Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cleaning Help Misery

I had cleaning "help" on Monday. Jon, wanting to do something nice for me after our vacation, hired cleaning help. Let me just point out here that I hate cleaning help more than I hate cleaning (and I HATE cleaning). I never liked maids in Morocco, the rare event when a friend of relative would offer to pitch in, nor do I like paying money for "Jolly Maids" or whatever spin they put on the act of cleaning which everyone hates or should if they don't.

I know, I know... I should be grateful. It's my husband wanting to spend the money. He isn't looking down his nose at me saying "You clean" so he can put that $150 toward a new putter.

But honestly, I'd take the putter on his behalf.

Cleaning help does two things I hate: 1) It raises my hopes that I won't have to clean and will be "wowed" by how many nooks and crannies are now dust and grime free, and 2) Cleaning help breaks stuff.

With regard to number one: This morning in my newly "clean" shower, I squirted Lime Away on all the shower door surfaces because there is so much untouched gunk on the runners and the metal frame. Even the glass doors still have water spots.

I have to vacuum and dust the whole house save one room because "the maids ran out of time." I cleaned my oven since the self-cleaning timer was set too late and went off after they left. I cleaned my kitchen because with two hours remaining, I had to tell them where to put their energies since they couldn't do it all. I swept and mopped the hall and the kitchen floors because they were too busy wiping down baseboards.

::wrirck, reik, wrick:: Rewind that tape. Did someone mention "baseboards"? If so, I may now have to wrench one from the wall to bat said person over the head.

I have no clue why anyone cares about baseboards. In my house, they are dusty "down at the bottom of walls" planks, which aren't even well-painted. Wiping them provides virtually no change in appearance to the rooms. When I do bother to squat in their general direction and wipe them down, it takes me about ten minutes per room.

Yet this crew of three (then two, because one left after breaking my window fastener - Number Two on my list of things I hate about cleaning help) took (I kid you not) the whole day to wash doors and windows (forgetting a couple), and wipe baseboards (though for some inexplicable reason they did not clean the baseboards that go up the stairs). When they had two hours left, they had not yet dusted or vacuumed a single room, cleaned any of the three bathrooms nor glanced at my kitchen.

In other words, you could not tell I had hired cleaning help for the day. In fact, I had more work ahead of me once they left than before they came.

Because I expect a clean house as the result of hiring a maid service, I was stunned into speechless whines of hysteria on the back porch while I'll stomped around in agony realizing I'd need to actually clean the house once they left. In those precious two hours, they cleaned three bathrooms and dusted/vacuumed one room. Turns out, they didn't really clean the bathrooms as I discovered this morning in the shower.

And so today I will be dusting and vacuuming, washing windows left undone, cleaning the kitchen more thoroughly, mopping the kitchen floors, wiping and vacuuming the stairwell, and preparing a room for my mom.

Soooo glad I had cleaning help this week. It's made everything so much easier.


Sandie said...

You are describing my experiences exactly!!!! In the 7 years that I have hired help, I have been disappointed more than not. Where I have felt like I was getting help was when I hired older women who did house cleaning on the side. They have a standard of clean that most closely matches mine. They can clean FAST! And I love it when they are done, things really are cleaner. I have an almost 3000 sqft home with two baths and the 3 women that were the best, cleaned by themselves and were able to clean the whole thing in 2-3 hours and that is paying EXTRA attention to the kitchen and baths. I furnished all the supplies and paid them $75 a week.

I am again on the hunt for a good reliable housekeeper. All three of my favorites have gone on to bigger and better things. Nathan is a huge help. He deep cleans beautifully, but his consistance of doing it once a week isn't always there :)

I have learned the hard way services ARE not the way to go, they also caused me more work and more headaches than anything else.

Steve said...

Jon is a golfer!? Change of plans for October. You stay home, send Jon out with his clubs......!

Anonymous said...

Ugh, did you give the company feedback on your satisfaction level?

I have asked Rick to invent an attachment on the side of my vacuum that will brush over the baseboards and suck up the dust. It hasn't happened yet.

Rick has a nice collection of putters also. I wonder why continues to believe that the next one will be the Holy Grail.

Tell me Jon does not do chest putters.

R. Michael said...

...somehow expected more of a zen approach from you on this topic ;<)

I guess some things like house cleaning and shoppping for shoes(for me) are not metaphysically scaleable...nor should they be.