dedtired

Are you canceling your house cleaner or not?

dedtired
25 days ago

A lot of local people seem to be suspending housecleaning service during the pandemic, since they want to keep as many people out of the house as possible. Most say they will still,pay since they know cleaners need the money.


I‘m on the fence. I have just one person who cleans, not a team. I might consider going over some surfaces and doorknobs, etc with Clorox wipes when I return home after she has been here. I hate to not have her come. I love my clean house.


what do you think? cancel or not?

Comments (205)

  • IdaClaire
    15 days ago

    I agree. That's mighty presumptuous and poor form IMO.

  • eld6161
    15 days ago

    Me either.

    I am so hoping I can utilize my ladies very soon. I had an arrangement for them to come once a month to my empty house.

    They came twice and my youngest decided to use the house instead of staying in the city. I was planning to put them back on regular schedule but then.......Coronavirus.

    Now my oldest and her boyfriend are there as well. Escaped the city just in time.

    I will figure something out, I try to be above and beyond as I really appreciate having them clean my house.

  • Related Discussions

    Anyone installed HLC in their homes? Can you discuss your experience?

    Q

    Comments (0)
    We are in the process of redesigning our kitchen. The lighting contractor wants us to put in HAI lighting controls to minimize the number of light switches (for the cleaner, more minimal look that we are after). Has anyone installed them (either homeowner, builder or contractor) and what is your opinion of it? THanks!
    ...See More

    Vacuum cleaners and your recommendations

    Q

    Comments (2)
    If you liked a central vac before, then a new one in the same brand will probably be fine. No one says you have to use the central vac all the time- you can use a stick vac which is not nearly as efficient as a full size central vac. I'd consider getting a couple of Roomba's, too.
    ...See More

    What ONE thing do you LOVE that your spouse / partner does at home?

    Q

    Comments (183)
    @Evanescent soul - seriously, look at the postings by others, they are proof that there are good, kind, men out there who are actual PARTNERS, not just dead weight. I do not question that you love your man (God knows I understand loving someone toxic), but I wonder if you love YOU? If you don't love yourself enough to insist on being treated well, it simply will not happen. Loving someone is not always enough. It does not sound like you are getting anything beneficial from this relationship. Don't you deserve to be respected, valued and treated well? If the answer is "no", you need a shrink; if the answer is "yes", you need a lawyer. As women we are often taught we have to put up with whatever crap we are handed. That is simply not true. When I left my first husband at the ripe old age of 34 (similar situation to yours), my own father told me that I better reconsider because I would soon lose my looks and have trouble finding another man. Fortunately, I did not buy into the BS, and now have a wonderful husband. This is not a dress rehearsal, it is the only life you get. You are the only one responsible for your own happiness. If you are not happy, it is up to you to make whatever changes are necessary to make yourself happy. Like pulling a bad tooth, it might hurt in the short term, but in the long run you will be better off. It may even open his eyes to what a gift you are.
    ...See More

    House cleaner dilemma

    Q

    Comments (7)
    Many questions come to mind with this situation. Has she been paying Social Security so that she will be able to collect those benefits? If not, then does she also clean for others? Does she have other income? Do you consider her a part of the family? Thirty years is a long time and I am sure she is not as quick as she once was. Perhaps, asking her if it would be helpful to her to have an assistant with the understanding that her salary would be reduced somewhat. Or perhaps she is aware of her situation but feels a loyalty to your family to continue albeit not at her previous abilities. If so, she might be amenable to training someone to take on her duties. She may even have recommendations. There are many ways to handle these circumstances; I would want to make sure I handled things in a way that I would not regret in the future.
    ...See More
  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    15 days ago

    I have to say I am also a bit taken aback by paying these people as well when no work is being performed. I pay only for services rendered - no service, no paycheck!! That's a pretty cushy job that pays you for not doing anything. Thousands of people across the country have been furloughed or laid off or their businesses classified as non-essential so it not like the lack of income is just restricted to housecleaners. And to imply that they should be paid anyway is beyond the pale!! It ls one thing if you offer but for them to suggest....?????

  • Marlene Two007
    15 days ago

    I had the same negative reaction.


    I have had the opposite reaction from some providers. My mobile groomer told me she wouldn't take payment (but I will make her) and my house cleaner cried when I told her I would pay her.


    I honestly don't know what I would do if I received a message like you did. My first inclination would be to do nothing....at least right now.

  • Marlene Two007
    15 days ago

    gardengal said


    " have to say I am also a bit taken aback by paying these people as well when no work is being performed. I pay only for services rendered - no service, no paycheck!!"


