This June and July, let us learn how to overcome cleaning problems via methods taught to our fathers – Army-Styled.
Yes, with Father’s Day around the corner (on 20 June 2021), as well as SAF Day coming on 1st July, we cannot not write something about cleaning, daddies, and what lessons are taught to us from army lessons, right?
So, what do all these have in common? Let us begin with a brief introduction:
National Service (NS)
Did you know that all males in Singapore (citizens and 2nd Gen PRs) have to go through National Service (NS)?
The concept of national service was introduced back in 1967, and our dear fathers or grandfathers would gladly extol about their learning experiences from those early days. A few years later, in 1969, to commemorate the defense forces of our nation, SAF day was conceptualized. As with such an occasion, one would have customary parade, pledge recitals, and patriotic speeches.
As we near the dates of Father’s day and SAF day, MEIDE.SG proudly presents to you a special commemorative article on how insights gleaned from National Service has helpfully improved cleaning skills of many of our MALE (and some females too) helpers! Together, let us learn how to overcome cleaning problems – army-styled!
(Note: these insights are garnered through real-life, first-hand experiences, and interviews from our cleaners)
6 Cleaning Problems And How To Overcome Them (Learnt Through NS)
Let us get started on navigating six common hurdles faced. Credits to our SAF for teaching us (directly or indirectly) how to overcome cleaning problems!
1) Cleaning A House That is Too Big?
Well, army boys would know this too well. How could it be possible to finish cleaning up your entire bunk, including your bed, bedframe, cupboard, window panes, corridor, and every corner of the massive army bunk, in just 30 minutes allocated for bunk cleaning by your sergeant?
- Work As A Team For Cleaning – Have a leader to assess the entire mess, and delegate tasks to each member. By having specialized tasks for each member, the cleaning can be done much faster. For example, one cleaner can simply hold the window cleaning rag to wipe off every window pane, whilst another hold the microfiber cloth to sweep off dust and dry wet window panes!
- Prioritize Tasks Before Cleaning – Again, the leader cleaner should know which tasks can possibly be completed within the timeframe, and which is simply impossible. Set out to clean what can be realistically achieved first. It is always better to get something fully done, rather than have many tasks done halfway. Almost certainly, the latter would get you more “extras” and push-ups owed!
- Use The Right Tools – Do not use a small rag to clean a big surface area. Always use the right tools! For example, the large floor area of the bunk needs to be swept by a large broom. This means a broom with a handle adequately long, and with fibers intact and flared. The same concept is definitely applied too in civilian life. For a floor area that is too big, use long brooms and wide sweepers! Or, simply consider using a robot cleaner!
2) House Too Messy?
Oh yes, what could you expect from an abode shared by a bunch of young energetic boys in the army? Messiness? Or, absolute sparkling neatness?
Perhaps, an uninitiated point of view is definite chaos. However, surprisingly, the bunk conditions in the Singapore Army is often kempt and tidy. Why? Let us break it down:
- Instill Discipline in Tidiness – to overcome this cleaning problem, one has to develop a little bit of “OCD” (obsessive-compulsive disorder) sense. So, do not leave items lying where they do not belong. Our daddies would know that in the army, the exact placement and location of each small item in the bunk cabinet is regulated too! For instance, the toothbrush always has to be on the right side and the razor on the left side, in the middle open shelf compartment of the cupboard. This sense of tidiness may be innate in some. However, for others, it requires training up discipline to maintain!
- Upkeep A Regular Cleaning Schedule – pack up based on a fixed recurring timetable. Just like our daddies do during army days, fix a timeslot every day, or every few days, to ensure items are returned to their original positions. Additionally, the longer you procrastinate and leave things lying around, the messier your house becomes.
3) Not Enough Time To Clean?
Have you heard army stories from your father or grandfather(s)? Or, perhaps from your brother or boyfriend? If so, you would be aware of how our boys always get punished in the army. Mostly, punishments are mete out for failing to achieve tasks in time. Yet, many a time, the duration allowed for bunk cleaning is way too short!
As a side note, this is really just part of army training. Our gentleman of Singapore are put through such pressure and stress, as part of a process to build up resilience and mental strength. Bunk cleaning is thus associated with lots of memorable moments of achievements, failures, satisfaction and punishments.
