Firing a house cleaner can be intimidating. However, if your house cleaner has not been doing the job to your standards, you have every right to cancel the service. It is your money, after all. While confronting someone is never easy or fun, keeping a few tips in mind will ensure that the experience is as painless as possible for both you and the house cleaner.
The most common reason for firing a house cleaner is that he or she has let standards slip. Have you tried talking to the house cleaner? A simple conversation may be all that is needed to get the level of service you are receiving back up to your standards. Be friendly while clearly explaining the areas where service has been lacking.
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Dealing With an Agency
If the situation cannot be salvaged, it's time to start the firing process. If you have hired the housekeeper through an agency, you can deal with the agency directly. Call the agency and explain clearly why you are unhappy with your service. Understand that what you say may have repercussions for the housekeeper. The agency will probably offer to send a new housekeeper. It is up to you if you want to stay with the agency or try a new service.
Dealing With Individuals
Dealing with individuals can be quite a bit harder, as you may have gotten to know him or her and even become friends. You know your relationship best, but it may be smart simply to say that you no longer require his or her services. If you are willing, say that you will be happy to provide references. Citing economic reasons is always a painless way out.
In some severe cases, you may be dealing with a house cleaner who has stolen something or performed some other type of offense. First, be absolutely certain that you feel comfortable making the accusation. Are you sure the item hasn't been misplaced or wasn't taken by someone else? If you are sure, confront the housekeeper. Be friendly at first—getting angry or shouting will only put the person on the defensive. Explain the situation and what you are missing. Ask if he or she has seen the item. If it comes down to it, explain that you have come to the conclusion that he or she has taken the item. Ask for it to be returned. Whether it is returned or the house cleaner denies it, you will probably want to explain you will no longer need his or her services.
Get the Key Back
The most important thing to remember after firing your maid is to get the key back. If you worked with an agency, you can set up an appointment to pick up the key. If you worked with an individual, you can ask for the key back immediately. For peace of mind, you may want to have your locks changed anyway.
A graduate student in Boston, MA, Michael Kay has been a professional writer for over five years. After working in political communications, he began working as a copywriter for a national advertising agency based in Chicago. His work can be found in college textbooks, corporate marketing materials and across the Web. He has a Bachelor of Arts in magazine feature writing from Ball State University.