Chris you've been a customer for a very long time, and I don't really remember for how long. I do because I engaged your services in 2000, it was in the summer and I recall this because I had just had a promotion to manager of a team. I kind of jokingly told some of my friends, well, I have got a cleaning service because now I'll be working weekends and that was mostly a joke, but I got somebody to help me.
So that's 20 year, almost 21. Wow, that's amazing. I knew it has been a long time because we cleaned your home in Decatur and it was a gorgeous house, then you moved to Briarcliff. So you've done every other week for all those years and so tell me what your experience has been like. I think you still have your two kitties. Down to one now so that's been a change, it's been four different cats. Oh, OK. So maybe also how as a pet owner has it been because I know we have your key and a lot of times you weren't here. So just maybe how do you feel about how to deal with your pets and how has it been. So at the old house, there was a room over the garage and I put the the cats in there, the service didn't clean that, so that kind of kept him out of the way. For this house it's a little harder to contain them, but we've been here two and a half years and it's not really that much of an issue. The older cat who I lost a couple months ago was just very chill and he just stayed up way. The younger cat was afraid of people so it's not much of an issue.
You must feel really comfortable with us that you can trust us and how has that been. I've been very happy with the service. So no complaints about that and I know it's different people, but they're always prepared. They have the book of notes of clients in particular, and you've been very accommodating for special requests. Like I think at one point we said we have a room downstairs that we rarely use and so you cleaned up more or less other every other time.
Yeah, I've not been really consistent with that. So it's it's kind of nice to be clean. Lately we've been spending we've been spending so much time in the house lately then we are used to. So it's it's more important to have a nice home environment. OK, great. Well, you've been a great customer, so I really thank you for this for us. Ya sure you're welcome. It's been a good company and I recommend you and support you. Thank you I really appreciate it.
OK, Don, you've been our customer, our great client for over 30 years now.
I don't even know exactly how long, but I think it's over 30 years, right? It could well be because you have come out ever since i've been, your client. That means it's been three quarters of the time you've been in business for 40 years.
Yeah and you've been on our schedule every week, every Monday for all those years. So you have been a solid gold client. We just love you and you've been one of our biggest fans and we really appreciate that. I'm just wondering, like, what has made you so loyal to us all these years?
Well, there's many reasons, and I wish you'd come on Monday after the team comes in and gets it really cleaned up. Mainly it is consistency and the fact that you're dependable, you've got excellent employees. They're very nice, nice to work with, very flexible and it's just it works for me really well. You know, you work within a time frame, so I know about when you can be come in and out. Right. So when I come on Monday is like coming home to a new place.
OK, good. Well, we really enjoyed having you as our customer. I know that you're always so supportive of us and even our employees, because when Mario is cleaning your place for so long and Mario is a musician so you would often come to support him and hear him play music. Right. We always thought that was really fun and great. The drummer for Cat Fight. Yeah, I thought that. Right. Yeah
I missed Mario. I think he's gone. Yeah, he's gone to bigger and better things, but yeah, we do miss him and he loves coming here.
The dependability, the consistency, those things count plus the biggest item is honesty. Ya that is true. In the 30 years, I've never had a problem with something missing, not one time. There's not many that you can do that because you're working inside somebody's house and their bedrooms, you have different employees, you know, things can happen, but that has never happened with Sponge and Sparkle. All right. Thank you, Don. I appreciate it. I hope I get 30 more good years, i'll only be about 100 by then.
Mario, you are one of our best and most favorite employees, and we were so happy to have you here for so many years.
It was amazing. You're not here any longer, but I just wanted to ask you, you're a creative person. You're a musician. That's your number one thing in life that was always so important to you and still is. So how did working at Sponge and Sparkle help you facilitate that part of your life and what was your whole experience like here at Sponge and Sparkle?
What was super helpful in terms of, like you said, trying to be a musician and play music. The flexibility of the schedule for the employees was always something I really appreciated. Like I said, sometimes you would go on tour in Europe and would be gone for three weeks. Over time because you're in people's homes and the minute you know, you're actually in people's homes providing the service and over the course of like I was here for 20 years, you know, you became pretty close with people.
There was you know, Don White was a customer. That was one of the first people I ever went to clean and that was my regular customer for three years. You know, every Monday I know I would see Don White, you know, and a lot of the customers, it was like I was here for so long. I watch them have newborn babies and then the kids are going to high school. So you become ingrained with the family in their family.
Yeah and basically the attitude of the whole company, Sponge and Sparkle, really lends itself to customers being comfortable with people coming into their homes and cleaning and and even with like that, it's just it's a matter of trust. Right. If you can't satisfy a customer at their own home and when can someone be satisfied with being, you know, having a service provider for them? I think we always did that. You can look at the amount of customers we've had over 10 or 20 years that stayed with the service and even a lot of like older, like older customers in age, senior citizens, we're like always most of my customers who, you know, that was highly specialized.
There's all these people because there's that interaction with people and there has to be that since you're in someone's home and so you have to not only provide a service where the house is clean, but where they feel comfortable having you there. They have to like you. I think we've always kept a great core of people over the you know, the course of the time that I was here and most of the people stayed just about as long as I did, you know.
So, yeah, that was a great ride. Yeah, it was really good. I mean, I clean all the time, so it wasn't really like work for me. I just was out of the house I would be cleaning anyway. So it was actually really good. It was a great, great blessing. Thank you, Mario. Oh, thank you. Well worked out great for me.
The main thing you always told me from the first time was if I don't go on tour, you're going to fire me. Did I say that? I don't remember. Yeah. That was the first thing you ever said because I was like, I need to go and I was expecting you to be like, well, find another job, you know? But you're like, if you don't go, you have to find another job.
Yeah. So and I think with a lot of people to a lot of people that left working for Sponge and Sparkle went on to other jobs, to careers, and during the time that they were here, that flexibility allowed people to go to school. Welding school, nursing school, other other avenues were made available because of the flexibility, because you really can earn a basic full time income working part time hours.
Yeah, good point and and it's great exercise on top of everything else. I mean, I lost like 30 pounds. When I came here I was around 200 pounds. So, you know, I think it's a move, it's exercise and and you're helping people. You know, at the end of the day, that's the thing. These people come home, things are clean, their houses in order. Who doesn't have so much chaos in their life that they can't come home to a clean house and at least have a little bit of serenity for however long it lasts with kids?
Yeah, that's still the most important thing.