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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.

flippinada Mon 29-Apr-13 16:22:37

I think you have far too much time on your hands.

In the time you've spent fretting about this you could have done something enjoyable or useful.

Bedtime1 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:22:59

Strange. You seem jealous. I'm sure there's loads of things she doesn't approve of with you, one being your attitude.

caramelwaffle Mon 29-Apr-13 16:23:02

Cash on delivery or cash on service does not mean a person does not know their way around a self assessment tax form.

Ledkr Mon 29-Apr-13 16:23:06

Sounds lush. I'd love my house to be that clean.
Are you a little bit well jel do you think?

Op - you have way to much time on your hands!! Do you over-analyse everything?? Life must be really tiring for you!

ilovexmastime Mon 29-Apr-13 16:23:51

YABU. I don't think I've ever seen such a strange post!

Ledkr Mon 29-Apr-13 16:24:16

I also bet she couldn't give a fig whether you care or not as she relaxes in her clean tidy flat grin

Bedtime1 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:24:49

Oh it sounds a great life for her nothing worse than cleaning especially after work. I'm sure you would if you could.

woozlebear Mon 29-Apr-13 16:25:28

oooh my first!

<trumpet fanfare>
<dry ice>
<dancing girls>


pickledginger Mon 29-Apr-13 16:26:02

I really don't think cleaners 'clean up our bodily mess' either. That sounds like a specialist service grin

PumpkinPositive Mon 29-Apr-13 16:26:04

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.

Peresumbly you never eat in a restaurant then? Or buy your clothes from any outlet you aren't 100% cast iron guaranteed is from an ethical source?

AhCmonSeriouslyNow Mon 29-Apr-13 16:26:12

YABU, definitely.

I mean, I guess you can't help having those feelings but they are unreasonable. I think you are jealous.
And, you know, some people enjoy cleaning jobs or find it a great way to make some money.

Unami Mon 29-Apr-13 16:27:18

This is the first time I've mentioned it to anyone, so I'm not obsessed with it. Like I said, I wanted to mull this over on MN and really think about whether or not IABU. I would also never mention it to my friend, and I recognise it is her choice.

I'm not jealous. I think getting your house cleaned that thoroughly twice a week is a bit excessive, whether you are doing it on your own or paying someone to do it.

I'm not a domestic control freak, nor do I hate cleaning myself.

Empress77 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:27:27

Cleaning isnt necessarily low paid low status work. When I worked as a cleaner it was the highest paid job ive ever had. Its also only low status if people think it so. Plus people can choose to spend their money on whatever they choose. I think people are mad who spend money on fancy cars/i phones/tvs/furniture etc, yet many people think im mad for spending tons of money on my pets or on traveling - we all choose what to spend the money we earn on and its not really anyone elses business.

EasilyBored Mon 29-Apr-13 16:27:31

I would love to have someone come over twice a week and clean. It sounds like heaven. She is employing someone, helping stimulate the economy. YABU and judgy and very odd.

I do have the time to clean, but I would still pay a cleaner if I could because I hate doing it and can't be arsed most of the time.

Icelollycraving Mon 29-Apr-13 16:27:33

Yabu & odd.

caramelwaffle Mon 29-Apr-13 16:27:44

Also - you are not privately disapproving: you are here disapproving.


Mintyy Mon 29-Apr-13 16:28:12

I agree its a bit excessive.

Alwayscheerful Mon 29-Apr-13 16:28:13

We all choose different luxuries in life, cars, meals out, clothes, handbags, shoes, alcohol, clubbing, fresh flowers, waitrose food, days out or holidays. Your friend chooses to keep her home immaculate, her money her choice, perhaps her cleaner loves her job, perhaps your friend sees is as her way to help the economy. What luxuries do you prefer?

pickledginger Mon 29-Apr-13 16:28:56

Cleaning is work. Whether you enjoy it, loathe it or just get on with it, it's something that takes time and effort. What's wrong with assigning a monetary value to that?

UnChartered Mon 29-Apr-13 16:29:10

so, OP

Are YBU?

you've had lots of replies...

Dawndonna Mon 29-Apr-13 16:29:52

You have no idea about her time when you're not there. Many years ago I was a single Mum. Had a six year old. Worked. Was also a local councillor. I used to find myself bleaching the lavatory at 2am. At that point I got a cleaner.
The other point is, it's a myth about people working fewer hours and other people picking up their jobs, eg. more work to go around. Not everyone is qualified/interested/motivated by other peoples work situations.
So, back to the original point, yabu and it's a little worrisome that you have so much time to worry about the situation of others.

ApocalypseThen Mon 29-Apr-13 16:30:26

You're the only one suggesting that cleaning for a fee is demeaning, which I find odd. Disliking housework does not imply that you think it's beneath you, you're putting this attitude from your belief set onto your friend and maybe you've something to consider here.

I think having your house cleaned thoroughy twice a week sounds nice for her to come home to a lovely clean flat so she can have a nice chillax!!

Try and unclench just a bit.

pickledginger Mon 29-Apr-13 16:31:17

Apart from the windows and the fridge that cleaning sounds pretty normal to me.

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