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(27 Posts)
SoberBee Wed 19-Oct-16 15:57:31

First world problems I know...

So I have four kids and my home is a happy, sometimes messy home. Before the cleaners come the kids tidy their rooms, I make sure floors and surfaces are clear and it's pretty much as tidy as I can make it so that cleaning is easier for them. I am normally out when they come but if I see them I always say things like, "I am trying to stay afloat amongst the toys etc, sorry if I missed clearing anything, hope it's ok..." They always say it's fine, no problem.

My cleaners recently started working for my mother, on my recommendation. Today my mother tells me they were chatting to her and mentioned that my house is very "challenging" and were laughing about this.
I joked it off when my mother told me but am I being over sensitive to feel a bit peeved they had an in joke, and discussed this like this? It seems unprofessional at least, but I feel a bit humiliated and judged too.... Am I being silly?

chickenowner Wed 19-Oct-16 16:00:35

It sounds unprofessional to me as well. I'd be annoyed and would wonder who else the cleaner was discussing her clients with.

Idratherbeaunicorn Wed 19-Oct-16 16:01:50

YANBU - a) they are being unprofessional and b) the fact that you're clearing away before they suggests that they only need to do half a job anyway!

Ilovewillow Wed 19-Oct-16 16:02:42

YANBU - I would be peeved if our cleaner had said this, it's really unprofessional!

Goosewings Wed 19-Oct-16 16:18:10

It could be that your Mum lead this conversation and the cleaner went along with it to bond with her new client.

Mum:Every time I round to sober's house there are toys everywhere. It might be a nightmare to clean.
Cleaner: (with a nervous giggle) Well sometimes it can be a little challenging.

It's not great but I really don't think you need to worry. They were just making conversation and it was bound to be about you as you are the link.

TheCatsMother99 Wed 19-Oct-16 16:28:22

I think it does depend on how they said it and whether it was promoted or not like Goosewings suggested.

If they actually said it without any 'help' from your mum then they were very unprofessional and I'd actually be pretty upset by it.

SoberBee Wed 19-Oct-16 16:39:30

They were commenting how clean my mum's house it, very different from mine hahaha....

SoberBee Wed 19-Oct-16 16:39:55


topcat2014 Wed 19-Oct-16 16:45:45

I wasn't aware there is some kind of 'cleaners code' like the hippocratic oath.

Are you perhaps a bit of a hoarder but not noticing?

SoberBee Wed 19-Oct-16 16:51:55

No definitely not a hoarder but I have four kids under 10 and struggle to do it all so have a cleaner to help out. The place is relatively tidy but there is toy clutter - ie dolls house, toy kitchen, baby walker, art and craft area, reading corner - so it's very very child friendly and my lounge looks like a nursery and the rest of the house is similar. Things are tidy (ish) when they come, but there is a lot of stuff. So perhaps that is challenging, but i don't expect them to laugh about it with my mother....

Viviene Wed 19-Oct-16 16:59:36

YANBU ffs what is it with the cleaners judging people's houses? If your house was tidy all the time they would be out of work! You hire them because a) you feel the need to and b) you can afford to pay them.
If you go for an interview one of je things is to never ever say anything negative about your ex employer. Why is it suddenly different for cleaners?
I'd get rid of but I'm a mean cow :-)

ImperialBlether Wed 19-Oct-16 17:01:52

I would fire them for that. I would hate the thought of them laughing about my house and talking to my mother about it. I wouldn't want them in my house again and I'd tell them why.

Pumpkintopf Wed 19-Oct-16 17:02:59

Agree with Viviene, they've been very unprofessional speaking to your mum about your house like this.

yesterdaysunshine Wed 19-Oct-16 17:03:37

No, they are out of order, although I agree 'unprofessional' isn't the correct word. It's just about good manners.

That being said, do check it wasn't your mother who led the discussion. Mine almost certainly would have.

SoberBee Wed 19-Oct-16 17:06:38

My mother is actually pretty lovely and I can't imagine her saying anything bad about me or my house. From what she says it came from them as they were comparing our houses :-(

ChequeOff Wed 19-Oct-16 17:12:57

Slightly off the point but how many cleaners are there OP? You mention them in plural. Also, how did your mum respond? Was she cross on your behalf?

SoberBee Wed 19-Oct-16 17:16:42

There are two, they come together and do it.
My mother said she raised her eyebrows and left the room - if they knew her like I do they would know that means they're in trouble! :-)

yesterdaysunshine Wed 19-Oct-16 17:18:01

In that case, I think you are justified in curtly stating that you didn't appreciate their opinions being shared and therefore you won't require their services from now on.

I would personally feel very belittled by this.

Lewwat Wed 19-Oct-16 17:21:26

They didn't say your house was a shit tip? They said it was more challenging compared to your mother's. Which it is.

DustOffYourHighestHopes Wed 19-Oct-16 17:22:49

Challenging is a very polite word. I think it's fine.

ImperialBlether Wed 19-Oct-16 17:31:03

I don't think they had any right to say anything about your house, unless it was purely a compliment. You have to trust people who do work inside your house - it's a very personal thing. I would hate them to be critical of it to someone else.

wholettooth Wed 19-Oct-16 17:39:54

The thing is cleaning a house with one or two adults is completely different to a house with three children. There's bound to be much more stuff/dirt/mess.
I suspect your mum made a jokey comment about your house and the cleaner was just trying to make light of it.
If it bothers you ask your cleaner if she's happy with her working conditions.

ChequeOff Wed 19-Oct-16 18:01:43

I'm starting to get the picture OP. So, what does your DM think about the cleaners then? Because from what you say, sounds like she doesn't approve of the comments hence why she relayed it back to you.

Farmerinthoseclothes Wed 19-Oct-16 18:09:02

I think you are being a bit over-sensitive. I have been a cleaner and one house in particular I would say was more challenging because they had a muddy/moulting dog. It wasn't a criticism of how prepared they were for my visit, just a recognition of the particular difficulty in cleaning that house. Since then I have had many cleaners in my own houses and would not be offended if they said mine was challenging - kids toys, food etc is challenging to clean.

It depends on the context I suppose and none of us were there - if your mother thought it was rude then you will probably want to trust her judgement and that's fair enough. But I can see a comment like this being perfectly innocuous chit chat. If you think they do a good job I certainly wouldn't fire them since decent cleaners are really hard to get (around here anyway).

Enidblyton1 Wed 19-Oct-16 18:12:03

I wouldn't worry, they were probably just making conversation with a new client. You have 4 kids and presumably there are just 2 adults living in your parents house? Well of course your house is going to be more challenging! Nothing to feel ashamed of. Sounds like you go out of your way to tidy up, so I can understand why you feel a bit sensitive about it. But honestly, I wouldn't give it another thought.

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