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To consider getting a new cleaner due to language problem?

(16 Posts)
JessieMcJessie Wed 16-Mar-16 06:44:21

Disclaimer: obviously a first world problem, I know I am very lucky and there are much more serious issues in life..

We have just moved house and the previous owners recommended their cleaner to us. They said her English was not great but it was OK as long as we kept discussion to straightforward cleaning instructions rather than trying to chat. She has lived in the UK for 20 years but in a very large community of people from Turkey.

So she came round and all was fine, we actually did have a little chat about family etc and she was more comfortable talking than we expected. I showed her that 3 rooms were totally empty and said no cleaning needed yet for them (we've just moved from a small flat).

On her first day I left a note saying basically "please only clean kitchen, bathroom and living room and do some ironing if you have time left over". (she was due to come for 3 hours).

About 4pm I get a text from her friend saying that she had not understood my note and had cleaned the whole house and had to do an extra hour to finish and by the way our cordless vacuum is no good for so much hoovering can we get a new one and make sure we give all instructions by phone in future? When I got home ironing wasn't touched.

AIBU to think this just can't work? Apart from anything else she had my number so, if she really can take instructions by phone why did she not call me as soon as she saw the note and could not read it? I won't be asking her to do the whole house every time so I will need to leave a note and I don'to really want to have to call her every single time to explain and wonder if she understands. Sometimes I won't decide till the morning what needs done. She's also asking £2 per hour more than the going rate.

She seemed a lovely woman but I think maybe she doesn't read in Turkish either and gets someone else to read all her texts. I feel bad but it's not U to want a cleaner who can read a note, is it?

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 16-Mar-16 06:48:16

Blimey, she's only been once! She's probably used to doing the whole house so was on auto-pilot. Can't you give her another chance? Seems very harsh to ditch her so quickly.

JuxtapositionRecords Wed 16-Mar-16 06:49:05

No of course YANBU. Time to find another cleaner.

Euphemia Wed 16-Mar-16 06:49:21

I think you need to speak to her and agree what she will do regularly. If that changes, speak to her again. Surely you'll settle into a routine soon, and not need different tasks/rooms done each week?

Good cleaners are hard to find - I'd stick with her but communicate by phone rather than note.

antiqueroadhoe Wed 16-Mar-16 06:50:29

Agree. Talk to her. How about printing pictures of jobs on multiple sheets, then ticking what you want done.

JuxtapositionRecords Wed 16-Mar-16 06:51:00

But exactly she has only been once but as she can't read English what is op supposed to do every time she needs something 'different' doing to what she is used to? A cleaner is supposed to make your life easier not harder!

JessieMcJessie Wed 16-Mar-16 06:55:32

I am more concerned that she didn't ring me when she saw there was a note and didn't understand it. Why guess and then get someone to text me afterwards telling me to communicate by phone?

Mistigri Wed 16-Mar-16 06:55:35

Maybe the problem is not so much the language, but illiteracy?

I don't see why it's such a hassle to communicate by phone tbh. Have an in-person discussion to set out what you require as standard, and communicate any changes or additional jobs by phone.

JessieMcJessie Wed 16-Mar-16 06:56:30

And also she cleaned rooms that I had already told her in person 2 days before would not need cleaning.

Shapebandit Wed 16-Mar-16 06:57:36

Why didn't she get the friend to translate the note for her??

JessieMcJessie Wed 16-Mar-16 07:00:48

Mistigri I Don't think she will understand enough. It was clear that she didn't understand what I told her when we met and walked round the house, despite lots of nodding and yesses. The previous owners had said to text her not call, so I thought leaving a note would help clarity about what was to be done. I think this is because she was getting someone else to read her texts.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Wed 16-Mar-16 07:08:12

That's it, isn't it? She actually can't read. So would show someone else the text, the note threw her.

Up to you. Communicate via text as she asked, or get rid of her.

Your note would have been quite complicated even for fairly competent non native speakers "time left over" = "if you have time" etc etc.

JessieMcJessie Wed 16-Mar-16 07:16:11

I think it did say " if you have time" actually. I have never actually had a native English speaking cleaner but have had Spanish, Brazilian, Bulgarian and Filipina in the past and know exactly how to write simple notes to non native speakers, am sure that is not the problem.

It was not her who said communicate by text, it was her old employer. She is now telling us to phone only.

Wolpertinger Wed 16-Mar-16 07:18:04

She probably can't read. Possibly even in Turkish.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 16-Mar-16 07:19:45

It sounds like you don't really want to find a workable solution OP so best let her know sooner rather than later so she can find another client.

JessieMcJessie Wed 16-Mar-16 07:24:48

Yes, I said that in my OP wolpertinger.

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