Elderly People Who Misplace Belongings
I genuinely need advice on this problem.
Please be advised that I am an extremely professional, properly state and city licensed, bonded and insured house cleaner. That having been said, I have an elderly couple (late 80s) for whom I do a bi-weekly/twice monthly complete residential cleaning. I go out of my way to do a lot of extra tasks for them (without charge) and I ought to tell you that we have acquaintances in common.
The problem comes in when these people misplace things (everything from the wife's purse to keys to a letter opener, etc., etc., etc.). I end up receiving a phone call at home asking me if I have seen something. (Note: I NEVER move or throw out anything. When I clean, I pick items up and clean beneath them and then place them back where they were -- without exception.) I try to recall if I remember having seen whatever they are asking for and have finally come to realize that I don't even have to bother returning their calls because I will invariably receive a message on my answering machine in an hour or so, telling me that they found whatever it was they were searching for.
One of the mutual acquaintances we have in common recently told me that the elderly woman half of this couple claimed to have had some pearls stolen some time ago -- originally accusing their former house cleaner and then blaming it on a nephew. When I heard this, I became a bit concerned and the last time I cleaned for this couple, asked the woman if she had, in fact, had been robbed of some pearls and if she had dismissed her last cleaning person because of this. She immediately became extremely embarassed and confessed that she thought it was a relative and that the missing pearls had eventually been found. (Surprise, surprise.)
I have a clean record and the very, very LAST thing I want in my relatively new business (I only started my self-employed business [no employees] 6 months ago) is to have to contend with this sort of potential problematic client who has a propensity for accusing others of dishonesty. The difficulty is that I also clean once per week for her neighbors across the street (they are acquainted with one another). This other weekly account is very valuable to me and I genuinely like the people.
How do I extricate myself from working for these elderly people whom I have no doubt whatsoever are going to be trouble before too very much longer while still retaining my account across the street from them? This is of particular concern at the moment because these elderly people have evidently had a lot of family members in their home for the Thanksgiving holidays and if any of these relatives actually are light-fingered, I don't even want to go over there to work the Monday following Thanksgiving. I know exactly who will get blamed should anything turn up missing following the visit from these numerous relatives.