To (privately) disapprove of my friend having a cleaner

(537 Posts)
Unami Mon 29-Apr-13 16:08:54

Ok. This may be long, but I will do my best to explain where I am coming from. My friend has a cleaner and I privately disapprove. I would never make an issue of it to her, or even bring it up. It was brought up by another friend when we were at her place for drinks. She was a bit hmm about it, and it led to a big discussion, but I didn't say anything committal. I do recognise that she can hire a cleaner if she likes. If she likes she can hire a troupe of jugglers and have them juggle in her kitchen all day, if she likes. It's none of my business, I get that.

But I still privately disapprove. AIBU?

Her cleaner comes to her two bedroom flat twice a week and gives it a full clean, and that apparently includes hoovering all carpets and upholdstry, dusting all surfaces, polishing wood, sweeping and cleaning wooden floor in hall and kitchen, emptying waste bins in the house and taking kitchen bins round the back, cleaning mirrors, cleaning the inside of windows, full clean of the kitchen including inside the fridge, full clean of bathroom. Once a month she also gets the oven cleaned, extractor fan cleaned and polished (!?), cupboards dusted inside and out. She says she pays £45 a week for this.

It's just her in the flat. She doesn't have kids and doesn't live with her bf.

Here's my perspective. People say that having a cleaner is just like hiring any other service provider. But it's not. Domestic cleaners clean intimate, private parts of our houses, and clean up our bodily mess, and it's low paid, low status work. Yes, people hire gardeners and window cleaners, but these are roles which require specialist equipment and insurance, and they only work on the outside and periphery of your home. Yes, I recognise that cleaners are employed in offices I use, cafes I eat in and so on, but it's not really the same either. Most commerical cleaners are employed as staff and so get holiday pay, sick pay, NI etc. Agency workers don't have it so good, and I disagree with the terms of their employment too. But domestic cleaners are often paid cash in hand because employers think they are doing them a favour. But they have no holiday, sick pay - what happens if they have an accident in the house they are cleaning in. I know there are some well organised small cleaning companies, but I think they are the exception.

But most of all, I just feel like my friend is just being lazy or thinks she's too good to pick up after herself. If you are elderly or disabled or immobile, then I see nothing wrong with getting the help that you need. Likewise, if you have a busy family, and don't want to be stuck being the person who picks up after everyone else - get the help you need and show the family how much your time costs. But if you have a quiet life and are fit and healthy, I don't see why you think it's ok to have someone over to clean your toilet. I also think that people who say they are so impossibly busy with work that they can't lift a duster once a week really ought to think about cutting back their ft hours, and give others access to the surplus of work they have.

I'm not going to have a go at my friend. But I just don't think it's right.

UnChartered Mon 29-Apr-13 16:17:23

could this be one of those reverse AIBUs?

OP, you know a heck of a lot about how much the cleaner does...

EMS23 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:17:39

That's an odd moral ground you occupy. Are you lonely up there?!

rubyslippers Mon 29-Apr-13 16:18:13

What go your acronyms mean tee?

Dawndonna Mon 29-Apr-13 16:18:19

Gosh, you must be bored. Oh, and I feel sorry for your friend, she's probably unaware of just how judgemental a cow you are.
hmm

forevergreek Mon 29-Apr-13 16:18:24

We have a cleaner. It's a one bed ( with children). We pay £15 per hr, which I don't think is a pittance. 6 hrs is £90, many people don't get £90 for a full days work let alone half a day.

She does the things we don't have time for, there's no shit cleaning as we aren't in the habit of leaving shit all over the place!

Deadhamsterssmell Mon 29-Apr-13 16:18:39

YABU

Why does it bother you so much? Presumably the cleaner is free to leave if she finds this work to beneath her. Have you ever thought that some people are happy in their jobs as domestic cleaners?

tomatoplantproject Mon 29-Apr-13 16:18:39

Yabu. It is up to your friend to make a decision about how she spends her money and the terms/hours that she has arranged with her cleaner. If she takes great pleasure in having a clean house why should she not pay someone else to do it?

For info I have a cleaner. I have also been a cleaner back in my youth so am perfectly capable of keeping a clean house if i have the time. I have a 6mo and I had naively assumed I would have plenty of time when she napped during the day to clean. She doesn't nap and I spent my days stressing about how I could carve 15 minutes out to eg clean the bathroom and constantly seeing all the dirt. We have the money to hire a cleaner and I pay her a 'fair' rate for the hours she does (well over min wage). It makes a difference to me and is worth the money.

