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WIBU to request another cleaner?

(10 Posts)
TrobadoraBeatrice Fri 26-Jun-15 07:47:44

More a WWYD, I'm not really sure what I think.

We get a regular cleaner through an agency, and a new bloke started two months ago. So far he has been 5 times. Usually I've been in the house for the whole time he is here (am on maternity leave), but next time he comes I'll be back at work. He is perfectly pleasant, and the cleaning is done quite well, but he is very scatty and it is starting to irritate me.

The first time he came, he broke a (new) mop. He was suitably apologetic, offered to pay for a replacement but I said I would get a refund, which I did. When I gave him another new mop the next time, he didn't mention breaking the old one (I'm sure I would have checked that a person had got their refund in that situation).

3 times out of 5 he has turned up half an hour late - though this is something I only know because I'm at home. The first time he texted to let me know, the second time he apologised saying he had 'got distracted', the third time I told him I didn't mind him starting half an hour late, but he absolutely had to be finished promptly after his allocated hours in that case as I bring the kids back from nursery then and I'd like him out of the way before they trash all his good work as it gets a bit hectic. Yesterday he arrived pretty much on time, but stayed on 45 mins longer than he is paid for (!) so was still there when I got back with the kids (15 mins late, so he had plenty of time to be gone).

He has left something behind every time! except yesterday, when I did a sweep of the kitchen and found a cloth of his on the worktop.

All that would be annoying, but hardly a sackable offence, but yesterday after he had gone I discovered that one of my ornaments was broken. It can only have been him - it's on a shelf that elder DD1 can't reach, and that is usually caked in dust had clearly just been cleaned. The broken bits had been put back next to the ornament, so he must have noticed, but he hadn't left a note and didn't mention it to me in person either. He had obviously forgotten - I don't imagine he deliberately intended to hide the breakage - but on top of all the other minor issues I'm starting to get a bit pissed off.

I don't mind the fact that he broke the ornament - accidents happen, and I can replace it - but it's the fact he didn't remember to tell me. Plus I feel like I'll end up inspecting the whole house after he has been to check whether everything is in place / what he has left this time.

Jeez, that's a bit long and is probably going to make me look a bit petty! So should I request another cleaner, or just let it lie given he does a good job otherwise?

LaurieFairyCake Fri 26-Jun-15 07:50:27

I don't think its at all petty!

The idea of some oaf breaking things in my house stops me getting a cleaner

I'd definitely get another

whois Fri 26-Jun-15 07:51:04

Life is too short to live with a cleaner that annoys you. Ask for another cleaner. We had one who was rubbish and it took us forever to get enough courage to ask for a different one as we felt bad for her!

TrobadoraBeatrice Fri 26-Jun-15 07:56:01

Phew, glad it's not just me! (I feel a bit awkward around the bloke anyway as he is a vague friend of a friend, but I was hoping that wasn't influencing my thinking.)

So, should I raise the issue of the broken ornament directly with him, or just ask the agency to send me someone new? I feel bad just doing that without speaking to him - partly because I do know him very very vaguely, and I don't actually have proof that he was the one who broke the ornament - but I know if I do mention it he'll just say, 'oh yes, sorry', and that won't leave me any more confident that it wouldn't happen again.

BallsforEarrings Fri 26-Jun-15 08:05:48

We own a cleaning business and whilst breakages are just part of the job since we are humans, they really should be reported to the company who should ask you what you would like them to do about it. In most cases a homeowner will say nevermind but it does need to be politely addressed.

It does sound like he would forget his own head if it wasn't screwed on - some people are just like that but if you are home at the time of service this will get on your nerves, maybe ask to change him, just explain he is too forgetful and scatty then the company will be able to give him a bit more training to help him to perform better for other clients.

If he is a good cleaner then they will not let him go as they are so hard to find, they will just help him to learn all the other aspects of the job such as customer care so that he will better serve the other clients on their books.

If it is a private company all of this is their responsibility to manage but if it is an agency, although it won't be a fully-managed service in the case of an agency as he will then be self-employed but it is still their reponsibility to help him fit in at the jobs they give him. Otherwise you may as well directly hire a self-employed cleaner.

I say ask for a swap and let them know the issues so they can help him with them.

TrobadoraBeatrice Fri 26-Jun-15 17:26:35

Thanks Balls, good to hear it from the other side too. It's definitely an agency rather than a private company, but I agree they have a responsibility to keep tabs on things, and they do tend to be quite conscientious about feedback so I think I'll contact them. He is a good cleaner, but at this point after so many minor issues, plus forgetting to mention the breakage, I think I am going to struggle not to be annoyed at any further issues.

BallsforEarrings Fri 26-Jun-15 20:31:25

Beartrice I am sure they will appreciate the feedback and be fair to him, it will be a win/win, he will learn how to deliver better service for the future and you will have a less irritating cleaner grin

sadwidow28 Fri 26-Jun-15 21:00:00

You have to be able to totally trust a cleaner who comes into your house (using your keys). I have had to ask for change of cleaners in the past. I don't want to come home from work and then start an 'inspection of rooms' because my trust has been breached.

When you get someone who is absolutely suitable, you will move heaven and earth to keep them - and value them as one of the most treasured members of your household team. Yes, my lovely cleaner managed to break an expensive crystal vase once, but I said "Please don't worry. I am convinced I would have had a domestic mishap at some point if I had been doing my own cleaning over the past 5 years."

When she started doing a bit of ironing for me (I worked away a lot so often hadn't been in the house since she had last visited), she commented that my iron wasn't really very good. I gave her the Argos catalogue and said "choose your preference". I cherished that particular cleaner until she retired....

TrobadoraBeatrice Sat 27-Jun-15 10:31:25

Our previous cleaner was absolutely lovely - incredibly efficient, thorough and quick, and a nice person too. She broke a particular glass once and was mortified (I couldn't not have known as I was in at the time and it smashed very loudly!), said it was the first thing she had broken in all her time cleaning. I told her not to worry as both DP and I had broken one of those glasses each too - accidents do happen, and cleaners are probably more likely than most to break something given that by definition they dust where I don't...

Anyway, I've texted the cleaner to ask if he did break the ornament - would rather hear it from him before I contact the agency, and I'm sure he will be very apologetic. But the issue is the forgetting to tell me, not actually the breakage or even the ornament itself, so really I just want to check it was him before I ask for someone new.

DP thinks I'm mad to get rid of a decent cleaner, but I clearly have MN on my side! and he (the cleaner, not DP...) would indeed drive me potty if he carried on like this.

BallsforEarrings Sat 27-Jun-15 17:01:21

If he would drive you potty it is only fair to try another cleaner! He will be fine and better equipped for the future and you will be able to try a fresh person!

I can't see any benefit to you both struggling on when clearly you are not a good match for one another and he needs additional training.

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