AIBU to get rid of the cleaner

(44 Posts)
Somersetlady Wed 22-Jan-14 21:55:42

She is relatively new to me after having had a great girl who got to know exactly how i liked things done. I spent 2 days with the new cleaner showing her how i liked things done and have also explained things i have been not completely happy with since in a conversational way.

The new girl is a 40 yo mum of three who has been to me four times. She is ok as a cleaner (hard to match the last one who was brilliant but moved abroad).

On her last 3 visits she has:

Scratched the aga by cleaning it with a brillo pad
Broken 2 windows by forcing them open (they are turn and tilt) costing me €100 to get fixed.
Today forced open my curtains without using the pully system so they now wont open or close. I will now have to get this fixed also.

She is a really nice girl but just seems to have no respect for my house or stuff.

I saw her going at the aga with the metal and showed her where it was scratching but the other two 'incidents' i discovered after she had left.

AIBU to just get rid of her before she does anymore damage or should i try and have a conversation about treating things with respect and not forcing things just asking if she is unsure?

i'm not sure it's about lack of respect, maybe she's just a bit clumsy? that said, if you're not happy, get rid...

beeny Wed 22-Jan-14 21:57:24

Get rid of her

LondonBus Wed 22-Jan-14 22:03:53

The new girl is a 40 yo mum of three

She's hardly a girl, then! grin

"Get rid" sounds a bit harsh...maybe you could "let her go".

DollyHouse Wed 22-Jan-14 22:04:54

She's not a girl.

tshirtsuntan Wed 22-Jan-14 22:06:09

Do it yourself?

Weelady77 Wed 22-Jan-14 22:07:33

I agree do it yourself

LightsPlease Wed 22-Jan-14 22:10:18

Oh no not the aga!

Somersetlady Wed 22-Jan-14 22:15:55

Lady sounded wrong too! Girl is no better!!

Vampy - a clumsy cleaner i think thats just out it into perspective - i would say heavy handed!

She only does 6 hours a week and half of my wonders how many more things can go wrong, i think maybe she just doesn't think about things before she does them. Today i also had to ask her to stop using a floor sweeping brush on the walls and ceiling!

Tshirtsuntan thats really helpful why didn't i think of that! I don't need to justify myself to you but If i hadn't had major back surgery, i could run my own company, work a sixty hour week, have time to do horse and dogs properly and still manage to clean the place myself then i probably would

Blondieminx Wed 22-Jan-14 22:16:42

YANBU to terminate her employment but be factual about it, explain that due to incidents x y and z it's costing you more to put right the damage she's causing than you're paying her, so best all round to stop the business relationship.

YABU to call your cleaner a girl though - considering her age and that she is grown up enough to manage her own 3 kids and a job. I suspect that you might be coming across as a bit superior/patronising.

If you can afford a cleaner and would prefer to provide employment for someone else to do the dull chores while you do something more interesting. then good for you! Really cannot see the point in the snarky "just do your own cleaning" responses on this thread...

Blondieminx Wed 22-Jan-14 22:18:23

Sorry x post, slow typing on phone blush see you've already addressed the terminology point!

Sorry to hear about your back, that sounds hard sad

SecretWitch Wed 22-Jan-14 22:23:46

You certainly do not need to justify your need for a cleaner. How you choose to spend your money is entirely up to you. It does sound like she is unsatisfactory. I would let her go, as she is costing you moneyeach time she cleans.

Another one to add a 40 year old is not a girl. The use of that word does sound condescendin.

Somersetlady Wed 22-Jan-14 22:26:36

Thanks Blondieminx for the constructive advice. I also don't see the point in the sarky responses but you know what they say you judge at your own level. Those assuming that i am just lazy would probably love a cleaner for those 'dull' tasks as they have been described!

I think anyone thats has undertaken major back surgery would probably far prefer to do everything that they could pre operation but you don't come on mumsnet and expect everyone to be able to think of the bigger picture or consider the reasons behind something a small minority just prefer to batter and judge!

Apologies for calling her a girl though it wasn't meant to be offensive!

tshirtsuntan Wed 22-Jan-14 22:28:58

Sorry you hurt your back and you're absolutely right you have no need to justify yourself to me, it's just that your initial post came across quite badly imo, 2 days to tell/teach someone how to clean for 6 hours a week seems excessively picky. If you Don't want "the girl" to clean your house any more just tell her, as you said, no need to justify it on here.

Belize Wed 22-Jan-14 22:29:15

I would 'let her go' before she destroys your house!

