Friday 29 April 2016

This Window Cleaners Strategy

Tyler Engle, owner of Wichita Window Cleaning, recently added high-rise clients. “It’s recommended you have training, but I did rock climbing for years,” he said.
Window cleaner’s business strategy takes a broad view (Wichita, Kansas); Ask Tyler Engle what the latest video he has posted has to do with his small business, and he’ll tell you: Nothing. Nevertheless, Engle said engaging people on social media has been key to growing Wichita Window Cleaning, which washes windows for residential and business clients. “It’s an odd strategy,” he said. “I put out stuff that’s funny or entertaining. Somebody will say, ‘Hey, this guy’s funny, I see he’s got a window cleaning business, and I need my windows cleaned.’”

Engle, 24, started washing windows in high school for his father, Rusty, who owns Pro Cleaning Glass. Their businesses are separate entities, although they often work together or cover for one another on jobs.

Engle earned a computer engineering degree from Wichita State University and worked at data storage company NetApp for almost three years but said it “wasn’t really captivating for me. I like being the boss.”

He is now the boss, along with being the chief window washer, accountant and marketer. He has two part-time employees and hopes to add a full-time employee this summer. Engle said he thinks he has the largest window cleaning operation in Wichita. “For example, we have McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s,” he said. “Pretty much any fast-food restaurant you go through, we clean it.”

Recently, he added high-rise clients such as the Hyatt Regency Wichita, although he admits he doesn’t have any “formal training” to hang from a harness more than a hundred feet in the air. “It’s recommended you have training, but I did rock climbing for years,” he said. “It was terrifying at first, but I’m getting a little more used to it.”

Posting video of that work garnered him some additional clients, but other videos Engle posts have nothing to with windows. Most recently, he and a friend used a drone to film scenes of the Arkansas River and Keeper of the Plains. It has garnered some 162,000 views on Facebook.

Engle doesn’t discount the importance of old-fashioned legwork, saying he spent a lot of time making personal contact with the people who “pull the trigger” on decisions like who’s going to clean a business’ windows.

Engle doubts he will wash windows forever – he’s thinking about launching a digital media marketing company – but says the lessons he has learned should work in any field. “I had always thought that growing a business just kind of happened, word-of-mouth-wise,” he said. “When I started really taking it seriously, you discover the correlation between how much effort you put in and the result. “I’m still dealing with that. I’m only 24.”

  • Business growth attributed to social media engagement
  • Owner thinks his window cleaning service if biggest in Wichita
  • Old-fashioned leg work is important, too, he says

Thursday 28 April 2016

Window Washer Threatens To Blow Man Away

 Cops say 79-year-old window washer threatened to blow man away with concealed gun because he parked too close to his car.
Window Washer Threatens To Blow Man Away: A 79-year-old window washer was arrested for threatening another man with a gun for parking too close to his car, reports said. The alleged fracas took place at a commercial office in the 4200 block of West 95th Street, where Oak Lawn police responded to a report of a man with a gun around 9:10 a.m. April 18.

The caller, a 43-year-old man, told officers that the elderly man, later identified as Victor Kasput, 79, of Crestwood, became verbally abusive after the younger man parked behind the Kasput’s car, reports said. While Kasput was washing the windows inside the officer, the younger man told Kasput he would move his vehicle. He changed his mind, however, after Kasput allegedly started flinging dirty water at him with the squeegee.

According to the report, Kasput lifted up his shirt, showing a gun on his hip, and told the younger man, “I’ve got something to blow you away with.” A woman in the office told officers she heard Kasput get into an argument with the younger man, then lift his shirt to show him the gun. Other witnesses also corroborated the younger man’s story, police said.

Kasput allegedly told officers that while working at the office washing windows, he saw the younger man park behind his vehicle on 95th Street. He and the younger man exchanged words because he though he parked too closely behind his vehicle.

Police said Kasput admitted to pulling up his shirt and showing him the gun because he felt “threatened” when the younger man called him an “old man.” He denied flinging water. Asked if the younger man made threats or approached him in a threatening manner, Kasput said he had not, reports said.

Police recovered Kasput’s .38-caliber Smith and Wesson, along with six rounds. A photo copy of Kasput’s conceal carry permit and a “clear and present danger” form was faxed to the Illinois State Police. Kasput was charged with battery and aggravated assault. He has a court hearing June 15 in Bridgeview.

Gigs Across America

Add caption
Local tradesman aims to find work in all 50 states: Armed with only a truck full of tools, the skill acquired over his last 40 years in the work force and his smart phone, one local tradesman has made it his mission to find work in all 50 states.

Juan John Bayardo will begin his trek across America on May 5. His goal is to prove that a person in today’s society can find work, no matter what skills or talents they may possess.

According to Bayardo, for the next six to eight months, his primary source of income will be made through various jobs acquired through Craigslist and Facebook.

I order to accomplish this tour, he will  be primarily using the Craigslist gigs section, and his Facebook connections as his only source of income for the next 6-8 months. Click to enlarge.
Bayardo has been working since he was 14 years old. He has worked many different blue collar jobs, including realtor, bartender, window cleaner and waiter. Now, the 54-year-old will put his skills to the test in his attempt to accomplish this journey across the U.S.

Bayardo will document his endeavor on his blog, Gigsacrossamerica. To follow his journey, visit his site here.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Open The Windows

Open the windows. Glasgow School of Art experts issue health warning over airtight new homes.
Glasgow School of Art experts issue health warning over airtight new homes: Poor ventilation in new homes could lead to health problems for occupants, architecture experts have warned. A lack of air vents or open windows leads to a build-up of pollutants and chemicals from furniture, flooring and plastics that is hard to detect, Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU) said.

