made clear that we were to do ceiling fans on the first visit and wipe down the blinds on every visit. HOWEVER, if the customer wanted their blinds wet wiped individually, that would be an additional charge. Ajax’s blinds were not dirty. They just needed a quick sweep with a dust catching rag. Where was the difficulty in this?

Hillary whipped out her phone to call her sister, who in turn told her to do just that.

“She said just give the blinds a quick wipe,” Hillary directed.

Okay, Hillary. Whatever gets you through your day.

Reader, can you see how this might be taxing on your psyche? How your very God-given soul might be vexed if you had to listen to someone question your every move…particularly when that someone does not retain information completely? As I said, I’ve worked with people like that in various stages of life; people who think they are right about everything until they find out they were wrong.

I have yet to describe numerous incidences of copped attitudes, silent treatments and condescending behavior. Over all, I overlooked most of it. She’s still very young, and it will take someone with much more time on their hands and fortitude to humble her…though that’s not likely. I think Hillary is happy with herself just as she is. Her new fiancé certainly thinks so as well.

So who is responsible for crafting this exquisite human being? In Hillary’s instance, the apple is still hanging on the tree, and that mighty arbor exists in the personhood of Big Lou, the patriarch of this trio.

Yes, I said patriarch. Hold on and let me grab a coffee and some lunch. This is where it all gets VERY interesting.