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Is this normal for a cleaner

(45 Posts)
APushoverForNow Mon 23-Apr-18 21:56:19

Hello, I've name changed for this but have posted a few times before.
I've had a tough year - one of my parents died last month, and the other is expected to pass away any time - could be days or possibly months. I work 25 hours a week, have twin DCs aged 10, and I visit my Mum 5 times a week in the hospice.
I'm giving this background to explain, and I'm willing to admit my judgement is well off at the mo, so if IABU I'll accept your better judgement.
We are comfortable financially in that ends meet with some treats, but far from well off (car 10+ years old and holidays are usually camping). We decided to employ a cleaner although it's a luxury borne out of necessity. Until last month when he died I was heavily involved in my Dad's day to day life to support him. We had one cleaner and she was amazing - in 2 hours she did vacuuming, cleaned kitchen (moving everything) and bathroom. 4 bed house. No dusting or anything else but that was fine. But she left for a career change.
I asked for recommendations to replace her on Facebook and a friend of a friend offered to clean - she already had another cleaning job. She does 2.5 hours a week for me, plus 2 hours once a fortnight at my parents (which doesn't need much as it's empty awaiting sale). We pay her £12 an hour and round here average is £10-£12 an hour, so is fair I think. Each week she writes down her hours and I leave money out - more than will cover it and we just carry forward a credit. We did it this way because I said if she needed to do less or more any week it was up to her, and I'd pay per hour. The following are the issues I've got:
1. We recently invested in a video doorbell. As a result I've discovered by chance that although she always writes down 2 hours 30 minutes, in fact she usually does 2 hours 10 or 15 mins. Not much but each week I'm paying for 15-20 mins she's not doing. I assume the same applies at my parents because the one time I was in and out while she cleaned, she left after 1 hour 40 but I just assumed she made it up other weeks (though in six weeks I've kept an eye on timings it's always short). She doesn't seem to try to hide it - if I'm about she still does it. I just hadn't realised until I saw the timings on the doorbell app.
2. This would all be ok if we'd agreed a per job rate but we didn't - it was always hourly and she writes it down. It would also be ok if my house was as clean as when the last cleaner did it, but it's a fair way off that. This lady moves nothing, so when I moved the knife block recently I found weeks worth of crumbs etc behind it. Ditto food mixer, bread bin, etc. She dusts a little but it's just a flick with a feather duster - no polish or damp wiping, so that accounts for the extra half hour compared to previous cleaner though the rest of the cleaning she does less than the previous lady.
3. She brings down 2 bins from upstairs bedroom and bathroom, and flings it all in to a large recycling box I have, along with various used jeyes cloths, paper towels and wipes she's used. I've pointed out that most this stuff isn't recyclable and she just says she knows that and that she puts it in there for me to sort. Which means it's mixed in with all the stuff already in the recycling bin and I end up rooting through taking out wipes etc that she's cleaned the loo with, and sorting the contents of 2 bins. I try to do this before she comes now to avoid the big sort, but she still flings the wipes, cloths, paper towels among the recycling.
4. When I popped in at my parents with the DC to give her a new key, she made a big point of telling the 3 of us that someone had left an unflushable poo in the toilet and it had taken her 4 goes to get rid. It was one of my DC I'm sure (who were horrified) but none of us realised it was there. We flush with lid down and I guess they didn't check. My cousin stayed at the house after my dad's funeral and the cleaning lady asked me afterwards to tell her next time to rinse her pubes down the plug hole. Mortifying and not nice but I didn't know they were there. I then found myself rinsing a few hairs away when the cousin stayed one night a week later.
Right now I'm not up for conflict, so I'll keep her for now as I simply don't have time or headspace to deal with this or with finding a trustworthy replacement. But my intention is when life eases off a little, I'll give her notice but I doubt I'll say why.
I don't know - AIBU and this is normal par for the course and I'm being petty? or is this unsatisfactory?
She is a nice lady, even came to Dad's funeral and she seems caring, I firmly believe she wouldn't steal items or cash, and she's nice to talk to. So there are pluses.
As I say, if it's me and I'm being harsh I'll accept that as my head is all over the place.

NotTakenUsername Mon 23-Apr-18 22:00:35

YANBU. Time for another cleaner op.