    I can only speak for myself, of course, but "these" people have performed services for me for years. I know people are hurting financially right now, and if I can do just a little to help out people who have helped me with their services (OMG I tried to clean my persian cat wit a vacuum!), then I am happy and really very lucky to be able to help them through this difficult time.

  • eld6161
    15 days ago
    last modified: 15 days ago

    Exactly. Mine have too. I might feel different if I had a service where the workers change and I didn’t know them, but I know the ladies that help me.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    15 days ago

    But you paid for their services....they just didn't clean for you out of the kindness of their hearts. I don't use house cleaners but I do have a handyman that has done work for me for years and is always johnny on the spot when I need something tended to. But he gets paid only for the work he does.....just like I only get paid for the work I do. I would love to just stay home and still receive a paycheck for doing so. Not being able to work and collect my fees is a financial hardship for me also but I don't expect someone to fund me during this crisis!! That is a major risk of self employment.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    15 days ago

    Sorry, I was away for awhile, I had to send a text message to cancel our house cleaners,

    If it goes on for months, I might send them some money as a gesture of kindness but less than I would pay for one service session. I'm a customer, not an unemployment insurer.

  • dedtired
    15 days ago

    I feel as if I am an employer who temporarily laid of her employees when I asked the cleaner not to come. I can count on her every other week under normal circumstances so I will pay her what I can for last work when we go back to regular living. My hairdresser will get an extra big tip if I have to miss an appointment. After all I didn’t have to pay for a couple of cleanings or at least one visit to the salon, so I should be able to help them out.


    However, if they suggested I should pay, I would not take that well.

  • maire_cate
    15 days ago

    Happy2b - I wouldn't be comfortable paying the owners either. As you said there's no way of knowing if - or - how much they'd pass on to the cleaners. A few years ago I used a cleaning service that was a franchise and was surprised to learn how little the cleaning crew received compared to what I paid the company. Granted the company had to cover business expenses and make a profit but the cleaning crew was paid a % of what I paid and it was a sliding % based on years of service. When you resume your regular cleaning perhaps you would consider giving a gratuity to the ladies who came to your home. At least that way you know they received it.





  • Bunny
    15 days ago

    As I mentioned upthread, I cancelled and offered to pay. The owner of the service (not who actually comes to my house) said it wasn't necessary. I offered a second time, and he declined a second time. He was really very nice, saying I'd cancelled more than 24 hours in advance. Since the whole state is under stay-home orders, I doubt they're even working now. I'll call next Monday to make sure.

  • Chessie
    15 days ago

    I would not be able to pay for a weekly service that was not performed, for any length of time. I would agree to a week or two perhaps...but for them to suggest it would put me rather off of the idea.

  • yeonassky
    15 days ago

    I don't expect people to pay me for not working. Whatever happens it's not their responsibility to look after me. It would be very very uncomfortable and strange to expect my clients to pay me when I did nothing for them.

    I even feel uncomfortable when they give me Christmas bonuses. I appreciate it even so.

    I guess people are trying to be generous and giving and understanding to people in less fortunate circumstances. I already had one client asked if I needed money up front. I said no thank you very much.

    DH and I have survived on next to nothing and raised two kids to boot. I'm sure our car will be very comfortable to sleep in if it comes to that. :-).

  • Rory
    15 days ago

    Whether you approve or not of under-the-table work, a lot of people earn a living that way. My DIL works both as a nanny and a house cleaner. She considered incorporating but most of the people that she works for don't want to deal with the hassle of providing 1099s. Most of her cleaning clients have canceled last week,this week and until the CV is under control. A few have paid her but she has not asked for pay and does not expect to be paid. She is able to nanny more because now the kids are not in school and the parents need someone to watch them while they work (from home).


    Unlike those who get laid off she has no unemployment benefits. Needless to say, she is reconsidering how she will proceed in the future when things get back to normal. I know her clients will want her back because she is always busy and gets lots of great references. She knew that her job is a luxury item for most people and would be the first that that people eliminate when the economy is not good.

  • eld6161
    15 days ago

    Rory, it seems like your DD would make a good teacher.

  • happy2b…gw
    15 days ago
    last modified: 15 days ago

    The text I received asking for money definitely turned me off, and I am not inclined to send the owner any money. I am relieved that you feel the same way. Typically I consider myself a generous fair person, but I was questioning my inclination that soliciting money was wrong. For contrast. the owners of other small businesses in my area (including one of my daughters of whom I am very proud) are working very hard and tirelessly to help their employees and to remain operational. Had the owner of the cleaning business said that she was doing everything in her power to help her employees to secure temporary jobs, to navigate benefits being offered by the state, and that she was applying for the small business grant and loan programs in the state to help tide everyone over, I might have been more supportive. She could have suggested the cleaners do outside jobs for hourly or set fees like power washing decks, washing the windows, screens, and sills outside, weeding, raking flowers beds, cleaning the grill, going shopping.

