Sunday, August 12, 2007

Off with her head

We had a great time with the Badasses last night. So great that the end of the evening involved someone sticking their bare ass out of the window of the PimpMobile. And no, it wasn't me.

But more on that later. We have a Badass pool outing later on today so there will be more tidbits of goodness.

What I need is some advice. So if you can hook a sistah up, I'd appreciate it.

We've had Reyna come weekly to clean our house for over five years now. She's worked for my sister even longer than that. She's reasonably priced, she's extremely reliable (I think she's missed once in that entire time), and really very low maintenance. She's good at what she does. Or at least she used to be. Since we moved into our house two years ago, the quality of her cleaning has gone downhill a little bit. And then a lot.

She does a lot of things well. She catches up laundry, changes out our sheets and washes and folds them, straightens our closets, and stuff like that.

But now, the little things are starting to bug me. Like the fact she refuses to use any kind of product to get mildew out of our shower. Apparently, wiping it down is enough for her, and the shower in the past few weeks is starting to show small spots of mildew that I'm cleaning up myself. Our bathroom floor - which is the dog's major hangout - really needs a good scrubbing. There are times that I don't think she's running the vacuum cleaner in our family room, and the dog hair is pretty evident. Sometimes, I don't think she's even wiping down the kitchen counters. Stuff like that.

But you know, in the grand scheme of things, maybe it's not a big wiggle. I think I'm lucky to have help. Honestly, I get zero help from Joey (God love him but the man is a pig) and without some help, we would be living in serious filth. So whatever she does is better than nothing at all. Right?

Well, until Friday afternoon. She came on Thursday - and I had a miserable day on Thursday and pretty much holed up in my own little world that night. On Friday afternoon, I arrived home from work and the fifteen places we had to go that afternoon and found IT.

I guess what happened is that she moved our couch to vacuum under it - and the corner of the leg caught a loop in our carpeting, and it pulled a one-foot long run right in our carpet. Leaving like a four-foot long string of carpet "string". Okay, people make mistakes, right? Hell, we did the same freaking thing in our basement (damn builder-grade crapass carpet) with the coffee table down there.

But here's the thing. She tried to cover it up. She took the long string - laid it along the run in the carpet - and then stuffed the rest of it under the couch leg. No note, no phone call, not even leaving the couch moved so we could see what had happened. She tried to hide it.

I am pissed. It's not fixable. And it's not hidable either - it's in the main pathway through the living room and there is no way to put an area rug or runner in that area without throwing off the balance of the entire room (not to mention the tripping hazard it would cause). So this means we are going to potentially have to replace the entire carpet in our family room. It might be that Cat Door can fix it temporarily - he used to have his own flooring business and when we worked on that Corporate Headquarters job he showed me a few tricks about patching carpet - but's a patterned Berber and will probably not look good even patched.

So my questions for y'all to ponder, since I am a big fat wimp and hate confrontation:

1. Would you fire her? Or just point out the damage and hope to move forward from that point?
2. If you did fire her, would you do it in person or by letter? She's a nice person and there's zero chance of any negative reprocussions, but I want to handle this in the right way if that's the way we go. Not to mention that there is a serious language barrier and we have trouble communicating...there are lots of times that I've had to get Joey's assistant to write a letter in Spanish to leave for her.

I guess I'm having a hard time with this because it's kind of like the last straw. If she'd been doing a fabulous job recently and it was an honest mistake, I probably would just let it go. But the quality has gone downhill, and the fact that she tried to hide what she'd done is almost more than I can tolerate.

Thanks for the advice, y'all. Now off to shower off the hangover funk before I go sweat all those martinis out at the pool.


joansy said...

Awww that sucks. I'm also bad at the confrontation gig - except for the two days a month that I'm on my period, and then I can confront anyone about anything. I was all for just asking her to make sure that x, y and z got cleaned - but the carpet incident would probably send me over the edge of telling her that the gig is over. Uugh.

Mitzi Green said...

my first reaction is "fire her ass," but then i recall the misery i went through when my first housekeeper skipped town and i never did find anyone else who did the job she did for the price she did. find an interpreter and have a face-to-face-to-face chat with her about what you found, your displeasure with her recent work, and your need for her to improve.

Gretchen said...

What mitzi said...

g-man said...

I'd have to agree with Gretchen and Mitzi. Definitely find someone who you trust to interpret so there is no misunderstanding, maybe there is an easy resolution. Good luck with that.

Tree said...

I would have to say I recently did this and left my former housekeeper a note saying that I no longer needed her services as of XX date. I gave her a month's notice.

I have a new housekeeper and there are definitely things I want done differently, so I have left her a message and given her detailed instructions on how often I want XYZ done.

Good luck!