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The mop spillover

by Practicer 

Posted: 02 November 2019
Word Count: 757
Summary: This piece is inspired by the psychedelic and surreal genre, of which I have read from recently. It is also based upon very exaggerated personal experience.

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On a shopping island surrounded by concrete with metal motor fish swimming around it, a retail store had enlisted an agency to recruit two cleaners. The two cleaners had been long term unemployed until they got the job of cleaning the store.  The two cleaners were given two hours  every morning over six days a week to sweep the stores hard block floor.  One cleaner was very fast and swept his side of the floor in twenty minutes. The other cleaner was slower, but very fastidious , checking every gap for small particles of hidden dust.  However, both cleaners finished sweeping the floor with over an hour remaining of their shift each day. 

The agency put the faster cleaner on a permanent contract. However, the agency had hired another agency to recruit the fastidious cleaner. Therefore the fastidious cleaner was put on a temporary contract. 

The store manager , who was not  responsible for the cleaners pay, but only the store cleaning duties, asked the faster cleaner on the agency´s behalf, if he wanted to work extra hours.  The faster cleaner said yes, but never did the extra hours. The fastidious cleaner  just did the extra hours, anyway. 
The faster cleaner always asserted that the floor was clean enough before spending the second hour polishing the framework of the store. However, he always seemed to have a good half hour spare, until the shift finished. The fastidious cleaner never like to admit that the floor was clean enough, but it usually was. Therefore, as the fastidious cleaner had nothing to do in his second hour, he pretended to look  busy. 

One day after a shift was about to end, the fastidious cleaner confronted the faster cleaner. 
´´Look! there´s not enough work for both of us. Why don´t you do some mopping, and I do the polishing? ´´ 
 ´´What mopping? ´´ replied the faster cleaner. 
´ The mop and bucket , next to the flat sweeping brooms´´, said the fastidious cleaner. 
´´ No! I don´t know´´, said the faster cleaner. 
´´ What´s  the matter with you?´ ´, said the fastidious cleaner. 
´´ Nothing, I do the mopping´´, replied the faster cleaner 
´´ What , when?  you never do it ´´ , said the fastidious cleaner 
  ´´ I do it in extra hours, when they pay me ,´´ said the faster cleaner. 
Frustrated by this, the fastidious cleaner went to the mop and bucket, and began to fill the bucket with water. 
´´ Leave it! ´´ said the faster cleaner 
The fastidious cleaner continued to fill the bucket with water. 
The faster cleaner went for the mop and bucket and said 
´´ I do it, you do the polishing´´. 
´´ You have done it already´´, replied the fastidious cleaner. 
´´ You don´t even sweep properly´´, replied the faster cleaner,  grabbing at the the mop handle. 

As the two cleaners quarrelling increased in volume , the store manager approached them and said 
´´ What on earth is going on?´´
This surprised the two cleaners. They both let go of the mop and bucket and let  the water overflow. 
The Bucket , therefore toppled over drenching the floor. Then the store manager skidded, but managed to stay upright before imitating the sound of a vacuum cleaner. The two cleaners had yet to notice the vacuum cleaner. 

 After the fastidious cleaner lost his job in that store, he was offered another job in an identical store. In his new job, he was a solo cleaner. The fastidious cleaner did the sweeping, polishing, vacuum cleaning and buffering. 

After the faster cleaner lost his job, he replaced the fastidious cleaner because the fastidious cleaner only had a temporary contract. 

The store manager eventually stopped imitating the sound of a vacuum cleaner, Probably gave up smoking, and drank  far less on  his days off. He was also transferred to another store, but this time , the store was in the middle of a bustling town. 

As for the metal motor fish , well they had potential store customers inside them. 
The customers liked to remind the store manager that if cleaning was still in progress when the store was open for trading, that the ´caution, cleaning in progress signs´, should be displayed. 
In turn, the store manager was obliged to remind the cleaners, who were not fast or fastidious to display the ´caution, cleaning in progress´ signs , if cleaning was still in progress when the store was open for trading , and also reminded them  to keep any entrances clear of dust piles. 


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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 16:59 on 02 November 2019  Report this post
My brain hurts. It's deliciously fiendishly clever I think. But I'm not? I shall reread it when I have had a drink laugh

michwo at 18:44 on 02 November 2019  Report this post
What's the moral of this story, Robert?
Does it have one?

Practicer at 10:19 on 03 November 2019  Report this post
I did not feel up to the flash fiction challenge this week, but this appeared through a bit of free writing.

Thank you for your comments.

V`yonne at 14:56 on 03 November 2019  Report this post
It would be worth thinking up a moral for this one actually and then ending it as that. I love the twists and turns of it and your brain really does try to follow them and extract meanings. It would be a great ruse also if it ended up having no moral lesson other -- HA that got you going. It just needs an ending really... But like all things 'Flash' it's the start of a train of thought -- rather an intriguing train of thought in this case and I'd be ahppy to read a 'next version.
Just a word about 'versions' though.
Never delete this one. Just edit the file and put the new version above the old one so that the reader can compare because it helps sometimes to reinstate something you might have lost -- a bit of banter or a line. I'm looking forward to seeing where this one goes in the end laugh

Practicer at 08:53 on 04 November 2019  Report this post
Thank you for the critique.
When I uploaded it, I was thinking it was a rough first version.
It has  a C  word in it but not in the list for the challenge.
I can see what you mean about a moral because it derived from a bit of raw personal experience.
Having said it appeared through a free write, It  started when I dwelled  on Zombrero fallout by Richard Brautigan, whilst I was free writing


V`yonne at 11:33 on 04 November 2019  Report this post
a rough first version.

is fine. And since this challenge is not being ajudicated til next weekend there's time to put up a Version 2 (above this one) it's allowed!

Jojovits1 at 20:19 on 09 November 2019  Report this post
Oonah's right.  This is a gorgeous magic carpet ride that needs a conclusion for us to feel satisfied.  However, it's pretty great at the moment - I might need a holiday in your head! wink

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