Friday, January 16, 2009

Good help is hard to find

Every other Friday brings drama to our household. Because every other Friday is house cleaning day. While I love coming home to a clean house, it's not as exciting for the hubby and kid who have to find something to do for 3 hours. That means packing up toys, bottles, food, etc and trying to get the kid to nap in the car or at someone else's house. When I started working 4 - 10's, I got to experience this hairball firsthand and lemme tell ya, it's no fun.

I have learned that every housekeeper has strengths and weaknesses. The key to success is finding weaknesses that you can live with. With our housekeepers, they do a great job with the big stuff but the details are often overlooked. Pictures are not put back in the proper place. Cobwebs are growing behind the fireplace screen. That kind of thing. So after each cleaning, I would re-arrange the pictures and dust behind the fireplace screen and generally count my blessings for not having to do more.

A few months ago, things started going downhill fast. First I came home after cleaning day and found a broken faucet in a bathroom. Thankfully my Dad was coming for a visit and I put him to work on it. I gave the housekeepers the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it broke after they left. Perhaps they didn't notice it was broken. Surely they would have left a note.

Then I noticed our white base moldings that we painstakingly painted, cut and installed last year had a black line running across them about an inch off the floor. Nothing a Magic Eraser can't take care of, right? I would just remind the housekeepers not to bang the vacuum into the moldings.

Then they didn't show up for their scheduled time after Thanksgiving.

Finally, the piece de resistance occurred. Two weeks ago, I came home and found a 4" scratch in the new bamboo floors. NEXT TO A 6" GASH! Again, there was no note. That was the last straw, they had to go.

But how would I get the key back? And did I really want to go through the hassle of finding new housekeepers? Two guys clean our house in 3 hours, could I find another cleaner who could be as quick? Maybe the gash isn't that bad...

Today is housecleaning day. As I was writing the check, I glanced at the bamboo floor and saw the gash. Again the irritation rose up and I found my determination again. At the last minute, I wrote a note explaining that we would no longer be able to continue with their housecleaning services. I left the usual check and asked them to leave the key under the mat when they finished. Obviously I found my determination but not my courage. I know it's completely ridiculous to fire someone in a note. I reasoned that their English isn't great and sometimes we have a hard time communicating over the phone. But really, I took the wimpy way out. I wasn't proud but it was done.

Or so I thought. Normally the housekeepers arrive at 8:30am and finish by 11:30am. But today, my cell phone rang at 9am. I thought they got the note and wanted to discuss it. Instead, they were calling to tell me that they weren't coming until 11. (This isn't the first time they've pulled this stunt either.) Because tomorrow is the kid's birthday party and I haven't allowed time to clean the house myself, I told them 11am would have to work. And then I calmly explained that this would be their last day. They said okay and we left it at that. I hung up and called the hubby who was understandably irritated. He and the kid had already left and now couldn't return for 5 hours instead of the usual 3.

So now I hope for the best. I hope that when I get home tonight, the house is clean, the key is under the mat and our valuables are where we left them. I hope that the hubby is mysteriously sedated. And I hope the kid is miraculously rested. Somehow, I doubt all of these hopes will happen. I think I may need to work late tonight...


LCM January 16, 2009 at 1:42 PM  

Oh ugh, why should something that's supposed to make you so happy cause you so much stress. You are totally right to fire them. I can't imagine coming home excited because the house is clean, but then coming home to all of the destruction. I hope it goes well today.

The Tucson Gang January 16, 2009 at 2:07 PM  

That totally stinks! A friend of mine had the same problem...coming home, stuff annoying. Once in awhile, yes an accident happens, but over and over...geesh, are they playing badminton w/your chachkies? (sp?). Good luck on the search for a new is hard and it is important and it really does stink! :-)

Hang in there...

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