My Random Job: Housekeeper to the stars

People always ask, out of the many random jobs that I have done, which are my favourites?

Two immediately came to mind: Ronald McDonald’s Bodyguard, and cleaning Bill Gate’s toilets.

Elegant bathroom
Not Bill Gate’s bathroom. Image courtesy of and Nuttakit

No, I didn’t work on a cleaning crew at Microsoft.  I was actually hired by the company that cleaned Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s estates.  And, let’s be honest, it’s not that cleaning toilets is that interesting…it’s the fact that I was cleaning for the richest man in the world. Makes for good cocktail party fodder, donchaknow.

I had just finished college and went to a temp agency to figure out how to make some money quick.  The woman who was working in placement immediately took a shine to me, and said that she thought I would be perfect for a certain job.

She said it wasn’t glamorous, it was a domestic position, but the company required someone with professionalism and a bit of discretion.  Just then, her phone rang, and I was left to ponder who it could be.  There were a ton of famous people in Seattle, but my mind immediately went to rock stars…not billionaires. I was crossing my fingers that Courtney Love didn’t need a new nanny.

As she was talking on the phone, she wrote on a post-it who the work was for, and slid it over to me.  I tried hard not to laugh as she got off the phone and asked me what I thought.  I told her I could do it, and within a week I was going through the process of getting cleared by security.

The thing about billionaires, is that they’re not home that much.  Generally, they’re off jet-setting around the world, and as such, their homes are really clean.  I was part of a three-person team who cleaned the estate, and frankly, there wasn’t a lot of work to be done.

I only worked there one week.  It was after the first day that I decided I wanted to be the billionaire, not clean his toilets. But I wanted to hang around to see if I’d ever get a glimpse of the man himself.  I didn’t…so I moved on.  Cleaning isn’t a fun job, no matter who it’s for.

On the plus side, I saw a lot of cool technology.  At the time it was cutting edge, (like flat screen monitors) but now they’re all common in the mainstream, so it’s not as impressive. Although, I do wonder what kind of fancy toys he has now.  And, of course, I’ll always love being able to tell people that I cleaned Bill Gate’s toilets.


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