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It Is So Clean In Here

It Is So Clean In Here

Hello and good day!

I'm not much of a handyman.

Even so, I managed to build a tall wooden fence around a plot of land where we've planted a fruit garden.

Here in western Washington, you have to fence in your garden. Otherwise, deer will decimate your plants.

From a distance, the fence looks like a decent piece of handy work.

I was able to step the bottom frame up a hill along the road that borders our property, and then step it back down, curving, following an indenture in the side of a steep grass hill that we have in our backyard.

Unfortunately, as you get closer, where you can study the fence with attention, you see what a mess it is. There are a ton of little miscuts and slants and lopsided hanging pieces everywhere.

None of the entrance doors closes smoothly.

They all bang against the frame when you try to close them.

You either have to push with real strength to wedge them in, or you have to lift up or pull down on the door to line up the edges properly so that the door will enter into the frame.

One door requires lifting up. Another requires pulling down.

The third is a double swinging door and to close that one, you must lift up one side and pull down the other simultaneously.

If you don't do it just right, you can't fasten the latch.

One door opens in the wrong direction altogether because I screwed in a hinge upside down.

My wife asked me to build a trellis for our grapes.Grape vines grow big and fast, and our initial trellis was too small. I spent a fair amount of time building the new trellis.

I got out the ladder and the skill saw and the power drill and for a couple of afternoons I felt like a real builder.

Then, several months later, without anybody consulting me, my brother-in-law disassembled my trellis and used the wood for an entirely different kind of project.

Several months had gone by before I realized that my work had been demolished.

I brought it up to my wife.

"Hey, who took down my trellis," I asked.

"Miguel took it down to build the gardening beds," she responded.

"Nobody mentioned it to me," I said.

"We didn't think you'd mind. I mean, the trellis wasn't all that well-built, right? When Miguel comes back next year, he can rebuild a new trellis that will be much more beautiful," said my precious wife.

She was right. I don't mind. It was an awful trellis.

I knew it all along, but I didn't want to admit it.

And Miguel will most certainly build a new one that will be far lovelier.

Building and construction are not my strong suit.

I don't care a whit about building stuff, and I don't see how I could ever make myself do it well .I admire people who can build, but I am uninterested in doing it myself.

On the other hand, I love to clean.


That is a strange thing to come to realize about yourself as an adult man.

I find it particularly strange because it is also a type of handy work.

I had a revelation over the weekend.

I'd be a hell of a housekeeper.

And I think I'd like it.

I studied to be a tax attorney.

I became a chocolate salesman.

I will soon be a published author.

Our chocolate business is my life's work.

But if push came to shove, I think that I could be very happy cleaning houses.

Here is what made me come to this realization.

We had an employee appreciation party in our house for our kitchen staff on Saturday.

There were about 30 people at the party, accounting for spouses and children, etc.

My wife cooked Peruvian food and the food preparation was time consuming.

She usually cleans our bathrooms, and I clean the rest of the house.

Due to time constraints, I got put on bathroom duty.

You know something?

I like cleaning bathrooms.

I like how your sponge or wash rag follows along the hard porcelain curve of a toilet's base.

I like how when you move your toothbrush holder and dish plate, you can scrape up residue that nobody usually sees.

I like how when you clean a place thoroughly, you get to know every little detail of a room. And I love the feeling of leaving something spic and span.

It hadn't occurred to me before this weekend, but when I work my shifts in the shop, I like our shop to be very clean.

I sweep and mop often.

I dust the shelves.

I wipe the counters.

Over the years, I've heard many people mutter under their breath when they walk into our shop while I am working, "it's so clean in here."

That makes me almost as happy as hearing that people love our chocolate.

I try to get our team members to keep the shop as clean as I like it to be, but they don't always do it.

Or maybe a better way to put it is that they can't do it.

The same way I can't build a passable grape trellis that my family feels is worthy of leaving constructed, some people probably can't see the little details I see when it comes to cleaning.

Not too long ago, I listened to an interview with one of the most successful defensive coordinators in NFL history.

The interviewer asked the coordinator to expound on the keys to his enduring success.

The coordinator said that the most important factor was that he always strove to design his schemes based on the players that he had available.

If he had a lot of fast players who weren't big and heavy, he'd design one kind of defense.

Whereas, if he had a team full of big, slow, bruisers, he'd make adjustments and run it a different way.

He was always trying to put his players in the best scenario given their specific skill set.

I believe that most people overlook this aspect of life.

At work and with our families, I think that we tend to assume that everybody should be good at everything, and it simply isn't the case.

Some kids are good at math.

Some are artsy.

Some are engineering types.

If you wanted somebody from my family to manage a construction project, my wife is the one you should ask.

If you need somebody to clean your bathroom, I promise you that nobody would do it better than me.

At work, some of our team members are wonderful with customers.

Some are very organized.

Some are good cleaners.

One is a genuius at creating recipes.

But not everybody is good at everything.

A big part of a leader's job is to put people where they will have the best chance to succeed.

If you don't do that, you are derelict in your duties.

And I suppose that one must lead themself as well, which means that I need to delegate several categories of handywork.

I will do the delegation happily.

Thank you so much for your time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!


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