Cleaners often get left to deal with some of the worst messes imaginable, but every now and then you find a job that’s far more bizarre than it is unpleasant.
From the strange to the spooky, here are the stories of the weirdest things cleaners have seen, found or experienced while on the job.
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1. The crystal obsessives
“I clean for people who are really into crystals and storing energy in them. When I started, they asked me to wear gloves when I dusted the crystals so I wouldn’t put any energy into them. I recently separated from my husband of 5.5 years, and I was very soon after demoted from crystal dusting. They didn’t want my sadness in the crystals.”
2. The identity thief
“I was tasked to clean and remove the belongings of a tenant being evicted. Nothing could have prepared me for what was in store. There was food smeared on the walls, garbage and refuse everywhere…it was awful.
“I cleaned and threw away all the garbage, and then noticed more and more bizarre items among the filth. Dozens of safety deposit keys, twenty or so empty wallets, and wallets with various IDs and cards. Lots of different social security cards. Fake college degrees, and a Nigerian passport. Warrants for arrests… etc etc. I was disturbed and reported it to my supervisors.”
3. The spendthrift
“I cleaned out college kids’ apartments between rental periods one summer. The weirdest was the super rich exchange student who just left all her stuff behind. We had to call and double-check the unit was actually empty. I got a designer backpack and a fancy hot water boiler (keeps up to 2 litres of water at perfect tea temperature indefinitely) out of it, though.”
4. The stalker
“I was assigned to clean an accountant’s apartment, and when I went to go vacuum out the closet carpet, instead I found a shrine filled with this woman’s pictures. Photos from her yearbook, and other pictures of her with his face cropped next to her. There was other stuff like mail with her name on it and even hair. Needless to say, I left and reported it to my company. Never went back.”
5. The sugar fiend
“The first thing I noticed when I entered was a crunching sound under my feet. The entire floor was covered in a layer of white sugar. Empty packages of sugar were hanging out from the drawers. The windowsill was decorated with fungus-filled beer bottles. A magazine was stuck to the floor with melted sugar.”
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found while on the job? Let us know in the comments.