Cleaners Treated Like Dirt! - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of Old 01-13-2010, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 16
Cleaners Treated Like Dirt!

In the 25 years or so that I have been involved in the cleaning industry I have noticed more and more that cleaners are treated like dirt. Cleaning companies are offering little money to people to get up in the wee hours of the morning to complete tasks that the typical company exec would not even consider doing themselves. When you look at what it is that a cleaner has to do, they should in my opinion be one of the better paid people on any team.

Cleaners are exposed to dirt, dust, disease, and other things that most people are not exposed to. They are expected to make an environment free of these risks for others, and generally most do their job well enough that this is the outcome. For this they are generally treated with condemnation, suspicion, and are considered to be on the lower rung of the ladder when it comes to assessing the workplace. Surprising isn't it!

I remember when I first started cleaning, and because of my personal attitude, I lost the opportunity to clean a lot of premises. My attitude was (and remains so to this day) that I am a "Professional Service Provider" and as such I expect a minimum dollar return on my investment in your company. I was stubborn on this, and would not accept any job that was not paying me enough money to cover costs and make a profit. I was not wanting a job, I was wanting a contract and in return I expected to be paid what I was worth.

A recommendation to anybody out there who is considering this as a career path! DO NOT undervalue your service nor your time. There are literally tens of thousands of companies out there who at this moment are unhappy with the service they are currently receiving. You DO NOT have to accept work from companies who treat you like dirt.
allwinners is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of Old 01-16-2010, 08:30 AM
Member
 
Spicnspan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 68
Agreed. And lots of operators are expecting their cleaners to work for nothing so they compete. So service is going down, and companies want to pay less because they get less. Kind of a vicious cycle.

I work for one cleaning company that pays mileage and a nice percent of the take for each job to the cleaners. So their work's pretty good and they have little turnover in their core staff. My second job is for a fellow that's underbidding competitors bc he has virtually no overhead, just little ole me paid next to nothing as a contractor doing jobs that real companies used insured/taxed/etc crews of two or three to do.

And the shady guys get away with it because there's so little work out there. I've been trying to quit and get word out about company No. 2 for months now, but I have to keep my mouth shut till I find something else to pay the bills.
Spicnspan is offline  
post #3 of Old 01-16-2010, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 16
Hi Spicnspan,

Thanks for the response. Yes I can understand your predicament. You are right about the levels of cleaning standards. We have (and in Australia too) a whole new ball game due the the Asian and Indian population coming to these countries and working for as little as $5 an hour. You are spot on though, that this causes standards to drop.

I experienced this a bit when I was in Australia, and thats why I did two things. (1) I orchestrated things so that I took over the largest of the clients I was working with, and I felt good about doing so because the owner of the company I worked for was ripping the client off, and (2) I developed a whole new market approach to cleaning and established that as a brand new business model, which I now teach online.

Maybe I am one of the old school but I believe customer service is what it is all about, and I know from personal experience that this is what creates new work, and more clients.

Maybe you could try the same thing to secure your own future or existing work flow, and keep all the profits.

Bryce
allwinners is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of Old 01-16-2010, 04:05 PM
Member
 
Spicnspan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 68
I've been thinking about the same thing ...

Both my companies bill by the hour, which makes for a lot of rushed and pretty unsanitary work. Three hours is standard for even a 5 bed, 3 bath house at my one job, for example. We go out without the tools or the training to do much besides dust and mop the bathroom germs around the house.

If I were to go out on my own (I am so not a salesperson, so that won't happen), I'd charge a flat rate for a specific product scaled up or down for size. A basic clean would be whatever it takes to wipe everything, sanitize the bathrooms and kitchen and clean the floors. A deep clean would use the time and materials to get all the dirt and most stains.

As it stands now, we leave most things dirty at my maid job. Moldy grout's too time consuming, we don't have the right tools and chemicals to mess with stains, moving furniture and doing windows isn't in our job description, etc.

It's really quite pointless and discouraging.
Spicnspan is offline  
post #5 of Old 01-16-2010, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 16
Wow, that sounds so bad! I was not sure whether you were doing domestic or commercial work, but i guess its houses. Man that finished product sounds extremely bad, and obviously creates uncertainty about the future of contracts.

Its funny but when I started my very first cleaning business it was commercial and I was targeting larger companies. I found that I didn't have to be a really good salesperson. It was much better to be passionate about the service you could deliver, and I used many tricks to tempt the client. Of course every potential client requires a walk through, so I would use that as a way to highlight where I thought the existing cleaners were letting the company down.

My new business model does exactly that, but in a very different manner.

You could always advertise your services and let the clients call you. You don't even need equipment a lot of the time, you can use theirs. In fact another option I used to offer potential clients was to use thier equipment (which became a tax write off anyway for them) and receive a cheaper rate for cleaning. A lot would go for this!

The problem (or one of them) with providing a sub-standard service, is that you never know when the client is looking for new quotes. They will not always tell you they are unhappy with the service until they are ready to let you go.
allwinners is offline  
post #6 of Old 01-16-2010, 09:37 PM
Member
 
Spicnspan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by allwinners View Post
Wow, that sounds so bad! I was not sure whether you were doing domestic or commercial work, but i guess its houses. Man that finished product sounds extremely bad, and obviously creates uncertainty about the future of contracts.

Its funny but when I started my very first cleaning business it was commercial and I was targeting larger companies. I found that I didn't have to be a really good salesperson. It was much better to be passionate about the service you could deliver, and I used many tricks to tempt the client. Of course every potential client requires a walk through, so I would use that as a way to highlight where I thought the existing cleaners were letting the company down.

