Why isn’t Your Current Maid Perfect?

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 7:33 am

You can give your maid clear instructions and expectations (within limits) that will make your home run smoothly and keeping it cleaner than you thought possible unless you did it yourself. Limits, there are limits?

“Just move the 50 lb. crates of computer equipment out of the closet, dust, mop and put them back.”

Not all requests go over well with your 4’10” helper. Maids, unless they are very . . unique . . . aren’t looking to star in the local slave movie. These aren’t the kinds of limits, I’m talking about.

But I paid her for 5 hours and she’s leaving after 2 . . .
Every employer knows that a house is never completely clean and that there is always something that needs doing. You try to contract for an hour more than a quick clean of the house in hopes that the new maid will know to clean a major something each week.

Every maid knows that she didn’t choose this job for the joy of cleaning – she needs money. She’s shown a house, she estimates how much she can charge for cleaning it. The employer divides the amount by the local ‘going rate’ and says something like ‘ So you’ll be here 5 hours?” The maid – who really needs the job – says yes. She may or may not have really understood the question. She does know she will clean the house for the amount she said.

The first couple of weeks the maid is there for the full time, maybe even longer. She is finding where the supplies are, cleaning some really obvious dirty spots and developing her routine for the house. She hits her stride, cleans the house in two thirds of the original time. She cleans places every week she expects her employer to check like the kitchen counter and the master bedroom. If she is asked, she does an ‘extra’ job. The kid’s bookshelves may only get dusted when they’re visibly dirty – perhaps when a ‘dust me’ is scrawled by your child. She leaves to do the next job she must do to survive economically, confidant that she is doing a good job.

Her employer feels gypped any week she forgets to ask for a special job and doesn’t understand why a professional cleaner doesn’t know that a refrigerator should be cleaned periodically. The kids start to develop a postnasal drip from the dust mites entrenched under their beds. Your husband, oblivious to the socks he has left under his desk, his clothes on the floor in the bathroom, and the trail of plates throughout the house, asks why there is dust on his golf trophy. The house is not happy.

Sometimes the maid is allocating you the number of hours promised. It just shifted a little to include her travel time. If her clients change and she travels farther or there is traffic, you get less cleaning time.


The Ideal Maid

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 10:13 am

Where You’re At & Where You’re Going

The interview is most important. Many maids feel that they should not move things. It is important to discover if this includes dust.

Send Eco-elegant flowers
Does your maid:

  • Feel that under the bed is an expanse that should not be explored by mortals?
  • Think you enjoy games of hide & seek so she should hide your husband’s crucial tools in places like the utensil jar on the kitchen counter?
  • Think the furry cucumber in the refrigerator is your child’s science experiment?
  • Think your child’s science experiment – labeled DO NOT THROW OUT – is trash?
  • Think that as long as she would never dream of stealing anything, it doesn’t matter if she vacuums out your drawers & accidentally vacuums up the contents of the jewelry box?
  • Neglect the streak of chocolate on the wall right under the cobweb she was on the ladder to clean. (This blog does not cover how it got there. You don’t want to know.)
  • Think you will have no problem finding the books she replaces on the shelf because they are in backwards?
  • Think running round the house chasing dust bunnies with the hose in the blower end of the vacuum is the best way to deal with dust? (My mother swears her first maid did this.)

Are you suffering a slow burn every time you come home & find something amiss but aren’t really ready to fire your maid?

Most maids are honest, hard-working people that neglected to take the course in mind-reading that they really needed for the job. Minimal English is often dispensed with if a friend or child can be used to communicate.  Often they are supporting a family on a very low hourly income. They’re working long hours to try to give their families good lives and they’re tired.

Don’t want to pay attention to your maid and just want to pay her a minimal amount for a minimal job? Any number of people will be happy to oblige.  But YOU don’t have to have the maid of the mediocre job.