A Carpet Cleaning Bet Gone Wrong – For Me

Hey, folks, Charlie here, bringing you the latest carpet cleaning news from the city of brotherly love! I have so many interesting stories to tell, but let me start with something that happened just a few weeks ago.

The Philly carpet cleaning company I work for is all about competition – not just with other contractors in the city, but among our own crews. The teams that get the best results, the highest customer reviews, and clean the greatest square footage of carpets receive substantial monthly performance bonuses. I think management has come up with an excellent way to keep us motivated. Being a bunch of competitive guys, you can only imagine the shenanigans we are willing to go through to get an extra job or to secure a 5-star review from a satisfied customer. Long story short – the customers are happy, the management is happy, and we keep the competitive juices flowing.

So, when a few of us heard about a prospective new large-scale carpet washing – a high-end bar-and-dinner restaurant in downtown Philly – we knew right away that, if successful, the job would lock the monthly bonus for a long time. The crew leaders began plotting and counter-plotting with a Machiavellian abandon that would make George Martin proud. In the end, it was yours truly and one of my best buddies in the company, Rich, who positioned ourselves for the big prize.

Our boss called us to his office and explained the importance of the job – it was what we called a “legacy” appointment, the kind that convinces ten other customers to book you. He proposed a compromise – each of us would have one bite at the apple, and then he would talk to the restaurant owner to find his preference. It was a reasonable enough suggestion and one I was more than satisfied with. So did Rich at first, but the moment we walked out of the office, he pulled me to the staff room.

“How about we make this more interesting? I propose a side bet. Your Eagles versus my Jets. The winner takes it all. I am sure we can think of an excuse, and the other takes the job twice, locking it for good and the bonus with it. What do you say?”

I looked at him incredulously. Did he really just offer me one of the best carpet cleaning jobs we’ve had in a long while on a silver platter? The lowly, hapless, Zach Wilson-led Jets versus my 5-and-0 Eagles?

Let me tell you a few things about Rich. He is a hardworking, level-headed dude that I like a lot. He is responsible, reliable, and intelligent, and I am really proud to call him a friend. However, he is New York-born and, as such, genetically messed up being a Jets fan. Rich is one of the youngest crew leaders in the company. He is a senior at Penn University, finishing his major in business management. I have no problem admitting that he is arguably the brightest guy in the company, and his business acumen far outweighs anybody else’s, management included. But he still lacks technical experience in carpet washing (though he’s catching up quickly), so I guess that was his desperate ploy to get the job from under my feet.

Still, I liked him and wanted to give him an honest chance. The Eagles vs the Jets didn’t constitute one, and I told him so. “Look, I think you can do a good enough job with the cleaning. Besides, you can talk circles around the restaurant manager and convince him to choose you. Don’t throw it away, man!”

“So what, you got scared all of a sudden? I say your Eagles will turn into chickens on Sunday!”

Wrong move! It’s one thing to be cocky, quite another to be obnoxious. We shook hands on the bet and agreed to watch the game together on Sunday. I went on to instruct my team to prepare for the job for two consecutive weeks instead of the one they expected. We had this baby in the bag!

Then Sunday came… If you are an Eagles fan, I don’t need to describe what happened. If you are not – well, find some game highlights on YouTube because I am not retelling that debacle. To his credit, Rich didn’t gloat. My crew was livid – fortunately, not with me, but with Jalen Hurts and his interceptions. We all agreed it had been a reasonable bet – but the Eagles had decided to play their worst game in a year.

But all is well when it ends well. According to the office chatter, Rich and his crew did outstandingly with the restaurant job and secured a long-term customer for the company. We’ll get the next one – and no Eagles bets this time!