Don't get me wrong - I think she's a super nice person. She cleaned our house for us for over SEVEN YEARS. She did a great job for about five of the seven years.
I know I mentioned previously that she had ripped a hole in our living room carpet and then tried to cover it up, right? After having some serious heartburn over it, I decided that having help was better than doing it myself so I sucked it up and said nothing.
The cleaning quality had gotten kind of spotty. She would do a fantastic job one week, a mediocre job the next week, and then a crappy job the next week. Lather, rinse, repeat - this went on for a while. We had more good cleaning jobs than bad cleaning jobs, but it was irritating at best.
Then, a few months ago, she fell down our stairs while carrying our Dyson Animal. After my initial concern over her well-being (and lack of insurance in all likelihood), I was really annoyed because 1.) we have a perfectly good vacuum cleaner up on the second floor that made it totally unnecessary for her to carry said Dyson up the stairs, and 2.) the damn Dyson was now broken. Gone. Toast. Three-hundred-and-fifty smackeroos down the drain.
But, in the spirit of good will (and again, because I am a lazy bastard), I got yet another Dyson, got the old one resuscitated and put it up on the second floor, and called it a day.
Then, sometime in February, I noticed a few odd things on Thursdays after she cleaned. A few things went missing...nothing valuable, but stuff that she usually moved every time she cleaned and always put back, but seemed to be missing this time around. Lights left on. The cleaning wasn't quite up to par. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was just really odd.
I came home one week to a note on the table asking me to pay her in cash from now on. I had alternated between checks and cash for years - most of the time (80%) paying her by check. It is not always convenient for me to have $65 cash on hand on a Thursday morning, mostly from the fact that I rarely carry cash and then to get money from the ATM and then have to get change...ugh. Yeah, remember - I'm a lazy bastard, right?
But my antennae went up. And then, that weekend, I was out in the yard when one of the neighbors approached me and asked if I'd gotten a new cleaning lady and how she was working out.
A ha. She was having someone else clean my house without telling me. Thus the need for cash. And the misplaced items.
I was done at that point. I understand that sometimes people feel overwhelmed by their jobs or maybe have bitten off more than they could chew, or even have personal situations that make it necessary for them to make changes. But communication, my friends, would have solved the whole problem. I was more pissed that she was trying to be so freaking sneaky about it than the fact that she had someone else cleaning for her. Well, that was pretty bad too, because who wants a stranger in their house?
In the typical mode of the Dear John letter, I left her a note that basically said that we were cutting expenses due to the economy and that we wouldn't be needing her anymore. I didn't really want to burn the bridge since my sister still uses her and really would it make a difference if I confronted her about it? Probably not.
So now housekeeper has been added to my list of responsibilities. And while I kind of hate cleaning, I kind of like it too. If only the critters that live in my house would be a little better about picking up after themselves, it would be a whole lot easier.
As soon as I can make sure that I'm not on the verge of losing my job, though, I WILL be on the mission to find someone else. Because really, I much prefer being a lazy bastard.