The other day my studio apartment manager notified me that they were going to check the air conditioner in each unit. (Well, it’s summer; Tucson’s getting hotter). It’s kind of notifying the residents that if they weren’t home, they would enter the unit. Is it safe? Of course, it’s not as if they’re going to steal anything when they enter the unit while we’re not there. I have 100% trust in this. But of course I won’t feel comfortable if my apt is messy when they make an entry.
But, well, at the time they were checking the air conditioner, I was home. They knocked. I opened the door, and here was the problem. They came in with their shoes on, while it’s clear enough that I had that “Shoes off, please!” sign on my door. I realized this too late however. By the time I realized this, they’d already been walking over the carpeted area, approaching where the air conditioner was. Well, here’s another problem. I got my bed on the floor, right? I put it in the right corner of my apartment, right under the air conditioner. Of course I didn’t want them to step on my bed especially with their shoes on. NO WAY. So somehow I needed to move the bed and decided to vacuum my room after they left.
Don’t get me wrong. I know some people, usually the “extreme ones” (at least from what I heard), would immediately mop the floor and stuff after getting a visit from those of different belief. But that’s not why I vacuumed my room. My studio apartment was dividied into carpeted area and non-carpeted area. I always put my sandals/shoes off in the carpeted area because I want to keep it clean, in addition to the fact that it’s where I do my prayers, and if you know something about Islam and Muslims, we should keep the place clean. Clean and holy. And why I do this? Well, I’m not diligent enough to always regularly clean my room. I’d prefer to clean it once and keep its cleanliness so that I don’t have to clean up often. Yes, that’s how it is when you’re lazy but at the same time concerned about cleanliness and sanitation of your place. So yes, I haven’t vacuumed my room for a while. Thus, when the manager and his technician came to check the air conditioner with their shoes on, I have a solid reason to clean the floor.
Well, it’s actually a habit, or perhaps cultural. Back at home in Indonesia, I also do this. I have different pairs of sandals to wear outside the house and inside the house. Thus, the house will remain clean, or at least not that dirty. In my studio apartment here, I even provided different sandals for my kitchen area and for my bathroom area because the non-carpeted floors were not connected. Thus, I put the sandals in the designated areas so that I don’t have to move them around whenever I go to kitchen or when I go to the bathroom. I prefer to have them ready in place for me to wear. Yes, I’m that lazy. Or rather, I love saving time that way, more convenient.
But why didn’t I tell them to put their shoes off when they entered? Well, I realized it a bit late, right? Besides, I planned to vacuum it anyway. And, I thought I was kinda uneasy to tell them that. I mean, they should’ve been able to read and understand the sign, right? Do you think it’s too much to ask? Or too much of a hassle because it’s not their culture? Sigh. But anyway, somehow, I got this problem with the stove, too. The oven just didn’t work. I rarely used it, though. But just in case. The manager then said that he was going to come back later for it. And finally I told him, “Could you please take your shoes off when you enter?” while pointing out at the sign. And he said, “Yes, Miss. I will. I read that. I respect that.” (Then why didn’t you? -_-) I didn’t say that. I said thank you. I’m not being a hypocrite, right? I’m just trying to be nice. But well, he kept his words. When he checked my stove, he wore sandals and put them off on the door so that he entered bare-footed. Well, I can’t judge how clean people’s feet are here, but at least, I think it should be cleaner than the soles of the shoes that they wear anywhere.
Well, that’s the story. And actually this was not the first time. It happened before when the bug guy came for the bug maintenance, i.e. spraying something to keep the bugs away. He just came in with his shoes on. And of course it would be no use to ask him to put his shoes off; the damage had already been done. That was when I had not put any sign on my door. And that was also the reason why I put that very sign on my door. I though it would prevent people from entering my house with their shoes on without me having to ask them to put their shoes off. Alas, some people seemed to be kinda ignorant and really have to be told in person. I guess the sign did not work that well. But, seriously, I hate telling people to keep their shoes off when coming to my place. I feel like a rude person even if it’s my own place. But at the same time, it gets on my nerves when they keep their shoes on in my carpeted area. Sigh.