Thursday, February 28, 2008

My house cleaner is a stubborn lady

And I am, apparently, a spineless idiot.

Here's the problem. And the fact that I think it's a problem is in itself a problem. I have this little rug that goes in front of the door leading out of the kitchen to the garage. It is placed like this:

Right? Flat side against the door. But when my house cleaner finishes her work in the kitchen, she leaves it like this:

Which is just wrong, according to me. So every time I find it like this, I reverse it, and every time she comes she puts it back her way.

But what's really crazy is how crazy this makes me. Every Thursday I run in the house from work right to that rug to see if she's done it again. And she always has. And I don't seem to be able to do anything about it. It's such a stupid little thing that it seems petty to mention it. And it's gone on for so long, wouldn't she wonder why I hadn't mentioned it before? I thought that my turning it around every week would be enough. Obviously I'm not good at managing the help. And I'm not good at confrontation.

The bed linens is a similar example. I insist on flannel all the time, all year round (even in the summer, nights here get cool). House cleaner, however, prefers cotton percale. I know this because she will dig percale sheets out of the very back of the linen closet (where I hide them) and replace the flannel ones with them. But do I inform her that I prefer flannel? Nooooooo. I get rid of the percale so she has no option other than flannel. (I think I donated them to our vet's office.) It's my house. My bed. My sheets. And my rug? What on earth is my problem???

I dunno. Maybe the fact that my house cleaner really works for my mother-in-law? Here's how that happened: One day the MIL remarked "I couldn't help but notice when I was at your house the other day that you could use a little help." And instead of saying "What exactly do you mean by that?" I said "Uh, yeah. I've been kind of busy." So my Christmas present was to have her cleaning person clean my house once a week for "a while," which has continued over a year later. Because obviously, I really need quite a lot of help. And the MIL is an unbelievably generous and truly nonjudgmental (just observant) person.

How rocking of the MIL is that? And how pathetic of me? But my house is (fairly) clean. Who needs pride?

23 comments:

ElleBee said...

I'd probably be exactly the same way. Why should I let some silly confrontation come between me a cleaned-by-someone-other-than-me home? :)

Anonymous said...

A rug?? At least she's cleaning your house!!! How many people in this country have cleaning ladies? Please!

Woolly said...

I had a cleaning lady once... Her name was mom. Good things like that never last!

Kate said...

I think "anonymous" misses the point. When someone works for you to clean YOUR home - they should keep it how you want it, not how they think it should be.

Ladybug's Picnic said...

Well, I have a cleaning lady. I have for YEARS and she does similar things but - your sheet issue is cracking me up, though. We are moving in 3 weeks and I have a new cleaning lady lined up who seems extremely sweet, but I am sure we'll have our "differences in style" to work out!

And yes, that is pretty rockin of MIL.

Impoverished Preppy said...

Your MIL sounds heavenly... would she like to adopt me?

Actually mine is quite lovely too, though I have never scored a free house cleaner. My BFF's mother does this for her as well, but her free housecleaner is just once a month.

Maybe I should start dropping hints? Or make sure that the place is a disaster next time I know she's visiting?

About the rug - I suggest getting a new one - shaped like a rectangle. End of problem. (Unless she is truly toying with you and lays the new rectangular run out with the shorter side against the door!)

kristenspina said...

Your mother-in-law sounds like a dream (though mine is, as well...)

I think I'd find myself equally crazy over the little things, too, but at the risk of losing the help? No way. I'd suck it up.

jilly said...

Have you left her a note? That is what I would do.

That would make me insane though, I totally agree with you. Good luck.

Kerry said...

I love it! I think she must be doing the rug thing to annoy you!

I love that second comment! I have a cleaning lady and had one while I wasn't working too and everyone I know has a cleaning lady except one friend who needs one even if she won't admit it! MY MIL gave me a look of pity when she first found out we had one - as if to say, poor Kerry can't even take care of the house. ha! doesn't bother me! I hate cleaning!!

