Have you ever thought about how you treat your cleaner?

(76 Posts)
Looobyloo Sun 07-Feb-16 10:33:07

Just reading a book about a woman who has everything, big house, loads of money then loses it all & takes up cleaning to make ends meet. She reflects on how she's treated her past cleaners as some of her clients aren't very nice.
I'm a self employed cleaner & have had many clients over the years & most have been great. Though I've had a few strange ones. Including a couple who made a drink In front of me & didn't offer me one on boiling hot day & I was there for 3 hours. Another client would never make me a drink but would offer any other visitor, handyman, computer guy, plumber etc one straight away. One husband could barely look at me, his wife was so lovely though.
I have one at the moment who is driving me mad. She's in & out of the room I'm cleaning, tidying up, saying little comments telling me what to do, when I go in another room she'll come in & ask if I'm alright! I feel she's trying to undermine me although I'm a bloody cleaner for goodness sake. Anyway she's getting my notice this week!

So all you with cleaner how do you view, treat them. Be honest.

Toocold Sun 07-Feb-16 10:35:56

I don't have one, but would like to think I would be nice, can I please ask what book you are reading? It sounds interesting and I am looking for something to read, not the answer you were after, sorry!

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 07-Feb-16 10:36:55

I treat my cleaner well.

mangocoveredlamb Sun 07-Feb-16 10:37:46

I could not be without my cleaner and I am eternally grateful that she still agrees to come and clean our house despite our messiness.
I always leave out tea and biscuits for her (she come while I'm at work) and I assume she doesn't feed them to the dog.
She is so nice and if I'm ever in we have a good chat.
I prioritise the cleaner money over other treats because experience has told me that I won't do it!

dementedma Sun 07-Feb-16 10:37:52

Wish I could afford a cleaner!

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Feb-16 10:39:50

I'm rarely there but when I am I offer coffee. Don't clock watch. I asume (hope) treat her like anyone else, colleague rather than friend I suppose.
It helps that I am not fussy what / how she cleans, when she goes rhe place looks so much better than when she arrived and that's all I really care about.

ShinyShinyShiny Sun 07-Feb-16 10:40:36

I am so grateful for our cleaner and I hope she realises this. I always leave coffee out for her or make her several cups if I'm working from home. I buy her something nice at Christmas and thank her every time I see her. I hope she feels appreciated as she really is!

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 07-Feb-16 10:41:20

I am very considerate with my cleaners. I am often in the house when they come but they are invited to help themselves to any drinks I have at any time.

Sadly, I had to part ways with my last cleaner because she spent sooooo much of her time here chatting to me. I heard all about her personal problems and she spent a lot of time on the phone to her mum and her daughter while she was here. In the end I didn't feel I was getting the three hours work I was paying her for.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Feb-16 10:43:00

I don't leave coffee out as I try to leave surfaces as clear as they ever get here smile I told her right at the start she should help herself and hope she does, that goes for any cake /biscuits lying about too.
Dh and I whizz round he night before tidying up and making sure he place is mostly fit for her to come in and clean. Toilets respectable etc (dc sometimes don't flush! !)

Theendispie Sun 07-Feb-16 10:44:49

I have always been very nice to my cleaners and paid them when I'm on hols and given them a Christmas bonus. One in particular didn't name anyone but did tell me a few horror stories including how one client used to give her old knickers to use as cleaning cloths!

I took my last cleaner who was with me for about 5 years out to dinner when she handed her notice in. I haven't replaced her because I have more time now and she did feel irreplaceable.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 07-Feb-16 10:46:20

I hope I treat her well. I tend to leave her to it. Never comment, except to say thank you very much every week. I give her an extra weeks pay at christmas and when she goes on holiday. She can take as much time off as she wants, normally a 3 or 4 week block a couple of times a year when she visits her home country. She is incredibly reliable, and been with us a very long time.

WhirlwindHugs Sun 07-Feb-16 10:47:47

I wasn't very good at having a cleaner, we ended up chatting loads (she was lovely!) because it was nice to have adult company but I was suposed to be getting on with other stuff really!

museumum Sun 07-Feb-16 10:49:31

I would love to have a cleaner but just feel too awkward. I work from home so I'd be there but I know I'd be totally distracted and seem cold - I hate interruptions when I'm working. I rarely stop for tea myself so am always antsy and desperate to get back to my computer if I have to make cuppas for anyone else.

HermioneWeasley Sun 07-Feb-16 10:49:47

I hope we treat ours well - always offer a drink and biscuits when she arrives. Then stay out of her way. Give her a week's pay at Christmas.