The unit claims most modern homes are being built to be airtight, which can cause problems for people with asthma and respiratory issues if they are not ventilated properly. A public awareness film has been made by MEARU urging people to make sure they ventilate their homes. Recommendations include keeping vents or windows open when cooking, showering and cleaning; drying laundry near an open window; and opening windows at night.

Professor Tim Sharpe, head of MEARU, said: "Poor indoor air quality, particularly in bedrooms, is hard for people to detect. "There are clear links between poor ventilation and ill-health so people need to be aware of the build-up of CO2 and other pollutants in their homes and their potential impact on health. "Modern homes are increasingly airtight and can also contain a great number of pollutants and chemicals, many of which can have serious health effects.

"It is clear from this research that buildings are simply not well ventilated and this could seriously impact on occupants' health, especially vulnerable people such as those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma."

MEARU - which works between architectural design and scientific research - carried out a study of 200 modern homes and found "widespread evidence of poor ventilation, with bedrooms being a particular problem". Prof Sharpe added: "In the past, some houses had plaques telling people to open their windows and public information films would offer similar advice.

"We hope that this film will help people to understand more about the need to ventilate and how best to ensure that they get the best possible indoor air quality so as to avoid problems of ill-health and the associated cost to our health system."

The Glasgow School of Art body worked with Hanover Housing Association during the study. Development officer Kenneth Shepherd said: "It has been fascinating working with Professor Sharpe and the team at MEARU and receiving their conclusions has been very helpful. "Going forward all our new residents will be provided with information on the best way of ensuring that they ventilate their homes properly."

Monday 25 April 2016

Denver Firefighters Kept Busy Saving Window Cleaners

The collapsed suspended platform. In the first incident two window cleaners were working from a suspended platform when one of the cables gave way, dropping one end of the platform.
Denver fire fighters busy with work at height:  Denver firefighters were kept busy last week, rescuing two men from a collapsed suspended platform and then a man from a boom lift that touched overhead power lines. In the first incident two window washers were working from a suspended platform aka swing stage at a height or around 30 metres, when one of the hoists/cables gave way, dropping one end of the platform.

The fire department just managed to reach the stranded men - both of whom were wearing harnesses – with their 105ft ladder platform. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the incident.

A closer look.
Then on Friday a man using a Genie S-85 rented from Sunstate Equipment managed to come into contact with some overhead power lines. The lift’s boom was fully retracted, but elevated to around 45 degrees or so. One report claims that the contact caused a fire on the machine, although the man was unhurt. He was wearing a full harness and lanyard and was carrying a fair bit of material including four large planks. Once again the Denver fire service came to the rescue, along with a crew from Xcel Energy. there were no injuries in either incident.

Rescued unharmed after contacting power lines.

Friday 22 April 2016

When Clients Ask For Discounts

How many of your window cleaning customers ask for discounts? Here's Jurgen Appelo talking about affordability & vendors. Why are clients entitled to ask this question?
When Clients Ask for Discounts, Ask Them ... Why? (By JURGEN APPELO, Writer, Speaker, Entrepreneur, CEO of Happy Melly). I bought several new vests recently. One was from G-Star, another from Banana Republic. They were not cheap, but not unreasonably expensive, either. I paid the price the shop asked from me. What I did not do was haggle over the price with the vendor.

As a professional public speaker, I have fees, as well, which are listed publicly on my website. I am not cheap, but I'm also not unreasonably expensive. And I always try to be transparent in my pricing. That means that I prefer not to waste my time on price negotiations. Sometimes, though, potential clients contact me and say, "We'd love to hire you as a speaker. But can we get a discount?" I've found a great way to deal with these discount requests: I ask my customers, "Why?"

My usual reply also includes something alone the lines of, "Is there a specific reason you believe you are entitled to a discount?" Without my directly saying yes or no, I've thus bounced the question back to the customer(s), forcing them to consider what they're asking and to give them a chance to point out something that could be of value to me.

Sometimes, clients tell me they cannot afford my standard fee, so they're hoping to get me at half my regular price. Sometimes, they even ask me to do my work for free. "It will be a great opportunity to present your book!" they say. But this always baffles me. I have never considered asking G-Star or Banana Republic to sell me a vest at half the price, or to just give it away for free: "It will be a great opportunity to show off your t-shirts!"

If I found such vendors too expensive, I wouldn't have shopped with them at all. Instead, I would have checked out H&M or Zara. So, faced with the discount question, my next move is to tell such clients that I will happily refer them to other speakers.

Sometimes, clients are so big or famous and consider themselves so important, that the magnitude of their arrogance itself seems to qualify them for a discount. They say (or at least obviously think): "You will be able to add our name to your list of clients!"

Fortunately, my own arrogance is quite flexible and, when needed, strong enough to match that of the client: "Indeed, I will! And you can tell everyone that I visited your company, after you paid what everyone else pays!"

Sometimes, clients just love haggling, assuming there are always margins that can be squeezed. My problem with this attitude is that such clients assume that I am intentionally overpaid and that, with some negotiation, it should be possible to talk the fee down to the "proper" price. In other words, they assume I have a lack of integrity (i.e., I'm asking too much.)

Another possibility is that they assume that I so desperately need the sale that I'm willing to be underpaid, which (to me) seems like a lack of integrity on the side of the client. They might say, "You probably have a special price for friends," to which I might reply, "I have many friends and my fee is what they pay. I assume you want me to treat all my friends equally and fairly?"

And, last but not least, after I ask them, "Why?", the clients sometimes tell me, "Oh, never mind. We were just wondering." Then they proceed to pay my regular fee. I have no objections to that at all.

