When I was 23 I moved to Seattle and bought some window cleaning tools, a 16" brass Ettore, a 14" strip washer a 6’ wood pole…I went around knocking on store doors looking to do their windows. I was living in my car…
I did a dry cleaners with 10 big plates and 2 doors I made 25 dollars it took me 5 hours ! I would clean each side of each plate 4 or 5 times trying to get it totally perfect and no spot or streaks. I did them once a month for about 3 months. During that time I also got a few other tiny jobs and I did one house.
I was really taking a very long time to clean these jobs, quadruple to what you should do it at, I was a bucket hound. When I realized I wasn’t efficient and totally slow I stopped. I went to work as a laborer in construction.
I really wanted to be a window cleaner, bad ! I knew though that one really needs to know what he was doing in order to really be good at it, and I wasn’t.
One day I was walking down the street in downtown Seattle and I saw a really heavy guy cleaning a store front, on 1st ave and Seneca and man was he really good…He made it look so sweet when he did it just like he was doing Ti Che, like a real artist !
Well I stopped to talk to him about window cleaning ,telling him I really wanted to be a window cleaner but I wasn’t very good at it. I ask if he could show me some tricks as he was cleaning and he said did you see that one, and I said no , he said did you see that one and I said no (he was a little bit reserved at telling me things, that’s the nature of a lot of cleaners even today).
I was really getting stoked at seeing his “Son of Ettore ability” so I ask him if I went and got my tools and really tried hard at it would I get to be a window cleaner like him. He stopped and said to me " do you want the truth “. And I said for sure, he then said " you won’t be worth a damn”.
I just totally went sunk down and really felt bad, and then ask him what should I do, and he said get a job with someone who knows the business and they will teach you to do the job effectively and efficiently. I then ask if he’d give me a job and he said no that he works alone ! Again I got depressed and said do you know a company I can work for and he said " well there’s a guy right down there" …He point towards the water front at Post Alley and Western Ave and said there was guy in that building who has had a business here in Seattle that his father started in 1940 and that most of the journeymen cleaner in town had worked for his company and were trained by his Dad , and that he was one.The company was Universal Window Cleaning.
Well he said that he is always hiring people… So I went down and applied and with in 3 weeks he had hired me and that was 32 years ago and the rest is history.
Today I have a lot of knowledge and techniques that I’ve learned from this “Son of Ettore” and I right up there with all them that been down that path !
Today I like to share all that I know to others who want to be a window cleaner and I have no professional jealousy and worries about them being competition… I’ve hook up with Jesee Green to give him info as well as Eric Johnson who are here on the forum as well as Reene- haleiakala, she wants to hook up for a day together so she can learn a few tricks, and we should be able to…
Today I’m no longer a Bucket-Hound or Bucket-Bob, I’ve been to the school of “The Sons of Ettore” and I graduated with a b+, I’m pretty average as a cleaner and I can carry my own ! I class myself as a Journeymen ! I’ve done chair work stage work, residential, commercial, retail , from a one door store to the billionaire Paul Allen !
One thing I love doing is to share with others so they cam move ahead and be classed as a "Son or Daughter of Ettore !
Take care Yawl, and please, please be safe !