Personally I would think twice a week if you live on your own a bit much, but I would be far judgier of her if she lived in a complete pigsty.

YABU and judgemental.

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 29-Apr-13 16:19:12

I have a cleaner, she is glad of the cash and I am glad of the time she frees up and having a clean house. You are being unreasonable, ludicrously so.

Your friend may work very hard and also appreciate having a clean house and I'm damn sure her cleaner is very glad of the money.

Unami Mon 29-Apr-13 16:19:36

It's not a wind up. I'm not stirring.

I am a good friend and would never do or say anything judgemental to my friend or try and make her feel bad. That's why I'm trying to explore my inner reservations about this on MN. Sorry the post was so long.

I just can't shake the feeling that picking up and cleaning up after yourself is one of life's levellers. I don't see why someone should feel their time is so special that they can farm it out to someone for a few quid an hour, and not be concerned about that person's other work/income.

And yes, I do believe that if more people with high earning jobs worked fewer hours, then there would be more good work and cash to go around for everybody.

Tee2072 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:19:40

ODFOD = Oh Do Fuck Off Dear
YABU = I think you know this one, ruby grin
TLDR = Too long, didn't read.

ODFOD - YAB*UTTERLY*U!

Oh, before you go, can I find out where you are, cos my cleaner only comes once a week for £40 so I'd love to know where I can find someone to come twice for £45.

Lj8893 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:19:53

Wtf?!?

So she has chosen to hire a cleaner and pay them a wage, therefore helping keep this particular cleaner in business?! And this is wrong because....??

kerala Mon 29-Apr-13 16:19:56

Is this thread serious or a joke? DH and I used to work in the City and had really really long hours - often most evenings and at least one day of the weekend. So OP would advocate we should have spent our 1 day off together scrubbing the flat, when we both had very high salaries, rather than pay someone else to do it? Madness.

You've clearly given this a lot of thought.

Thought which could be better employed by doing something else.

hth

Tee2072 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:20:31

I suppose you think the Queen or David Cameron or President Obama pick up after themselves?

What colour is the sky in your world? Is it pretty?

Thepursuitofhappiness Mon 29-Apr-13 16:20:34

Is this a joke??? Of course she is fully entitled to have a cleaner. I think you are doing domestic cleaners a disservice by belittling their work by saying unless you are ill etc you shouldn't get cleaners and talk of them 'cleaning our bodily mess' In these times of high unemployment some people rely on these cleaning jobs for income.

'Give others the surplus work they have'... So you suggest a doctor and a cleaner swap jobs for a few hours a week to redistribute?? Hmm...

She has clearly put a value on her time and decided it is worth it. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

ouryve Mon 29-Apr-13 16:20:45

YABU.

It's her business, not yours.

caramelwaffle Mon 29-Apr-13 16:21:09

Well of course you are being unreasonable.

Reverse Aibu's are arse-aches - unless the subject matter is funny or a major jest.

mrspaddy Mon 29-Apr-13 16:21:21

I actually think YANBU and if it help to say it here than in RL then what is wrong with that. I do think it is lazy. But I wouldn't tell her that either. I earn a very good salary but love the satisfaction of running my home.. but then I am home early in the day..live and let live and all that. She obviously isn't worried what people think and it's her money.

Caitycat Mon 29-Apr-13 16:21:32

I would love to have a cleaner, I hate cleaning but love having a clean house. I would not be in the least bit worried about what anyone thought about it. I love my job and I love my leisure time and would happily spend the time the cleaner saved me doing more of either activity - no way would I cut back working hours to do a chore that I hate if I could afford to pay someone who was happy to do it for me. Yabvu

HazleNutt Mon 29-Apr-13 16:21:35

YABU and what Trills said. How does it make sense for me to cut down my hours so I can clean myself, a job I don't enjoy? Because the cleaner would be better off unemployed?

"But most of all, I just feel like my friend is just being lazy or thinks she's too good to pick up after herself." And?

Lj8893 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:21:46

Oh and I'm sure the many cleaners of this world wouldn't do the job if they really hated it?

I have many friends who earn a good living cleaning, and they enjoy it! Shock horror!!!

UnChartered Mon 29-Apr-13 16:22:03

Laurie

grin

pickledginger Mon 29-Apr-13 16:22:35

So she pays someone a decent amount per hour to clean her flat? Providing regular employment? Damn her.

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