Monday, January 12, 2009

Finding a Cleaning Lady

Reflecting on the title I’ve selected it seems to be a little sexist. Cleaning “Lady”? I could have used a more PC term like housekeeper, but then people might think I was living high on the hog and in the market for some kind of live-in Alice-type help. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I’m simply looking for someone, or some pair of people, to show up once a week and scrub floors, clean bathrooms, vacuum and dust. Seems like a simple “to-do”. Seems easy enough. Never for me.

We get flyers in our front door every other month from one of those franchised services Happy Maids or Cheery Elves, some company with uniformed personnel (see, no sexism here) all smiles and whistles. Some of my neighbors have a lady, usually referenced over happy hours and get-togethers as “my girl”. Of those that use the same girl, the satisfaction level is split. Some love her, some don’t. I’m not sure this girl is consistent from house to house, so hiring their girl would certainly be somewhat of a gamble. And if you’ve followed my blog long enough, (right, it’s only been a week, I know) you already know that I have trouble admitting dissatisfaction with service – see last Wednesday’s entry re: Dudley Moore haircut. I’m afraid I would pay for lousy housework and never confront the girl and end up disappointed and bitter each week as I vacuumed or cleaned AFTER she was here. See how hard this is already?

Let’s assume I’ve found the perfect person to clean my house and I can afford the service each week. Now you have to pick a day. If you’re lucky, you get your choice Monday thru Friday. Chances are if she’s any good at what she does, she has a large client base, and they have taken all the good time slots – Thursdays and/or Fridays so that when people spend the most time in their homes on the weekend, that’s when it’s the cleanest. Let’s assume my girl (there I go again, back to the stereotype – sorry) can only do Mondays or Wednesdays. Decisions, decisions, I’m sure there are benefits to having your home cleaned right after the weekend when perhaps it’s the messiest and dustiest. But that leaves you with pretty funky Fridays. Fine, Wednesdays it is. Semi-clean for the weekend, and it wouldn’t kill me to vacuum a little in between visits.

Now I need to figure out what to do with the dog. We have a 90 pound, exuberant, 3 year old Golden Retriever. I’m guessing he would be in the way of any stranger trying to scrub the kitchen floor. I can picture him following her around the house, getting a whiff of every product she pulled out of her arsenal. And if it would happen to be raining on any given Wednesday, the dog’s muddy paws would ruin her work before she was able to finish. So I could either banish the dog outside for the day – doesn’t seem fair to the neighbors he’d most likely bark at all day - or send him to Doggie Daycare for the day. He LOVES it there, but it’s about 8 miles out of my way and getting him there, my daughter to her school, my son on the bus and myself to work all by 9am is pretty much impossible. Plus that’s another $22 a day. That’s why the poor dog has only been there 3 times since September. Come to think of it, I recall one day at Daycare he started drinking the mop water and had to be “observed” for potential poison ingestion the rest of the day in a crate. Another dilemma. Surprise, surprise. I won’t even bore you with the whole my-husband-doesn’t-like-strangers-having-access-to-our-house argument. Exhausted yet? I am. This is precisely why I haven’t hired a cleaning lady – let the dog hair and dust linger on.


  1. Mary (your hot neighbor w/out a cleaning girl)January 19, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    You crack me up! BTW everyone the haircut is super cute. Even if "my girl" didn't cut it.

    I know a cleaning woman who is good. I can give you a number even though I'm not allowed to have "a girl". Not sure what to do about your dog situation though. Garage maybe.

  2. You're so right--cleaning ladies were a major topic of conversation last night!! Who's thorough, who's not, who has to go around after the cleaning lady leaves and move everything back to the exact right spot that it was before, which cleaning ladies just clean around the stuff and never move it! Then the stress of cleaning up before the cleaning lady gets there!
    From Meaghan your other hot neighbor w/out a cleaning lady