6 hours help a week must be wonderful and very understandable in your position.

Blondieminx Wed 22-Jan-14 22:32:36

AIBU can be quite erm... Forthright! I've only started a couple of AIBU's in 5yrs of mumsnetting and have had my hard hat to hand wink

Wishing you a speedy recovery from your op smile

Somersetlady Wed 22-Jan-14 22:32:44

Do i have to stop saying she's a lovely girl about people i like? I am relatively new to an area and said just today said about a lady up the road 'yes I've met her she's a lovely girl' is that condescending also or could it be a regional thing?

A common greeting here is 'well girl'......

It's a genuine question i am not being facetious become i become the facetious one thats too lazy to do her own housework

FoxOff Wed 22-Jan-14 22:33:00

It might be lack of respect but it might be that she comes from a home where they don't have anything expensive or complicated. If people are brought up in a home where's there's not really a lot to damage, and then move into a similar home of their own, sometimes they never learn how to take care of expensive items.

Somersetlady Wed 22-Jan-14 22:37:02

Thank you all - wasn't sure where to post as couldn't find home help or anything similar!

I think i will bow out of AIBU in future. My biggest problem is probably that i would rather be doing it myself and am unable so find it incredibly frustrating that i have to try and get something done by someone else when i like how i do it.

Yours sincerely the lazy, facetious control freak

Somersetlady Wed 22-Jan-14 22:39:28

Thanks Foxoff i would never have considered that as a reason either.

PollyPutTheKettle Wed 22-Jan-14 22:39:48

Yanbu to let her go as if she carries on like this you won't have a house left. I am not sure why you feel the need to ask a bunch of strangers though - she's broken two windows, a curtain pulley system and scratched your cooker. Enough already.

YABU for calling her a 'girl' It's a ridiculous label for a 40 year old woman.

Blondieminx Wed 22-Jan-14 22:43:23

<sigh> RTFT before posting please!

There is a Good Housekeeping topic btw smile

Belize Wed 22-Jan-14 22:43:46

I've posted on here for a decade and have never risked AIBU !!!

Belize Wed 22-Jan-14 22:45:03

polly isn't the whole point of an anonymous forum to ask a whole bunch of strangers hmm

Viviennemary Wed 22-Jan-14 22:48:40

I think you've no choice but to get rid of her before she does any more damage. If I ever have a cleaner again which isn't very likely I'd probably go through an agency. Far easier to change if you get somebody unsuitable for one reason or another. So it's worth the extra I think.

Somersetlady Wed 22-Jan-14 23:24:37

Pollyoutthekettle on

I thought an anonymous online forum would be the perfect place to talk about 'domestic staffing issues' as the woman is local and i dont want to badmouth her to anyone else that might avail of, and be totally happy with, her services or that might happen to be her friend or have DCs that are friendly with her DCs as i just don't think that would be fair on her.

Apologies as I have obviously misunderstood the whole point of a public forum. There was i thinking it could be used to garner a variety of opinions from a wide circle of people who might be able to make me consider my own behaviour to a challenging situation. I consider myself corrected.

you sound quite fair to me op. my only problem is that i want a cleaner because i'm lazy but can't afford one.

pigletmania Wed 22-Jan-14 23:47:47

Op that is mumsnet no no calling a woman a girl, slapped wrist for you grin.

pigletmania Wed 22-Jan-14 23:49:16

Somerset don't be put off, of course your allowed to get opinions don't let some put you off

bragmatic Thu 23-Jan-14 06:14:28

I vote change cleaners.

Generally, I also vote to having cleaners, even if you have an aga (or a bentley), and the time to clean both of them yourself. But, you know, just not the inclination.

Oriunda Thu 23-Jan-14 06:29:14

I've had several cleaners and only once has something been broken (a new woman the agency sent who snapped a photo frame, I saw her do it and quietly put it down without mentioning it). Yours has done quite a bit of damage. If she was from an agency then I'd imagine there'd be insurance to claim off but sounds like she's not so I would in your case let her go. Try and find someone else who comes with references or use an agency that will have insurance to cover any damages.

My cleaner has been with me for over 2 years. She's not agency (but I used one whilst she was off on maternity leave) but does several people I know so is totally trustworthy.

Ignore the snippy comments. Nothing wrong with employing a cleaner. They are providing a service and you are giving them employment. Both of you benefit.

