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Having a Bad Day? House Cleaners with PMS

Having a bad day? Here are some tips and strategies to isolate the problems until they pass and keep your business and relationships intact.

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How to Manage Your Cleaning Employees Who Are Having a Bad Day

Hi there, I’m Angela Brown and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask your house cleaning questions, and I get to help you find an answer.
Now, if I don’t have an answer, I’m probably connected to somebody who is. I’m connected to the best and the brightest minds in the house cleaning industry.
I’ve been a house cleaner professionally for 25 years. And when I got started, there was no internet. There were no workbooks and no training manuals on how to start a house cleaning business.
It was all trial and error.
And because the barrier to get involved in the house cleaning industry is pretty low, anybody can get involved.
The problem is, there’s not a lot of consistency in the house cleaning industry.
So, this show is to help bring consistency to the industry.
So how do you ask a question?

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Well, go over to my website, and in the bottom right-hand corner there’s a little blue button.
If you click on that little blue button, a microphone appears, and it allows you to ask right into the computer your question.
That question is then sent to me and I get to help find an answer for you so that you can grow your house cleaning business.

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Question: Having a Bad Day? House Cleaners with PMS

Now today’s question comes from a woman who says, “I have two employees. And they have really bad attitudes. And their negativity is wrecking my business. But they’re really good house cleaners. So, do I fire them? Or do I give them attitude training? Or do I just demand that they have a better attitude or how does that work?

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Answer: Having a Bad Day? House Cleaners with PMS

You cannot control the attitudes of your employees.
But you can hire first for attitude and train for skill. And that has always been my philosophy.
Hire somebody first who’s just intrinsically happy. These are people that the world is NOT always raining on them. And they have all kinds of drama and chaos in their personal life. And aaaaagh stuff like that that’s happened.

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You Want to Find People That Are Just Happy

And they just love life because they do. Right? Then you can teach them the skills of cleaning houses.

Now, I’ve done this in my personal life, we do this in my family and I’ve done this in my business now for 20 years. And here’s how it works.
These are the rules for having a bad attitude.
And I specify it right up front from day one when I hire you to come into my company.
Now I recognize that we’re all going to have bad days. It’s biorhythmic. You have good days, you have bad days, there is this ebb and flow that goes through our lives. Right?

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Rules For Having a Bad Day

Recognize That Everybody Is Going to Have a Bad Day

I’m going to give you three bad days per month. And that’s way overkill. I’m being very lenient to give you three bad days a month.
But here’s how it works.
You’ve got to take the whole day.
If you wake up one day and you just start dropping things, and you’re clunky, and you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. And your head hurts and you just don’t feel like cleaning houses – whatever. Okay.
It can be PMS, it can just be a bad day, you could be in a fight with your spouse. I don’t care what it is. I don’t want the details, I don’t need to know about it. But I do need you to announce it.

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Announce It

So, when you show up for work that day, just say “Angela, I’m having sensitivities today.” Whoa!
And I will give you all the space that you need.

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Don’t Make Any Big Decisions

On this particular day, when you have declared that you’re having sensitivities, don’t make any big decisions.
Don’t decide that’s the day that you’re going to break up with your spouse. Or that you’re going to fire your employee that’s working for you. Or something big. Don’t make any big decisions on a day where you are having sensitivities.
Because whatever it is you are deciding – is not going to be wise. Just plain and simple. Just don’t do it.

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Don’t Have Any Really Important Conversations When Your Having A Bad Day

The next thing is: don’t have really important conversations. Let’s say that a client has been asking you for a specific favor or something – don’t do it on this day.
Put it off, send them a quick text and say “Hey, I’m unable to get back to you today, I’ll call you tomorrow.” Put off till tomorrow whatever conversations you have. Because the world is going to explode in your own personal little environment. But contain it. Keep it to yourself.

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Fly Under The Radar

Fly under the radar, and when you come back tomorrow, you’ll be normal and everything will be just perfect. Right?
The first time this happened to me was back in 1996. And the movie Independence Day had just come out.
And I woke up one day and I was having a really bad day. I just Errrgh!
We’ve all had days like that, right?
But I wanted to fight with somebody, and there was nobody to fight with. Nobody had upset me. There was nothing wrong. On the inside, I was just like Eeerrekkk.
Okay, so I decided “I’m going to go to the movie.” I’d seen the preview for this movie Independence Day and it looked like it was pretty destructive.

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And I thought “If I can just go to this movie and watch the world get blown apart, then when I leave the movie theater, I will have had my drama fix – but it won’t impact my life personally.”
So, I did that. And at the time the movies cost $5 bucks. (laughing) That’s how much it cost to go to a movie back then. So, I sat in the theater, I was there all by myself and there was just mass destruction.
And it was pretty impressive.
And when I left the movie theater, an interesting thing happened. All the relationships that I had, with everybody in my personal life, were still intact.
I hadn’t got into any huge fights with anyone.
I hadn’t broken up with any boyfriends or whatever. It was just, everything was the same as it was before.

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Find An Inexpensive, Legal, Ethical Fix

And so, I realized for $5 dollars, I can get my drama fix. (You could choose a video game, jogging, beating up a pillow etc.)
So, the reason I’m telling you that is this: you need to isolate yourself or isolate your employees from everybody else when you’re having one of those days.
And my rule is if you’re going to claim a day – claim the whole day. Get it out of your system. Just do it and be done with it.

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Claim The Whole Day When You’re Having a Bad Day

Don’t be claiming an hour here and two hours here, and three hours there and ten minutes here. That’s annoying and it’s super hard to keep track of. And it just makes you look like you’re a constant witch.
Don’t do that.

