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To contact cleaning company about lack of distancing?

(38 Posts)
TheVamoosh Tue 30-Jun-20 01:37:21

This is more of a "what would you do".

Our new cleaner came in today wearing her mask over her mouth only (not her nose). She did not keep 2m distance, made lots of friendly small talk and several times leaned over the children to talk to them, leaving a gap of maybe 0.5 m at times. When she was finished, she stayed for about 20 minutes after her 3 hours of cleaning and had a cup of coffee in our kitchen, using our coffee, milk and sugar (but she had her own travel cup.)

Of course I don't begrudge her a cup of coffee and I understand why she might need a break given that she didn't have her own car and may be going straight to the next job, BUT all of these factors together made me feel uncomfortable as they signal a rather cavalier attitude towards social distancing. I doubt she wore the mask properly, if at all, on the bus or in anyone elses home.

I'm not sure it matters that she touched a couple of things in the fridge and cupboard, given that she touched so many other things in our house, or that she stayed an extra 20 minutes to have her drink, but I feel that it was unnecessary to spend extra time here.

I can't really clean my own house as I have a physical disability and am looking after two young DC. DH works very long hours. It really helps my mental health to have this help normally, but all of this made me feel a bit stressed today.

She's a new cleaner as our regular recently returned to her home country.

WIBU to contact the cleaning company? I don't want to cause problems for her but I'm not sure how else I can approach it. She doesn't speak that much English but they speak her language and may be able to explain to her.

She was also telling DH (she speaks his language a little bit) that she wants to return to her home country "but they want me to get to get a vaccine which I won't be doing".

I have mild social phobia and it stresses me out having people in my home regardless of Covid. It would stress me even more of things became awkward with her. I feel like I'm in for some awkwardness either way.

Alternatively, I could buy her a reusable mask that covers the nose properly and ask her to use it when she's here?

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TheVamoosh Tue 30-Jun-20 01:40:23

(I included what she said about the "vaccine" to illustrate that she doesn't seem to have a very good understanding of the virus or the rules.)

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Finfintytint Tue 30-Jun-20 01:44:45

Meh. Just keep washing your hands. We have to live with the virus now.

Mamette Tue 30-Jun-20 01:46:09

I think you should do your best to communicate with her directly while she’s at your home, rather than going to the agency.

Just ask her to put her mask on properly. People with English as a second language can usually understand an awful lot more than they can speak, so don’t assume her comprehension is at the same level as her speaking.

If you complain to the agency and they speak to her it will be more awkward when she next comes, surely.

gotothecooler Tue 30-Jun-20 01:46:08

I think you either let people into your home or you don't. Maybe just cancel the cleaner if it's causing you such a problem.

TheVamoosh Tue 30-Jun-20 01:48:53

Thanks everyone, maybe you're right that I should just accept it. I'm not 100% safe anyway when I leave the house or have food deliveries, etc.

I can't really cancel the cleaning as my house would look like shit and poor DH who works his ass off all day in a very demanding job would never get a break.

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TheVamoosh Tue 30-Jun-20 01:50:53

Good point about the language barrier. Maybe she does understand more than it appears. She knows more of DH's language so maybe I'll ask him to do it.

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TheVamoosh Tue 30-Jun-20 01:52:47

None of us are in a risk group and we're mid 30's so I guess the risk is not particularly high. (My disability is the result of an injury, not an illness.)

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ArgumentativeAardvaark Tue 30-Jun-20 01:55:27

I have never heard of a cleaner sitting down and helping herself to coffee after finishing the job, unless offered one. Did you offer one?

If she is from a reputable agency then yes, contact them to discuss the mask and social distancing. Remember it is to protect her as well as you and they have a responsibility to her as their employee. She’ll have been doing The same in other houses so if they raise it with her in general terms she won’t know it was you.

TheVamoosh Tue 30-Jun-20 02:01:31

I have never heard of a cleaner sitting down and helping herself to coffee after finishing the job, unless offered one. Did you offer one?

No. I was upstairs breastfeeding and DH realised she was still here after her time was up. He went to check if she needed anything and told me "she was just having a coffee and then she'll be going".

I did think it was slightly strange but at the same time I would probably offer other people who work in my house for three hours a coffee or tea. (Then again I didn't offer...)

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TheVamoosh Tue 30-Jun-20 02:06:25

Good points, Aardvark. It's a very good and professional cleaning company. I guess I could just ask them to reiterate the distancing rules and specifically ask them not to mention that it was me who raised it to avoid any awkwardness.

