Jeweller to the Guild of Office Cleaners
- Office cleaners, paper removalists, bin emptiers
- Patron Saint
- John le Carré
Guild of Office Cleaners - Personal
Kit aluminium, brass, stainless steel, glass; individual dimensions
from 108mm to 9mm (photograph Daniel Schutt)
was particularly interested in the position that these practitioners
work under. Often alone or in small groups with no direct supervision.
Permitted to move around the unattended work areas of other regular
employees, they become familiar with much of the internal workings
and affairs of the business either through glimpsed documents, overheard
conversations, or observing the relationships of employees.
In preparation, I was fortunate to speak to a number of current
and former After Hours Office Cleaners regarding their personal
experiences. In addition to their official job description, cleaners
may also be called upon to fulfill a number of other less official
obligations such as confidant, scapegoat or even object of ridicule.
A common assertion among those interviewed was that there are two
types of worker. Those who can be relied upon to practice their
craft without being swayed by idleness or curiosity (all claimed
to be in this category) and those who are less dependable and inclined
to abuse the trust in which they are placed. Added to this were
a number of anecdotes about how good cleaners go bad.
The piece constructed represents a kind of journeymans's kit like
those once given to apprentices on completion of their training.
This is designed to be carried by the worker and contains the more
personal tools of their craft. This cleaner's kit caters for both
types of worker. The left hand side contains items which the trustworthy,
reliable cleaner will need to complete their tasks efficiently,
such as earplugs to avoid overhearing company secrets, blinkers
to keep their eyes on the job and a serve of humble pie to help
maintain their place in the company pecking order. The other side
contains a tempting array of pieces for the lazy, dishonest or disaffected,
including an easily assembled ear trumpet for listening at doors,
a small vial of glue to secretly repair damaged items and a set
of pre-printed excuse cards ('My back hurts. I can't clean under