Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Brave New World

July 12, 2002
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Whenever Aldous Huxley's utopian satire, sitting on the bookcase in all its dog-eared glory, catches my eye, I know from page-turning experience what goes on in his world.

I'll be honest. I'm not really sure what to expect from the cleaning industry, or what its expectations of me are. Call it anxious curiosity with a touch of detente. Scrubbers, brighteners, wands, truckmounts, flow; it's like falling down the rabbit hole of cleaning technology.

I'm looking forward to the conventions, trade shows and annual meetings that go on each year. Getting out from behind the desk and away from the email, putting faces with names without behind them, yes, this falls under the heading of a good thing. Funny how the desire for a handshake grows the more instant messages you send.

Let's get this out of the way: I am a journalist by trade. I am not a cleaning professional. In some states I wouldn't even qualify as a cleaning amateur. When under my control, the vacuum gets first crack at whatever happens to be on the floor; any object remaining, due to weight, size or both, either remains in place or receives a not-so-gentle nudge from the closest foot. The latter is usually dependent on whether company is coming over. Working on the last few issues of ICS Cleaning Specialist has opened some doors. Not the whole way, mind you, but enough to get a quick look at some of the terrain the industry traverses on a day-to-day basis.

And even that would be too much if I didn't have the best tour guides in the business. Bob Wittkamp, Tom Hill, Steve Toburen, Joe Domin, Jeff Bishop, Lee Pemberton, Aaron Groseclose, these are just some of experts filling the pages of ICS each month with the knowledge they've gained through a lifetime of dedication and professionalism.

Good thing, too. If not for them, you'd be stuck with 30-odd pages of stories just like this. And isn't life hard enough?

The International Society of Cleaning Technicians' convention, trade show and annual meeting will be here in a couple of weeks. "Discover the Wealth," the CFI/PCUCA convention and trade show, is scheduled for the middle of August. These will be the first two events offering the opportunity for me to talk face to face with the professionals who make the cleaning industry what it is.

It's a brave new world. It should be fun to learn what makes it tick.

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