Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I need me some "maidequette"

So, I am a little confused. You see, I've never employed a maid before. And, if my conversation doesn't go well in a few minutes, I may still not employ one again..at least not after the first visit.

Mine came, she brought a relative to help her. Normally, I'll be out of pocket and busy when she's here, just to stay out of her hair, but a lot of today I have been here, just because it is her first time and i wanted to be available for questions.

She's done a great job, is very pleasant and I've been pleasant in return. My daughter showed her new Barbies too her and grinned. All positives...

Now, she's told me that she's charging me more for this first visit. That's really fine with us, so I told her we understood. We've never had a maid. We just had hardwood floors put in and there's a lot more dust than normal, etc. A deep clean for a home who hasn't ever had a maid is probably much harder than taking over at a home that's previously had one.

Then, she adds it'll be $10 more per visit as well.


So, obviously something has happened from the time she walked our house to offer to clean it. I asked her why and she said it's more work than she expected. I get that for the first visit--we've never had a maid. There's more of a deep clean needed. (Although, in my defense, people who visit my house always comment on its cleanliness, so it isn't like we're complete slobs.)

But why the upcharge on the bi-monthly visit? Did I offend somehow?

If any of you have a maid, perhaps you can help me...

Should I have offered to make her lunch?

Are there certain things with maids--maidequette, you might say that I am missing here?

Did she size up our belongings and decide that we can afford to pay more? Do we look like good suckers or something for an upcharge?

It feels as if someone showed me a quick glimpse of my own personal Utopia and then they quickly closed the doors back before I ever got to bask in it. It's not FAIR!!!

Well, I paid her more and explained this was our first maid and we'd just had new hardwoods put in, yadda, yadda. She said we can talk about the fee per visit by phone later in the week. Either she is going to completely blow me off now and not return my calls or newk me by phone, or she didn't want to discuss rates in front of her relative that was helping her. Either way, I'm a mixed bag of emotion from elation to frustration.

Oh, a disclaimer... I am not a spoiled brat. The very fact that I have a maid is a really huge deal for me! I'd pay her the moon and stars, but I don't like to feel like I'm getting taken either.


Anonymous Angela said...

Hm, I honestly don't know. Had she not seen the house before she set her price? Maybe if she'd never seen it before she didn't realize how much furniture/knick knacks/etc there was to deal with? Strange though, I'm not sure how I'd feel about that. Did she come as a recommendation from someone? If so, maybe you can ask that person about their experience with her payments?

And then definitely draw up some kind of written contract with her so that she can't pull these shenanigans in the future!

5:16 PM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

The price is the price. I think she looked at your stuff and decided you could pay more...
But, I'm bitter and cynical... I think I'd start looking another maid.

6:58 AM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger Nicole said...

If she walked through and quoted you a price, she should stick with it. Ten dollars isn't much, but it's the principle of the thing. If you can't really trust her after one visit, it will probably go down hill from there. I agree with LBC...get another maid...

10:31 AM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger Thumper said...

Get another maid. She agreed to one price, she shouldn't change it, first visit or not (if first visits are more, she should have let you know that beforehand.) What she did is unethical, and I'd be wary of having someone around my stuff with a known lack of ethics.

11:25 AM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger Kimberly said...

She may have realized there was more work to be done once she got there but now that she has seen the place, I would ask for a firm price that is going to stick. Write up a contact and sign it- include dates, times, emergency phone numbers, a list of what you want cleaned and any other household rules you want her aware of.

Good luck!

12:45 PM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger karla said...

I'm a little bothered by the fact that she waited til AFTER she'd cleaned the house before telling you that the first visit would cost more. That's not how business works. The fact that she added onto the price after the fact, then added onto the weekly price as well, makes me think she'll up the price again in 3 months.

That said, if you are comfortable with having her in your house and you genuinely like her, that's half the battle with maids. There's a huge proportion of the population that you might invite into your home to perform a task, and then wind up hating them and wishing they'd never learned where you live. If you want to try out another maid, I'd recommend you do it but that you you be careful to let this one down gently--lie and say "we've changed our minds about regular maid service for now, but will call you if we decide to do it again." That way if you try 8 more maids and find that they're all either sneaky, weird, unclean, late, mean to your kids, etc., you still have the option of calling back this one that you like.

7:48 PM, January 16, 2008  
Anonymous Beth said...

I would have to agree with the rest. She can't change the price after she cleans. Most people who do this for a living have a set price for sizes & rooms so it seems a little odd that it would change once she has been there.

11:00 PM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Thanks for all the advice, everyone! I definitely think I'm going to talk to her and see if she'll agree to come and clean our house a few more times at the original rate. I understand wanting more for the deep clean, altough coming to me almost after she fact was a little out of line I think.

And, today I got the name of a sister-duo of maids through someone else I know, so I have some leverage with this one. We'll see what happens, I'll keep you posted!

10:21 PM, January 17, 2008  
Blogger Karen Sugarpants said...

I like Karla's suggestion too - best of luck with the situation!

9:48 AM, January 18, 2008  
Anonymous Mommyprenuer said...

I guess I am not a good person to ask. . .I actually "tidy up" before mine comes twice a month out of embarrassment!!!!!!!!!!!

12:20 PM, January 18, 2008  
Anonymous Petra said...

I sometimes help my SIL with her cleaning biz. For new accounts she USUALLY does a pre-evaluation and sets the price beforehand. Many times the work is more than expected but she doesnt up the price unless its a HUGE differnece. Please, please, please have a contract made, with everything that needs to be done & prices. It has to be in writing. Save yourself some headaches!

9:28 AM, January 19, 2008  
Anonymous rosiesribbons said...

I wish I had a maid.. especially since we are selling our home (upgrading) because baby #4 is coming.
Anyhow.. changing the price seems a bit odd to me, and maybe she did "size up" your belongings.
Is she bonded/insured and with a service?
Whatever happens.. good luck!

10:16 AM, January 27, 2008  

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