Ohdearyme2018 Mon 23-Apr-18 22:04:58

I would get a new cleaner and tell them straight off - “no need to write down your hours worked - I can see from my video caller when you arrive and leave”

Hellsbellscockleshells Mon 23-Apr-18 22:10:35

Mmmm...she does sound like she is cutting a lot of corners in not moving the knife block etc.
I have a cleaner who won’t move any furniture so behind the sofa, behind the bed under TV etc I have to do when I get time. But other than that she is fairly thorough. I tidy (pick up and put everybody’s things away before she comes so she can get on and properly clean (and our house isn’t that cluttered). Do you do this OP (it’s personal preference cleaner hasn’t asked me to do this).
Our cleaner comes once a fortnight £10 an hour for three hours. I have 3 bedrooms, front room, study, bathroom, downstairs toillet and backroom which is our main living space a living room, dining area, kitchen and we have mainly hard flooring downstairs and we also have a big hairy dog in the mix who is forever casting.
I think your cleaner is over stepping the mark with chucking all the cleaning cloths with your recycling especially after you have told her also by her other comments she seems a bit outspoken. I would maybe right a non offensiv note about this see if she gets the message that way.

Returnofthesmileybar Mon 23-Apr-18 22:11:44

Ya get rid and don't delay, she is adding to your stress not taking it away. Can you get a cleaner through an agency?

MrsEricBana Mon 23-Apr-18 22:13:05

Yes new cleaner needed. Hours thing is basically stealing and mentioning an unflushed poo is just not on - it's a bit unfortunate and nothing more and of course she shouldn't have mentioned it.
Sorry you are having such a hard time, I feel for you.

mysteryfairy Mon 23-Apr-18 22:20:28

She doesn't sound like a good fit and I agree you should give notice.

My brilliant cleaner is usually about 15 mins short of the 4 hrs she is paid for when I'm there, possibly more when I'm not. This doesn't overly bother me as she does a good job for the time and she does work flat out whilst she is working.

I would get over the recycling issue by ensuring the recycling box is empty then whatever she puts in you can dispose of. I don't mix recycling in my upstairs waste paper baskets to start with, perhaps the fact you have mixed rubbish has led her to conclude you are happy with separating it later?

BusterGonad Mon 23-Apr-18 22:22:03

The recycling thing would piss me right off, I'm not sure she'd be able to literally move everything and clean in 2 hours mind you, moaning about the poo and pubes is very cheeky unless it happens every time (which it doesn't). She sounds a bit rubbish and a bit rough (talking about personal things in front of your family).

APushoverForNow Mon 23-Apr-18 22:22:29

Thank you everyone, glad I've not totally lost it (yet!)
Yes hellsbells very little in way of clutter. I clear all surfaces before she comes. There might be a few bits about occasionally, but hardly anything, and she doesn't move it anyway. She stands the cushions up nicely though smile

BusterGonad Mon 23-Apr-18 22:24:10

Op do you put all rubbish and recycling in upstairs bins? If yes then I wouldn't expect my cleaner to sort them out, I don't think sorting out recycling/non recycling is the cleaners job tbh.

APushoverForNow Mon 23-Apr-18 22:29:45

Mysteryfairy yes I do sort the rubbish myself if I bring the waste bins down from bedrooms (which i try to do but often can't due to a drama), but not usually once she's thrown toilet cleaning wipes amongst it. I have asked her to put wipes etc straight into main bin and I opened the cupboard to show her the under sink main bin, in case she's never found it, but still she does it.
Ah no, Buster she does 2.5 hours and I don't expect her to move it all every week - just the knife block, toaster every now and then, etc. She certainly could move those things in the 15-20 mins she cuts short.

LoveYouTimMinchin Mon 23-Apr-18 22:32:37

I'm amazed you have time to post about all of this given your circumstances op.

APushoverForNow Mon 23-Apr-18 22:33:22

Buster no I wouldn't expect that - it's something she started doing that my old cleaner didn't. I've told her it's fine to leave the bins for me, but she still does it. She says it gives her something to put her dirty wipes, cloths in to bring downstairs.
However, even if I empty the upstairs bin, and leave the recycling bin empty, I then still find all the used toilet cleaning wipes, jeyes cloths, and sometimes the empty (but recyclable) packs they came in, all in the recycling bin, so I still have to take them out. Small thing, but on top of the rest it's getting annoying.