Notice that I don't say "no" to people who ask me for a discount. I merely ask them "Why?" because it's quite possible that they have a very good reason! It all comes down to customizing the value exchange.

It happens that some clients, for example, offer me a speaking opportunity right before or after an event that I have already booked in the same city. Having two or three events back-to-back in the same area saves me a lot of travel time and travel expenses. Obviously, that would be worth a #NoTravel discount.

It also happens sometimes that a client invites me for the third or fourth time. Obviously, I value repeat customers who develop a preference for a long-term relationship with me, which is worth a #RepeatBusiness discount.

There are some clients who order large quantities of my books. Despite the fact that authors like me earn very little per book in terms of royalties, I still appreciate that my message is distributed into the hands of many people. And so that scenario is worth a #BookOrders discount.

There is also value for me in being able to pick a topic of my own choosing and to experiment with unconventional ideas and formats in my presentations. Customers who give me the freedom to do whatever I want are entitled to an #Experimentation discount.

And then there is my much-beloved discount to discourage bureaucracy, which reduces my fee when clients don't ask me for contracts, tax records, travel receipts, bank statements, procurement forms, visa forms, birth certificates, etc. This #NoBureaucracy discount is basically a reward for good behavior.

There is something else important to realize here: All the good reasons for offering discounts that I listed above can (and should) be translated to clear, unambiguous pricing rules. After all, if you want to be seen as fair, transparent and honest, you have no other option than to apply the same rules (and discounts) to all your clients. And, yes, the rules are additive, and thus the discounts, cumulative.

When I introduce a new discount rule (sometimes because a client inspired me with a new good reason), I also decide on the start date of the new rule, as if I've just passed a new law. All customers invoiced on or after that date will be entitled to the same discount. They don't even have to remind me.

Today, I sent one of my clients an invoice with a #NoTravel discount. The client didn't ask for it. He didn't even know about it. But he earned it because he committed to adapt his own schedule to an existing conference I was attending so that I didn't have to make an extra trip.

It makes me feel good to offer a surprise discount to those who don't request one for no good reason. To make myself feel even better, I plan to be wearing one of my lovely new not-too-expensive vests.

How I Sell Without Using Discounts: People discount because they get desperate and they want to make some quick money. You’re training your customers not to purchase new things from you when they first come out, but to wait for a discount.  

Thursday 21 April 2016

Business Payments Are Broken Cogs

Example; a window cleaner. He used to take payments via cash and cheque, and his cash flow was terrible because he was constantly reminding clients to pay, popping back to collect a payment because clients are often out, costing him time and fuel.
UK businesses are frustrated by delayed business payments so where is the broken cog? Why oh why does it take so long for payments to reach our bank accounts, frustrated SMEs ask (Small & medium sized enterprises).

Almost half (48%) of SMEs in the UK are frustrated by payments taking too long to reach their bank account, a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of ACI has found this week. The businesses surveyed also state that these delays are negatively affecting their ability to run their business.

A third of the SMEs surveyed say late payments affect their ability to meet financial obligations on time, 17 % feel that this had a negative impact on staff up-keep including salaries, expense reimbursement and recruitment, and most surprisingly to me, 10 % note access to finance is limited for business requirements such as equipment, product development and research.

What I am asking myself is, how can this be in this day and age? Where is the broken cog?

Let’s take a look at what’s happening here. SMEs are being paid via a variety of mediums, some much slower than others. From cash and cheques to Bacs-based direct debits, predicting when funds will clear in their account and be available to use is a tricky business. They also have to spend a lot of time chasing up missing payments, which means they have less billable time. All this means that their cash flow is unpredictable and their forecasting is often amiss.

Let me use an example. A friend of mine is a window cleaner. He used to take payments via cash and cheque, and his cash flow was terrible because he was constantly reminding clients to pay, popping back to collect a payment because clients are often out, costing him time and fuel. This meant his business was unpredictable and therefore he was declined additional financial services by the bank, as he was seen as too high risk to lend to. He then decided to stop accepting traditional payment types, and switch to bank transfer. As this was a more convenient way for his customers to pay, his cash flow problems improved, and the bank could see he was getting regular payments. This meant his loan for a new van and equipment was approved, and he could then service more customers, and make more money.

The example shows that the more promptly SMEs can receive payment funds in their account, the better their cash flow, the greater their chances are they will be approved for additional financial services and the more profitable their business will be – which is great for SMEs, the economy and actually for the banks who will increase revenue because of increased transaction volumes and loans.

It’s not just SMEs that would benefit from the prompt receipt of funds, this has even bigger implications for corporates. The ability to send and receive funds quickly will give the corporate treasurers the tools to better manage cash-flow forecasting, purchase orders, invoicing and ultimately supply chain risk, improving financial control and, ultimately, profitability.

Benefits to treasurers, in my view, include:

• Discounts – with improved cash flow and positive payment confirmation, corporates could obtain discounts for settling commitments early.

• Terms negotiation – one step further, if a corporate had a history of paying invoices on time or at pre-agreed events, such as shipping and delivery milestones, better contract terms could be negotiated with suppliers, totalling significant savings.

• Reduced reliance on cash, cards and cheques, which are expensive to process.

• Tighter integration between corporate ERP systems and banks’ trade finance and payment systems provides better control, reconciliation and forecasting

Customers, too, will see benefits. For instance:

• An insurance company can approve a claim and have the payment in their customer’s account within seconds.

• A retailer could refund a return in real-time, leaving their customer happy with the service and the money in their bank account.

