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Cleaner advice please

(11 Posts)
AyeOopMoose Sat 03-Nov-12 20:27:05

We've had a cleaner for about 12 months. When she first came she said she thought it would take her 4 hours and I agreed that this is what I thought too.

When she started I gave her a list of everything I wanted done in each room and how often. I also have a big tidy up the night before she comes so house is clutter free.

After a while I noticed that some areas were "building up" eg skirting boards despite having asked them to be done every so often. Had a chat with her and suggested she do another hour- so 5 hours in total.

Initially it looked like it had worked but now I feel she's not doing as much as she should. She often tells me she's tired and when I pointed out some areas she said that she really should wear her glasses!

The problem is she is a nice woman and I trust her but she is v slow and doesn't clean some areas as well as she should. For example this week, I told her to miss one of the rooms out but found thick dust on some doorframes/TVs, glass on the kitchen floor and had to re clean the stairs.

Should I say something? If so what? Or should I just stick with the devil you know? I'm usually quite assertive but find this difficult and DH is fed up with me moaning about the cleaner! Am I expecting too much 5 hours for a 3 bed cottage with one basket of ironing?

Onlyaphase Sat 03-Nov-12 20:30:46

She is taking the piss IMO and I'd be highly surprised if she is spending 5 hours in your house cleaning.

Can you be around on one of her cleaning days to check when she arrives and what she does?

AyeOopMoose Sat 03-Nov-12 20:50:45

I do pop in and out and she always seems to be doing something-albeit somewhat half heartedly at times.

I can't really stay in when she's there as I have 2 v young DC and it would be too stressful. I like to give her a free run IYSWIM to make it easier for her.

NorthernNumpty Sat 03-Nov-12 20:54:14

5 hours a week???!! In a 3 bed cottage??!!

We have two hours a week in a bigger house and don't have to do any cleaning ourselves really.

You need to find a new cleaner, trustworthy is one thing but you are throwing money away.

chickydoo Sat 03-Nov-12 20:56:55

I live in a 6 bed house ( old, so lots of funny shapes) with 4 receps. We have cleaners once a fortnight for 6 hours.
They do a great job. There are 2 of them so 3 hours each. Like you OP I do a big tidy up the night before, they come in and blitz... Don't even stop for a cuppa.
I think your cleaner is taking the Pi..

emsyj Sat 03-Nov-12 21:06:03

We used to have a cleaner like this. We had a 2 bed flat (decent size, large living room but not enormous by any means) and she said she did 5 hours, but didn't do any ironing or anything. Now I look back I know she was taking the piss, but at the time I just trusted her when she said that was how long it would take. In those days it was just me and DH, no kids, we both worked long hours and were hardly there. One week when she was on holiday I cleaned the flat on a Saturday morning and did everything to a higher standard than she ever had in 2 hours. hmm

Eventually I worked out that she was doing her own laundry whilst she was round - we kept finding random things in the washing machine that weren't ours. Then one day I was off work on the day she usually came and I sat there and sat there waiting for her to turn up, until at about 4pm the key went in the door and she was there with her husband and son. Goodness knows what they thought they would be doing in our flat - and clearly she couldn't have been doing 5 hours at that time, DH would have been home by 7.30pm. That was the final straw really, we told her we were moving house and that she was no longer needed.

AyeOopMoose Sat 03-Nov-12 21:31:23

OK so general feeling is she is taking the piss. What do I do/say though? Do I say something to her, if so what? Or do I try and find another and if I do that what do I say to original one?

AyeOopMoose Sat 03-Nov-12 21:32:23

Oh and OMG emsyj shock

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sat 03-Nov-12 21:35:28

Why don't you try getting her to come one day to do the cleaning for 2.5 hours and another day to 'freshen things up' and do the ironing - see if splitting it helps? If she's older (not sure she is, just sounds like it) she might be finding it quite hard to go at 100% for 5 hours. Not your problem I know, but someone you like & trust is a good start. If that doesn't work you can always look for someone else, but it's not easy. Hardest thing in the world to recruit IMO.

emsyj Sat 03-Nov-12 21:36:00

I know, it's so hard to say anything even when you know they are taking the piss out of you! You could try cutting her hours first? Say you can't afford 5 hours any more and ask what she could get done in 2. If you're lucky she might say 2 hours isn't worth her while and then you're out of it... But the 'we can't afford the luxury of a cleaner any more' is probably a good way to go.

ImperialFireworksInMyKnickers Sat 03-Nov-12 21:45:30

The charitable bit of me is thinking she's getting too old to work at the rate of knots she used to.
The other bit is remembering one of Parkinson's Laws, the one about work expanding to fill the time available.

Like emsyj's suggestion.

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