Eloise Simpelkins made herself a pile of money by taking advantage of the fastidiousness of rich people. Folks in Letongaloosa generally disapprove of taking advantage. Letongaloosans feel that taking advantage is not neighborly, and Letongaloosa is a neighborly town.
But people seem to approve of the way Eloise cleaned up financially. She built an enterprise that took advantage of the foibles of people like those who live in La Mancha, the posh section of town where the streets are winding and the house numbers are hand painted on Spanish tile.
Eloise Simpelkins is plain—beginning with her name and continuing with her squat chunky figure, her thick unruly hair, her flat face, her squinty eyes, and her pug nose.
From her looks people conclude that Eloise isn’t smart enough to pound sand in a rat hole. Besides that, the Simpelkinses lived on the wrong side of the tracks. In reality Eloise is very bright. But she didn’t do well in school because of her looks—teachers treated her as if she were as dumb as she looked–and because she had to work long hours after school and on weekends with her mother who was a cleaning lady for people who lived in La Mancha.
When Eloise finished high school there were no college scholarships or government loans for academic underachievers from the wrong side of the tracks. And there were no good jobs for girls who looked like they weren’t smart enough to pound sand in a rat hole.
So Eloise became, like her mother, a full time cleaning lady for people who lived in La Mancha. Things were slow at first, but soon Eloise had all the work she could handle. She cleaned while groups of La Mancha women played bridge, mahjongg, and chatted over cups of coffee.
One day Eloise overheard a group of women complaining. They hated cleaning bathrooms on the mornings that their cleaning ladies were coming. The women didn’t want the cleaning ladies to see the cruddy toilets, the toothpaste-encrusted washbasins and mirrors, and the gunk-spattered showers in the bathrooms of their slovenly husbands and teenagers.
“I’d just die if Ermaline saw Reginald’s poopy toilet,” one of them said.
That gave Eloise her big idea. She would become a cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady. To get jobs all Eloise had to do was convince the women of La Mancha that she would be as discreet about their husbands’ filthy bathrooms as their doctors were about their medical conditions, and their lawyers were about the flaws in their prenuptial agreements.
The women of La Mancha paid Eloise handsomely—much more handsomely for her discretion than for her bathroom cleaning efforts. Soon Eloise was making as much as a cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady as she would have made as a school teacher with a masters degree.
Eloise was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Intuition told her that wealthy women in other upper middle class enclaves around the state and the nation were similar to women who lived in La Mancha. Research proved her right. She saw an opportunity to set up a nationwide franchise business that featured discretion-based pre-cleaning lady services.
Eloise is now CEO of a highly successful nationwide cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady enterprise. And business is about to get better. Eloise went undercover in one of her Eastern seaboard franchises. She was working as a cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady. A couple of women were playing gin rummy.
One said, “Can I confide in you?”
The other said, “Always, dear.”
The first said, “Tell me if I’m crazy, but I’m getting uncomfortable about having the pre-cleaning lady see George’s filthy bathroom.”
“You’re not crazy,” said the second woman, “I’ve been worrying about that for a month or so.”
Eloise hurried back to her company headquarters in Letongaloosa and started work on a new business plan. Next month she’ll launch a nationwide franchise operation that features a very, very discreet and ultra pricy pre-cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady service.
Next up: a nationally franchised service that provides come-to-your-home hair dressers who prepare women for their appointments with their hair dressers. -30-