• Loyalty cards could be linked to the customer’s bank account, so they actually pay with the loyalty card. Faster Payments is cheaper than cards for retailers, so they can reward their customers with more loyalty points as they will have the funds instantly. Only the card schemes lose out.

• Goods can be shipped or taken home as soon as payment is received.

Benefits exist for employees too, especially temporary or hourly paid employees. Firms will be able to calculate pay, then initiate payment on a Friday afternoon knowing staff will have the money in their account for the weekend. Similarly, firms will be able to pay employee’s expenses as soon as they are approved.

So where is the broken cog then? The more banks can do to enable fast, easy-to-use, convenient electronic payments for SMEs and corporates, the more profitable those businesses will be, which in turn will generate more revenue for the banks.

In my view, the UK payments industry is on the cusp of a revolutionary change. With the imminent increase in Faster Payments transaction value, the New Access Model and a forward-thinking mindset, the UK will be at the forefront of electronic payments.

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Manchester Window Cleaners Scoop Top Award.

Manchester Window Cleaners scoop top award.
Manchester Window Cleaners scoop top award: A Knutsford window cleaner, whose round includes the Urbis in Manchester, has been named the best in the region. Paul Johnson runs Manchester Window Cleaners and has been busy celebrating after picking up Acquisition International’s Business Excellence Award for the best window cleaners in Greater Manchester.

Paul, 50, of Manchester Road, told the Guardian that his father Peter ran a window cleaning business since 1974 and after he decided to take early retirement from BT in 2010, he decided to take on the firm. “Dad was coming up to retirement age so I decided to get out there and take it over,” he said. “He only did one day a week so I had to build it up from scratch. I wanted to come over professional and wanted to work really hard to make it a success.”

Paul added the award had been a surprise. “It came out of the blue,” he said. “We try and do a more professional job and speak to the clients, not just clean the windows. “We’ve got some very good clients and those are the household names really and we are very proud that they put our name forward.

“With the Urbis as it is a lot of glass and free of frames it doesn’t take as long as you might think. "With window cleaning there is a lot of manoeuvring from one frame to the next but one big panel is easier, so the National Football Museum doesn’t take more than a day.”

“I have been in Knutsford for years, and we do some of the big properties in Knutsford on Legh Road, and my friends have been really chuffed for me.” Paul’s team is made up of seven employees, with two of those working part time.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Can You Skip This Window?

Pull the covers over you and pretend you're asleep.
10 things you can do if your window cleaner catches you in the middle of sex: 13% of window cleaners have interrupted British couples having sex- so we take a look at your options if this happens:

Move into another room- Find another room in the house and CLOSE THE CURTAINS, then resume position. They will know what you're doing but at least they don't have to see your blurry silouhettes in the background while they soap the glass.

Shut the blinds- They've probably seen it all now but to save your blushes when they ask you for their fee- make sure you have some time to finish up and throw on a robe in privacy.

Laugh and wave- If you didn't laugh you would cry with embarrassment so just have a good giggle and move on. Everyone has sex after all so it's nothing to be ashamed of. You've locked eyes now there's no going back.

Carry on- How long does it take to clean a window anyway? Probably about as long as your sex session usually lasts…. It will be over soon enough.

Pull the covers over your heads- And wait until an appropriate amount of time has passed.

Pretend you’re asleep- And you both just toss and turn a LOT during your afternoon naps. 

Pretend you were doing something else- If you act quickly enough you might be able to fool them into thinking you were just reading at a peculiar angle or you know, routinely checking your partner's prostate.

Ask them to skip that window- You could cover your dignity, open the window and ask them to leave that one for another week. On a day when you're partner's not dipping his squeegee in your bucket

Leave the money with a neighbour- If you have the same window cleaner, you could ask your neighbour to pass on your share if you trust them enough to do so. That way you still get the job done but you don't have to speak to them EVER again.

Get a new window cleaner- If all else fails- tell them this will be their last call at your house- they will understand and probably be grateful that they didn't have to instigate your break up.

Monday 18 April 2016

Amazon Connection Gives Boost For Window Cleaners

Juan Marn, of Everclean Cleaning Services, on the job. He says about a third of his work comes from Amazon Home Services.
Amazon connection gives small businesses a boost: In October last year, cleaning-business owner Juan Marín heeded the advice of a friend and signed up with Amazon Home Services, which connects customers of the Seattle tech giant to local plumbers, electricians or someone who can assemble an Ikea bed.

The loss of a full-time job in 2013 prompted Juan Marín to plunge all his efforts into the home-services business he and his wife, Yesica, had started in 2010. They expanded what had started as a housecleaning service into roof and gutter cleaning.

In October last year, the 46-year old native of Monterrey, Mexico, heeded the advice of a friend and signed up with Amazon Home Services, a then-nascent marketplace that connects customers of the Seattle tech giant to local plumbers, electricians or someone who can assemble an Ikea bed.

The move gave Marín’s business a sudden boost. He says perhaps a third of his work comes from Amazon, and that his plate is filling up after favorable reviews (his small firm, Everclean Cleaning Services, has 22 reviews, all five-star.) “We are looking to hire to extend the services we can offer, because my wife and I can’t keep up,” he said. “We’ve had to turn down requests.”

It’s been about a year since opened an online marketplace dedicated to the home-services category, throwing itself into a market first carved out by Angie’s List and more recently by Seattle-based Porch.

It’s not known exactly how many service providers like the Maríns have enrolled, but Amazon says it has done well, with orders growing more than 20 percent per month since the marketplace launched in March 2015 in four metropolitan areas. Now Amazon Home Services extends to 30 major metro areas.

