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#1 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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HI, I am a long time lurker, first time poster and need some advice and to vent. We have a housecleaner that comes 1x/week to do the floors and bathrooms, but keep the house tidy ourselves during the week. Last week she didn't come because she was sick with the flu, and didn't want to get our 6 week old baby sick. Today, she arrives and is still coughing, sniffling, etc. I was really nervous because hubby gets sick very easily. So I texted him and told him she was here but still visibly sick...Long story short he told me to send her home, and to tell her if she needs they money to take it and not charge us next time she cleans.

 

Well, she was irate that I asked her to skip this cleaning, and spent ten minutes yelling at me and telling me she is not contagious to the baby. Before I even had a chance to offer her to take the money, she snatched it off our counter, threw our house-keys that she has her own copy of on the table and stormed out slamming the door (she presumably does not want to clean for us anymore). Were we overreacting in asking her to skip this cleaning? Obviously no one wants to deal with a sick 6 week old baby and she always has crazy suggestions for raising the baby such as giving her raw garlic to help with spitting up etc so I am leery of her self-diagnosis regarding the contagious nature of her cold/flu.

 

A little bit of background. There has been some tension between us ever since a few months ago when I noticed she was eating our food/drinks when she cleaned, and asked her to stop. We had never invited her to eat from our food but she has cleaned for hubby for years. She was very annoyed by my request but stopped eating our  food. Then a few weeks after that a cabinet full of reusable insulated cups went missing. She denied taking them and I think they were thrown away by accident but she was very annoyed that we brought it up.

 

 

I know hubby wants to try to salvage the relationship and have her continue to clean for us but after today I have just had it with her. She seems too entitled and unprofessional. I am happy to clean the house myself to not have to deal with this aggravation. All she really does is dust/mop/bathrooms which I can do in an hour while the baby naps. Does anyone think we were overreacting asking her to leave today? What would you do in my situation?

 

 

Thanks in advance.

 

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#2 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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No, you didn't overreact.  I would have asked her to leave if she was still not well.  Not just for my family but for her.  I wouldn't want her to feel she needed to clean and I too would have offered to pay her to take the day off.  Though I would not have told her to take the money if she needed it and to clean another day.  I would have payed her for not coming and then payed her the next time too.  If it's money you had allotted for cleaning anyway.  Some people will still want to do the job because they do need the money.

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#3 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your response. She only works two hours, so it's not the whole day. Personally I wouldn't pay someone for a service they didn't provide just because I had budgeted for it. It just doesn't make any sense. If you had a plumbing issue and a plumber couldn't make it because that person was sick, would you send them a check for the money you had budgeted for the repair? No, because you have to find another plumber to get the job done. Just my two cents.

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#4 of 16 Old 12-06-2011, 08:53 PM
 
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I would be very uncomfortable continuing a business relationship with anyone who my threw keys on a table and stormed out simply because I felt uncomfortable with cold symptoms in the vicinity of my newborn. This, in addition to the other issues, would be more than enough for me to find another housekeeper.
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#5 of 16 Old 12-06-2011, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yea, that's exactly how I feel as well. I have gotten a referral for another company to come give us a quote for the house. Not to mention that I have a newborn to take care of and do not need her in an environment of someone screaming at me in my own home first thing in the morning. We do not yell in our house and I would never yell at someone. I do not believe anyone has the right to yell at someone, it's uncalled for and abusive. It just kills me that this woman has a company that cleans peoples homes and will literally steal anything from food to money with no remorse whatsoever.

 

 

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#6 of 16 Old 12-07-2011, 05:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmommy View Post

 I do not believe anyone has the right to yell at someone, it's uncalled for and abusive. It just kills me that this woman has a company that cleans peoples homes and will literally steal anything from food to money with no remorse whatsoever.

 

 



 

Whoa.  I can understand you're upset about the yelling and confrontation.  But, having a snack while you're cleaning is hardly stealing food.  Are you sure your dh didn't give her permission to grab a snack while cleaning some time in the past?  Maybe he doesn't remember because he only half listens to what people say sometimes if he's like my dh.  If she'd been cleaning his house for years, she's probably fairly comfortable with him.

