Is it okay to take a rowdy 8-year-old to a cleaning job when you can’t find a babysitter? The working parent struggling with the effects of COVID-19, you may want to reconsider.
Reputation is everything for professional house cleaners. So, should you postpone an appointment with your cleaning clients? Will babysitting kids at work make you look like an unprofessional house cleaner?
Listen: A Rowdy 8-Year-Old to a Cleaning Job
Watch: A Rowdy 8-Year-Old to a Cleaning Job
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Bringing a Rowdy Eight-Year-Old to a Cleaning Job
Can you bring a rowdy eight-year-old to a cleaning job, and you want to know if that’s unprofessional? I had a consultation last week from a professional house cleaner whose babysitter canceled on her, and so she took her eight-year-old with her on a job.
When she got to the customer’s house, the customer was at home, because we’re still during the COVID-19 stay-at-home mandates. where many people are still at home. When she got there, the eight-year-old got in a fight with one of the kids that were at the house. And together, one of the two of them broke a decorative plate that was on display.
And so, the house cleaner is saying it was their fault, and they’re saying it was her son’s fault. So who pays for it?
Bringing Your Kid to a Job Opens a Can of Worms
So, with her permission, I’m going to share with you what happened. It’s unfortunate that the house cleaner’s babysitter canceled. But at that time she should have canceled the cleaning and stayed at home. Taking a rowdy eight-year-old into someone else’s home opens a can of worms.
The person that hired you, based on your professionalism, and not based on you’re going to bring family members with you. And you’re expected to babysit your own kid while you’re expected to be cleaning.
So, it’s two different tasks mixed into one, they don’t mix. You’re getting paid for one, your attention is on the other.
You Have a Choice as a Parent
Now, as a parent, you have a choice. Can you focus on your own kid, or are you going to focus on the job? So, as you are being paid for the job, make sure that’s the only job that you’re focused on. Because, as a parent, your instincts will always go first to your kid. You need a balance of both.
In this scenario, she wanted to protect her kid, because she didn’t want her kid to get blamed for the damage that was done when this plate broke. Who knows whose fault it was? It doesn’t matter, but what happens is it probably would not have broken if the child was not there. She used the word, rowdy, and said he was running around.
So, if you have an eight-year-old that’s running around in someone else’s home, it is possible things are going to get broken. So, is it unprofessional? Yes, it is. Because what happens now in the back of the customer’s minds, they’re upset about the plate. But they’re also upset that there was an eight-year-old they didn’t plan on, come running around their house.
Your Kid is Not Insured
So, running around their house while their Mom is trying to clean, gives a whole series of different challenges. The kid is not insured. So, the parent is insured, but the kid is not. And so, what happens if something big were to have happened?
Or what if he would have slipped and fallen and busted his head open? There are other issues. And then it becomes, is it the homeowner’s fault because someone else was on their property? Is it the house cleaner’s fault? What happens?
Customers Will Talk About You Bringing Your Rowdy Kid
And then the next thing is because the customer is angry and they felt like that was weird, they probably told a lot of their friends. So, this doesn’t help the business in any way. And if there were any neighbors in the neighborhood who used her as a cleaning service, they might second guess their decision and say, “Wait a second. She brought her rowdy eight-year-old to clean, without checking first with the homeowner?”
And so, she didn’t check first, she just showed up and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. My babysitter didn’t show up, I hope you don’t mind.” So, there wasn’t a lot they could do at that point, they still needed their house cleaned.
So, it was weird in the way it was presented. So, a neighbor who hears the story is going to say, “Oh my goodness, what if she brings her kid to my house? I have irreplaceable heirlooms in my house. I don’t want them broken.” So even if they left no ratings and reviews, even if they were talking casually to the neighbors and this story comes out, this is bad for business.
What to Do if Your Babysitter Cancels
So, if you have a scenario,where the babysitter cancels ask yourself this question. “What is the worst-case scenario? What is the worst possible thing that can happen if I follow through with this?” And then stop to think about,” What are the outcomes and how can that affect my business?”
Because in the moment of desperation, she was like, “Oh, panicking, my babysitter canceled. Panicking. I have a customer,” And she’s been out of work for a couple of weeks due to the COVID stay-at-home. She needs the money to put food on the table, desperate for the job, admitted that she needed the job, which is why she went ahead and took her eight-year-old. And she was trying to do the responsible thing by not leaving the eight-year-old home alone.
It Might Be Better to Postpone Your Cleaning
So, its understandable where it’s coming from. But in that particular instance, it might have been better to have postponed the cleaning. If she doesn’t have a lot of cleaning right now, it’s possible she could have postponed it, while she rearranged the babysitting situation. And that way, none of that would have happened.
She could have still had the business, either later that day, maybe the following day. It’s possible she could have still had the business, without having this scenario now of the bad reputation of doing something that was as unprofessional as bringing a kid that runs around someone else’s house and breaks things.Resources
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