I live on the second floor (3rd if you count them the American way). From one day to the next, the man who'd done my windows for years refused to climb the ladder one more storey up, on the grounds that he'd be risking his livelihood. At first, there was nothing to be done, but after about a year, our MEPs succeeded in having the law amended. Window cleaners in The Netherlands could go back to work...but in the meantime, many small companies had gone bust, or gone into other activities, and finding someone to do my (and my neighbours's) windows proved immensely difficult for the next year and a half...until last night: someone rang the doorbell while I was preparing my evening meal. I didn't expect anyone so I leaned over the balcony railing and shouted down. The answer I received was the most welcome I have had in years: "Good evening, madam. I am a window cleaner and I was wondering..."
So I invited him up for coffee and a chat, and managed to alert some of my neighbours to this momentous occasion as well, and the long and short of it is that as from this coming March, Brian and his business partner Thomas will be doing all our windows twice monthly at a price of 6 euros per flat.
This morning, when my neighbours and I left for work, we were all smiling.