    Although I am uncomfortable with her request and the way she tried to pressure me, It is nice of other clients to pay her anyway; but everyone is free to do as they think best.

  • chispa
    15 days ago
    last modified: 15 days ago

    I am going to cancel my cleaning lady this week and will send her a partial payment.

    I really like her, but every year she goes back home to visit family and was gone for 3-4 weeks and all I got was a reminder that no one would be there to clean my house. A few times she did arrange for a relative to fill in for her.

    If you can just disappear from your job for a few weeks, then those same employers should also be able to cancel when needed, without owing you anything. I know she has lost clients because of these long vacations.

  • Kswl 2
    14 days ago
    last modified: 14 days ago

    It’s a complicated issue. We furloughed our laundry / factotum employee and have stopped the service that sends three people to clean after we learned one of the team had been exposed to the virus. I would pay the actual cleaning ladies (not the company owners) but I have no way to get in touch with them. The laundry lady, who is charged with keeping track of her own hours, has been working much less and still putting in for her regular pay ever since we moved. Our old house was five minutes from hers, and I had no problem with her running home for an emergency or to check on her kids. Now that those kids are 16 and 19, I am not okay with this practice since just the driving back and forth takes an hour. I was about to sit down with her and bring this up when the pandemic intervened. She had shared with me that her husband got a bigger bonus at year end than they expected and a 20% raise in January, so our job (extremely generous pay for what she does) had clearly become less important to their budget. Plus, I specifically asked her if she had been around anyone with any colds or coughs before she came last Monday week because my mother was going to be here. She said she hadn’t, then a few days later revealed she had been in physical contact with a sick friend then hospitalized with Covid 19. I will not be hiring her back.

  • Lars
    13 days ago

    Don't have a house cleaner, but we have pool maintenance that is still coming twice a week. I don't think there is much danger there, but I do disinfect the gate handle after they visit. UV light in the patio should disinfect anyway.

  • jupidupi
    12 days ago

    Our cleaning lady comes once a week, and she's been cleaning for my husband at least 20 years, long before he met me. We pay her monthly, at the beginning of the month, and on the books, paying for her unemployment insurance. I don't want her to risk her health on the subway, so I called her two weeks ago to cancel. I spoke to her yesterday about filing for unemployment and hope she knows someone who can help her do it as she's not very literate. Mostly I worry about her because her whole life revolves around her church, and they are no longer congregating.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    12 days ago

    I think the answer to this is very much individual. For many of us, if we know someone is in need, we would like to try to help. If that person happens to be someone we have employed, that doesn't change the fact we want to help. How much we want to help depends on a lot of factors ... the relationship, satisfaction with the work, the level of perceived need, one's own circumstances. That help may be perceived as unwanted charity but I'd rather risk that then not try to help. That said, it is obviously optional and asking is inappropriate IMHO.


    Chispa, I thought I had the only cleaning person who was a gadfly. Fortunately, she does supply a fill-in when she is gone. But I would say she has easily been gone 25% of the time in the last year, and her fill in is not as good. All of my dishes and most of our clothes are "misfiled." I am pleased to know that her fill-in gets 100% of what we pay, though.


    For a confluence of reasons, I have decided to send payment to the fill in via Venmo, largely because I am pretty sure she is experiencing financial stress. It feels odd, like going behind my cleaning person's back somehow. My primary person is stuck in Brazil. When she comes back, I will have to discuss where we are with her. I might, if she is interested, have her grocery shop for us (she has done that in the past but I prefer to).





  • OutsidePlaying
    12 days ago

    I didn’t have mine come this week as scheduled. I have never asked, but I’m fairly certain that, except for cleaning houses, they don’t go very many places socially. She homeschools their son. She almost sounded relieved about not coming and I’m fairly certain she wouldn’t want her older mother exposed in any way.

    We keep up with our laundry. I cleaned our bathroom a couple of days ago and yesterday cleaned the kitchen and breakfast room. Today I might do the family room. Floors get done with the Dyson cordless whenever they need it.

  • jill302
    12 days ago

    We will be canceling our cleaning. It is a husband/wife team. My plan currently is to pay them. Our agreement is they clean every other Tuesday, I rarely cancel and when I do cancel I pay them. Normally we are able to reschedule so they are just paid for the new date rather than the original date. I do not pay them when they cancel on me.