For Amazon, the home-improvement business is an interesting field to conquer in its quest to becoming the place where everybody goes for purchases or services. The company, of course, takes its cut — a 10 to 20 percent commission per job in the case of home services, depending on the complexity of the order.

By taking similar cuts from third-party merchants of everything from diapers to high-priced art, Amazon has built its Marketplace business into what CEO Jeff Bezos calls one of the three “big pillars” of the company.

Amazon Home Services not only adds a new segment to that pillar, but also enables its online store to sell more things by, say, selling both a new TV and the service to mount it on a wall. Erika Takeuchi, a spokeswoman for Amazon Home Services, said Amazon has seen an uptick in certain categories of home improvement and electronics because of the associated services offered. 

Amazon brings to buyers and sellers something in return. It does background checks on providers, and its well-established review system allows customers to have some reassurance.

Juan Marín, owner of Everclean Cleaning Service, prepares to wash windows for a client. His business has improved since signing up with Amazon Home Services, a marketplace for local cleaners, electricians, etc.
At the site of one of Marín’s window washing jobs, on Queen Anne, the customer, who declined to be identified, said it was easier than “asking her neighbor for someone who might or might not do a good job.” Amazon will automatically suggest a provider if the client is unsure about whom to hire, and guarantees the job.

To the service providers, Amazon offers a line into its millions of customers. It handles payment and scheduling, and the way it connects sellers and clients (providers have an app on their phone that pings them when a job is offered) is pretty much automated, helping harried small-business owners run the trains on time.

Customers approve a bid online and pay Amazon when the job is completed; then Amazon pays the provider every 14 days. “You save a lot of time on calls,” Marín says.

That said, there are challenges. For Amazon, dealing with people was different from dealing with companies that sell merchandise. It was a task to reach out to these service providers, many of whom weren’t even online, Takeuchi said.

(Amazon has run into trouble before identifying these providers: Last year Angie’s List sued Amazon Local, a now defunct Groupon-like deals business, for taking leads off Angie’s site. The companies agreed to a settlement last month in which Amazon agreed to bar its employees from using Angie’s List accounts for business purposes. But Amazon Home Services is a separate business.)

Its guarantee to customers had to evolve as well. “If you have your roof leaking you don’t just want your money back,” Takeuchi said. “You want to make sure it stops leaking.”

For service providers, the challenge is to keep up with increased competition, which brings the same downward pressure on prices that third-party merchandise sellers are already familiar with.

For Marín, who lives in Edmonds, it means that there are some jobs he won’t do. He’ll take a $125 window cleaning job on Queen Anne or Magnolia, which is his usual area of service. But “if it’s in Issaquah, that’s too far,” he said.

Friday 15 April 2016

1 in 10 UK Customers Caught By Window Cleaners

14 per cent of people have been caught on the toilet by their window cleaner. Unsurprisingly, a quarter of those who have been spotted by their window cleaner have been so ashamed they have never used them again.
What the window cleaner saw! Two thirds of the nation caught out not closing their blinds - When you are carried away in the heat of the moment, the last thing you think about is your window cleaner.

But 13 per cent of Brits probably wish they had been after being seen having sex by their window cleaner. The embarrassing discovery was made by DirectBlinds, who surveyed over 1000 people. The shame doesn’t end there as a surprising 14 per cent have been seen on the toilet.

When asked why they were caught out, the majority felt a false sense of security as the window cleaner visited unexpectedly, with others simply forgetting to close their blinds. And unsurprisingly, a quarter of those who have been spotted by their window cleaner have been so ashamed they have never used them again.

Window cleaners themselves are not too bothered by what they have seen and 40 per cent laugh it off. But a small percentage have been so shocked by the sights through the window that they almost fell off their ladders.

One brave man shared a story about being seen through the window in a compromising position. Dale Fisk, 27, from North Yorkshire said: “Around four years ago I was on holiday with my wife in Cape Verde, where I proceeded to get sunburnt and then a bit drunk on cherry brandy. “We retired to the room, where I thought it would be a good idea to strip off and dance around naked-until I realised that the windows of our ground floor apartment were in the middle of being cleaned.

“I was mortified, but the window cleaner held in his laughter, finishing the job and leaving without making eye contact!” The window cleaner revelations come as sloshed stags are revealed to drink a month's worth of alcohol during one stag weekend.

One in ten people in the UK have been caught having sex by the window cleaner.

Thursday 14 April 2016

Losing Faith

Window cleaner, Brian Hoyt at home in Boise. He lost his faith around the age of five, when a baby died in his arms in the course of a failed healing.
Letting them die: parents refuse medical help for children in the name of Christ. The Followers of Christ is a religious sect that preaches faith healing in states such as Idaho, which offers a faith-based shield for felony crimes – despite alarming child mortality rates among these groups.

The shield laws that prevent prosecutions in Idaho are an artifact of the Nixon administration. High-profile child abuse cases in the 1960s led pediatricians and activists to push for laws that combatted it. In order to help states fund such programs, Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Capta), which Richard Nixon signed in 1974.

But there was a fateful catch due to the influence of Nixon advisers John Erlichman and J R Haldeman, both lifelong Christian Scientists. Boston College history professor Alan Rogers explains how the men – later jailed for their role in the Watergate scandal – were themselves members of a faith-healing sect, and acted to prevent their co-religionists being charged with crimes of neglect. “Because Erlichman and Haldeman were Christian Scientists, they had inserted into the law a provision that said those who believe that prayer is the only way to cure illness are exempted from this law,” he said.

They also ensure that states had to pass similar exemptions in order to access Capta funds. The federal requirement was later relaxed, but the resultant state laws have had to be painstakingly repealed one by one. Some states, such as Oregon, held on longer until high-profile deaths in the Followers of Christ church in Oregon City attracted the attention of local media; over time the state reversed course.

