“We window cleaners are a special species!”

Rounding up a couple of window and building cleaning colleagues and recreating an iconic image from the 1950s – that was the idea of Andreas Nissen. He never really expected that his appeal on Facebook would suddenly take on a positive life of its own! The result? 20 professionals from all over Germany came to Hamburg’s HafenCity. In this exclusive interview, Andreas talks about his job, event planning and future meetings.

Andreas Nissen seit 17 Jahren Glas- und Gebäudereiniger.

Andreas, how long have you been a window and building cleaner and what feedback do you get from your customers?

For 17 years now. My customers particularly appreciate that I still clean with tried-and-tested tools such as the chamois and manage to produce spotless and pristine results – this ensures that the view frame is not left out either. I also always make sure that I wear overshoes in order to guarantee that I make as little extra dirt as possible.

In your opinion, what does a professional window cleaner need to be able to do to be successful?

Taking care of tools is the essential thing in our profession. Chamois, for example, must be washed immediately after they have been used. It is also important to not be afraid of heights. Indeed, some cleaning objects can only be reached by using a lifting platform, a ladder or rope access technology. Of course, the most important thing is being as friendly as all of the other window cleaners in the business.

Event planning is probably not one of your everyday tasks. What gave you the motivation to do it?

(laughs) Absolutely right, my area of specialism is window and building cleaning. In my private life, I like to find out about news and trends in the industry on social networks. One day, I stumbled across an image of window and building cleaners from the 1950s and wanted to recreate it today. When I then got such positive feedback after my appeal on Facebook, I thought to myself: do it properly or don’t do it all!

 How did you deal with the organization?

I had to keep so many things in mind and get so much done – obtain the necessary approvals, find sponsors… luckily, UNGER immediately said that they were willing to support me. In the end, the planning took approximately six weeks. It was a bit of a rush, but we managed to get it done after all.

What kind of feedback did you get after the event?

I received a lot of praise. Even from colleagues in Norway, Houston and England! Of course, I have to thank my very generous sponsor UNGER and social networks for that. The social networks were particularly useful for quickly circulating the images.

Would you consider running a similar event again?

Without a doubt! But because the shooting involved a great deal of work and costs, next time I would probably restrict it just to a meeting. And perhaps it could run over two days with various games and competitions. But if there were to be another shooting, then we would love to do it in another city.

What would you say to colleagues who want to organize a similar event?

I will just say one thing: Do it! Be brave and turn your ideas into a reality. Only then will you find out what you can do and what you can learn.

Do you look back proudly on the event?

Yes, absolutely! I really did not expect to receive such fantastic feedback from all over the world. That makes you very proud. But I must also say that it never would have happened without the amazing support I received from my colleagues. We window cleaners are a special species. (laughs)

We want to report on your experiences, too!

Have any of you guys organized an event for window and building cleaners? What do you have to bear in mind in your opinion?

If you would like to tell us about your experiences in clean magazine, then let us know – as a comment, on Facebook or via email to clean@clean-magazine.com.

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