Sick? Should you call out or show up to clean? House Cleaners want to know how to handle sick days. Will it upset clients or employer? The House Cleaning Guru, Angela Brown weighs in on this sensitive issue and offers best practices for house cleaners, housekeepers, and maids.
Listen: Should I Call in Sick or Show Up To Clean?
Watch: Should I Call in Sick or Show Up To Clean?
This is the show where you get to ask a house cleaning question. I get to help you find an answer.
This question comes from a house cleaner who is sick, and she wants to know; “Should I call and cancel on my client? Or should I go ahead and just try to work through being sick at their house?” She says, “My boss is counting on me, and she expects that I’m going to show up to work the houses that we have today. If I don’t, it’s going to put my team partner in a bind. Because she won’t be able to clean the house’s all by herself. What am I supposed to do?”
Today’s Answer – Should You Call In Sick
Okay, that is a fair question, and here’s what it comes down to. When you’re sick, you transmit germs to the people whose house it is your cleaning.
I know the intent is that you’re there to clean the house, but when you’re sick, you transfer germs to that house.
So it’s possible, that a perfectly well family could get sick because you came to their house to clean. Right?
So that’s super crazy. Now on day one, when you do your initial walk-through with a customer you need to explain,
“If you’re sick, I need you guys to cancel on me.” And be really emphatic about it. Because here’s the problem, if you go to a customer’s house and they are sick, you’re probably going to get sick too.
You Will Get Sick
Okay? You are meandering through the house. You’re cleaning things, and you’re moving around, you’re touching everything. And even though you have gloves on, and you might even have a face mask on, you’re still going to pick up some of those germs. Either through your eyes, or breathing, or in your ears, or scratching your face, or whatever it is. You’re going to transfer those germs, and you might get sick.
If you get sick, this is not you just missing one customer’s house. This is you missing all of the customer’s houses while you’re sick.
This could throw you out for an entire week. Now the problem is this: a lot of the housecleaning accounts that we have, are on a biweekly basis. Meaning I do this set of customers this week, and I do that set of customers next week.
Sick Scheduling Bungles Everything
If I miss an entire week worth of customers, I can’t bump them into next week. Because I already have all of those time slots filled. And so, I don’t have anywhere to move all of those people. So what happens is, instead of cleaning your house every other week, now I’m cleaning their house every,
third week or whatever. I got to wait, they’ve got to wait until I come back to do their house again because if I missed a period in between, instead of every two weeks now it’s going to be four weeks between house cleanings. Does that make sense? So then what happens is, the house is like super dirty when you come back.
And it’s not just one set of customers. It’s all of the customers that you missed that week.
So instead of working maybe an 8-hour day, you’re going to end up working like 10 or 12 hour days. Trying to hurry and fill in all the gaps of all the people who now haven’t had their houses clean for an entire month.
So if you are coming back every other week and you missed that week because you’re sick, this really throws your schedule off.
You Can’t Get Sick
I can’t speak enough for the fact that as a housecleaner, number one, you cannot get sick. You cannot get sick it is not an option.
Yeah, it inconveniences your customers and your clients. It inconveniences your boss and guess what?
It inconveniences you. Because in housecleaning, you don’t get paid for the time that you don’t work.
So if you’re out of work for an entire week, that’s an entire week’s worth of money that you have coming in, that you’re not going to get paid. Nobody pays you for staying at home and being sick.
Customers and clients don’t write you checks and go; “Oh yeah you’re sick. Here’s the money.” They don’t do that. They pay you for a service rendered. And so, what we have to really take care of is that you, as a person, your whole physical being, you are
your biggest asset in this business. And so you have to take extra care that you don’t get sick.
So for me, I tell my customers; “I cannot get sick. It is not an option for my business. So if you are sick, you must call me and cancel.
Some people charge a cancellation fee; some people don’t. I don’t because if somebody is sick, I don’t want to penalize them for having been sick. If I get sick, I’m going to have to call and cancel on them. And I don’t want them to expect me to give them some kind of remuneration for that either. Does that make sense?
Apple Cider Vinegar a Day Keeps The Doctors Away
So if you get sick, everything kind of crumbles.
So for me, and this is just going to great extremes, for me personally, I drink apple cider vinegar every single day.
And I mix it with lemon juice, so I take a water bottle. Hang on, I have a water bottle here, and I drink about this much (4 oz.) off the top of it. And then I fill about that much (2 oz.) with apple cider vinegar. I fill the rest of it (2 oz.) with lemon juice. And I just shake it up, and it is the nastiest drink that you could ever possibly imagine.
You would think that after drinking it for years that you would build some kind of immunity to it, that you can get used to it, that you will grow accustomed to the taste. I don’t. It’s the nastiest drink I’ve ever had,
but it completely purifies my system. It clears my sinuses, and it keeps me from catching a cold. Now I have not called in sick and 14 years.
So there’s something to be said for that. Now I also send it with my husband to work in his lunch. I know you’re going think that’s so nasty to do that to my husband, but you know, he hasn’t called in sick once in 21 years.
There Reasons for the Rules
So there’s something to be said for it. It works, I’m telling you it works. It’s a nasty drink, but if you are a housecleaner, and you get sick, your business falls apart. So trust me there are there are things to be said about taking care of yourself.
Create an open communication with your clients right up front, that if they get sick, they do cancel on you. So for today, if you’re home sick today, stay home. Stay home and get better. Because if you drag this on, it’s going to go on for a week, two weeks, three weeks, and you’re just going to be drained, and the flu, and you’re not going to feel well, and then you give it to your clients. And then they give it back to you. And it’s just this a never ending story.
So if you’re sick, stay at home and get well.
If you are well, do not go into a house where there sickness.
I showed up, and people are like “Well, I’ve got my kids in the other room and they’re sick so…” “No, I’m going to leave. I’m not staying if you’re sick. That’s a rule from day one. Those are my rules. I’d rather not have your money for one house, then lose all the money for all the houses for the entire week.”
Healthy, Wealthy & Wise
So that’s it for today. If you like this tip.
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