|Sandra Harris and Barbara Venson|
When sisters Sandra Harris and Barbara Venson began working as housekeepers at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community 30 years ago there was little for them to clean.
The community, which celebrates its 30thanniversary this year, was made up of only a few buildings at the time. The sisters’ first duties were pulling stickers off of brand-new refrigerators, and sweeping construction debris off sidewalks. A few people lived in apartments, but not many.
Now, there are 391 residences, and 24 housekeepers. The residents—the sisters agreed—are the reason they keep coming back to work at Springmoor year after year.
“You get to know them, and once you get to know them, they’re family,” Barbara said. “You meet people from different walks of life, different places.”
Fred Conner, Springmoor’s executive director, said, “Sandra and Barbara are loved by our Springmoor residents and are also very close with fellow associates here at Springmoor. Both of these ladies are great examples of care, concern and compassion for others. You will always hear them refer to “my residents” when talking about their jobs and their relationships here at Springmoor. It is obviously not just a job for them, but a mission, to make everyone they have contact with to feel special. We appreciate their dedication to Springmoor as a community and what they do to set the example for all of us to follow in working with others.”
The sisters were recently honored in a special ceremony at Springmoor highlighting employees for their years of service.
What makes a good housekeeper? “Attitude,” Barbara said. Sandra added that you have to be flexible: every resident has a different way they want their homes cleaned, and the sisters know how to clean each space differently.
“Everybody is different. Everybody makes their bed differently,” Sandra said.
And the sisters know how long they should take while cleaning the variety of homes Springmoor offers: An alcove takes an hour and 10 minutes, houses and villas take two hours, two-bedroom houses take an hour and 45 minutes, and a one-bedroom apartment takes an hour and 35 minutes.
After cleaning everyone else’s houses all day, Barbara said she can’t help but go home and clean her own. She says she’s not the type to stop moving.
“My house looks good. I’m a good housekeeper,” she said. Sandra said that she keeps up with her house, too, but when she gets home, she added with a laugh, “I have to take a nap every once in a while.”
The sisters are two of six siblings. Over the years, their nephews and Sandra’s son have worked at the community, too.
“It’s a great place to work—great people,” Sandra said.