As a result, several Followers of Christ members in Oregon have been successfully prosecuted. In 2010, Jeffrey and Marci Beagley were convicted of criminally negligent homicide after the death of their toddler, Neal, who died from a congenital bladder blockage. In 2011, Timothy and Rebecca Wyland were convicted of criminal mistreatment and the court ordered that their daughter Aylana be medically treated for the growth that had been threatening to blind her. Later that year, Dale and Shannon Hickman were convicted of second-degree manslaughter two years after their newborn son died of a simple infection.

Next door, Idaho presents a polar opposition to Oregon. Republicans, who enjoy an effective permanent majority in the state house, are surprisingly reluctant to even consider reform. Last year, the governor’s Task Force on Children at Risk recommended change: “Religious freedoms must be protected; but vulnerable children must also be appropriately protected from unnecessary harm and death.” Democratic legislator John Gannon proposed a repeal bill which he “never thought would really be that controversial”. The chairman of the senate health and welfare committee, Lee Heider, refused to even grant it a hearing, effectively killing it.

Brian Hoyt, who lives in Boise, grew up in the Followers of Christ church. Hoyt is a fit 43, and lives in a well-scrubbed suburban neighborhood. He runs a successful window cleaning business that started with a squeegee mop and a bucket after his teenage escape from home left him with no cash and few educational opportunities. When I visited him, his house was being renovated – what was once a “barebones bachelor pad” now accommodates his partner and step-children. Slowly, Hoyt has developed the capacity for family life, after a life in the sect left him “unable to relate to families” for a long time. “I didn’t understand the concept,” he said.

He lost his faith around the age of five, when a baby died in his arms in the course of a failed healing. While elders prayed, Hoyt was in charge of removing its mucus with a suction device. He was told that the child died because of his own lack of faith. Something snapped, and he remembers thinking: “How can this possibly be God’s work?” His apostasy set up lifelong conflicts with his parents and church elders.

In just one incident, when he was 12, Hoyt broke his ankle during a wrestling tryout. “I ended up shattering two bones in my foot,” he said. His parents approached the situation with the usual Followers remedies – rubbing the injury with “rancid olive oil” and having him swig on Kosher wine. Intermittently, they would have him attempt to walk. Each time, “my body would just go into shock and I would pass out”.

“I would wake up to my step-dad, my uncles and the other elders of the church kicking me and beating me, calling me a fag, because I didn’t have enough faith to let God come in and heal me, while my mom and my aunts were sitting there watching. And that’s called faith healing.” He had so much time off with the untreated fracture that his school demanded a medical certificate to cover the absence. Forced to take him to a doctor, his mother spent most of the consultation accusing the doctor of being a pedophile.

He was given a cast and medication but immediately upon returning home, the medication was flushed down the toilet, leaving him with no pain relief. His second walking cast was cut off by male relatives at home with a circular saw.

Other people who have left the group, such as Linda Martin, told similar tales of coercion, failed healing using only rancid olive oil, and a high level of infant mortality, isolation and secrecy. Violence, she said, was “the reason I left home. My childhood and Brian’s were very similar.” Deaths from untreated illness are attributed to “God’s will. Their lives are dominated by God’s will.”

Martin and Hoyt have both lobbied to change the laws, with Martin in particular devoting years of patient research to documenting deaths and other church activities. Hoyt has faced harassment online and at his home, and church members have even tried to undermine his business. So far, their testimonies of abuse have not convinced Idaho’s Republican legislators. Senator Heider, for one, describes the Followers of Christ as “very nice people”.

Campaigners such as Mariah Walton, Janet Heimlich, Linda Martin and Brian Hoyt are determined not to let this matter rest in the next legislative session. A new “Let Them Live” campaign, involving a television ad campaign featuring Mariah, is being coordinated by Bruce Wingate at Protect Idaho Kids. Resources are limited, but all are confident that improved public awareness will build pressure on legislators. Gannon, the Democratic legislator, says for his part that his bill will be back next year. “It’s not going to go away,” he says. “Dead children don’t care about the first amendment.”

Wednesday 13 April 2016

No Training Required In Death Of Montreal Window Cleaner

A father and son team was working roughly five storeys high when the crane holding their steel basket aloft tipped over, police say.
Montreal high-rise window-washers "No special training required" - They operate machinery and can work 40 or 50 storeys up in the air, but there are no specific training requirements and they get paid as maintenance people. That’s how industry veteran Jack Colati describes Montreal window washers, one of whom died on Sunday after the crane holding his basket about five floors up tipped over.

Another worker, the dead man’s son, was seriously injured in the accident, outside the Université du Québec à Montréal, at René-Lévesque Blvd. and St-Denis St. “Our business is not recognized as a profession — we’re just cleaners and the workers get paid the same as people who push a mop,” said Colati, owner of Future Window Cleaning.

Before a worker can operate a crane on a construction site, he or she must be certified, which requires more than 700 hours of training, he said. There is no such requirement for cranes used for window-washing, added Colati, who has been in the business for 25 years.

Under Quebec workplace safety law, an employer must ensure that anyone operating a crane has some training, said Marie-France Vermette, a spokesperson for Quebec’s workplace safety board, the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST). But if the crane operator is not on a construction site, the law does not specify the type or amount of training required, she added.

Witnesses have said the crane may have been badly set up, with an “outrigger” —  a device used to support and stabilize the crane — placed on a patch of earth rather than on a solid surface. Colati said window washers are required to follow safety rules outlined in a booklet produced by the CNESST. “But it’s very easy to not read the rules,” Colati said. He said Quebec’s construction commission — the Commission de la construction du Québec — or the CNESST “should wake up” and impose new rules.

