Fruit Flies and Other Home Owner Foes

I must have the cleanest kitchen in town. I am driving myself nuts trying to make sure there isn’t a drop, a crumb, a smear of anything, because if there is, the fruit flies in my house will first have a feast and then reproduce. This has been going on for several weeks, but I had no idea of the severity of the problem, until a thoughtful person reported them to me.

I have my cleaning lady to thank for letting me know about things that other people are afraid to tell me about. They don’t want me to be embarrassed, but in not telling me, they are fostering a more embarrassing situation. In the space of a week, I learned that not only did I have fruit flies, but also mold, mildew, and stains on every one of my dish cloths and kitchen towels. How long have I had those stained dish cloths out where anybody could see them? And how long have those fruit flies been parading around on my ceiling and cabinets? How long has my dish scrubbing pad had mildew on it? Yuck. And when I got an estimate for someone to professionally wash the outsides of my windows, he informed me that my house could use a good power washing, because there was mold. Great.

I had invited my friends, Deirdre and Charlie over for a cookout the other night, and I almost uninvited them, because of the fruit flies. But not only did they say they didn’t mind coming, even with the unwelcome guests in my kitchen, they got out my little sweeper with the hose and sucked up those little buggers for me. I Am so grateful to them for rolling up their sleeves and doing something about it, rather than just making suggestions that turn out to be useless. Yes, I had already tried the bleach in the drain, the cider vinegar in small bowls, fly paper, and sprays. On Saturday, , my son Steve set off those foggers for insects, because the spiders have decided to join the flies.

As for the mold and mildew and stains, I’m attacking each of those joys in turn. At least I know my living room is in good shape, since I completely remodeled, right down to the paint on the walls. Of course as Dan painted, he discovered cracks in the walls and the ceiling. I feared that my house would be falling down around my ears, but Dan assured me they were minor. I depend on people who can see to tell me what they see, whether it pleasant or not. Not telling me does not make it go away. For this reason, I routinely ask a sighted friend to take a hard look at my clothing, especially at the start of a new season, and check for spots and stains. Sometimes it can be fixed with some stain remover, and then again, sometimes it means throwing something away. In any event, I want to be told.

And are the fruit flies gone? I’m not sure, but I’ll continue to knock myself out keeping the kitchen spotless until I’m informed that the enemy has called a retreat.

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Always Greet Your Customer

The customer is always right. How often have you heard this statement? It’s one of the 3 rules for doing business. Yesterday, our pastor told a story about his grandfather’s store. As a little boy, our pastor asked his grandfather if he could work behind the counter. His grandfather said he could, as soon as he could make change and remember these 3 rules. Always greet the customer. The customer is always right. Always thank the customer for their business.

The point of the sermon was about serving others, but I wanted to jump up and down and applaud when he said, “Always greet the customer.” I should wear a sign around my neck saying those words when I enter a place of business. I have written before about how so many people behind a desk, whether it’s in a doctor’s office or the cashier at the grocery store seem to lose their ability to speak when I approach. I’m not asking for any special attention. Just speak to me. Greet your customer. Say hello, at least, if not, how may I help you, as my pastor was taught as a little boy. How hard is that? It’s not only good business, but it’s so helpful to me. First, it’s the way I know that there is indeed a person there to serve me, answer a question, or direct me someplace. Then I know exactly where the counter is. I have even been in a situation where my sighted companion says to me, here’s someone to help you, and they still don’t speak. I’ve also been introduced to people, people who presumably have a brain, and they remain silent, waiting for me to speak first. I extend my hand, only to find out that they are not in the place I expected them to be, and that’s embarrassing to me. If they could just have the curtesy to say hello, so I know where they are, it would be so easy. It continually baffles me why this seems to be so hard for so many people. I realize that this is the age of visuals, graphics, pictures, and eye contact. But really, has the art of speaking become obsolete?