Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Does it say "sucker" on my forehead?! aka Who knew that housekeepers could be so DIRTY?!?!!

Seriously? Does it? Quick, someone get me a mirror, ASAP, so I can check!

So, were trying to get our house ready to sell so we can move. What a total pain in the bohunkus! It is SO much work! We've been working night and day and day and night, big daddy's parents have been helping, we were going to pay a friend of mine to help us, but my MIL freaked out and said she'd do it so we didn't have to pay to have it done. But, it didn't change the fact that we are all EXHAUSTED!!!!

Well, my MIL, God Bless Her, she really tried. But, her cleaning services were not great. (which I don't understand because her house is always spotless!) Maybe she was just too tired, which could very well be the case. I do appreciate her effort, though.

(Now before I go any farther, I'd like to bonus mom does housecleaning for a living. It's hard, hard work and I have all the respect for her and others in this field. In no way does this post intend to hurt or offend her or anyone else. I am speaking specifically about the housekeeping company alluded to during this post.)

So, we decided to hire this housecleaning service here in the Hill and naively, I assumed that because they are "bonded and insured," i.e. Professional, that I can trust them to clean my house. At least the small list I asked them to do.

My 3 main reasons I decided to pay someone were:
#1 - I was exhausted and I pulled a muscle scrubbing the scuz from big daddy's and my tub. OUCH! (I still can't breathe normally without feeling like I am having a heart attack and it's been 2 days!)

#2 - This stinkin' wood laminate floor is giving me fits. You see, until about 6 days ago, we had the majority of it covered with a big rug, which we mistakenly thought was cleaner than just having the plain wood floor. Wrong! Guess again! When we moved the furniture off that thing to roll it up and really clean the wood floor, I about puked when I saw the underside of that carpet! GAG!!! So, anyway, because I couldn't really move it, I would just sweep around it and sweep under the edges that I could reach and call it a day. I would also vacuum the top of the rug. Turns out, that apparenly wasn't enough. So, the rug had to go!!!! You know, this floor is really beautiful! But, I haven't yet figured out the right formula for getting it clean and keeping it clean. I consulted my good friend *Google* who referred me to some other new friends who recommended just plain water or water w/ vinegar or the Sw----r Wet Jet for Wood Floors. Well, in my experience this week, none of these is really effective long term. And by long term, I mean the boys came in from forward about 14 minutes and the floor was a mess again! This really sucks! So, stupidly, I think...."I'll call a professional! They'll know what to do!!" In the case of these people....wrong again! The floor looks exactly the same as the 3 times I've mopped it this week.

#3 - I am done. Just done. I don't want to look at another thing of bleach, another antibacterial anything, no more paper towels, no more Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (which is, btw, the best invention evah!) All I have to say is dust and dirt can kiss my booty! I'm just done. But really, as far as the kitchen goes, I have scrubbed the ceramic tile, cleaned the grout, washed the walls, scrubbed the baseboards, ran the self-cleaning cycle on the oven, washed the cabinet fronts, dusted up high w/ my static duster and big daddy even vacuumed the bottom of the fan blades. (are you bored yet? sorry, i do have a point....) So, anyway, when I called the house cleaners I was very specific on what I still needed done....the wood floor, wiping the ash from the inside of the oven, dusting the cabinet tops and all the decorative items sitting on the cabinet tops, cleaning the outside and specifically the bottom grate of the refrigerator, dust the ceiling fan and general cleaning of the kitchen.

So, originally, I was put on their schedule for late last week when I called to get their prices. I made the appointment just in case I needed it. I had scheduled the deep clean for $150, meaning they were to clean everything, top to bottom, in the entire house. It's meant to get your house ready to go on the market. For all that, I felt like $150 was reasonable. But the following morning they were supposed to call and confirm if they were supposed to come...but they called and left a message that said they (husband/wife cleaning team) were sick and they needed to reschedule. Honestly, I got the impression they were being untruthful about being sick, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I seriously almost cried. I was so exhausted and overwhelmed, I just wanted to pay them to do it and be done with it. They said they would give me their first opening which was on Tuesday. Honestly, I had hoped we would have all the repair work and cleaning finished by then. But, with 4 kiddos underfoot, everything takes longer!!!