Angelina said...

See, that's the kind of unspoken battles my husband and I have and it can get pretty ridiculous because I totally go nuts over small details like this. I always eventually bring the duel into the open though and then I almost always win.

I'm terrible with confrontation though when it's with people other than Philip so I'm not sure I'd be any different than you in this situation.

I wouldn't say no to a free cleaning lady either.

So, anonymous is still here. Must love you a lot to keep coming by when he/she seems to find everything you do and say annoying.

You can just delete all those comments as you see them. It never occurred to me to do that but a blog friend of mine just deletes all the tedious comments that come to her blog. I may do that the next time it happens to me.

Angelina said...

Oh, wait, I also meant to say that it makes no sense for the house cleaner to put the rug with the rounded side in- it's obviously not meant to be that way.

KatieGirlBlue said...

Heeheehee...I grew up in a house with a once-a-week cleaning lady, and as a result, I never really learned that you have to do things like scrub the tub and mop the floor and dust. I never saw it happening, the cleaner came while I was at school.

So when I got married and moved into a real house, as opposed to the rented hovels I'd spent my twenties squatting in, I didn't understand that it needed to be cleaned. Like, alot.

My parents came to visit and my mom immediately went to work with chemical agents I didn't even know we had. As she scrubbed and wiped and washed, she asked me, "didn't I teach you better than this?" And I was like, "well, no, Mom. You had a cleaning lady."

Things are better now. I get it. I have to clean. Fortunately our house is very tiny.

And as for the rug and sheets conundrum: I, too, would be annoyed, yet I, too, would be unable to say anything. You know, maybe this is one of those situations where you have a sit-down with the cleaning lady, under the guise of making sure everything's going ok for her. You could broach the subkect by saying, "I just wanted to check in to make sure thing are working out. Do you have everything you need from me? Is there anything I can do to make thing better for you?" Ad then, if she's a socially-appropriate creature, she'll ask you the same, and you can say, "actually, see that rug?..."

eccentricego said...

Maybe try turning the rug the way she puts it, then perhaps by chance she will flip it around to the way you like it. It would be a funny experiment if it actually turned out that way.

Heather at Grace303 said...

I had to laugh at this. I am so exactly the same way - I can see myself rushing home to see which way the rug was left. Ha. I also like to avoid confrontation. Too funny.

Kate said...

I'm exactly the same way - I think it's liberal guilt. The fact that I pay someone to clean my house because I am too busy or lazy to do it myself just seems like enough to ask of my housecleaner - too demanding to ask that she do things the way I want them, too!

Bri said...

I definitely understand how much the backwards rug could bother you. My OCD nature prevents me from allowing anyone to clean my house. I would probably follow behind them and do it all over again, which is ridiculous.

I do like the solution of getting a rectangular rug. Then you both get to be right!

The Mrs. said...

That is too funny. I feel bad telling mine anything but I do! otherwise I'd go nuts!

Ned said...

I am the same way with certain things, my old cleaning lady drove me crazy-everything mono. was always upside down. Pillows, towels, then I realized she could not read and had no clue which way the letters went. Talk about feeling bad!

Cloggsy said...

That's so funny, but it would bug the hell out of me too! What on earth makes her think it goes that way?!

Lisa said...

The rug thing would bother me too. And I agree with jilly, I would leave a note because I'm too wimpy to confront people. But hey, she's getting paid to clean your house (so what if it's not you paying her) you should have it done the way you want!

Monica said...

Ha ha ha! That rug would bug the shit out of me.

Trish said...

I finally got hubby to break down and let me get someone in once a month -- with two little kids things just don't get done well or often otherwise. Funny about the rug though -- it's my father-in-law who ALWAYS moves our rugs around when he's here. It drives me apeshit. And when I call him on it he blames the kids! He's a great guy otherwise, so I'll hold my tongue though.

Midge said...

That sounds like the world's greatest Christmas gift to me. The rug would drive me nuts too