Tuesday, June 14, 2011

advice for the young at heart

i need advice. on a few different things. but now i can't remember them all. grr. ahh yes.

1) cleaning people. i hired a cleaning person last summer. he was recommended by a former co-worker of mine. she uses him and his company at both her apartment near mine and her home in the suburbs. so we hire him. he's kind of expensive, but i feel like reliable cleaning people in the city are expensive. he comes every other week and charges $80 for a full (?) house cleaning. they clean the bathroom, kitchen, wash the floors, change my sheets, and (for the most part) dust everything. it saves me a ton of time and i can't imagine trying to fit in time to clean the bathroom. so here is the thing. luiz came the thursday i got back from new york (june 2). i knew he was coming because he comes every other week, and left out new sheets for him to change my bed, left out a check, made sure to put my clothes away so that he could properly clean. all was well. i get home last thursday (june 9) and see this massive line in the carpet. i was like "huh? luiz shouldn't have been here" and then i realized that my roommate had just pushed a tv out to the curb and the lines i was seeing were tv lines. then i walked into my room and it had definitely been touched up. my sheets, which i hadn't left out, had been changed. i was slightly shocked. i went downstairs to talk to higgi. "was luiz here today?" "he sure was!" [although i'm sure higgi likes having a cleaning person, he HATES when he comes home on those thursdays and has to rearrange the kitchen, the bookshelves, etc because the cleaning people have moved things.] "he wasn't supposed to come this week. he came last week." i was really annoyed. my first thought was someone screwed up. and i would have to pay. and that annoyed me. THEN, conspiracy theory me, i started thinking "did he PURPOSELY come on an off-week so that i would have to pay him??" [quick background story: we have been unconvinced for quite a while that this cleaning service is the best. the bathtub never gets FULLY white on the textured bottom. sometimes pictures are not dusted (which is easy to tell because we live in a brick apartment which means there is DUST and brick particles EVERYWHERE. so we have been wondering, for a long time, on how to get a different cleaning person. but neither of us want to fire him.] so i called luiz to ask why they had come. he didn't answer. i left a message and then, while in the midst of writing an email, he called back. of course then i felt uncomfortable being confrontational, so i didn't answer and sent the email. here is what i sent:
Hi Luiz -
I just left you a message and thought it might be easier to reach you via email. It appears you and your crew stopped by today to clean. I'm always happy to see a clean apartment when I get home from work, but I don't think that this week was the correct week for you to be here. I know that you were here last week - is that what your records show? As nice as it is to have a clean apartment, this extra cleaning is not in my budget and I will not be able to pay you for it.

Please let me know if you view things differently. I can have a check for you next week to resume our scheduled bi-weekly cleaning. Feel free to call to discuss, as well.
so he responded with this:
Hi Danielle,
Sorry,my wife didi a mistake,i see you next week,dont woorie about this clean,is free....i will be out from next week to end of july,any problem with the cleaning please be free to contact by e-mail.thanks lc
(he's portugese)

so now i feel badly. i was thinking that i should maybe cut the difference and leave a check this week for $120 (instead of $160). what do you think?

2) dry cleaning. i'm trying super hard to be green. and i have to dry clean my duvet cover. i haven't dry cleaned in the past year and its time. that, AND i need to clean a suit jacket that got red hair conditioner on it while in my suitcase (i hope it comes out!!). the dry cleaning down the street is expensive - the french cleaners. BUT i'm not sure its super green. there is a place that DOES use environmentally friendly practices here in boston, but its not at all in my neighborhood. i KIND OF go by this area (beacon hill) on my way to work, so i would have to get off the bus early, walk up a hill, drop it off, and then walk to work OR get the bus the rest of the way... its super inconvenient. BUT its more green. here is their website. is it WORTH the extra hassle? i NEVER dry clean anything. this will be my first time dry cleaning in the past year... i can't decide, but need to soon because i took my duvet cover off and need to clean it...

[song from tears for fears because 1) i'm still young despite being in a new decade and 2) i need advice]


  1. I think Luigi deserves some money, especially since he was smart enough to blame his mistake on his wife. Good going!

  2. Why not pay him for it, then just have it come two weeks from now instead of next week....