Joe's Job: Window Washer

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by Joe Flanagan, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 8:00 PM

NORFOLK -- Imagine making your living hanging from all the tallest buildings in the area.

Independent Services of Virginia is one of the largest window washer groups in Hampton Roads and they were ready to show Joe what it looks like from the top of the SunTrust building in Norfolk.

"Don't be afraid of heights. That's the main thing. If you don't feel comfortable as soon as you look down, don't do it," said  supervisor Roberto Gadvay.

Joe trained with Gadvay, who is fearless, agile and a veteran window washer.

Joe said they have a system of mopping and wiping and then lowering their chair.  Step by step. Working their way down.

"Normally we check the weather every morning. If it is over 10 mph we don't do anything because of a safety issue. But, if it is under 10 we will go ahead and climb over the wall," Gadvay explained.

Richard Cilley is president of Independent Services of Virginia and says they have a very healthy respect for descending off the building and they enjoy it.  

"If they didn't enjoy it, obviously it's not something you do just as a job," said Cilley.

Joe dangled from the SunTrust building - handle mop on one side and squeezy on the other. A real life window washer.

"Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Lovely,” said Joe, who is afraid of heights.  

"I was too when I started. The money was okay. It pays the bills," said window washer James Wright.

They usually clean big buildings just twice a year. 

"The whole building would take about two weeks with two or three guys," said Gadvay.

So what did Gadvay think of Joe's window washing talents?

"I think you would do great. I am actually impressed," said Gadvay.
 

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