Another Bank Holiday looms on the horizon, and while most of your friends and relatives already make their plans on how to take advantage of it, you should have the opposite strategy. It has been my firm belief for years that you can do the most work while other people are away on a holiday trip, especially in the cleaning industry. So if for just a while you manage to overtake the natural urge to follow the prevailing trend and think about it, you will agree there are more than a couple of strong reasons to plan a day full of tasks during a holiday.
Here are my top arguments for it:
It is much easier to move around in a large city
What is the greatest thing about holidays in a city like London? Many of the locals would say the lack of congestion and traffic jams and the comfort of using public transport as a normal human being. Most people believe cleaners spend the majority of their time in sanitary tasks, doing housekeeping stuff and so on. Wrong – in fact, we spend at least as much time in getting from point A to point B or making plans on how to accelerate our inner-city travels. If I have an appointment in some of the central residential areas or busy districts like Chelsea, Fulham or Earls Court, I know I have to plan for at least an extra hour to get to my address. God forbid there are delays on the Underground or road works on my regular routes – then my enitre daily schedule goes down the drain, and I have to play catch-up with my appointments.
Almost none of these problems exist on holidays – the traffic is normal and sometimes even pleasant; and you do not have to hit the lottery to find a seat on the tube. Believe it or not, during a holiday, I have done my daily rounds two or three hours faster than on a typical working day, and even managed to do an extra appointment.
Your customers do not get in the way
Don’t get me wrong, I do not have a problem with people being at home while I clean, but I prefer it to be the other way round. It helps me concentrate on my duties, plug in the earphones, start my Deep Purple playlist, and unleash my cleaning magic. At least 90% of my regulars plan something on a National or Bank Holiday – a visit to their parents, a short trip to the seaside or Lake District if the weather permits it, or perhaps a shopping spree or antique hunting – whatever helps them unload the baggage of their daily London existence. This means I have the whole place ready and waiting for a good scrub, sweep, and polish – just the way I like it!
If the customers do stay in, they are more friendly
I know, I know – you are not going to believe me. Try it though – schedule an appointment on a holiday and see how people you think you know interact during that time. I cannot explain it, but for some strange psychological reason Londoners do act like pleasant, polite, and easygoing people during the holidays (and you know that is not always the case on a working day). One of the funniest episodes I’ve ever had as a cleaner was when an older lady that had barely talked to me during my previous twenty visits invited me for a cup of tea and biscuits on the day after Christmas. I thought I had messed up something really bad and I was about to get a good old-fashioned scolding – instead, she said that she appreciated my hard work and dedication on that peculiar day and only thought it right to extend this courtesy. We became great friends ever since.
Perception becomes reality
Which brings me to my next argument – how to score points with your customers. One of the easiest ways to do it is to take on appointments which no one else wants – the holiday bookings would be on top of the list. People always appreciate the sacrifice which others do, especially on holidays. It is a solid building block for your future relationship or a deal-breaker if you decline to do it. Given the tremendous competition in our industry, think of the advantages you can gain if you are among the select few that work on the National and Bank Holidays. Food for thought.
It is just good time management
Consider this – which day would you like to grind through: a hectic working Friday when the whole London seems to lose its mind or a more relaxed holiday Tuesday, for example, when you can move at your own pace? I know my answer. Working on holidays usually means that you can take a day off during the regular week – always a bonus from my point of view. It also gives you the chance to boost the team chemistry – there will always be people who prefer to treat their time off as a sacred period of leisure. That’s perfectly OK – they will be able to return the favour when you ask them to take some appointments during regular days.
Have I managed to convince you yet? What do you prefer to do during the holidays – work even harder or go away for a while?