My new business model does exactly that, but in a very different manner.

You could always advertise your services and let the clients call you. You don't even need equipment a lot of the time, you can use theirs. In fact another option I used to offer potential clients was to use thier equipment (which became a tax write off anyway for them) and receive a cheaper rate for cleaning. A lot would go for this!

The problem (or one of them) with providing a sub-standard service, is that you never know when the client is looking for new quotes. They will not always tell you they are unhappy with the service until they are ready to let you go.
What's your Web site? I'd like to check out your strategy.

Right now, I'm doing mostly houses in the morning and commercial, mostly medical, offices at night. The whole cross-contamination thing with the doc offices I do just kills me.

I'm amazed by the number of clients that are OK with crappy cleaning. I wish they'd nanny-cam me, or, better yet, germ-test their sites, so they'd see how they're getting what they pay for.
Spicnspan is offline  
post #7 of Old 01-16-2010, 10:51 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 53
I can't figure out if you too are employees, or actually really own a cleaning service...

RJ Cleaning Service Inc
Serving Central Massachusetts
www.rjcleaningservice.com
RJ Cleaning is offline  
post #8 of Old 01-17-2010, 10:26 AM
Member
 
Spicnspan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 68
Me, I am an employee of a maid service franchise by day and a solo operator (plus me) janitorial co by night.
Spicnspan is offline  
post #9 of Old 01-20-2010, 03:47 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 23
I've found that my presence both cleanliness and confidence lends greatly to how my clients treat me. I show up on time, great them with a smile, eye contact and a hand shake if its offered. I might have one client a year who is demeaning. Some people are not very happy people and you hope their life gets better.
Coloradocarpetcleaner is offline  
post #10 of Old 01-20-2010, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spicnspan View Post
What's your Web site? I'd like to check out your strategy.

Right now, I'm doing mostly houses in the morning and commercial, mostly medical, offices at night. The whole cross-contamination thing with the doc offices I do just kills me.

I'm amazed by the number of clients that are OK with crappy cleaning. I wish they'd nanny-cam me, or, better yet, germ-test their sites, so they'd see how they're getting what they pay for.
Hahaha "nanny cam" yeah that is one way of doing it. At the moment I don't have a website, I am building it now. In the meantime I am dealing with people through email and keeping it relatively quiet. If you like I can send you some details, and let you know what the site is when I have completed it.

Bryce
allwinners is offline  
post #11 of Old 01-20-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ Cleaning View Post
I can't figure out if you too are employees, or actually really own a cleaning service...
Hi Robert

I have not been an employee for some 25 years now. After establishing and selling 4 cleaning businesses, I am now consulting and promoting my new service to corporate clients who are being ripped off by dodgy cleaners.

Hope this clarifies things a bit.
allwinners is offline  
post #12 of Old 01-20-2010, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradocarpetcleaner View Post
I've found that my presence both cleanliness and confidence lends greatly to how my clients treat me. I show up on time, great them with a smile, eye contact and a hand shake if its offered. I might have one client a year who is demeaning. Some people are not very happy people and you hope their life gets better.
I am not sure if you actually conduct "general cleaning" duties, or if you are strictly carpet cleaning. If it is the latter, I can understand the attitude from your clients as you are basically entering the building, greeting them, and getting on with the job. The fact that you would also be operating machinery means that less people are likely to approach you during the course of your duties.

A general cleaner on the other hand could be in a building or a house for any number of hours, easily approachable, watched, and communicated with. I understand that not every client treats their cleaners like dirt - I was citing the "general" attitude.

The clients attitude is also different with me (the owner/manager) than it is with the cleaning crew. There is no way I would tolerate that attitude from anyone, and if so experienced, I would walk off the site.

Bryce
allwinners is offline  
post #13 of Old 01-22-2010, 10:36 PM
Member
 
Spicnspan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by allwinners View Post
I am not sure if you actually conduct "general cleaning" duties, or if you are strictly carpet cleaning. If it is the latter, I can understand the attitude from your clients as you are basically entering the building, greeting them, and getting on with the job. The fact that you would also be operating machinery means that less people are likely to approach you during the course of your duties.

A general cleaner on the other hand could be in a building or a house for any number of hours, easily approachable, watched, and communicated with. I understand that not every client treats their cleaners like dirt - I was citing the "general" attitude.

The clients attitude is also different with me (the owner/manager) than it is with the cleaning crew. There is no way I would tolerate that attitude from anyone, and if so experienced, I would walk off the site.

Bryce

The maid service I work for is pretty low end ... mostly spoiled students whose parents pay to have their condos cleaned and elderly folks who like the company. So the attitude is cool to very friendly. It really runs the gamut, from women who'll follow us around and talk to us to kids who pull the covers over their heads while we clean their rooms. The only real disrespect I get is from my one crooked boss. (Good news, I found a night gig so I'm finally quitting with him.)

Ooh, that brings up an employment question I should start another thread about.
Spicnspan is offline  
post #14 of Old 01-23-2010, 08:33 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 23
i think that the more pride we take in our work the saner we remain. When your in the low end of the industry it becomes harder since your trying to get done quickly as possible and not as worried with the end product. A shady boss is a bad sign. If he cheats you he will cheat customers. Good luck with the new job.
Coloradocarpetcleaner is offline  
Reply

Tags
dirt , respect , treat , undervalue

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steam Cleaners Daimer Industries Commercial Cleaning 6 10-26-2010 04:21 PM
Benefect Disinfectant and Cleaners Nicole0515 General Discussion 4 03-23-2008 08:30 AM
Help for Window Cleaners (UK) Madmary Windows & Gutters 3 02-01-2007 05:52 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome