“A Message to New Employees of the Carter Pool Cleaning Company,” by Bryan Erwin

Aug 2nd, 2017 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Congratulations on your new job with the Carter Pool Cleaning Company. We take pride in two things here at Carter: extraordinarily clean pools and no sex with our customers. This is a guarantee and it’s one we take very seriously. It’s what differentiates us from our competitors.

To be clear, sex with any customer is forbidden. Our promise appeals not just to suspicious spouses. A surprisingly large amount of our customer base is single (or, more accurately, divorced) but simply does not want to deal with the awkward sexual tension that so often accompanies a visit from the pool cleaners.

Avoiding sexual encounters on service calls may seem difficult, yet we have gone four years since our last sex incident. We’ve developed a few rules, listed below, to help. Follow these and we think you’ll find you’ll be a happy employee and more effective pool cleaner.

1.) It is best to avoid all physical contact with a customer. This includes handshakes. When greeting a customer, carry a clipboard in one hand and pool cleaning tools in the other. This should deter any form of acknowledgment aside from hearty nods, which are rarely a prelude to unseemly behavior.

2.) There is seldom cause to enter a customer’s house beyond the foyer. Even indoor pools typically have an entrance accessible from the outside. Should a customer claim they have an indoor pool attached to their bedroom with no other way to get in, contact your manager for further instructions before proceeding.

3.) All customers have been apprised of our no sex policy and have signed our service agreement, which includes a customer code of conduct. Should a customer decide to, for example, sunbathe topless in the pool area while you are working, you should not feel awkward reminding them of this agreement.

4.) You may remove your shirt while working, provided the temperature is 80 degrees or higher, thus providing a plausible reason for the shedding of clothes. The disrobing must not be performed in a seductive manner. Assume customers are watching. Your back must be turned to any windows and the shirt must be removed in one rapid motion.

5.) If you wish to have sex with a customer’s employees (e.g., maids, gardeners, in-home health care workers) you may request management approval to ask them on a date. Note that we will require the desiree’s full name, Social Security number and employment history. This ensures the individual was not planted in the customer’s home by a rival pool cleaning company in an attempt to entice our employees and smear our reputation. We will not have a repeat of the Aliso Viejo Pool Cleaners incident of 2011. Under no circumstances should even management-approved sex occur on customer property.

These rules have served us well for many years. Abiding by them will serve you well too. Welcome aboard and let’s get some pools clean!


Bryan Erwin is a software tester, husband and father from St. Louis, MO. He owns a green plastic kiddie pool decorated with pictures of ducks wearing scuba gear. His work has previously appeared in Barrelhouse.

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