    Our lawn man will continue as usual unless he cancels. He will talk to my husband once in awhile about extra work that needs to be done but generally I just wave. He is definitely 6 feet or more away from me. I will disinfect the gates and our deck railing after he leaves so we should be fine.

  • bbstx
    12 days ago

    Now would be a good time to have Roomba!!!

  • runninginplace
    12 days ago

    As noted this is such a variable situation both in terms of the employee's circumstances and people's attitudes about feeling obligated or not to continue payment when services can't be performed.


    My house cleaner is amazing, truly she's the best at what she does. She cleans houses FT for a living and doesn't receive benefits from her customers. So there's no sick leave or vacation, although she gets health insurance via a family member who keeps her on his books and for whom she cleans offices. Anyway, she's been working for me for almost 7 years, is always dependable, does a great job and because I so value her service, I always pay when she can't come for whatever reason: she's sick, she travels (rarely), I'm sick, I'm traveling etc. This is of course a force majeure so I'll pay her for not coming till things return to normal. The expense is already in my budget, it's not her fault so I feel it's the right thing to do.


    I will say I'm a little surprised at the attitude of some that cleaners are somehow taking advantage ie the variations of 'why should I pay for someone to sit around' (paraphrasing). In this unique circumstance nobody is malingering or taking advantage; it's truly a singular health situation. However once again everyone has his/her own set points.


  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    12 days ago

    Nor is it the fault of tens of thousands of others that are out of work and without an income at this time, especially sole proprietorships or small businesses. Yet they do not expect or receive an income from work that is not being performed.

    It is not a question of 'malingering' or 'taking advantage'....unless those who suggest that they would appreciate payment even though they are not performing the service they are paid to do. Why single out house cleaners for preferential treatment?

  • salonva
    12 days ago

    I don't have a cleaning person but to reply to @gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9) I think the reason the discussion is about house cleaners, is that this is what people have direct contact with and control. Most are not services and the "agreement" and payment is not convoluted or dependent on any one other than the employer and employee.

  • sas95
    12 days ago

    For me, house cleaners get "preferential treatment" because they are in my house, cleaning, which is a more personal service. I barely know my housekeeper (she has been with us for around 2 years, but we are at work when she comes, so actually, I have only met her twice. I might not recognize her if I passed her on the street). But she does a great job, she is very honest and she is careful and trustworthy with my pets. So during this time when she is struggling to make ends meet, I would like to help her out. I am doing the same for our pet sitter. Both, by the way, would continue to come and provide services if I wanted to let them in my house. Because they need the money. But I have chosen not to have them come so I will continue to pay them.

  • lakeaffect
    12 days ago

    Interesting article on the class divide that social distancing is creating, touching on some of the themes in this thread and the snowbird thread. NYT has lifted the paywall for C-19 coverage, you should be able to read, but may have to register first.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/business/economy/coronavirus-inequality.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

  • dedtired
    12 days ago

    My yard cleanup guys arrived this morning. Three men all sharing the cab of a truck. Ugh. I probably shouldn’t work in my yard for a few days. Do the germs stick to,plants and grass? They opened and closed my gate, too.

  • graywings123
    12 days ago

    No, dedtired, you and your plants and your grass are safe.

  • maddielee
    12 days ago

    I’m sure you are fine dedtired, I hope your landscapers are too.

  • sephia_wa
    12 days ago

    I've helped out my pet-sitter. With no one traveling, she's not working. For the same reason as sas95's explanation. My pet-sitter gets preferential treatment because I have a personal relationship with her, and I trust her with my pets and home while I'm traveling in a foreign country. I don't have to worry about anything while I'm gone. That's worth a fortune to me. She's also not suggested anything about payment. I dropped some $$ into her PayPal, and then she called asking what it was for. I told her it was because I appreciate her. That's reason enough to help someone.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    12 days ago

    Sephia, I love your answer. I'm totally gonna steal that.

  • sableincal
    12 days ago

    I'd planned to stick with our cleaning service, which has been doing excellent work for us for at least fifteen years, always in gloves and using their own green products (which leave our house with a nice scent), and always amenable to special requests or changes. But this afternoon we received an email from the company stating that they were suspending service until mid-April. They assured us all that they would be taking care of the various house-cleaners and that no one would suffer financially. Am glad to hear that.

    Meanwhile DH will be on bathroom duty and I'll keep the kitchen clean (we are anyway pretty tidy). We'll take turns vacuuming. TG for Dyson!