 

She didn't steal your money either.  She showed up willing to work and you cancelled on her with no notice.  She scheduled time in her day and traveled to your house.  My dh works on contract and certainly expects to get paid if work is cancelled when he shows up somewhere (and it's written in his contracts that he gets 24 hours notice or he's paid).  If she wanted to steal from you, she could have robbed you blind years ago.

 

FTR, no I don't think you were wrong to ask her not to clean, but your anger towards her seems over the top for someone showing up a bit sick.  Are there other tensions that have been simmering for a long time?

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#7 of 16 Old 12-07-2011, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually I do think having a snack, meal or beverage is stealing food. Hubby definitely never told her this, and also, before I was pregnant we used to travel and eat out a lot so there was literally nothing in the fridge but hubbys beer stash for sports night with his friends. There was basically  nothing for her to eat until I started staying home and food shopping. I can only imagine her delight at this upgrade. That's when she decided to start helping herself to our food. Maybe you are the kind of person who when hired to do work in someone's home would help yourself to snacks, or lunch etc, but I would personally never in a million years take it upon myself to do that. And I'm not talking, oh she ate some carrot sticks. The final straw was when she ate our dinner for the night and I finally decided to say something. I think due to cultural differences I perceived her to have no manners because of these incidents.

 

And yes, lol she did steal that money. There is no cancellation policy where we agreed to pay her. We have hired a new cleaner now so I am glad all the drama is behind us. I think sometimes things happen for a reason!  I wouldn't say there were any other tensions other than what I mentioned. I guarantee you if there were more incidents she would not have worked for us as long as she did!

 

I have been extremely protective since having the baby about  people with colds/coughs since it the time of year that it seems everyone is coming down with something. That's why I wondered if maybe I was overreacting...At the end of the day maybe she just didn't want to clean for us anymore, or she had gotten too comfortable and overly entitled. I can't think of a reason why someone would get so angry and flip out. She also asked about two weeks ago if she could be the nanny for the baby after I go back to work, so maybe she was trying to move away from house cleaning. I told her that we did not need a nanny because I would be staying home and she seemed disappointed. I think she was really counting on watching the baby for us and had assumed I was going back to work.

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#8 of 16 Old 12-07-2011, 10:59 AM
 
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Forget that person.Sounds like a loser.Be sure to post some negative online reviews on her.She was wrong to freak out,wrong to take the money,and wrong for eating any of your food. I have cleaned and it never occured to me to eat or drink anything while in a home.

 

Oh and change your locks.

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#9 of 16 Old 12-07-2011, 11:23 AM
 
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She did steal the money, and she did steal the food IMO. I have worked independently as a housekeeper/ cook for several years and her behavior is appalling.

If you show up to work at someone's house who has a tiny infant and you are sick and they tell you to leave because you are still sick and you throw keys and snatch money, you not only stole their money, but you also suck as a person. It sucks that the girl got canceled on, but you really do have to understand that people dont want you coughing and hacking all over their house. Its gross. If she still had a cough, she should have called ahead of time and told the employer that she had a cough.

I have worked in people's homes for years and even if they have offered me a snack, I dont assume that its okay every time. Totally inappropriate to take food while cleaning, totally inappropriate. You are there to clean the house, not to eat their food. You dont live there, you are an employee.

What it sounds like to me is that the housekeeper had a sweet deal and then her employer got married and the deal got less and less sweet so the housekeeper flipped out, took money, and stormed out.

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#10 of 16 Old 12-07-2011, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Agreed she definitely had a sweet deal. I think even more so once the baby came because we bumped up our cleaning from twice a month to once a week.  I am tempted to go on yelp and make my complaints about her behavior public. But I doubt I will because in general I am just not a vindictive person. Also, her company mainly does "move out cleans" for property management companies which means a tenant has moved out of an apartment and a new one is moving in so there is not that much room for there to be an issue with her people skills. When you are in someone's home where they currently live it is a bit different. She would come sometimes with one of her employees and they would BOTH eat lunch from my fridge! It's not just one person but two people. They would always go for the pricy things in there too of course! In my opinion when you are the owner of a company you need to set a good example for your employees, but often times it's the owner that exhibits the worst behavior because obviously they have no one to answer to.

