Of all the things that come back to my mind about working in government offices is the old fashioned cleaning services. At one office, we had a mother and daughter employed by the service – they’d been there for donkeys years. Their ways of cleaning the office and dusting the desks was not good, and their quick dash around the kitchens and washrooms left much to be desired. This was because they like to gossip. To anyone and about everyone. When eventually they were transferred over to the new agency which had won government contracts to clean and service all our offices, this pair had to be retained but they got the shock of their lives when the supervisors visited and showed them the standard that was now expected. They actually had to use water to wash the kitchen worktops sinks and floors with . . . and proper brushes in the toilets. A shock indeed!