- Practice makes perfect – often, the more times you clean, the faster you get. You would develop familiarity with the place, and where each cleaning item is kept too. Ask your daddy to believe us. A new section of recruits would definitely get pumped and punished the first few “bunk cleaning” sessions because they fail to deliver on time. However, after some “practice”, they would soon know the drill and get more efficient and fast!
4)Tools Not There / Not Prepared?
Honestly, there is no real solution to this. The only thing to learn is that every cleaning session needs to be prepared for. Definitely, one has to ensure the tools are present for cleaning to be done properly!
“Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail” – the adage cannot be truer. If you do not have a mop, or your mop is malfunctioning, then one may have to resort to wiping the floor with a rag in hand. And, this would definitely be really inefficient and undesirable!
Thus, one would now realize why army boys get really severe punishment when they do forget or fail to prepare for their army training activities! Thankfully, we are not as fierce here in MEIDE! 😛
- There is no excuse – always prepare the tools beforehand! If in doubt, here is an article – MEIDE Essential Cleaning Tools – to help you know what tools to prepare!
5) Facing Unfriendly/Harsh Attitude?
Army training could not be complete without the blaring yells of the sergeant major in your face. Our fathers would affectionately know such experiences afflicted from their “CSM” or “PSM” (Company or Platoon Sergeant Major). Whether reasonable or unreasonable, the experience of saliva splattering near you (edit: this may no longer be experienced in the days of COVID-19 with face masks), and strings of expletives hurled at you, is unforgettable.
As such, what do our NSMen or NSFs have to teach us?
- Deal with it – acknowledge that the world is never fair. Do not presume that every one, whether client or not, will be really courteous to you. Besides, our fathers would hark back to their NS days and tell us so too. Simply put, there are all sorts of persons in the world, and some of them may simply be more self-entitled or foul-mouthed. Try your best to tolerate and not let it affect you. Indeed, this is a type of resilience!
- Stay calm and seek assistance if required – especially in a civilian world setting. Although we may say such experiences are common in the army, they are perhaps present with the purpose of training toughness and resilience in our boys. In a civilian world, our company at MEIDE definitely does not tolerate expletives hurled at our cleaners or staff! Hence, our company encourages all staff to stay calm, do not retaliate impulsively, and report such events to us.
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6) Expectation Of Standards Too High
Lastly, have you heard of the term “Se-mula!”? It means “redo, over again”. Boys from National Service certainly would have heard of this dreadful Malay word. It is used to instruct soldiers to redo whatever tasks they have been tasked to do. It could range from re-cleaning the entire bunk, restarting the 50 push-ups owed, to returning heavy jerry-cans to their original locations and carrying them back again. You get what we mean.
What should one do when the expectations are really high?
- Always do your best – first. Despite high expectations, avoid letting these get to your nerves or mind. Always strive to do your best. At the end of the day, really, there is little to fault or lament about, if you had done your best.
- Acknowledge the expectations – this actually helps in self-reflection and improvement. Instead of letting “high expectations” bring you down, use this chance to reflect and think about how you could improve, if at all. Remember that no one is perfect, and even in tiny ways, there could be room for improvements!
- Know your limits – do not overstretch yourself. If you are already striving your best, and working towards improvements, but still face tremendous stress from overly high expectations from others, seek some help. MEIDE.SG would be all ears and keen to lend a helping hand. This is part of our company’s service to part time helpers and cleaners!
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Bonus Lesson from the SAF Days!
Thank you for reading to the end! We hope you have liked our article on how to overcome cleaning problems, and the army-styled cleaning lessons. As a bonus, we’d like to raise one more learning point. After all, not everything is grim and rough at the army.
Finally, remember the parades and celebrations held by SAF? These are really to commemorate achievements and importance of our serviceman and warriors. Such events of appreciation really rejuvenates the spirits and morale of the defense force. Thus, similarly, helpers and cleaners at work are also always re-energized and cheered by praise and kindness after their hard work.
With all the sweat and tears, let us reward this sense of accomplishment to our dear cleaners and helpers, by appreciating their hard work! They deserve it!
Book your #1 home services today, or join our team!
meide.sg is here for you, always.