BYU-Idaho mandates all students perform a scrupulous “white glove” clean check of their apartment before leaving each semester. This affects all single students whether they live on- or off-campus.
“Isn’t it already a common courtesy to clean up your apartment before leaving?” you might ask.
Yes, of course it is.
But, I guess, college students need to be told what to do, and some apartment complexes love to charge fees for every unsettled speck of micro-dust found in their decades-old, seven-times renovated, black mold-insulated cash cow for millennials, so it all works out.
Except it doesn’t.
In less than a month, more than 11,000 single students will need to pack their bags, complete their white glove cleaning assignments, and have those assignments checked off individually by their apartment managers or hired cleaning personnel.
Many students will dodge the checks and leave unscathed. Many more will perform their duties well and enter the beckoning call of a late summer escape with their dignity still intact.
The rest will leave with an experience similar to mine.
At the end of my first semester, I was the last roommate to check out of my apartment, so any cleaning item missed, left behind or blatantly ignored by my roommates fell under my responsibility.
Lucky for me, my roommates cleaned each of their assigned jobs well, so I had nothing to worry about. At least that’s what I thought.
Enter the cleaning lady whose real name I won’t say.
My understanding of cleanliness must differ from hers. The windows are invisible, the bathroom smells like a field of tulips, and the kitchen would have pleased my mother.
But not this lady.
Under the micromanaged direction of my new worst enemy for the day, I’m scraping at the dust found on the floorboards of each bedroom closet, washing each and every strip of venetian blind for the third time and of course, scrubbing undiluted bleach down the backside of my bedroom door.
“Doesn’t this bleach need to be mixed with water?” I ask.
“Nah, you’ll be fine,” says the cleaning lady from the black lagoon. “Just hurry it up.”
After the Jimmy Johns driver had delivered Maleficent her sandwich, which I imagined to be made from the cremated corpses of previous tenants, the full effects of sodium hypochlorite poisoning began to set in and my will to continue was not unlike one of the poor unfortunate souls trapped in Ursula’s underwater dungeon.
The useless tidiness under the watchful eye of Mr. Clean’s wife incarnate cost me an entire afternoon of doing absolutely nothing of any importance.
But that “nothing of any importance” should have been mine.
So, I muster up the righteous indignation of an angry Donald Trump supporter and give this lady a piece my migraine-altered mind.
“I don’t know how long you expect to keep me here, but I think I’m about done giving the devil’s rottweiler everything but a manicure,” I wish I said.
The words that squeak out sound more like, “Is this good enough?”
Cinderella’s wicked stepmother looks up from her destroyed whole grain mess and peeks at her phone.
“Yes,” she says. “But, I hope you’re happy. It’s 6 p.m. and you made me miss my Fast and Furious 7 show time.”
And suddenly, I’m the one supposed to feel guilty because I caused the cleaning lady to miss her date with Vin Diesel.
BYU-I’s white glove clean checks are a mixed bag—they’re a battle—and for all those about to draw the short straw like I did, welcome to the fight.