Friday, 15 August 2014

"Dettol Deliberations"

I think the world over it's quite common for one to 'clean up for the cleaner' before they arrive.  A sort of pre-wash stain treatment as it were, for the extraneous filth which can settle like dust over the general mess and disarray of the typical kiddie-fied home.

But I wonder if anyone has ever had to clean up after their cleaner?

I ask, because after taking the children out for four hours today to let the lady do her job, I arrived back to find that she wanted a word with me before she left.  Immediately I was filled with trepidation.  For two weeks ago she broke into smithereens a very expensive limited edition designer bedside lamp I adored.  And last week when she was upstairs doing our bedroom there was an almighty crash that caused me to jump out of my seat and tear upstairs, only to discover that my lovely art deco mirror had come crashing to the floor.  I solemnly asked her to just leave the polishing to me from now on.

So today when she wanted a word, I was relieved to hear that nothing was broken - only that our large creme John Lewis bedroom rug was soaked from having been left outside and not brought in during the sudden deluge that hit around 2pm today (sigh).


The bigger problem you see is that our cleaner is apparently nicking things as of late (a friend of mine fired her a month ago over the continued helping herself to fairly substantial quantities of gourmet chocolates and some self-tanning gel.  Go figure.  Even my sis (who I also recommended my cleaner to) has openly caught her trying on her expensive makeup (urgh....the hygiene implications don't bear thinking about).

As for me?  Well, I guess I have noticed the odd thing missing, but then I'm a silly old stupid softie at heart - and unless she takes something expensive or irreplaceable I guess I've given to turning a blind eye. The husband, wisely, has insisted we tell bid her 'bye-bye' for several months now, but frankly I've been incredibly reluctant to do so.

First off, the weekly four hour clean keeps this place from looking like the set from 'Slumdog Millionaire'...for a day or so anyway until the boy scum builds up again. Thief or not I ain't letting her go until I find a replacement.  End of.

Secondly, I can't help imagining what I would feel like in her place.

I mean working for a young(okay fine...young-ish) woman with a wardrobe to die for, top of the line cosmetics, and enough shoes to rival Imelda Marcos would drive a minimum wage young foreigner batty were she that way inclined.  As for my jewellery - until recently I used to have it splayed out like some sort of pop-up Portobello Market around the bedroom, and could totally picture her trying some of it on and maybe slipping the odd piece into her pocket thinking - no, KNOWING - that i would never  notice its absence.

Finally, like I said yesterday, I've kind of gotten used to losing a lot of what I hold dear.  The boys have all gone through stages of nicking my stuff (sparkly expensive jewellery being a favourite) and many a time I have found a treasured ring buried deep in a pile of plastic Go-Go's and broken toy cars.  Since springing the sprogs I've been conditioned to accept personal possession loss and destruction on a big scale.

On the other hand, today when she left and I found that SHE had left a little mess for me to clean up?  Well I saw red.  I was like 'WTF??!'....clearing up after ONE more PERSON?!  Are you KIDDING me?
Seriously??...AND a soaked rug?!
Yeah so...maybe it's time to start making plans for other options.  In fact after I post this I'll open my reminder app on my iphone and add it to the ever growing list of things I desperately need to do. (Think i'm up to number 17 actually - and that's not including long term to-do's like my most shameful:  claim travel insurance for emergency dental work in Bali in 2010.  I kid you not.)

But you know what?  Even as I type this, I think we both know that my sticky fingered duster and (former) polisher ain't going nowhere.  In fact has nothing to worry about.  For a long, long time.


  1. You definitely need to fire her! Seriously, if she thinks you don't care about little things, she might go on to bigger things. I have had a number of cleaners, good and bad, but no-one has ever nicked stuff OR left a mess. You could find someone a lot better, very easily!

  2. At the risk of being accused of "first world problems", I feel your pain. I love my cleaner but she reschedules me at the drop of a hat despite the fact that we are supposed to have (and have had until recently) a fixed schedule - 4 hours on a Friday. There's some rich hint who gives her lots of baby-sitting as well as cleaning so last week, when her "laundry lady" didn't show up, she phones our cleaner (who was on her way to my house) and my cleaner literally started driving to her house, phones me and said she'd come the following day WTF? She doesn't break things, nor does she steal, but the tail is definitely wagging the dog.
    In your case however, I think the cleaner has to go.


Let me know what you think!