Six Hours In Hell

, , , , , , | Right | June 16, 2018

(I clean houses for extra money. As I live on the coast, a lot of them are holiday lets, but this is a domestic clean. The “lady” of the house rings me and asks if I can clean her house twice a week.)

Lady: “I reckon it will take about six hours.”

Me: *thinking* “Does she live in Buckingham Palace? An average house takes about two hours to clean.” *saying* “Okay, I will pop round and see you!”

(I get the address and am greeted by two four-wheel drives on the driveway, which already gives me an impression of whom I am dealing with.)

Me: “Hi! I am the cleaner.”

Lady: “Yes. In here.”

(I walk into a kitchen that is an absolute mess and stank of dogs and cigarettes. I smoke, but this makes my eyes water.)

Me: “So, what is it you wanted?”

Lady: “Well, I want somebody here for six hours and I want them to do…” *she takes me round the house and it is obvious she just wants somebody to boss around* “…and I don’t want to be their friend, and I want to be able to sack them when I want.”

Me: “Okay, what days did you want?”

Lady: “Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Me: “Oh, no! I am booked up on those days.”

(I got out quick. I still drive past that house and wonder if she ever did get a cleaner that would spend six hours in that smell and would be sacked at whim. And it still makes me chuckle.)


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Can’t Even Make A Clean Break

, , , , , | | Working | May 30, 2018

(I am moving out of an apartment for which the landlord requires professional cleaning in order to receive back the full deposit. About a month in advance, I make an appointment with a cleaning service for 2:30 pm on the day before the walkthrough with my landlord. The cleaning service is headquartered in a small town about 20 miles outside of my city, but their website clearly lists my city as within their service area. On the day of the service, I am at work in the morning, and on a break around 11 am, I check my phone to see three missed calls and a voicemail from the cleaning service. I call back.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name], and I missed a few calls from you.”

Cleaning Service Owner: “Hello, the maids are at your house now and need to be let in.”

Me: “My appointment is at 2:30. It’s 11:00 and I’m at work. I can’t let them in now.”

Cleaning Service Owner: “The appointment before you cancelled, but the maids had already arrived in the city. They can’t drive back here and then back to the city, so you need to let them in now.”

(There would have been more than enough time for them to drive back and forth in time for my appointment.)

Me: “They could do that, or they could find somewhere to wait. It is not my fault that the appointment before me canceled. I can’t let them in now because I’m at work. We had an appointment for 2:30, and that’s when I expect them to be there!”

Manager: “That will not be possible. Either you need to let them in now, or we can reschedule.”

Me: “I can’t reschedule! The apartment will no longer be mine after tomorrow morning, and if I don’t get it cleaned today I will lose my deposit. We had an appointment, and the cancellation is not my fault!”

Manager: “There’s nothing I can do. Either you let them in now, or we will reschedule, and that is final.”

(I was absolutely furious at this point, but I desperately didn’t want to lose my deposit, so I told my boss the situation and he graciously let me leave to let them in. On top of all of that, they refused to clean the basement because “they didn’t have the right tools,” so I ended up having to do that part of the cleaning after they left. On the bright side, I got my full deposit back, and I left the cleaning service a cathartically scathing online review.)

Can’t Clean Your Hands Of This Crime

, , , , , , | Working | December 13, 2017

(We have someone come in once a week to clean our house. She is, in a word, amazing; our house looks fantastic, and she always goes that extra mile to make it look even better. When a friend tells me that she is looking for a cleaner, I gladly recommend my cleaner. A few weeks later, my friend phones me.)

Friend: “This is a little awkward, but… have you noticed any money missing from your house?”

Me: “No. Oh, wait a second. [Eight-Year-Old Daughter] said that she can’t find some money that she’s been saving. She’s kind of careless, so I assumed she’d just misplaced it. Why do you ask?”

Friend: “I keep noticing small amounts missing, say, $5 or $10, and it’s always after [Cleaner] has been here.”

Me: “Oh, dear! I hope I didn’t let a thief into your house!”

Friend: “Tell you what: my husband has tomorrow off, and [Cleaner] is coming to clean. I’m going to deliberately leave $10 lying under a chair, and he’ll see what she does.”

Me: “Okay. Keep me posted.”

(The next day…)

Friend: “Well, she tried to steal the $10. She picked it up and put it in her pocket, and when my husband confronted her, she pretended that it was hers. We fired her on the spot.”

Me: “Guess I’ll have to do the same. Ugh. I’m so sorry about this!”

(I phone our cleaner.)

Me: “My friend told me what happened at her house. My little girl’s money is missing as well. Did you steal it?”

Cleaner: “What? No! Of course not! I would never do such a thing to a child!”

Me: “I’m thinking seriously about phoning the police.”

Cleaner: “NO! You don’t need to do that. Listen… I’m completely innocent, but just to show good faith, I’ll return… um, I mean give you half of the missing money. That’ll be $65. How’s that sound?”

Me: “I don’t remember telling you how much was missing.”

Cleaner: “…”

Me: “Forget it. You’re fired.”

(We changed our locks, of course, and I gave my daughter her money back out of my own pocket. To this day, I still miss my cleaner. She was such an awesome cleaner, and if she’d only taken money from ME, I might have turned a blind eye to her stealing.)

Unfiltered Story #92621

, | Unfiltered | September 5, 2017

I work for a cleaning service. We get a new client and I’m assigned to clean the house. It’s a gorgeous spring day, so I open all the doors and windows as I’m cleaning and the scent of the garden comes in – lots of jasmine and daphne as well as many other fragrant flowers. By the time I’m finished, the place smells divine. The client arrives back just as I’m finishing, with several shopping bags.

Client: Oh, the house looks lovely. But why are all the windows and doors open?
Me: Just to give it a good airing out, I’m about to close them.
Client: Oh yes? What’s that smell?

I’m non-plussed; has she literally never stopped to smell the flowers in her own garden?

Me: That’s the scent of all your lovely jasmine just under these windows here. Glorious, isn’t it?
Client: Oh, I don’t like that. Close the windows and use this instead!

She pulls from her shopping back a can of air freshener. Jasmine scented.