Jaynebxl Thu 23-Jan-14 06:46:37

Say goodbye now before you get to know her and feel too bad about letting her go, which is my situation!
Funny what you learn on mn though... I use the word girl pretty liberally although I did

Jaynebxl Thu 23-Jan-14 06:48:24

Oops posted too soon... I was telling my dh something that happened with a girl at work yesterday then realised the "girl" is 52!

Jinty64 Thu 23-Jan-14 06:51:18

Somersetlady .this is exactly the place to come to canvas opinion. AIBU can be a bit harsh but if you just let those ones wash over you then you may will get some helpful advice.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the term "girl". My late mother used to have coffee with the girls and most of them were in their 80's and 90's. the also met for a "girls" lunch. I refer to the "girls in the office" at work and they range in age from 20 to 62.

What do you really need the cleaner to do. Could you just get her to do bathrooms, hoovering etc. and give guidance on the other things as she goes along? I realise this is not ideal especially in your situation and you may have to let her go.

SwimmingMom Thu 23-Jan-14 06:57:54

OP - I once had such a lady who started at mine. Similarly heave handed. She put Harpic on my toilet seat & lid which are made of hard white plastic & not ceramic - and left it to soak! It turned blue with streaks that wouldn't go (ie stained). I live in a rental so it caused me enough stress that I let her go. Now 1 year later the stains are fading with constant cleaning.

There are other cleaners who could work to your style, just need to go through the trouble of finding them.

JupiterGentlefly Thu 23-Jan-14 07:01:23

Don't feel guilty. I consider cleaning to be a profession (I would of course smile ) and I have done my research. There are lots of surfaces that can't be cleaned with 'everyday' products e.g natural stone, unsealed wood etc. A 'professional cleaner will know that you can't use a brillo on certain metals and that a brush on a ceiling will leave marks. Some might say its common sense but one of my own cleaners tried cleaning my antique writing desk with spray bleach!!
I am also insured. A good place to look for a cleaner is gumtree.

helzapoppin2 Thu 23-Jan-14 07:35:15

I think that when you come to hiring the next cleaner you need to go round with them and tell them how things work and how you'd like everything done. Then you have grounds,if they don't do it right, to dismiss them.

Somersetlady Thu 23-Jan-14 08:36:24

Thanks Jinty. She does only do the hoovering, floor mopping and skirting boards and hoovers the sofa and does the bathrooms etc. Opening Windows and curtains has caused the damage confused

My own mum goes for a walk and then coffee with the girls every Friday and she is 65 years young. I also have a group known as the girlsontour Now i know it is offensive to some blush i will refrain from using it about ladies that are not friends.

Helza that is exactly what i did only i obviously showing her how to open the windows and curtains it's not a mistake i will make again i am cross with myself as the only reason the curtains are still closed is that my 2yo nephew is staying and was in a rush to come down stairs and see the dog for breakfast!--

Thanks Jupiter i will investigate. I am not sure if Gumtree covers Ireland.......

Maybe some of the reason i am canvassing opinion is also that i am 5 months pregnant so worry myself about my own sometimes hormonal reasoning at the current time!

Somersetlady Thu 23-Jan-14 08:37:48

*missed showing her how to open the windows and curtains

eddielizzard Thu 23-Jan-14 08:41:52

you've had major back surgery and you're 5 months pg? wow i think you need a big hug.

yes, def get rid of her. it's not working out. see if you can get a recommendation off a friend.

Somersetlady Thu 23-Jan-14 09:01:04

oriunda what did you do? Did you challenge her? Or let it slide? I have had small mishaps with my previous cleaning lady wink but only everyday or small issues.

Thanks Eddielizzard. I had the surgery in 2006 but any heavy lifting or too much working and bending causes me to have to stop everything for a few days hence a cleaner to really give the place a going over so i can just keep it tidy and pop a broom over the hard floors in between. I was very used to the restrictions from my back but have had a bit of a wobble since pregnant as they are worried about the weight later on! As a result of the previous surgery I have to have the baby under general anaesthetic but thats a whole other thread........

Oriunda Thu 23-Jan-14 11:33:47

I let it slide. She was only there that day to fill in for someone else, so wasn't coming back again.

You don't need to justify having a cleaner. I've always had one because I used to work 12 hr days, then when I finally became pg with DS after 2 miscarriages no way was I going to risk anything. I see it as buying 2 precious hours of time.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 23-Jan-14 11:38:23

I would let her go. YWNBU to do so.

jay55 Thu 23-Jan-14 12:09:09

I'd let her go as she didn't ask how to open the window, and went ahead and broke another.

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