I think it was 1987.
It was also our first year in business when Tony and I were still doing almost everything ourselves.
Anyway, we were working one day and as happened a lot, we quickly realized we were also going to have to clean that night too.
It was an auto supplier – and, they asked us to clean the carpet on two floors of offices.
They were having some VIP’s coming in the morning so it we had to make sure we got it got it clean and dry by morning.
Back then, all we had was portable extractors, so that’s what we used. We brought along some carpet ‘fabric protector’ to spray-on when we were done.
Nothing unusual so far. In fact, it was going pretty well.
I should mention, however, it was late. I don’t know what time it was – but it was late and we were tired.
I mean really tired – you know that kind of tired where you get a little ‘goofy’ and everything starts to strike you as funny!
Well, we were done slugging the 5 gal. pails around to refill the portable extractor, and had started to place the air blowers to speed up the drying.
Thank the Lord, almost done! Right? Well…
So, Tony started to put things away – while I grabbed the spray container filled with what I thought was ‘carpet fabric stain protector’ and started to spray it on to the carpet.
Can see where this is headed?
Yeah, here’s the thing: The container wasn’t labeled.
That’s right, we had just grabbed if off one of the shelves in the warehouse where we kept our supplies and threw it in the van.
Anyway, I began to spray down what I thought was ‘carpet protector’ all over the executive’s office carpet!!
Ok, so here it comes…
Within about 10 minutes or so, I start to notice that some the office’s brown carpet ( the ones I SPRAYED) is beginning to look ‘SUPER-clean – I’d say, almost white/yellow…BUT in odd, swirling streaks!!
Other parts, of course, of the carpet right next to it still looked a little ‘wet and dark brown’ – yep, sort of normal for just being cleaned.
What’s up – you guessed it! I did it!!
Now, nearly all the offices are turning into a huge swirling mess of shades of brown, yellow and white!!!
Yep – Uh, Oh!
Tony and I looked stunned at each other, like in one of those cartoons or sitcoms, and then quickly darted our eyes at the container of…. ‘carpet protector’!?
Neither one of us said a word while Tony opened the container and took a whiff….
He looked up – then at me!
Yeah, did you guess it? BLEACH!
That’s right, the unmistakable, stunning, strong smell of bleach!
I had just, in an impressive swirling fashion, bleached executives’ offices including the the main guy’s!
I couldn’t believe it. We couldn’t believe it.
For a minute, we just stood there.. dazed.. trying to realize what we – I mean, I, had just done.
And, then I’ve got to admit something I’m not very proud of, but it happened…
You see, we were so overwhelmed and ridiculously tired, that we ‘lost it’ for about 15 minutes…
That’s right, we broke into that inappropriate, nervous laughing fit that’s so hard that you’re crying (I may have actually been crying)… and it actually hurts!
Well, we finally pulled ourselves together and came up with a ‘way out’ of, or at least ‘through’ this disaster.
Can you guess what we did? I think it will surprise you – and next time, I’ll spill the rest of the beans, and tell you how this nightmare/fiasco ends!
For now, just please remember this one thing which is, of course, ‘Label Everything!’
That’s right, you need to know what is in every container stored on the shelves in your warehouse or in the janitorial closets in your accounts.
Don’t let what happened to us – happen to you!
Discover the Guru in YOU,