When I returned to the work force after about a 9 month break, my husband, then boyfriend, insisted I hire a maid. I interviewed two services and liked both. I chose the one I'm currently using because the owner seemed to have an interest in our cats - other than wondering how much "in the way" they were going to be while she cleaned.
My husband and I are not messy people and we clean after ourselves and my once a week housecleaning that I did when I wasn't working took me about 4 hours - with a couple of short breaks. That allowed for deep cleaning in one room and maintenance cleaning in the rest of the house. The rotation worked well. (Thanks FlyLady!)
When my maid first started, I was pleased as could be - she cleaned as well as I did. And she's a sweetie - when my back was out last year, she offered to go to the store, run errands, etc for me. I'm not sure her boss would have approved, but I very much appreciated the offer even though I didn't need to take her up on it. When Harry died (seems like our cats die on cleaning day), D met her at the door and explained that she would not be able to clean upstairs (where Harry was). Instead of cleaning downstairs and leaving - she rearranged her schedule and came back the next day to clean the entire house. She has a heart of gold.
Her boss, on the other hand, seems to think it's OK to work her maids on national holidays. She also seems to think that S can clean my house in one and a half hours. And we've noticed things starting to really slip - dust build up on our dining room furniture, etc. I once asked S if she needed to come a different day so she could work longer in our house. She said no.
After this weekend, I'm afraid I have to take a more assertive stance. I cleaned the dining room furniture and the kitchen cabinets thoroughly. It became painfully clear that she's not even wiping down the faces of the cabinets and there was a dust build up on the dining room chairs. I know she can't do a deep clean every week, but she was there on Thursday - there should not have been dust on those chairs on Saturday!
So, me and my Old English friend became reacquainted. And I have to say - I love how the kitchen cabinets are gleaming. What I didn't like was how nauseated I felt when I finished this morning. To much Old English fumes? How could the smell of lemon oil make me ill?
Anyway, I'm torn. I don't want to fire my cleaning service and hurt S. I don't care about her boss - but if I quit the service, it will ultimately hurt S. And I have to say, I've missed the satisfaction and almost instant reward of cleaning. Done with some elbow grease, it gets the heart rate up a wee bit, too!
For now, I plan to leave S a note on cleaning day - if I could arrange to work remotely that day, I would but Thursdays are difficult to be remote. So - the note is going to tell her what I found and that I think she's not being given enough time do everything and offer again, to change days. If we do end up having to stop the service, I think I may try keeping house myself. I did so like those gleaming cabinets.