Thursday, May 18, 2006

Meet Andy George, Window Washer

This is Andy George and his official job title is window washer. Andy has been washing high-rise building windows for over twenty years. He says it takes a lot out of you to wash each window carefully with a squeegee while rappelling in mid-air. Andy learned how to rappel when he decided to become a window washer in Indianapolis. Although never afraid of heights, he admits that it was both scary and exhilarating in the beginning but now it's just become a job. 

Andy receives a lot of stares and has seen some bizarre things while washing windows. Sometimes he ends up scaring the people who are inside the building because he does not have to knock or tell them he is coming. It is up to the building management to let people know when he will be there to clean. Once Andy was cleaning the windows at a hospital when he witnessed a woman having a baby, "she was spread out and it was kind of strange".  He has also come across many weird scenes including naked people while cleaning apartment buildings and hotels. 

Today Andy was cleaning the north side of the fifteen story Starks Building in downtown Louisville. He and his partner have been working on the building for three days. Andy works year-round and says it gets pretty cold in the winter. Although most would consider his job an extreme profession after twenty years Andy finds it pretty simple. "It can be pretty relaxing on a nice day but it gets a little scary when its windy". Yesterday he had to use a suction cup to stay on the window. The wind can blow him fifteen to twenty feet and that freaks him out when it happens. The rappel rope also becomes very heavy as he gets higher and can weigh up to 100 pounds.  

Andy has had a couple of close calls while working. Back in 1997, on Carburetion Day (Indy 500), Andy and his partner got stuck on the thirty-fourth floor of the Bank One building in Indianapolis. The construction stage they where on broke and there was no way down. It took twelve members of the Indianapolis Fire Department Rescue Team to save them and they were all over the news. "I couldn’t believe how they did it because they lowered twelve fireman down from the top to get me and my partner in a harness. First they lowered me down from the building and then my partner. Afterwards I went and thanked each one of them." 

Andy is a full-time window washer and does not like to do much outside of work but spend  time with his daughter. 


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1 comment:

Billy said...

Great story and great a/v