On Monday, ~A~ (my good friend) came and helped me scrub bathtubs. Now that was a job!! Between my elbow bothering me and pulling some muscle in my chest....I was rendered basically useless. Poor ~A~ did a BUNCH of the work on her own. And she didn't complain. (In hindsight, I'm so glad I was paying her, it helped me with some of the guilt I was feeling. But, I was so thankful for her help! She probably doesn't even know how much she blessed me! We have a cat and she's allergic to them, but she stayed anyway.)

Monday night, the cleaners called to see if I needed an appointment for Tuesday. I knew I couldn't even ask ~A~ to subject herself to my cat again, so I said yes, although I thought it was too expensive. I explained to her all the work we had done and she dropped the price to $120. I still thought it was a little high, considering how much work we had already done, but I was feeling desperate, so I did it anyway. We set a time and I really kicked into overdrive trying to get things picked up for them to clean. I was still working when they arrived (late, mind you.) So, they decided to go to the BK drive-thru for lunch. During the 15 minutes they were gone, I finished cleaning up all the stuff, took a shower, got dressed, got ~G~ dressed and changed ~M~'s diaper. (yep, I'm the mother of four I can really MOVE IT when I need to!) So, when they returned, I was trying to finish getting ready and dress ~M~ so we could leave (which is what they requested.) They also "required" pre-payment for the services rendered. (I know you are thinking that I really am an idiot about now, but give me a break, exhaustion and desperation causes you to think crazy things are normal!)

When I left they had been here about 30 minutes. I asked how long I should give them before I returned. She said, you better give us at least 2 hours. So, we went to eat lunch, then to the CVS drive-thru to pick up my prescription I had ordered 6 days before and hadn't made it 1 mile to pick up! (How sad am I? I didn't even leave my house this past week - not once!) After doing this, it had been about 1 1/2 hours, but I went back anyway....I figure I can drive around and research other houses in my neighborhood, if they weren't done. So, imagine my surprise to find them already all packed up and gone!! (the reason becomes clear later....)

So, I enter the house and I am gagged by the super piney freshness. I almost can't breathe and I eventually develop a headache from the overwhelming fumes. Believe me, those windows came open to air out, even though it's a little cool outside. It was absolutely The floor looked fine, but not any better than the 3 times I did it in the last week. But I figure "the professional" job will last longer. Nope. Wrong again!

I walk into the kitchen and the first thing I notice is all my cabinet decorations are dishoveled and some things are even down on the kitchen table, rather than put back in their place. I'm irritated, but I figure the husband has to be responsible for this.....since men don't place importance in decorating and I'm sure if he did the dusting up there, she must have been busy cleaning my oven, right?! WRONG AGAIN!!!!! My irritation grew when I opened the oven to find it coated in I am really getting upset. I'm still taking it in stride, but it's really getting on my nerves the more I think about it.

The realtor comes over to list our house a few hours later....and I am embarrassed because of the mess in the kitchen and she can't take her pics until I fix it. So much for the cleaner's promise to help with the stress and make my life easier. Ha! Yeah, right! (so giving me more work to do is gonna make my life easier?!?!)

By Wednesday morning....I'm basically over it. I can't continue to worry about it.

So, I move on....that is until I climb on the ladder to attempt to clean up this now unorganized mess. So, I climb up to the top wrung on a 6 ft. ladder while a toddler and preschooler shake the ladder and what do I see.......yep, you guessed it. Dust! Not just a little dust, THICK DUST! Dust with streaks thru it. Streaks that I put up there with my attempt to vacuum the dust about 5 days earlier. The items have dust in the crevices, although, I am sure they were dusted around the perimeter, they were not carefully DEEP cleaned, as promised. I am so mad....I feel like such a SUCKER!! They took my $120 in cash and proceded to screw me over! Can you believe that?! I guess since I'm moving, I am expendable to them. They know I'm not "long term" so they thought they could do a sub-standard job.

I was so mad, I knew better than to call them. I'm tired, AF is in town and they have taken advantage of my trust. I wrote them a pretty "matter of fact" email and called and left a message that they needed to check their email. You can read it in a later post....I'm just waiting to see if they respond.

I don't get furious very often, but if I better watch out!!

In the meantime, if you live in the Hill and you need a me first for references....I'll tell you who NOT to hire!!!

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