(I'm up breastfeeding, hence all the posting at 2am...)

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ArgumentativeAardvaark Tue 30-Jun-20 02:12:40

I am up posting because my robot vacuum just woke me up by getting stuck and beeping. Perhaps it was on its way to make itself a coffee grin.

Glad you will raise with the agency. They won’t reprimand her I’m sure, just restate the training.

TheVamoosh Tue 30-Jun-20 03:25:44

Haha, we have a robot vacuum too and I find it stuck most mornings!

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IgiveupallthenamesIwantedareg0 Tue 30-Jun-20 03:32:20

Are you being reasonable? NO -you have an injury which means you can't keep your own home clean, you have a cleaner who comes and does this for you and you are questioning whether she should have a cup of coffee when her "shift" is finished??? You are complaining about how she wears her mask, touching things in your home - how is she supposed to keep your home clean?And you are considering informing her agency. I suggest you get down to the nearest GRIP STORE A.S.A.P.

Wyntersdiary Tue 30-Jun-20 04:09:55

trust me its unusual for a cleaner to have a coffee whilst in a clients house. i would be telling the agency that rather than the social distancing stuff o_0

Ive never had a cleaner just have a drink unless it was a drink they had brought with them to drink during cleaning

TheVamoosh Tue 30-Jun-20 04:30:16


I do pay her for the service she provides, she's not just doing me a favour out of the goodness of her heart, you know. But I think you've decided to misunderstand everything I wrote.

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Pixxie7 Tue 30-Jun-20 04:33:50

So your happy for someone to come and clean your house for 3 hrs, providing she ignores your kids and doesn’t get thirsty.
Why don’t you provide a mask and some gloves and tell her to bring her own drink.

EveryDayIsADuvetDay Tue 30-Jun-20 05:18:10

YABU - I wouldn't expect someone to be working in my home for three hours and not offer them a drink, particularly something physical like cleaning. If you didn't offer, maybe she should have asked if it was OK, but sounds as it there's a language barrier.
At least she's not taken twenty minutes out of the time that you're paying her.

eaglejulesk Tue 30-Jun-20 05:36:03

Ive never had a cleaner just have a drink unless it was a drink they had brought with them to drink during cleaning

Wow - just wow! I'm glad I don't work for you.

My father had a cleaner, she was only there for an hour, but if it was morning tea time they had a coffee together, and my mother used to clean years ago - pretty sure she stopped for a coffee break and a chat with her employers.

DianaT1969 Tue 30-Jun-20 06:54:15

Can you go out next time? Less the with another person. Air the property well during and after the clean. Anti viral wipes on high traffic surfaces when you return. It might lower your anxiety around it. Knowing that 1 in 1700 people are believed to have it (on average) helped me when I had to travel a lot by public transport last week.

DianaT1969 Tue 30-Jun-20 06:56:00

Coffee shops and cafes are closed. Of course she should be able to have a coffee in her workplace.

HelloDulling Tue 30-Jun-20 07:00:39

I would either:
Go out next time she comes, or
Ring agency and ask for a new cleaner

Westfacing Tue 30-Jun-20 07:05:25

Three hours cleaning, particularly with a mask on, is hard work and I wouldn't begrudge her a coffee at the end of her shift, before she goes off to the next one.

It's a cultural thing I suppose that she just made it herself without asking you, but not a hanging offence. She's not a robot so it's reasonable for her to chat as she goes about her work. It's difficult to distance in a domestic setting - I thought you were about to complain about the office cleaner getting too close.

Did she do a good job of the cleaning?

user1493413286 Tue 30-Jun-20 07:08:48

I would ask her to keep a distance in any way that you can communicate it before going to her cleaning company; we’ve agreed with my cleaner that we’ll stick to different rooms while she cleans which to be honest is what I did anyway to let her just go on with it and as much as possible I try to go out for walks etc some of the times she’s here.
I find the coffee thing odd to be honest unless she was offered it.

DocusDiplo Tue 30-Jun-20 07:10:09

Can you keep your children away or say they're not well so please stay away?

I would never think to ring an agency about something like this. It seems a bit petty - just say it to her if you have a problem.

And I wouldn't help myself to milk from a house but if she has, oh well. Just leave the bits out for her next time so she doesn't need to open the fridge?

I'm sorry but, please, just be grateful for what you do have.

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