Confessions of Window Washers

As they wash, they watch: naked women, bad nannies and you, asleep at your desk.
6:12 | 05/03/13

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Transcript for Confessions of Window Washers
Well, how is this for a job description? No fear of heights and a cast iron stomach that can handle seeing anything. That's what it takes to be window washer. And matt gutman, out on a ledge tonight, right there with them, and the confessions he heard -- Reporter: This is where jessie demamario and eddie osorio punch in for the day. Pay isn't bad. But the perks? Fresh air, an office as big as the sky and a chance for the unexpected. Dress code, very office casual and a safety harness that fits a little snug. You don't want it to be so tight that it's cutting off the circulation. You have to feel your extremities, you know? One man fell from more than 30 stories up. Reporter: The dangers of window washing have made news. Over the past ten years, 39 people have died servicing out city's windows. It's rock solid. Reporter: So, it's not surprising clearview window cleaning's crew gave me a mandatory safety briefing. This is your working line. This is your emergency line. Reporter: Okay. I feel like I'm ready to climb. It's only then that they let me step off into their office. Notice this hand still has a white knuckle grip. Now, I've rappelled before, but never with a pair of bucket-toting, tattooed elite squeegee armed guys, 400 feet in the air. Looking out is beautiful. You see sharks in the water. We're on the top of the building, going, shark! Shark! They can't hear us. Reporter: But they confess looking in, at you, is even better. We've been on the side of a building and this lady was on her balcony, pretty much naked. Decided to give all the cleaners a show it was like she totally was enjoying it. That's what she -- that's what makes her phappy, I guess. I don't know. Made our day. Made our week. Reporter: Sometimes, for fun, they'll bust office workers slacking off. We catch them sleeping, completely passed out, sleeping, glasses all crooked and everything. Reporter: Do you ever give it a knock? One of these. Put that suction cup on the window, she woke up, started typing. Reporter: But they're not above a little tom foolery themselves. We get bored, we play mortal combat, I'll stretch out all the way to that other glass. I'll come at you with a flying kick. Are. Reporter: Are e serious? New york city boasts an estimated 50 million windows. And pat shields has cleaned thousands of them. For the rich and tape mouse. Bank presidentses oscar winners, tony winners, hedge fund managers, top artists. We've done everyone. Reporter: All all that time, it's not the heights that scare him anymore. The biggest risks are really getting something dirty in someone's apartment, you know, splashing on the picasso, splashing on the $50,000 sofa. Reporter: Not to one up the window washers of miami, but -- I think every window cleaner in new york has a brothel story. I started cleaning the windows. There were mattresses on the floor. There were bras and boxes of condoms and things. These young, very beautiful young ladies, jokingly said to the lady, is this a modeling agency? And she looked right at me without hesitating and said, it's a dorm. I knew for certain what kind of business it was and then two weeks later, she was busted for being a madam. Reporter: Sometimes pat admits he can't help but hear what's going on behind closed windows. I just heard, crack! And then children wailing and because the child was wailing, she smacked the child again. I called the customer, I said, look, your nanny has just struck your child. Next time I was there, the nanny was gone. Reporter: Like eddie and jesse, pat takes all the necessary safety precautions. Buckling in at every window. But there are washers, like this guy, at work, 100 feet in the air, without a harness. A nervous neighbor posted the video on youtube. The universal fear among most skyscraper squeegee men is a fear of fallin but for patrick, it's also a fear of frying. I felt the electricity running up my arm. I felt backwards. Couple seconds later, woke up. Reporter: A loose wire almost did him in above a deli. All I could think was, after all the crazy stuff we've done, that I was going to end up having to get retrieved from a deli awning when I finally bit the big one. Reporter: The big one, famously came for miguel and edgar in 2008 when they were working 47 stories up and the cables anchoring their scaffolding snapped. 30-year-old edgar hit the ground at 125 miles per hour and died instantly. But only a few feet away, paramedics were astonished to find 37-year-old miguel alive. If you are a believer in miracles, this is one. Reporter: Miguel rode the scaffolding like a surf board. He woke up from a coma on christmas day and reached for his wife, rosie. I don't know what to tell you. I'm still in shock. Reporter: Almost just as miraculous, four months after the accident, miguel walked out on his own two feet. He has no plans to climb tall buildings anymore. But eddie and jesse are still jazzed by the heights. Adrenaline rush. Reporter: And dazzled by the occasional sights. And admits the monotony of the perfectly executedqueegee wipe, there is always the hope of finding something special up there in the air. You ever wonder if you are going to meet the love of your life through one of these windows? That's what I hope for some day. Reporter: For real? Do you have a line? Not really, just, I'll make sure your glass is clean. All day long.

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