This is a story my mother and I still laugh about years after it happened. At the time though, it was majorly insulting.
I was just starting out on my own house cleaning business. To start filling my schedule, I would accept every single job. A few years later I now have a waiting list. Now I can phase out all the boorish clients. (Thank God!)
When the holidays come around, it’s pretty normal for me to receive gifts from my clients. All of my clients are upper class so these gifts would be rather lavish sometimes. I never expect them, but I graciously accept and send thank you notes after the new year.
There was this one lady’s house I cleaned. Her name was Maggie, a friend of my mother. It’s a mansion, so by the time I’m done cleaning it I wouldn’t be as “fresh” as I was when I came in. I always wear my oldest clothes (it’s not as heartbreaking when they get bleach stains ). My hair’s always pulled back and I don’t wear makeup since I’ll sweat it all off anyways. I actually joke with my clients, “The frumpier I look, the cleaner your house!” My appearance does not reflect my hygiene as I bathe daily.
I get a call from my mother one day before Christmas. She let me know Maggie dropped off a present at her house for me. I get there and it’s probably the biggest basket I’ve ever seen! It’s full of soaps and sundries. I’m excited at first, what girl doesn’t like bathroom pampering stuff ?! As I open the clear cellophane, I see it’s “Dollar Store” bar soap!! Plus “Dollar Store” shampoos, conditioners, deodorants and face washes. To top it all off there was a note, “Give me a call when you get this! I’ll tell you how to use it!”
I have never felt so disgusting in my life. I would have taken no offense if they were from a “Specialty Store”. I don’t even take offense when clients buy me cleaning products for gifts! (It’s less money I have to spend on supplies.) I might not have even taken offense if the note wasn’t included, but that just took the cake. I sucked it up and sent a thank you note, explaining that I figured out how to use them (May I burn for my sarcasm!). I never called her back and phased her out. I will still try to force myself to believe her intentions were good. 1007-12