So, Day Two of the Gift of Clean.
Before we go further. I want to say - very clearly - that while there are a lot of issues exposed below, Merry Maids' branch manager has come by, and he's embarrassed on their behalf. He's bringing in a new crew to show me what their standard is supposed to look like. While I'm exposing what happens when a communication failure leads to a crew that has no idea what they're supposed to be doing when they arrive -- I WILL be exposing what happens when their team does their best.
Anyway, we left this scene with me having just sending Calvin home instead of letting him try to scrub the entire tile floor clean while wearing office clothes. After Calvin left I began to notice a few places where the deep first cleaning from our Professional Cleaners didn't quite meet expectations.
I admit, I have HIGH expectations. And since I know that I tend to have unreasonably high expectations, I try to dial them back down. That said, Calvin made all sorts of promises of excellent work. He didn't quite say that the rooms they cleaned would be white glove clean, but they did say that they'd clean all counters, clean all the baseboards, clean all the windowsills, wipe down the fronts of all cabinets. Dust the tops of picture frames.... Heck, not only do they publish on their website a comprehensive list of the things they do as part of a regular cleaning they have an adorable little check list that they pre-print and then leave for us to tell us what they allegedly done for the Special Attention portions of their service. We'll get to that next.
Additionally, this series will bring to light just how bad a housekeeper I've been. It exposes dirt I wish I didn't have to admit to. It may also serve as a reminder of just how many tiny details there are to cleaning a big house well.So what is supposed to happen when these folks clean your house? According to their website, their regular service includes the following:
"On every visit, your Merry Maids team dusts, vacuums, washes and sanitizes each room. Using our equipment and specially formulated products, they clean from left to right, top to bottom, so no detail is overlooked."
(We interrupt this quote to note that among the "specially formulated products" they used in our house was Mr. Clean.)
So, where were we? Oh yes, the things I expected, since they told me it would be so. let's start with the kitchen....
Clean appliances, counters, cabinets, table and chairs. Clean, scrub and sanitize sinks. Clean and sanitize countertops and backsplashes. Clean the range top and refrigerator top and exterior. Clean microwave oven inside and out. Wash floor."
We'll skip the "wash floor" part for now. They have agreed to come do that, so we'll pretend that's not an issue. Let's move on to cleaning appliances, counters, cabinets, table and chairs. Starting with appliances - the refrigerator looked lovely. (Okay there was a wee issue with the calcium deposits on the water dispenser, but otherwise, the front looked lovely. The toaster was clean. I've not examined the front of the dishwasher, so I can't speak to that today.
The microwave gets it's own mention. The inside was gorgeous
Alas, the front wasn't as clean
Let's move on to counters: The main counters were clean. I confess to having checked -- I moved the toaster to see what was behind it. It was clean. But there is a counter in the kitchen that they didn't even touch:
Sure it's cluttered. But all that stuff can move, and should have moved, and the dusty counter beneath should have been touched.
Let's take a look at the sinks then. Surely they could clean the sinks?
Hmm... not so much. What about its mate -- there's a double sink. That one was full of clean dishes when they arrived. The other one was empty...
That white enamel kitchen sink with black streaks on it (caused by pot
bottoms scraping it) could have been left gleaming white if they'd
only used the Comet that was sitting on the window ledge right there.
I'd have thought that "clean, scrub, and sanitize sinks" would have
included that. I see black marks there.
Hmm. This isn't adding up so well. Since the stove becomes part of the the "Special Focus" list, I'll leave it until later. Let's take a look at the Bathroom
Clean, scrub and sanitize showers, bathtubs and sinks. Clean and sanitize vanities, backsplashes and toilets. Clean mirrors. Polish chrome. Wash floors and tile walls. Deodorize."
We'll start with the showers, shall we. There are ways in which I do not want to show you these, since they reveal just how lax my own housekeeping has been lately. But ... well, sometimes blogging means embarrassing yourself.
Cleaning, scrubbing, and sanitizing showers ...
That means that I should expect a clean shiny shower not this
or this - which insists on being upside down,
Dust picture frames, knickknacks, ceiling fans, lamps, furniture, woodwork, shelves and baseboards. Remove cobwebs. Vacuum carpets. Wash all floors and dry wood floors. Vacuum furniture, including under any cushions. Empty and clean ashtrays and wastebaskets."
Okay, let's tak a look. Dust picture frames. That means that we look at a picture frame it should look shiny and clean?
And when I wipe my finger across the top of a picture frame, it should come away clean, right?
Maybe not so much. These are from two different bathrooms.
Dust knicknacks? They did get the ones on the mantel, but not the ones on the kitchen windowsill.
Dust shelves - I combine that with the cleaning counters thing from the kitchen, and I assume that means that in the laundry room, they should have cleaned the surfaces - the counters. The first thing they did in the laundry room seems to have been putting the trash cans on the counter so they could clean the floor -- but they never cleaned that counter. And there were cobwebs under the edges of that counter -- between the counter and the dryer. Regular service includes at least dusting all furniture and removing cobwebs. There was a cobweb on the door window in the laundry room. It only got wiped off the window when I told Calvin about it and he dealt with it. Here's what he left:
The concept of cleaning surfaces and appliances would seem to indicate that the tops of the washer and dryer would be cleaned. After the original team was there, I found a sticky spot on the washer top.... and I told Calvin about it. He wiped it off, but left this:
We've already seen what they do in kitchen sinks.... how about laundry room utility sinks?
This goes on and on.
It's too depressing to contemplate. There are parts of my house that are this dirty. The people I hired to clean it are this incompetent.
Thank heavens the people I hired are determined to make this right. Perhaps they detected that I'm a blogger, and would blog the fiasco. Perhaps this really is an incredible fluke....
Lucky for them, I'll blog the WHOLE thing. If they come through, I'll sing their praises..... and I'm holding my YELP review until our interaction on this issue has closed.
Tomorrow -- the Special Attention claims.