Cheating You By The Hour

, , , , , , , | Legal | August 25, 2018

We had a cleaning lady who came by every week. Things started off rocky when, after her first visit, she left a note asking if we could “tidy up” more before she came and maybe vacuum, as well. We were like, “Excuse us? That’s what you are for.”

So, we let it slide, and for a few months things went well. We would leave the money on the counter, she would come in while we were at work — we gave her a key when we hired her — and she would clean, take the money, and leave.

But after a few months, my husband lost his job. Because it was only temporary, we decided to keep on the cleaner rather than fire her and rehire once he had a new job. During that period, whenever the cleaner came over my husband would go out swimming or something until she had finished.

One day, however, circumstances were such that he came home after only two hours. Lo and behold, the cleaner had left, taking the full four hours’ worth of money with her!

The next week, my husband returned early again, planning to claim he “forgot something,” and after only an hour and a half she was gone already. We called her asking for an explanation. She claimed she had to “pick up her child from work” and that “she didn’t take any breaks so she finished early.”

Now, you can take as many breaks as you want, but if you are being paid for four hours of work, that doesn’t mean you get to skip off after two hours and leave stuff unfinished.

After a few more repeats of this, we decided to fire her. I told my husband to wait until the next time she came over, hand her the money for that day, request our key back, and tell her not to come back.

Sadly, he’s a bit spineless and prefers to avoid confrontation, so he fired her over social media and asked her to bring by the key.

Two weeks went by and there was no word from the cleaner and no key. We started to get somewhat worried, as we live in an apartment building, and that key opens the main entrance and the shared garage. As such, if one of the keys is unaccounted for, all the locks in the building have to be replaced, costing upwards of 10,000 euros.

Since we willingly gave the key away, our insurance wouldn’t cover it and we were liable. In a last-ditch attempt, we call our legal insurance — basically insurance that supplies a lawyer when you need one.

We explained the situation, and they told us that technically this didn’t fall under our coverage, but they were having a quiet day, so they’d give the cleaner a call.

That evening the cleaner called us, panicking because a lawyer claiming to represent us had left her a voicemail claiming to investigate a lost key. She then claimed that she mailed our house key, by post, and it must have gotten lost in the mail. She promised that she would call the mail company in the morning to ask them to investigate.

We were livid at this point, as truly nobody could be so stupid or careless as to mail a key to the house it unlocks. Two days later, she called and claimed that the post office had miraculously found our key and mailed it back to her. If there was the tiniest chance she was telling the truth, that spoiled it right there; no way in hell the post office is that fast or efficient.

She asked if she could come by that evening to drop it off and insisted we take a picture of her handing it over as proof.

And that is how our lawyer saved us 10,000 euros and helped us catch a crooked cleaner in the act.

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.)

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.