I think most of us try to learn from our mistakes. I know I do. I take mistakes very seriously, because being honest is something I value a lot. It can be unpleasant to listen to a customer's complaint, but we simply have to listen and try to understand. If we DID make an error, we should never do it again. And apologizing for mistakes is key. In my business, every once in a while, something has gotten broken. In a home with a LOT of knick knacks, that you do need to dust, things do fall and break. I HATE when this happens! I feel just awful when it does. But I have found that if I swiftly inform the owner and apologize in a heartfelt way, very few people make a big deal of it.
I once had a customer whose husband was a Collector...of lovely things, but WAY too many of them! Every surface of every table, ALL the floors, all the shelves, had this beautiful stuff on them. In order to clean, I had to MOVE all this stuff. It was a huge task. Just moving all those things took an hour, plus the time to CLEAN them and under them. Shortly after I began cleaning this house, the woman emailed me to say that her husband was "very upset" that I had not put all the things back in their "rightful" position. I do not possess a photographic memory, and other than taking hundreds of photos, I could never put things exactly where he had put them. I kept trying for several more months, because I liked the lady, and it was a pleasant enough job. But when I got yet another email saying her husband was upset about the same thing, I had to do some thinking. Maybe my logic wasnt good, but what I thought was that if I could NOT move any object, I could NOT truly clean. This lady knew her husband had a hoarders tendency but of course, she couldnt change that. After some discussion, we decided to part ways. Hope she found someone who was willing to do a half-a___ed job cleaning for them. I would welcome your sincere comments about this. I think I did the right thing, but maybe not. Dealing with a lot of people's personal items can be tedious, and we also have to deal with the personalities behind all those objects.