APushoverForNow Mon 23-Apr-18 22:36:15

LoveYou to be fair, I have more time since my Dad died. I know Mum is well looked after and I visit her to see her, rather than to care for her. I don't visit her in the evenings, she's asleep by 7. Hence an evening post, something to do as I attempt to wind down - it's my first post in over two months.

BusterGonad Mon 23-Apr-18 22:38:12

I agree Op the knife block toaster etc could easily be moved for a clean, but regarding other posters saying about moving beds etc that's really what I'd class as a deep clean, or something specified once a month etc. it's back breaking work.

AhNowTed Mon 23-Apr-18 22:38:21

Surely under the kettle, bread bin, juicer etc is the bare essentials.

I wouldn't be happy at all.

WeirdyMcBeardy Mon 23-Apr-18 22:50:22

LoveYouTimMinchin sorry MN Police. OP can do whatever the fuck she likes!

YANBU. She sounds very unprofessional and crap at her job. The bin thing makes her sound like a twat. You are employing her therefore if you tell her not to do something, she doesn't get to decide otherwise.

APushoverForNow Mon 23-Apr-18 22:51:48

Buster I definitely wouldn't expect her to move beds or furniture! It is just a few small appliances in kitchen (eg. slow cooker, toaster) /knife block etc.

APushoverForNow Mon 23-Apr-18 22:52:52

Thank you Weirdy

YippeeTipTap Mon 23-Apr-18 22:56:52

I wouldn’t want her cleaning for me either.

BerylStreep Mon 23-Apr-18 23:00:00

No, I wouldn't be happy and would stop using her services, even if you don't have a replacement.

The issue with the bins / recycling - I have this with my cleaner, and every time I raise it she looks at me as if I am mad, and of course she knows which is the recycling and which is general waste - then does the complete opposite. She otherwise does a good job, so I try to make sure I sort the bins beforehand to reduce this.

But the other things - leaving consistently early, and by 20 minutes at a time; and the commenting on poonamis and pubes - absolutely not. She is stealing from you and trying to shame you to cover it.

flowers I'm sorry for your loss and your ongoing stresses, but this cleaner isn't helping you I'm afraid. Time to look for someone else, and think about doing it yourself in the interim. A tip from another thread, is that if you are going to stop the services of someone who has your keys, wait until they arrive and then ask for the keys back there and then.

BackforGood Mon 23-Apr-18 23:03:33

YANBU at all. The throwing all the rubbish into the recycling sounds completely bizarre - especially after you've mentioned it (ruling out any possible confusion about 'systems'). confused

I like OhDearyMe's reply at the top of the thread. Again, if she were thinking it's a 'fee for the job' rather than a 'pay per hour', why would she write down the hours? By writing down that she's doing hours she isn't, she is lying, and, by lying, that is effectively stealing. On that alone, I'd give her her notice now, tbh. The longer you allow it to go on, the more difficult it will become.

Linguaphile Mon 23-Apr-18 23:06:28

I wouldn't be happy at all with that. I've been through a few like yours who don't work they hours they are paid for, don't pay attention to detail, etc. Our current cleaner though is brilliant; she does our 5 bed house in 4 hours every other week (so maybe a bit different to you), but she's extremely thorough. She wipes down everything, moves the furniture to hoover and mop underneath, cleans out the oven and microwave, tidies away the children's toys, does all the windows and scrubs the bathrooms till they sparkle, etc. My house feels like a different place once she's gone. IMO it's worth it to let your current cleaner go and find someone like your old cleaner who does a good job as you can definitely tell the difference.

ViceAdmiralAmilynHoldo Mon 23-Apr-18 23:07:02

The rubbish/recycling thing sounds disgusting.
Time for a new cleaner on that front alone.

WatchoutDSisdriving Mon 23-Apr-18 23:07:26

She doesn’t sound great.

I must say though that in my experience the cleaners I have had have nearly always done short of their paid hours. We have an alarm and I can see the time it was cancelled and reset.

I think my cleaner forgets this as last week she was here 1hr 40 mins for her 2.5hrs paid time. I am happy with anything over 2hrs 15mins but I thought that was taking the piss a bit. Particularly as she knows the system and I told her lying about time was why I had sacked the previous lady.

She is usually ten minutes short when I am here and I made the decision that I am ok with that for what I pay but 45mins short she should really have done something extra (there are plenty of things she does not have time to do each week).

Sorry OP have gone into my own story, so ime time is often an issue but the cheeky comments are really out of order.

I would be looking for someone new.

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