Matt 'comes clean' in aid of Ukraine appeal

Torbay Weekly

A Mid Devon businessman and author is 'coming clean' about his industry and raising money for the innocent war victims of the Ukraine.

Matt Bird is using his latest book - 'Confessions of a Cleaner' - to raise much-needed support for the besieged Ukrainian people.

The book 'dishes the dirt on life in the cleaning business'.

It was published in January and is currently number one in some charts on Amazon.

Tiverton born-and-bred Matt has also done several radio interviews to promote the book, including a slot on Radio Two with presenter Rylan Clark-Neal.

He says he loves the new Mid Devon Weekly and adds: "All profits of the book are going towards the Red Cross to help the relief effort in Ukraine."

The book is described as a 'joy from start to finish' and something that 'introduces the reader to the world that sadly is too often stigmatised and looked down upon'.

Matt, 40, has his successful cleaning business for over 20 years and has gone full circle from employing 20 staff to now working with just one other.

He says of the book: "I ran a successful cleaning company for 20 years. It has been educational, amazing, and astonishing. Some of the stories… well! I can’t wait to tell them to you. Will this book shock you? Most of you, yes!"£

He cites an 'interesting fact' - the average woman cleans for around 12,896 hours in her lifetime, whereas men spend a diminutive 6,448 hours doing chores.

"Twenty per cent of men say they never clean at all," says Matt. "But one thing I do know is that I have done around 500,000 cleaning hours in my lifetime."

He adds: "There is a stigma attached to my line of work. It’s an industry which is looked down on by most, laughed at by others, and totally ignored by some. However, we are not the lowest of the low, as some people seem to think, and most of us are certainly not stupid or uneducated (although it’s fair to say that Oxford and Cambridge were not exactly fighting over me).

"However, one thing I did leave education with, was common sense. I’ve noticed common sense is so rare these days it should be considered a superpower! Why is it that the most intelligent people I come across have no common sense whatsoever?

"My book is a way to push back and let us cleaners have a little laugh at you; although I spend a lot of time poking fun at ourselves too, exposing our dirty secrets from the inside."

The new book follows the success of his first book, Baby Pigeon, based on his online dating experience.

He says: "I guess the seed was planted in my head at an early age that I probably wouldn’t aspire to much. I was in the remedial unit class at school, and this meant we were always under constant supervision and constantly underestimated. There are a few times that stuck with me and which I learned from – some of which clearly inspired my work choices years later.

"When I started cleaning, I basically took on anything and everything from cleaning public toilets to celebrity houses. I’ve since gone full circle from starting off as a one-man band to employing 20 staff at one point. Now, I am back to just me and one other, and I like it that way. I’ve made my money, bought a string of houses along the way, and invested wisely. I have a wealth of experience, a few regrets, and a heap of hilarious stories. But I’m pretty much done and dusted, like a mantelpiece in a show home.

"One thing I learnt early on, in society cleaners are treated like dirt. It’s ironic really since we scrub your dirt away. It’s a sad truth but to be a cleaner you need an incredibly thick skin. I for one hold cleaners in high regard. It’s an honest job; it’s a dirty job; but someone has to do it. So, I’ve decided to fight back, write a book, and literally dish the dirt!

"This book is for everyone who has ever looked down upon me. You might have laughed at me, but I’m about to have the final laugh! Oh, and for all you unsung heroes out there who undertake cleaning, and all supermarket trolley pushers for that matter, you have my heartfelt respect. From being in the remedial unit to a cleaning company magnate, this is my story. This is The Confessions of a Cleaner."