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AIBU?

To not want to clean for a male client?

140 replies

AsdaTesco · 10/10/2018 14:08

Ok, hear me out first. I put an ad on gumtree, Nextdoor app and Facebook. People started to text me saying they were looking for a cleaner. Great, one person texted me from gumtree on my number. I didn't know if it was a man or woman at first, found out later he was a man. Saying he was looking for a cleaner etc, anyway I saw his picture on whatsapp and it put me off, not a bad picture but it made me feel uncomfortable. So I didn't respond to him anymore.

Anyway two lovely ladies contacted me on the nextdoor app, I'm due to see them next week. But it got me thinking, AIBU to feel uncomfortable cleaning for a male client? What are other cleaners view on this? And how do you deal with it? Not saying I'm refusing to clean for a male client, but what can I do to feel comfortable about it?

As a woman I feel so uncomfortable and vulnerable when men respond to my ad online saying they need a cleaner, to go into their homes and not know what they're capable of. At least with a woman I feel comfortable. Someone else texted me today, but I don't know if it's a man or woman, AIBU to ask? Would you be offended?

Looking forward to hearing from you guys.

OP posts:
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AsdaTesco · 10/10/2018 14:09

I also wear hijab, don't know if it matters tbh

OP posts:
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kaytee87 · 10/10/2018 14:10

I don't think you can ask them (well you could but it would look strange).
I don't think I'd want to be on my own in a strange mans house either tbh.

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HolesinTheSoles · 10/10/2018 14:11

I would have thought that even if a woman contacts you she may well live with a man (who might be in) and vice versa. I wouldn't have thought it was a particularly dangerous situation - you can let someone know where you'll be and will presumably work for the same people for months at a time.

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HolesinTheSoles · 10/10/2018 14:12

You could specify that you prefer to work when the homeowners are out? (lots of people have cleaners in when they're out at work anyway).

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AsdaTesco · 10/10/2018 14:12

@HolesinTheSoles see I don't mind that, don't mind a couple. But a male living on his own is my problem.

OP posts:
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Mummydearest12 · 10/10/2018 14:13

Yanbu if you feel vulnerable but maybe put it on your ad or the menfolk might think it’s personal not a general rule iyswim

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Namelessinseattle · 10/10/2018 14:14

I then you can do what you like. So even if you agree and arrive and someone’s house and feel uncomfortable you can leave whenever you want- assuming you haven’t been paid or are happy to return the money. Not an ideal way to run a business but better to be comfortable in your job.

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weaving5688 · 10/10/2018 14:17

@AsdaTesco - i don't think you need a rule, you listened to your gut which was telling you something was off about this man, I'd treat it on a case by case basis. My friend put a childcare ad up on gumtree and she definitely had several people contacting her who were a bit strange.

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ltk · 10/10/2018 14:18

Ask to meet the potential clients, in a public space if you prefer. They can explain their needs and you can explain what you will/ won't clean and pricing/ preferences/etc. You will probably weed out a lot of women you don't want to work for too!

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Babycham1979 · 10/10/2018 14:19

Well, I think it's your choice, jsut as it's the choice of the Christian bakers ont to make a 'gay' cake. Howeever, I do think it's pretty odd of you.

Similarly someone could choose to deny providing a servic someone becuase they're black, or...they wear a hijab. Women in burkas and niqabs make me feel incredibly uncomfortable, and I wouldn't want a strange one in my home. Would I deny them a service becuse of this? Nope. That would be pretty unpleasant behaviour if I did.

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Babycham1979 · 10/10/2018 14:21

How would you feel if someone decided not too serive you or to provide a service becasue your hijab or your skin colour or sex made them 'feel uncomfortable'?

Pretty shitty, I'd imagine.

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ElainaElephant · 10/10/2018 14:21

I'm a solo female worker too. I work with both men and women. It's a different job, and while I haven't had any issues with anyone when I've been working with them, I have had to be careful and weed out some potential male clients because they are looking for something that I don't offer.

The crucial difference is that I work from my premises. I would feel much less secure working from their home.

You can chose the clients that suit you. You might, for example, work for solo male clients if they have been recommended by people you know and trust, but not ones that you have no connecting to. Or you can choose not to work with them at all.

Yanbu. He is probably very genuine. The vast majority are. But it is your business and you need to run it in a way that suits you. And that's ok.

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dinkydonky · 10/10/2018 14:22

I actually think YABU and sexist if you reject clients on the basis of them being men. If it's something specific this man did that made you uncomfortable then YANBU.

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letsdolunch321 · 10/10/2018 14:23

Rather than ignoring the man and him feeling that is rude of you, I would send him a reply saying currently my workload is up to full capacity therefore I am not taking any more clients.

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Bombardier25966 · 10/10/2018 14:28

I agree with Babycham's second paragraph, it's not fair to not provide a service purely by virtue of someone's gender (faith etc). I don't have a problem with women wearing hijabs, but I'd be disgusted with anyone that refused you a service because of your choice to do so.

In reference to the Christian bakers case, the same principles do not apply here. The (original) claimant was not refused service because he was gay, the bakers would have made him a cake with a non political message on it.

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Bombardier25966 · 10/10/2018 14:29

Posted too soon...

It still remains unlawful to refuse a service based on someone's protected characteristic.

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TheQueef · 10/10/2018 14:29

I would think wiping 50% of the market out will restrict you.

If you are concerned about proprietary couldn't you take a friend?

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Secretsquirrel252 · 10/10/2018 14:30

Trust your instincts.

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firstevernamechange · 10/10/2018 14:31

I've been working as a private tutor and have as such gone onto people's houses.

It's generally a good idea to turn down people who make you uncomfortable and to be proactive about your security. I make sure my phone is fully charged and i can reach my partner in two clicks, I don't accept lifts unless I know the client very well and I make sure my movements can be traced.

I think from a business pov yabu to discriminate against men as a blanket rule because this could put women and families off who want to use your services, it's lost money and it is nit exactly fair.
Having said that- it's your business amd you set your own conditions.

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Bombardier25966 · 10/10/2018 14:31

@letsdolunch321 Would you suggest the same if the OP wanted to refuse service based on the potential client being a Jew?

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Tawdrylocalbrouhaha · 10/10/2018 14:33

I think you would lose a lot of business! Back when I and my friends were young and single, it was the men who paid for a cleaner (and they would all have been at work when their cleaner came).

At the end of the day you can just say you're too busy, and they will find someone else. But I bet they would be easier to clean for, based on my chambermaid days.

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Sarahjconnor · 10/10/2018 14:33

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Aprilislonggone · 10/10/2018 14:35

I work for 4 separate single men. Never had any issues tbh. Mostly they are out /keep out of my way!!
Work is work and I can't afford to be picky!!

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Lweji · 10/10/2018 14:35

You are your own free agent, you decide who you work for.

I'd say trust your instincts. If you're not comfortable with anyone for whatever reason, don't work for them.

Having said that, if you worked for a couple, and you ended up working while he was there or you never saw the woman, wouldn't it be the same thing?

Make sure someone else has all the contacts and addresses of anyone you work for, just as a general safety measure, but it's not likely that a man will hire you as a cleaner just to abuse you. Too risky.

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Ghanagirl · 10/10/2018 14:36

This isn’t about race it’s about gender the two arn’t the same.

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