I think we must be OK because she's really popular and has brought on a few other cleaners to work for her, but has kept doing us herself.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Feb-16 10:49:48

Yes I text a genuine thanks every now and again. Most recently when I'd had a really stressful week and I walked into calm, hoovered tidyness.

Pigeonpost Sun 07-Feb-16 10:50:09

I have never offered hot drinks to our cleaners. Our cleaners in our old house would arrive just as we were leaving for school/work so we'd have a lovely chat and then we'd be gone. They usually brought bottles of water but would occasionally help themselves to a glass of water if they forgot or ran out.

Here in our new house we have just sacked our cleaners because they were completely incapable of following instructions (I would leave a note as I'd usually be out). If I did happen to be here I would usually be running around to try and keep out of their way as I had always assumed that the home owner under your feet would piss most cleaners off. It never occurred to me to offer hot drinks (two of them here for 1.5hrs) as again they brought bottled drinks with them. They did complain that I hadn't made them feel very welcome in the house (when I was discussing with the agency why we had to eventually let them go, they had had several chances). Maybe offering hot drinks is a thing I need to be aware of. I don't drink them though so the 'need' for a tea or coffee doesn't get me. I thought they were being unreasonable but perhaps I was. Interesting.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 07-Feb-16 10:52:02

I am rarely at home when the cleaners come but if I am then of course I offer drinks.

Also always leave cash for them and pay a week's wages as bonus at Christmas and give a present too.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Feb-16 10:52:11

Museum it depends on the person. I chatted to ours for about ten mins after Christmas when she'd been off a couple of weeks but she always makes it clear she needs to get on. I suppose it's about professionalism.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Feb-16 10:53:43

Pigeon if you don't drink them yourself it must seem odd. I have a permanent cup of coffee on the go when working from home so it seems natural to offer one to anyone else who is about

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 07-Feb-16 10:53:44

I always offer my cleaner a hot drink when I make one. She always says "no I had one earlier". This has been going on for 15 years grin. She does help herself to the odd can of coke from the fridge.

MsMermaid Sun 07-Feb-16 10:56:31

We don't have a cleaner at home. If we did, we'd all be out when they came. So I'd be happy for her/him to make a drink, etc but wouldn't be around to offer one.

We do have cleaners at work and we all treat them in the same way as other colleagues we only see at certain times. They are all perfectly welcome to make drinks in the staff room, they do sometimes but they seem to prefer bringing a bottle of water/pop from home (like i do too). I love the cleaner who cleans my classroom, we chat for a few minutes, then both get on with our jobs.

BlindAssassin1 Sun 07-Feb-16 11:06:20

I've done a bit of cleaning in homes (as part of a carer job). Mostly it was fine, though people who follow me round telling me how to wipe down surfaces would drive me nuts. With that though it was mostly an issue of them struggling to relinquish control due to their infirmity and I wouldn't really mind.

In other min wage jobs, similar to cleaners, I have found people treat me like a human being, with good manners, and just want me to get on with the job. But some have the most disgusting attitudes towards low-status jobs.

I have been referred to as 'staff', as though she was an Edwardian lady and I was her housemaid and ought to curtsy and know my place. I was there to offer her family member end-of-life-care. I've seen people let their DC - and the adults- make a complete mess in a restaurant, and think its ok because 'we've paid and it keeps the waitress in work'.

I could go on but overall, it's always shown me more about the person saying it then me.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Feb-16 11:17:57

Oh god yes I make sure our cleaner curtsies as soon as she comes through the door. Doesn't everyone?

stitch10yearson Sun 07-Feb-16 11:27:20

I think I drove my cleaner nuts when she was about 35 weeks pregnant and I happened to be at home when she was in. I wouldnt let her vacuum and made ds do it. My pov was that we had got a cleaner when I was pregnant and couldnt do the cleaning/mopping any more becuase of SPD and dh wouldnt do it. So how could I let her do it? But I realised I was being unreasonable and needed to let her get on with doing things she could do and trust her judgement.
Although when she was 40 weeks and offered to come clean up my house, I wouldnt let her.
She was with me for over 8 years, so I couldnt have been that bad an employer.

MoggieMaeEverso Sun 07-Feb-16 11:41:54

I don't understand about the hot drinks, wouldn't they have to stop working to drink them? Or is the idea that they carry their mug of tea from room to room with them. I only like to have a cuppa if I can sit down and properly relax so it seems odd to me that anyone would want to lug around a hot drink, but equally, it would seem unprofessional to me if the cleaner put their feet up with a coffee as soon as they walked through the door.

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