 

 

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#11 of 16 Old 12-07-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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Holy cow! I have a close friend who has a small,  independent cleaning company and she would never DREAM of eating food from a client's fridge while cleaning! That is just appalling to me, actually. I have never heard of that in my life, unless it's a close friend/relative and there is an arrangement. Throwing your keys and taking the money was over the line as well. Put it behind you and make your boundaries clear, in writing is best, with the next company. I'd change the locks as well if she had a key (even if she gave it back). Her behavior is unstable and not to be an alarmist but if she had her heart set on nannying your baby, it would be even more reason for me to change the locks. She's probably harmless but people can be nuts.

 


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#12 of 16 Old 12-08-2011, 06:22 AM
 
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It is not normal for a cleaning person to have snacks.  Um, no.  Just no.

 

And after that outburst she would not be allowed back in my home.

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#13 of 16 Old 12-08-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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My first thought, on reading the OP, was that clearly both sides were unhappy with the business relationship, so it's just as well that it's ended. 

 

My second thought was that it sounds like she jumped on an excuse to end it, so she was probably pretty unhappy for awhile, despite her request to nanny for you. Maybe she asked to nanny because she was worried that if you hired someone else, you would also ask that person to do the housekeeping, thus ending her job, and she wanted at least to consider the options. 

 

My next thought was that she may not have wanted to work for you on the day in question since she was still sick, but showed up because she didn't want to disappoint you 2 weeks in a row, and also, possibly, she really couldn't afford to miss work again. This is a very stressful time of year for many people and being sick certainly aggravates things. 

 

Whatever the case, it sounds like you have moved on and that's good. 

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#14 of 16 Old 12-08-2011, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you are correct, she had to be unhappy to some extent to react like that. The reasons as to why I don't know. Personally I think she had burned out on cleaning herself. A few years ago she had some health issues and had taken a hiatus, one of her employees did our house and she was great. I think when she got better she preferred to do our house herself because it was an easy clean, we keep it very tidy so its just the floors and bathrooms, and we only use one of our three bathrooms so it's pretty light cleaning, and she could pocket the whole cost of the cleaning since she didn't need to pay out anyone else. In my opinion she wanted to have more of a supervising versus cleaning role and would be able to nanny for us while running her company, which I suppose could be quite profitable(?). At the end of the day, who knows, maybe there were also other things going on in her life that added to the situation.

 

Thanks everyone for the responses, I am not nearly as annoyed now that I got to vent about it, and happy we found new cleaners so fast. I was worried at first that hubby was going to try and smooth over the situation and try to get her to come back but he had quite the opposite reaction. And from now on, I won't leave the money for the cleaners on the counter anymore! lol Some mentioned changing the locks...I can't really see her trying to come in again with out permission, but it is probably a good precaution.

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#15 of 16 Old 12-08-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post

Forget that person.Sounds like a loser.Be sure to post some negative online reviews on her.She was wrong to freak out,wrong to take the money,and wrong for eating any of your food. I have cleaned and it never occured to me to eat or drink anything while in a home.

Oh and change your locks.

I agree. She was way out of line. And yes, if she ever had a key.. spend the two hundred bucks and change the locks.
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#16 of 16 Old 12-16-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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Both my mother and I were professional house cleaners for a while, and nothing this lady has done sounds at all professional. If you had no cancellation agreement with her, you had every right to cancel without notice, you didn't even have to offer pay. Even if you did, she needed to be more understanding about the baby and your husband. If she wanted a snack while cleaning, she should have brought her own food, or at the very least do what we are all taught from the cradle and ASK FIRST. These are two cardinal rules that both my mother and I were actually taught when we started cleaning professionally, taking food like that is just bad form and always find out what your employer's policies are in regards to cancellation. She had no right flipping out AT ALL on you FOR ANY REASON. If she disagreed about something, she needed to pursue it in a far more businesslike manner. And yes, if she had your house key at any time, change the locks, especially if there is any concern previously in regards to her stealing. 

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