At the end of cleaning day, I look around my house and find myself weighing up the competence of the cleaner I am currently paying to clean.
I see missed spots.
“Gah, she missed those cobwebs”
“Sigh, she didn’t dust the side table”
“Grrr, she didn’t finish wiping the shower”
“Ugh, the vacuuming still has to be done.” (etc.)
This is why my cleaner is in the dogbox . She needs a bit of a slap (I wouldn’t actually slap her) but she needs a wake up call – because it seems like she isn’t taking her job seriously enough.
How can she miss so many spots? We pay her for two hours and that should be enough to dust, wipe, sweep, vacuum, mop, clean and scrub both bathrooms, clear bins, replace towels, change linen, make beds, clean the kitchen and fold the laundry shouldn’t it?
I expect a good job and that’s why I pay her well.
But she is clever and always has a good excuse. She even claims that sometimes there is too much grub and simply not enough time to do the job properly.
This is why my cleaner needs to be fired.
Yet I keep her on.
With a softer approach and in a calmer state of mind, I like this cleaner and would hire her above all others.
She gets on well with the kids, knows my house well, prioritises thorough cleaning of some areas over a half-ass overall clean and she really does do her best most of the time.
In her defense: today she has done a detailed job on the main bathroom, there are fresh towels and the bin liner smells like eucalyptus telling me that she cleaned IN the bin (woah!) She has folded the toilet paper so that it feels like a hotel, the mirror has no streaks, the bath is scrubbed smooth and is grime free. She has even disinfected the door handles and the light switch is squeaky clean too.
The kitchen is wiped and the floors have been swept and the second bathroom is gleaming everywhere except half of the shower which she apparently ran out of time for. The laundry is mostly done even if not all folded and there is fresh linen on the kids’ beds.
So which is it?
What will I do?
Slap her, fire her or hire her?
It doesn’t matter what I do – because the cleaner is me.
The thing is, I need to slap myself for being such a hard employer and having expectations of perfection when, let’s face it, two hours is not enough time to achieve anything close to perfection. I need to let myself go a bit and effectively fire myself. I need to hire a new version of me who can still try hard to get everything done who, at the same time, isn’t burdened by the expectation of being everything.
P.S. I pay myself for what I would pay a cleaner for the same job. I get some extra pocket money (staying in my pocket) AND I keep track of the time I spend cleaning as if I am on a contract so that I don’t spend too many precious hours stressing about trying to be squeaky clean. It seems weird but it works for me and stops me getting resentful of being undervalued for doing the dirty jobs.
What about you? Would you clean or do your chores differently if you were paid to do them? Do you expect too much of yourself like me?
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Outie – Life is supposed to be fun.