The CNESST is investigating Sunday’s accident. Vermette said investigators are interviewing witnesses and have seized the crane to inspect it. Normally, investigations take about five or six months, Vermette said. Six to eight companies in Montreal have the expertise to clean windows on highrises, Colati said.

In 2009, when a window-washer died after a fall from the 20th floor of a downtown building, the CNESST found that the worker — a foreman — was not wearing a safety harness at the time of the accident. The investigation found that an improperly installed electrical cable, inadequate work instructions and the absence of a structured health-and-safety approach were also contributing factors. In the 2009 report, the CNESST reminded employers of the importance of accident-prevention measures, training employees and supervising workplaces.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Window Cleaner To The Rescue

Window cleaner to the rescue - Darren Fox saved an elderly woman after her toaster with faulty wiring caught fire.
​"Instinct just took over," Walsall window cleaner speaks after saving elderly woman from fire: An heroic window cleaner who came to the rescue of an elderly woman in need after her toaster set on fire in her Walsall flat has said "instinct just took over him." Darren Fox, who owns Fox Cleaning, was cleaning the woman's windows in her Rushall home when he spotted the smoke. He made his way inside, led the 89-year-old to safety and put the fire out with towels.

Speaking to the Advertiser after, the 38-year-old said: "I was really worried and scared but everything I did was instinctive. Instinct just took over me. "I am proud of what I did and it does feel like I was a hero. I rang my wife Lisa straight away and she congratulated me and couldn't believe it! "Firefighters told me I was really brave and that it could easily have been fatal. Nothing like this has ever happened in my 14 years of window cleaning but I would do it all over again if I had to."

Thirteen firefighters used breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and positive pressure ventilation fan to tackle the blaze, which set fire to curtains in the living room on the ground floor of the semi-detached house.
The toaster set on fire at 9.45 am on Tuesday morning (April 12) at the woman's flat in Lichfield Street, Rushall and Darren immediately sprang into action to save her. He recalled: "I was cleaning her windows and I saw smoke coming through. I looked in and saw the toaster on fire so I went to the front door and was banging on it. She didn't know about the fire at first because she was in the bathroom but I shouted to her to come to the door and let me in.

"She was terrified and didn't know what to do but I told her to get out of the flat and I put a towel on the toaster. The fire was still coming through tough, it took four or five towels to stop. After I had done that I called the fire service and they arrived in two to three minutes."

Watch commander Richard Cooper, of Bloxwich fire service, heaped praise on the window cleaner. He said: "He did a terrific job, he was very brave. He was doing his rounds and saw smoke coming through the window. Aware the woman was inside, he banged on the door for her attention and when he got inside he isolated the electrics and put damp towels over the toaster. "Because the toaster had a plastic surround it could easily have released toxic smoke and been a lot worse. The woman was very shaken up and didn't really understand what had gone on."

The local window cleaner sounded the alarm after seeing smoke come from the windows of the property in Lichfield Street, Rushall and rang West Midlands Fire Service.

Monday 11 April 2016

Window Washer Dead After Crane Overturns, Son In Critical Condition

One person was killed and another critically injured in the accident. The men, a father and son, were up on a lift washing windows when the crane overturned.
Window-washing crane falls downtown: 1 dead, 1 critically injured: A father and son team of window washers suffered a tragic accident Sunday morning as the crane supporting their basket tipped over, killing the father, who was crushed beneath the crane, and leaving the son in critical condition. 

They were washing the windows of the Paul-Gérin-Lavoie pavilion of the Université du Québec à Montréal, at René-Lévesque Blvd. and St-Denis St., when the crane toppled over at about 10:25 a.m. Police said the men were working roughly five storeys high when the crane holding their steel basket aloft tipped over.

There were originally five victims, said Robby Lagacé of the Montreal Fire Department: the 53-year-old man trapped in the basket and four people taken to hospital, three suffering from nervous shock. When Urgences Santé confirmed the death of the trapped man, the fire department switched from rescue to recovery mode, Lagacé said.

At  3 p.m., firefighters and investigators with Quebec’s labour safety board had still been working to remove his body from beneath the crane. The son was still listed in critical condition in hospital yesterday afternoon, said police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant. The cause of the accident is not known and it will be investigated by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

A witness said one of the crane’s support posts was placed on soil.
Diane Thibault, a spokesperson for the CNESST, said investigators were on the scene Sunday “to try to get as much information as possible to establish the cause.” She did not have the name of the window-washing company involved in the accident. Some streets in the area were blocked as a horde of police, ambulance and fire department officials worked at the scene. The fire department tried to stabilize the vehicle using two other cranes, Lagacé said. 

Witness Pierre Benoit said he saw the front of the truck bearing the crane initially rise a few feet in the air, then suddenly pitch backward. He saw one of the window washers ejected from the lift. The other remained within, and was crushed when the lift crashed to the ground. Benoit said three of the support posts of the crane truck were placed on the asphalt surface of the road, but the fourth was placed on soil. It appeared the support placed on soil sunk into the ground, causing the truck to tip backward.

Friday 8 April 2016

Window Cleaners Marketing Blueprint - A Sales Bible

Window Cleaners Marketing Blueprint - A Sales Bible: Over 100 Marketing Methods, written by Chris Lambrinides.
Window Cleaners Marketing Blueprint - A Sales Bible: Over 100 Marketing Methods, written by Chris Lambrinides. Hot off the press... Chris has been compiling this Marketing Blueprint over a number of years. This is really more than a book. Its a training program where Chris walks you through over 150 ways you can market your window cleaning business. Step by step instructions with dialog based on his own personal experience. There is almost NO theory in the book. It's all actual things & methods that Chris has done with success in his business. + It comes with 46 downloads. Worksheets, phone scripts, and pre-made marketing pieces.

