You probably do not know that three completely different businesses all exist under the name “Window Cleaning”. They use different equipment, different vehicles to transport their equipment, they have way different insurance costs, and perhaps most importantly they have very different employees. So what are these three different businesses? Quite simply you have High Rise Window Cleaners, you have window cleaners who do Route Work, and finally you have Residential Window Cleaners. So, you might be thinking, why are the employees so different–I mean they are all slinging a squeegee–right? Yes, however that is pretty much where the similarities end.
High Rise window cleaners are more like construction works (perhaps Iron Workers) than anything else. These guys are crazy. They are manly dudes who ain’t gonna take off their shoes to walk on your carpets (they might but this helps paint the picture). They all have Brooklyn or Jersey accents when they talk, they’re not afraid of notten.
Then you have your Route Work boys. These are the dirty little step-sons of the High Rise men. They ain’t too clean, too smart or too concerned about much of anything. If High Rise Window Cleaners soar like eagles, then Route Work guys slither on the ground like lizards. They do everything that can be reached with a four foot ladder or a five foot stick. They clean all the restaurants, grocery stores, dentist, and doctors offices, and all the old ugly strip malls–anything with plate glass windows in all the one story buildings. Back in 1979 when I joined the ranks of the window cleaners I did not even consider doing any Route Work because the city’s drunks controlled the market like a little mafia. They expected to get paid in cash and they only had first names. They were dirty, smelly men who charged next to nothing but you had to wait for them to show up because they did not have a phone. They operated on their own schedule, but the only real alternative was to do the windows yourself.
Finally Diamond Window Cleaning, Inc. became Omaha’s first exclusively residential Window Cleaning company (I say exclusively because some of the Route Workers would occasionally do a house if somebody asked). My Best friend bought me a manual titled “How to Start a Window Cleaning Company” and the first page started out by saying, “Do not do houses because there is no money in it.” Well I had already started doing houses, so I stayed with it anyway. If High Rise Window Cleaners are the eagles and Route Work Window Cleaners are the lizards, then Residential Window Cleaners are the giraffes of window cleaning. They are much more elegant and clean than their counterparts. They are greatly concerned about beauty and details. You might be thinking this is just favoritism toward Residential Window Cleaners, but it really isn’t. Think about it. Who is going to work harder at cleaning a window perfectly: the guy who is doing tens of thousands of windows on a sky scrapper or the guy who is doing the window above the kitchen sink? The guy who is doing a corner shop window, or the guy doing the window above the front door? Residential window cleaners are the only window cleaners that are house broken. Every once in a while you buy a dog that just refuses to stop peeing in the house; well that is what it is like bringing eagles and lizards into your home.
So why this article? To let all you homeowners know that since the advent of the Residential Window Cleaner the Route Work boys have decided they too would like a little piece of the Residential pie. They usually charge more than the true Residential experts (because houses are harder and the clients are more demanding), and you will need to stock up on some cans of pet stain carpet cleaner because these boys cannot be house broke.