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How do I tell my cleaner she's doing a rubbish job?

(85 Posts)
TinyTwo Thu 31-Mar-16 16:47:44

She's been this morning and I've come back and although it looks like she's vacuumed and done some dusting, I also keep coming across areas she's missed. My bedside table is thick with dust. I purposefully left it this week to see if she'd notice. There's sticky residue on one of the kitchen counters, none of the things on the fireplace have been moved... Am I expecting too much? And more importantly why am I so frightened of telling her I'm unhappy?!

aggie Thu 31-Mar-16 16:53:42

I give my cleaner a list of things I want done , but often find she has noticed that other things need it more ! Maybe the washing machine has finished so she hangs it out , or the floors need washed ........... but we rub along ok . Not sure if I could challenge her about not cleaning properly !

annsixty Thu 31-Mar-16 16:54:57

No you are not expecting too much, you are paying her to do a good job. However when it comes to telling her you may be a coward like me. I hate any confrontation and would make up an excuse as to why you won't need her any more eg a family member will be doing it for you or you really can't afford it any more. You could also say you are emigrating wink

ginny Thu 31-Mar-16 17:06:13

Surely if she is not doing the job she is paid to do then she needs to be told. If she doesn't like it she can leave.

Tizliz Thu 31-Mar-16 17:10:50

Perhaps a good idea would be to draw up a list and discuss how much of it she can do in her time there. If she thinks you are expecting too much that will be her opportunity to say so. If she agrees and then doesn't do all on the list you can have another chat 😬

kittylester Thu 31-Mar-16 17:26:51

Good idea Tizliz. That's what my cleaner and I did between us after she had been doing it for a few weeks. Now, she does upstairs one week plus the kitchen and downstairs shower room if there is time (there usually is unless we've had people staying) and downstairs the following week. If she has time she will always have done other things like washing ornaments or cleaning glass in internal doors that she spots on her way round.

tiredoldwoman Thu 31-Mar-16 17:45:51

I'm a cleaner and do lovely old private houses. Clients needs vary according to their households . Maybe have a wee chat with her , making clear what you want prioritised ? Maybe listing weekly, monthly expectations then an " if you've got time left.." list ?

pompa Thu 31-Mar-16 17:51:58

I told my cleaner that she was rubbish at her job, she never spoke to me for a week and I had to get my own dinner. grin

Jalima Thu 31-Mar-16 18:53:01

and do your own cleaning, washing, ironing, shopping etc I should hope pompa

Bubbe Thu 31-Mar-16 19:07:43

I don't suppose your cleaner is a mind-reader. I know different people have different preferences ~ so I would say absolutely have a chat and make a list with her.

WilmaKnickersfit Thu 31-Mar-16 19:16:05

I think it would help to know if the cleaner used to do a good job or if she's new.

annsixty Thu 31-Mar-16 20:43:38

If part of her job is cleaning the bedroom I don't think she needs to be a mind reader to accept that the bedside table needs dusting. Or if the kitchen is included the worktops need a good clean. My cleaner knows what I expect done ,which is to generally to clean all rooms and if I need extra like the conservatory
UPVC doing I pay her to come another time . If I have done a job myself she (or they I have 2 ladies come together) they will do kitchen cupboards or take down light fittings and wash them. We rub along very well.

Penstemmon Thu 31-Mar-16 20:53:41

My cleaner only moves certain things..i.e. items she chooses to dust so in the kitchen, the condiments by the cooker never get moved so it remains a bit sticky until I do it or remember to move the stuff before she comes! Also she never plumps up cushions or 'tidies' any magazines etc. But she leaves the bathrooms/loos sparkling..some you win some you lose!

Synonymous Thu 31-Mar-16 20:59:21

As Wilma says because it would make a great difference.
You have a contract with your cleaner in that she cleans in return for your money so I don't suppose she would be any more impressed than you are currently if she was given less money than agreed. It is no different.
DH and I used to run high star rated guest accommodation and if the premises were not kept to the standard required we would have lost our grading so we always were very explicit as regards exactly what should be done and also how. We realised that people really do need to know what is expected and what you expect to get for your money. There should not be any embarrassment in what is a business arrangement.

As for Pompa I trust that Mrs P has let him know what she expects too! grin

FarNorth Thu 31-Mar-16 21:02:10

Maybe you are expecting too much. We don't know how long your cleaner is there for, how many rooms you have or how much work you are hoping she will do.
Has she been working for you for long and, if so, have you only recently noticed these lapses?

TerriBull Thu 31-Mar-16 21:03:18

My husband wanted a cleaner, bathroom cleaning was his job, we have three of them, all small, and he got sick of cleaning the showers and bath, so he went ahead and got a cleaner, I was appalled at the time. NOW I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT HER, she leaves the bathrooms gleaming. In three hours, once a week, she works from top to bottom, we have 3 floors, and I'd say she doesn't miss a thing.

Deedaa Thu 31-Mar-16 21:15:02

We experimented with a cleaner, but I had to keep following her round saying "Would you mind just doing this bit" and it didn't seem much better than doing it myself.

MiL had a cleaner when she was too crippled to do anything herself but it was a waste of money. The girl would do a few bits and pieces but MiL would complain if she started moving things round to clean properly so very little got done.

WilmaKnickersfit Thu 31-Mar-16 22:38:08

I would have a cleaner again in a minute if I could afford it. I never had any problems with the standard, despite different people coming sometimes. I wasn't at home when she came, but either way I would not dream of following her around. I imagine that would be very off putting.

Lillie Thu 31-Mar-16 22:45:44

Maybe your cleaner has different standards from your own and thinks that hoovering and flicking a duster counts as proper cleaning. As others have suggested, perhaps a list would help her to work her way round the house and thereby not miss crucial areas.

We once sacked a cleaner who came while we were at work because our neighbour told us she was turning up with a man! The cleaning itself was fine, so maybe he was helping her, but we didn't want to ask! blush

f77ms Thu 31-Mar-16 23:11:42

I think all the suggestions of making a list would be the best solution and save you having to have a `chat` which I would think would be very embarrassing for you .
I would make the list very specific as her standards may be very different from yours .

FarNorth Thu 31-Mar-16 23:33:21

How about asking the question you ask us in your OP - Am I expecting too much?
You can say that you noticed some things had been missed and wondered if she feels she is short of time for everything you want done.
You can then clarify exactly what you do want done, find out how long she thinks things will take and decide if you think this is reasonable.

FarNorth Thu 31-Mar-16 23:34:53

I think that handing over a list without any chat/explanation would be very embarrassing for both of you.

kittylester Fri 01-Apr-16 07:29:19

I agree with FarNorth. You need to talk to her rather than hand over a list.

In my experience, it takes a while to find a good cleaner. I had one who locked the front door while I was out - I'm not quite sure what she was up to that she didn't want me to see. Another 'cleaned' the kitchen and bathroom floors using my babywipes and another would put the kitchen chairs up on the window seats so that I knew she had washed the floor. Unfortunately, the kitchen table was still stuck to the floor confused Yet another one knocked two Crown Derby plates off the wall.

But my current cleaner has become a friend and just gets on with doing her job.

Anya Fri 01-Apr-16 07:45:16

You have to be clear exactly what wants doing in the time allowed.

Anniebach Fri 01-Apr-16 08:12:38

Difficult for anyone to judge the lady not knowing the size of the house, number in the family living there and number of hours employed weekly