  • Anne
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    I talked of cancelling the house cleaner but then my husband reminded me I live here :). Husband mostly does the kitchen cleanup and the pet care and I do most of the rest. ( He is retired and I still work full time). He will help me but honestly I am really picky about how things are done. I have been extra thorough and am cleaning the bathrooms each of us use every night when I get home. I come home, shower and change and then we go around disinfecting the kitchen and baths; he also does it throughout the day.

    I think I would pay a house cleaner for a period of time. I will definitely give my hairdresser a huge tip when I get back.

  • hcbm
    12 days ago

    I currently don't have a house cleaner but have in the past. I personally would pay them right now if I was in the financial position to do so. In my case I would never hire a service for a regular weekly cleaning. I would use someone I personally hired, therefore, my employee. I get sick days and emergency leave days, why wouldn't I give that to an employee. I have been on both sides of the financial fence and have great empathy for those living on the edge.

  • runninginplace
    11 days ago

    Another reason housecleaners are different is that unlike a restaurant for most of us it is a previously scheduled appointment. In other words, I may not send a dinner's worth of money to a restaurant since I hadn't committed to going on a particular date. But I pay my housekeeper since she had scheduled service appointments for me.


    Extending that analogy, if you had other specific service appointments booked that couldn't take place, are you paying the providers? For example hair dresser, massage therapist, nails, waxing etc? I had to cancel one such appointment and I'm not sure what I'll do because as with cleaning services it's a national chain, but the aesthetician is an employee who has told me in past she works largely on commission and tips. I will probably give her the equivalent of double the gratuity and will purchase some beauty products over and above what I usually would.


    OTOH I didn't have an appointment with my hair stylist, not sure I will pay anything extra on that the next time I go, although I am delaying a regular visit I would have scheduled during the quarantine.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    11 days ago

    In other news, I am an idiot.


    People talk about their dogs shedding and I am always like, oh, ours isn't so bad. Now that we haven't had cleaning people for a few weeks, I realize *she* is most of the problem! OMG. So. much. hair. Its worse than keeping up w the dishes.

  • Chessie
    11 days ago

    Reason 187 that I don't have a dog. ;-)

  • provogal
    11 days ago

    I cancelled my cleaner (once a week) but paid her for 2 months worth until EI and other gov’t payments kick in.

  • Lars
    11 days ago

    Dedtired, UV rays from the sun can kill the virus in 10 seconds (if they are strong rays), and so if your yard is sunny, you are definitely okay. My pool guy came today, and I don't worry because we get lots of sun here, but I don't touch the gate handle for a day. He made the mistake of leaving the pool in maintenance mode, and so I had to push the mode button to get it back to automatic.

    dedtired thanked Lars
  • daisychain01
    11 days ago

    Mtn, that is funny. Nothing like absence ...

    We haven't had a cleaning service for over 5 years, so can't really comment, but if anyone is keeping track, I've now vacuumed the house 3 times this week.

  • dedtired
    11 days ago

    Lars, it poured rain today so maybe all,the cooties got washed away.

  • amylou321
    11 days ago

    Just wanted to be the 200th post.....

    I dont have a cleaner but I would be willing to cancel cleaning my own house for awhile...

    And I'll even double what I pay myself now.

  • Anne
    11 days ago

    My main living areas really should be vacuumed every day, in real life I do them every other quickly and once a week getting every corner and under furniture. The price of our pets who bring us so much joy.

    I do get a lot of satisfaction watching that shark cup fill up!

  • socks
    11 days ago

    For those who resent paying anyone who did not actually work, keep in mind that often times these workers have helped for decades and to just drop them would be wrong. We should help others at this time as much as we can; housekeepers aren't getting rich and they work is hard. Since they would have been paid if they followed the plan to work, it cannot be much of a hardship to cover them for a month. Of course if you've lost your own job and will be financially strapped, that's another consideration.

  • suero
    11 days ago

    When I was in the hospital, my house cleaner refused to take payment for her work. Of course I'm paying her for the days I asked her not to come.

  • chispa
    11 days ago

    Mtn, I remember you saying one time that your dog did not shed much. I thought you had lucked out with a unicorn golden retriever!! ;-)

    Shedding is the reason I have my dogs quarantined to part of the house, the part with tile and not hardwood. They have a couple of rooms and access to the yard. Right now I just don't want to deal with hair, dirt and drool all over the house, so they get quarantine too! They did get their 3+ mile bike run today, so they are happy.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    11 days ago

    LOL Chispa. We do love her dearly but turns out she is a mess! Who knew.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268