General Etiquette > Life...in general

Help with Housekeeper and communication -updated post 35

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Hillia:
I also think she's got a big misunderstanding about your relationship.  You're not friends, she's your employee who is hired to perform a certain set of tasks for a certain amount of money.  While  you can certainly be friendly with an employee, you are not friends, and she is completely overstepping her boundaries into friend territory.  Reframe this as if you were her supervisor in a 'real'  job in your office, and she:

- made 'joking' remarks about how incompetent another supervisor was
- made 'jokes' about how incompetent you were at tasks that she usually handled
- hid her work in a drawer so it looked like her desk was clean and all tasks accomplished at the end of each day
- routinely came in and slipped out through a remote entrance and refused to sign in/out so you had no idea when or if she was at work each day

Any of these things would cause an employee to be written up, and the combination of them could lead to termination if they continued.  I think a lot of people feel embarrassed about paying someone to clean their home, as if we're somehow 'too good' to clean up after ourselves and have to hire a 'servant' to do it.  So in trying to be fair and polite and not look as though we're feeling 'above' the people we've hired, we try to make the relationship other than the strictly professional one that it is.  She is a professional cleaner and you have hired her to perform a professional service, no different from the professional electrician or mechanic or doctor or secretary you might hire to perform other tasks.  Treat her as one, keep the relationship on a friendly but somewhat formal basis, and require her to perform the tasks you're paying her for in the manner you expect them to be performed.

shhh its me:
  The joke about Ann without some special context would bother me a lot (I'd be less bothered if Ann made self deprecating jokes about her own cleaning prowess, especially if Ann made jokes in front you her to you.  Note less bothered not totally not bothered)

Have you asked "please text when you leave?" and are you paying her by the hour or for the job?  She could text you 10-30 minutes later just as easily as put the wrong time on a note. 

The vacuuming thing I would actually give her a pass on.  Have you ever had your boss start doing your job when you were in the middle of doing your job? (you can do what you want but I think that can be very uncomfortable)  But why do you vacuum after she leaves, normally?

Chucking shoes in the closet.  Depends on what you're paying her for and what previous instructions were exactly.

I'd need examples of the rest of the PA on the notes.

Bales:
I have a housekeeper that comes in every three weeks, so I get where some of this is coming from.  We also communicate mostly via notes... but no notes are needed unless there's some instruction I need to give her or if she broke something (only happened once or twice, no big deal, and she asked me to deduct the cost from the next payment.) I don't know when she arrives or leaves, but I always know she was there and what was done since I can tell (and smell) the house was cleaned. 

There are always annoyances with people being in your house - for example, mine cannot put the shower back the way it was; my shampoo, etc., is always moved.  But I deal with it since I'm just happy my shower is clean.

I think there is a little blurred line and some of her annoying comments are her trying to be friendly/jokey. Some of this you can curb by being strictly professional.  For example, she doesn't need to know WHY you want the shoes left out (or who helped you) - just tell her, "Leave the shoes in front of the closet - I'm mid-project in working on them and don't want them touched."  No need to say your friend who she knows helped you... and then there's no need for her to comment on your friend, plans, or anything. 

I don't think she's trying to be judgmental, but as someone else said, we judge ourselves for having/needing help.  "You're scaring me" could mean that she's worried she's not doing a good job, or her trying to joke that that's what she's being paid for, so you shouldn't be vacuuming at all.

But only you know the tone and what you are comfortable with.  If you intend to keep her on since she's good at her job otherwise, I think you need to wait for another opportunity and confront it directly.  For example, if she says you are scaring her, ask her what she means by that. Then depending on her response go from there.  It is strange because this person is in your house when you are not there, so you don't want to pick a fight, but you can set boundaries and set the tone of the interactions.

newbiePA:
I have a cleaning person who comes 2x month.  The most important thing, even more than cleaning, is trust.  It sounds like you Don't have that.  I often leave notes for my housekeeper, but she rarely leaves notes back.  The fact that you want a text is either micromanaging, or a sign you Don't trust her.  I do feel for her with the vacuuming behind her.  I find that odd. When I was home on maternity leave, i just kept out of her way. We barely spoke, except when she came and left.  It may be time for you to find someone new.

TootsNYC:
I'm so curious, OP. You said you vacuum every time after she leaves anyway--may I ask why?

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