Chris says..
  • "I hold your hand and walk you through over 100 different marketing methods I used with success."
  • "This book is for anyone in the window cleaning business looking to make more money in less time." 
  • "It doesn’t matter if you have a new company, or an old company, a small business or big business."
  • "This is the instruction manual your business has been waiting for."

A step-by-step guide to creating and improving the marketing of your window cleaning business. The ultimate blueprint that shows you how to fill your schedule with more jobs than you can handle. For anyone that's interested you can download a free chapter here at the foot of the page." This particular free chapter will show you how to do a comprehensive analysis of your local market.

Chris adds, "It's a system I used in my window cleaning business for many years." "Each spring actually, to help me determine where to concentrate my marketing efforts." "I got to a million in sales per year by the 5th year in business." "Grew it to upwards of 50 employees from there." "Then @ year 13 sold the company and had a successful exit."

Thursday 7 April 2016

Untouchable 2016

Add captionTerry "Turbo" Burrows, untouchable in speed window cleaning on the last day of the Manchester cleaning show.
Fastest window washer cleans up competition in just 20 seconds: Nimble Neil Caden has won the title of the fastest window washer after cleaning up the competition in just 20 seconds. The 50-year-old, from Leeds, West Yorks., wiped the floor with the younger lads - and used his skills as a black belt in karate to wax-on, wax-off the competition. 

Sadly he did not beat 20-year recorder holder Essex-based Terry Burrows (pictured top), whose best ever time for cleaning three 1.143m high windows is just 9.14 seconds, at the trade event held in Manchester on Wednesday. Terry says his success is down to a quickfire 16-move sequence that draws on skills he honed as a martial arts instructor and boxer. Sadly, Terry is banned from entering any further competitions to let others stand a chance at winning.

BBC News - Terry 'Turbo' Williams' window washing world record challenged: Terry "Turbo" Burrows, officially the world's fastest window cleaner for more than 20 years, is challenging rivals from around the UK to try to beat his world record time. He set the Guinness World Record of 9.14 seconds in Blackpool in 2009, and is now in Manchester to see if he is still a "glass" above the rest. Contenders have to clean three 1.143m high windows and the sill - crucially, no smears can be left. The event coincides with the 80th anniversary of George Formby's hit When I'm Cleaning Windows.

Buttershaw window cleaner takes prize at The Cleaning Show: A window cleaner is back in Bradford with a big bucket of prizes after a sparkling performance in a national contest. Graham Bower, of Buttershaw Drive, Buttershaw, beat off stiff competition from window cleaners across the country today at The Cleaning Show in Manchester. He was the speediest cleaner there today, but not quite as quick as the record set by world champion, Terry 'Turbo' Burrows from Suffolk. He set the Guinness World Record of 9.14 seconds in Blackpool in 2009. Contenders had to clean three 1.143m high windows and the sill - and could leave no smears.

The event coincides with the 80th anniversary of George Formby's hit When I'm Cleaning Windows. "I came first in the competition but didn't quite catch up with Terry. I was about a second out," he said. Even though Mr Bower's time was 12.01 seconds he did get a few penalty points for soap streaks. "Even with the penalties I was still on top. It was well worth having a go. Terry's quick but not quite as quick as he used to be - even he couldn't match his world record," he added. Mr Bower, 35, started cleaning windows at the age of 12 and now runs his own business. He won a Kindle Fire tablet and a big bucket full of beer. "I'm going to keep practising my speeds. Who knows I might be back for another go at the world record next year," he said.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

It's Quiet Up There

Mr Chirnside says it is quiet at the top of the 243-metre-tall Soul building on the Gold Coast. Click to enlarge.
Abseiling daredevils keep Gold Coast skyscrapers clean, top to bottom: Meet the workers who dangle from ropes hundreds of metres from the ground to keep the Gold Coast's skyscrapers clean. The iconic, gleaming towers of Surfers Paradise are visible from miles around and recognisable across the globe. The most effective way to maintain their shine is by sending someone out on a rope with a squeegee. Dean Chirnside is one such man.

His company maintains several towers, inside and out, across the glitter strip including the 243-metre-tall Soul building. "Everything is a lot smaller to look down at," Mr Chirnside told ABC Gold Coast. "It's quite quiet up there … the sounds doesn't travel up so far."

Cleaning tall buildings is in his blood. His father started a window cleaning business when they moved to the Gold Coast in 1986. Although the buildings were not as tall back then, Mr Chirnside worked in the family business during school holidays.

"A job came up as an abseiler and I took it and it's been great ever since," he said. "The view is great. You're not locked up in an office — fresh air, you're out in the sun. "When you are hanging outside someone's window they're always keen to have a chat."

When you are swinging around outside hotel windows high above the ground, occasionally you will stumble across some private, intimate moments. "From time to time you may catch someone out," Mr Chirnside said. "It's not something we're looking out for it but it's something that does happen from time to time."

The tower cleaning can take up to five days to complete. Although it may look frightening, Mr Chirnside said the danger was minimal as long as you keep your mind on the job. "It's pretty demanding, you're hanging on a rope for hours at a time, out in the sun," he said. "You've just got to really just get it done." The crews even time their work to be back on solid ground in time for lunch.

Having someone abseil with a bucket and squeegee remains the most cost-effective way to clean skyscrapers.

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