Many business owners read Window Cleaning Magazine, but it turns out passionate employees are also taking to the computer keyboard seeking out the Magazine. This week’s Featured Readers are a badass husband and wife team who still party like rock stars hanging high in the Seattle skyline!
They say marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.
Jim Cox Wright, 51 and his wife Melissa, 46, fight over windows all right, but not for night time disagreements. No, this pair are more likely to fight for windows to clean instead as they passionately clean the building they are assigned to.
Jim has been cleaning windows for over 24 years initially specializing in chair work or industrial rope access and from time to time work with a mechanical platform. His wife has helped him in the past on the glass for extra pocket change. They have been married for 20 years and have an 18 year old daughter who thinks that they are both ‘nuts’ in their job choice.
Jim landed a job with UBS (United Building Services) in Seattle. UBS are a major player in Building Maintenance with huge business premises and a fleet of vehicles.
One day they asked Jim if he wanted to run the night crew cleaning inside windows.
“I was like sure, much better than freezing my ass off during the day. And it’s a little slow that time of year anyway”, said Jim.
Jim went on, “After awhile I mentioned my wife (Melissa, known as Missy) could clean glass and she was hired on as part time. So the running joke was, hey in the summer she can do some stage work. We all laughed and joked and never took it too seriously. But then a 39 story, 440′ residential high-rise in downtown Seattle decided that they wanted a 5-week rotation. The shop was like, this is a full-time job for two people. All the guys really didn’t want to be stuck in the stage all day long because it was, well stage work. They all wanted chair work”.
“Me? I’m 51 yrs. old and did my chair time. I have trained a few of my co-workers too. Don’t get me wrong; I can still hang if needed”.
Quick fire Q&A with Jim: Quid Pro Qou.
WCM: Why do you like reading Window Cleaning Magazine?
JIM: I like reading through the articles about the industry and checking out the different products. And seeing other cleaners do their thing.
WCM: Do you talk about work at home?
JIM: Yes. Everyday.
WCM: How long have you been cleaning high-rise windows together for?
JIM: As a team, it has been 6 months now.
WCM: Has your wife ever tried or wanted to try chair work?
JIM: Oh hell no! She’s not even interested.
WCM: Who makes the sandwiches for the day’s work? lol (we think we know this answer)
JIM: Lol the wife does.
WCM: Biggest building worked together?
JIM: The one we do right now since this is the only account we now do for BMU, 2 bodies, full time. It’s the 2nd tallest privately owned building in the City. A 440′ tall monster that takes about 5 weeks to complete depending on the weather. Then when that cycle is done we start again.
There is so much construction going on around town. The board members decided that instead of quarterly cleaning they wanted a continuous cycle. So here we are hanging out together. Literally.
WCM: Scariest moments so far?
JIM: I’ve had countless hours standing in the cradle without any problems. So, I let Missy take the controls one day. At the end of the day she was bringing the boom arm in and about half way in the boom just let’s go with a massive moan. Real loud like. That was scary. Wind is not cool either.
WCM: What are your go to squeegee choices?
JIM: Missy likes to use the 18/22” Ettore. I am Ettore or Sorbo.
WCM: What safety checks do you have to run before you start?
JIM: We have a daily checklist that gets put into a logbook. It involves a visual inspection, then there is the master control box test, up down, in out basic stuff. Then up and off we go. But mostly we are the eyes and ears of the thing. If anything is out of the norm it gets reported and it is serviced immediately and regularly.
WCM: Best part of your work?
JIM: Best part for me is the views and the hustle and bustle of the city. But most of all, I love seeing the smile on my wife’s face. She has big balls and I love telling everybody about her “bad ass job”. Lol