News - May 23, 2019

‘There were 10 suit-and-tie guys hanging around here yesterday’


Beer all over the stairs, crisps everywhere, a stressed-out cleaner. In his last column, Christoph Janzing wrote about the mess he found one morning in Hoevestein. It was his job to track the culprits down.

‘Sixteen floors, 49 flats, 371 rooms. How in God’s name am I supposed to find out who smothered the stairwell with a sticky mixture of crisps, beer and wine? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. I step over a few empty beer cans. How do I go about this? I need some informers...

“ Yesterday evening there were about 10 suit-and-tie guys hanging around on floor X,” says a resident who is no happier than I am about the mashed crisps on his shoes. That’s my first clue. Crisps crackle underfoot as I make for floor X.

After ringing the bell in vain, I open the door to one of the flats. Bingo: a tray of full beer cans of the same brand as the cans on the stairway. I feel like a child on the brink of finding a golden Easter egg. My second anonymous source tells me that someone invited his year group to a party yesterday. “He is asleep at his girlfriend’s in flat Y,”  she says. Gotcha.

One minute later, a resident of flat Y opens the door in a dressing gown. She calls her boyfriend over. He looks hungover and he gets a shock when he sees the mess he and his year group left behind them. “No, this is definitely not normal,”  he croaks hoarsely. He gets even more of a shock when I tell him what it is going to cost to get the stairwell cleaned up. “That is too much. I can do it more cheaply myself,” he assures me, as though he was the director of a cleaning company. In the end we make a deal: he can clean up some of the mess himself and he has to pay for the rest of it. A bit later, the whole year group are scrubbing the stairwell, bleary-eyed and groggy. A spontaneous afterparty...’

He got a shock when he saw the mess he and his year group had left behind them

Christoph Janzing works for Idealis as a caretaker. He writes about his experiences for Resource. Read all his columns on