two ladies laughing at outside bar

There is a precarious dynamic involved in a Cleaning Lady / Client relationship. I provide a service for you, and you pay me. That’s what it’s supposed to be. But when you have clients for as many years as I do, the relationship gets blurred. Not for me, but for many of my clients.

Before we begin, it goes without saying to never work for your friends, like your friends you already have, in real life. There will always be some mishap, or mix up that will inevitably ruin your friendship. That being said, this is about clients whom you didn’t know previously, but you know all too well now.

My little ‘ole ladies consider me friends of theirs. When they introduce me to visitors they will say, “This is my friend, the Cleaning Lady. She helps me around the house.” This is all well and good as they can call me whatever they want. I still have a bucket and mop in hand when they do so. Midge wants desperately for me to be her daughter. Probably so she can stop paying me. And they’re always hinting that we should do things together. “I read in the paper the local Bridge Club is looking for more players.” Yes, hanging out with a room full of women thirty years my senior is exactly what I want to do on my day off.

vintage black and white picture of ladies playing bridge

The Artist keeps sending me friend requests that I have to pretend I never receive. How can I possibly talk smack about her if I’m friends with her on Facebook? And she keeps inviting me to parties she has. “You can bring your cleaning supplies,” she says jokingly, but not. While I’m flattered in a weird, uncomfortable way, I will pass on making small talk with your other manic girlfriends while picking up dirty dishes off the carpet. Oh, Becky puked in the corner? Do I clean it up now or wait for my regular cleaning day?

The Bachelor, when I first started, would hint around at us going out on a date. I don’t think so buddy. I know what kind of stains are in your drawers, and on the sheets. I get the feeling he would propose marriage if it meant not having to pay me anymore. Everybody’s always looking to save a buck.

The Greys do it right. They are professional, courteous, and would never think about inviting me to any of their functions. They know their place. “Dinner party?” they would say. “And what would she wear?” They’ve only ever seen me in sweat pants and a bleach stained t-shirt, like that is the only thing in my closet. Okay, that’s mostly true, but I do have a “going out” outfit.

So no, do me a favor and don’t hire the Cleaning Lady to be your friend.