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To ask cleaner not to do the laundry

(39 Posts)
Ninefreerangeeggs Sat 30-Apr-16 10:55:12

Dh and I employ a cleaner a couple of days a week. I'll call her B. B is an absolutely wonderful girl, trustworthy, hardworking and I am very fond of her. Last week I came home to find the laundry washed and hung up to dry. At first I thought dh had done it but it turned out B had. I was taken aback and a little annoyed as one of the items was hand-wash only but at the same time my heart swelled a little for B who, I have no doubt will have done it to be helpful. As I said she is a star and often goes out and beyond to help around the house. I don't want her to feel she did something wrong by doing the laundry but I'm really not comfortable for it to become a regular thing. Also she doesn't speak English very well and it will be difficult to explain all of this to her.

Birdsgottafly Sat 30-Apr-16 10:59:32

She might be used to the laundry being part of her duties, so unless you just tell her that she doesn't have to do the laundry, she won't know.

Can't you use Google Translate to communicate with her?

listsandbudgets Sat 30-Apr-16 10:59:50

Can you ask her to check the machine and hang up a wash if she finds one in there but not to worry otherwise. That means you could leave a wash running and know it will be up and drying when you come home but you'll have decided what's in the load

DoreenLethal Sat 30-Apr-16 11:01:11

Is she really a girl? Or a proper like woman type person?

whatdoIget Sat 30-Apr-16 11:02:48

She's a little girl that does for them, Doreen wink

Nanny0gg Sat 30-Apr-16 11:04:57

Instead of telling her what you don't want her to do, why don't you tell her what you would like her to do?

Be specific.

Marmalade85 Sat 30-Apr-16 11:06:39

Why don't you employ someone who can speak English?

Trills Sat 30-Apr-16 11:08:27

I thought it was usual to have a conversation when you first hired someone saying what you wanted them to do...

Ninefreerangeeggs Sat 30-Apr-16 11:09:22

doreen got it. My mistake. She's a woman not a girl.

PPie10 Sat 30-Apr-16 11:11:28

Why didn't you specify at the beginning what she's meant to do. confusedtotal non issue.

Trills Sat 30-Apr-16 11:15:18

It would not be at all unreasonable to talk t her (or the agency, if you think that would be easier) saying that you do want her to do floors, surfaces, washing up, but you don't want her to do laundry or change the beds.

SaucyJack Sat 30-Apr-16 11:16:17

Just politely request that she doesn't do it in future. Use sign language if her English is really that poor.

And ditch the angst and the guilt. It isn't personal to her, it's just her job-- same as yours is to you. Giving her a clear and polite instruction need only be as awkward as you want to make it.

Ninefreerangeeggs Sat 30-Apr-16 11:17:28

When we first hired her, I explained that the job was to vacuum and dust/clean surfaces as well as changing sheets. And so it was for three odd years. In the last year or so she's been doing little extras of her own initiative such as emptying the dishwasher and rearranging dd's (very untidy) dresser for example.

Ninefreerangeeggs Sat 30-Apr-16 11:20:18

Thanks for all the advice, I'll just try to be clearer about what she's expected to do

SanityClause Sat 30-Apr-16 11:21:53

Why don't you employ someone who can speak English?



Immigrants can't win, can they? We mustn't give them jobs, if their English isn't perfect, but if they don't have jobs, they are benefits tourists.

FWIW, my cleaner of about 10 years is from a country which was not an EU country when she started (but is now). Her English isn't fantastic, but of course she can get by. I imagine she speaks better English than the Spanish spoken by many of the British people who live in Spain.

She is a lovely woman, and an excellent cleaner. We can chat about various things, but sometimes it becomes clear they we are not really understanding each other's nuance.

So, for the OP, she may make a simple request, which may be misunderstood as a criticism. Or she may couch it too softly, and the cleaner may not really understand that she really is not to do the washing in future. And actually, either of these could happen, even if the cleaner were a native English speaker.

Ninefreerangeeggs Sat 30-Apr-16 11:39:15

Thanks sanity you summed it up perfectly

georgefrederickhandel Sat 30-Apr-16 11:44:01

I would just leave delicate and hand wash only items out of reach and let her get on with the rest of the laundry.

IWILLgiveupsugar Sat 30-Apr-16 11:47:26

I'd do what george said. I wouldn't want to risk offending someone who is lovely and helpful.

bigbuttons Sat 30-Apr-16 11:49:27

She sounds like a gem.

For what it's worth the best cleaners/mothers' helpers I had in the past were always from abroad. They were hard working, efficient and reliable. I found the British ones useless; they never got much done and were always off sick. Sure there are some home grown gems out there but I never came across them.

PPie10 Sat 30-Apr-16 11:53:30

For what it's worth the best cleaners/mothers' helpers I had in the past were always from abroad. They were hard working, efficient and reliable. I found the British ones useless; they never got much done and were always off sick.

This is my experience too.

SaucyJack Sat 30-Apr-16 12:22:36

You could always make out it's because you'd rather wash your used knickers yourself, if you wanted an exucse?

Marmalade85 Sat 30-Apr-16 12:39:41

OP mentioned the language barrier could be a problem so I suggested maybe employing someone who speaks English could solve this.

My mother (British) worked as a cleaner and would be on her hands and knees scrubbing floors for £5ph and my granny (Irish) worked hard as a cleaner (in London) her whole life until she was in her 70s and she was forced to stop so I have no issues with British v. Immigrant cleaners.

Marmalade85 Sat 30-Apr-16 12:40:28

Sanity see pp

Katinkka Sat 30-Apr-16 12:43:28

Also find foreign ladies to be better cleaners. Much better and less hassle. anyway, to the OP just hide your delicates.

PattiLevin Sat 30-Apr-16 12:45:57

But her some chocolates? Might sweeten it and let her know that you value her.

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