Claim the whole day and just say “Listen, I’m having one of those days.” And if everyone is playing on the same page, everyone will know how to treat you.
Now when I’m at my house – and I have like four of these days a year. I don’t know why, it’s biorhythmic or something, it’s only like four days a year. But when I have one of these days at home, I tell my husband. “Look, you’re on your own for dinner tonight. If you want to check out a movie or whatever – you’re on your own, go do that. But I’m having one of those days.”
“Ooohhh” And he keeps his distance.

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When Someone Else Claims The Day – Respect It

But because he keeps his distance, we don’t get in any fights. There’s nothing hateful that I have to try to come back and repair tomorrow.
So, if you have employees that are always grumpy and always moody and always “the world is falling apart” and they are like Chicken Little and the sky is falling in on them, you need to set some ground rules.
Cause you cannot run a business with people that are always miserable.
That will bring down your company so fast.
And it will kill your company morale.
So, set new rules, set new boundaries and stick to them. Because I tell you what – that is a great way to focus on everybody having a good day when they show up to work.
And if you have two employees that show up and they both claimed the same day – uh uh. We’re not doing that.

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Flip a Coin / Take Turns Having a Bad Day

We’re not doing two people having the same bad day.
If I’m having a bad day and my husband is having a bad day, we have to flip a coin.
There cannot be two people having the same bad day. Because you know what? Nothing good comes from that.
We will flip a coin and it’s amazing when you know that it’s not your turn to have a bad day.
You’ve got to buck it up and go “well, hmm. I guess today’s not my day to have a bad day.”
And it’s amazing how quickly you can turn that off if you’re very conscious of what’s just happened.
It’s when you’re not conscious that you get in a bunch of trouble.

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Alright,  That’s It for Today

Ask your questions over at
If you found this tip helpful, share it with someone or pass it along. We’re here to help each other, we’re here to collaborate.
Okay, so that’s it and until I see you again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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Bad Day – I Woke up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

Like every other bad day, I was angry. I wanted to punch someone. No one in particular, just anybody. Picking a fight seemed like a natural thing to do but it never ends well when I’m in this mood.

I was in tears. No specific reason. I wasn’t mad at anyone, just the whole world. When I find myself in this weepy self-loathing mode I usually play a negative tape over and over in my head. I remind myself that I’m not worthy of the goodness in my life. I look for all the things that are wrong and I magnify them. Why do I do this to myself? If I think about it logically nothing good comes from being cynical, sarcastic and moody. Or being angry and bitter, when I have so much to be grateful for.

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Today Was A Different Sort of Bad Day

I was violent, aggressive and unforgiving.

The year was 1996 and the movie Independence Day had just hit the theaters. I didn’t go to movies much, but I’d seen the trailer and it looked pretty destructive.

Then the thought occurred to me that just maybe I was having a drama attack. Maybe I could get my drama fix in a movie theater, rather than acting it out in real life.

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What Did I Have to Lose?

If I could pull myself off the path of destruction for a couple of hours the world would be a better place. So I went to the movies. Buildings blew up and the world crashed and burned.

Two and a half hours later I left the movie theater a new person. All my relationships were still intact. Nobody hated me. I hadn’t hurt anyone’s feelings and the angst I was feeling earlier had passed.

WAIT A MINUTE! You mean I can go to a movie and reset my biorhythms for $5 bucks? (That was the price of the movie ticket back then.) And that might just be the best five bucks I’ve ever spent.

That day I set some new ground rules for behavior when I’m having a bad day.

Waking up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

Bad day raining on stick figures headDid you ever have one of those mornings where you wake up angry at the world? You think House Cleaning? Not Today! You drop everything you pick up? Maybe your brain is foggy and you can’t focus. Or maybe you’re stuck in a rut where you can only play that broken tape of “I’m not good enough”. Or perhaps you aren’t paying attention and you bump into furniture or stub your toe. Everybody has those moments.

That’s right, they are moments, not days. If you can isolate them into moments they will quickly pass. When you say “I’m just having a bad day.” Or “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed” then you are giving yourself permission to stretch out the struggle.

Why do that to yourself? You’re a beautiful person and you deserve peace and happiness and success? Stretching negativity does not promote peace, happiness or success.

It’s okay and natural to have bad moments. Focus on letting them be moments, not entire days.

Biorhythmic Behavior

Biorhythms are a cyclic pattern of physical, emotional, and mental activity. You will have bad days. It is a biorhythmic phenomenon that you can’t ignore. The good news is that they come on a cycle. As easily as they came – they will also go. The key is to recognize that you personally are having a rainy day.

If you know what your cycle is you can manage the outcomes of the mood swings.

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You’re Gonna Have a Bad Day

In our company and in our home, we allow everybody 3 bad days a month. (And that is overkill.) If you have a bad day where you feel mean and ugly inside, or you want to bite somebody’s head off we have rules for coping. We’ve followed these rules for 20 years both in my house cleaning company and in my home and they work really well. Here they are:

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1) Claim Your Day

If you are unable to isolate your feelings into a passing bad moment, then claim the whole day. Don’t claim a few minutes today, and ten minutes tomorrow, and three hours on Friday, and an hour on Sunday. That makes everybody crazy. Just claim a day and get it out of your system.

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2) Announce It

Simply state: “I’m having sensitivities today.” Don’t go into details. Don’t explain yourself. Don’t have any important conversations. If somebody talks to you, respond with yes and no. Smile, be polite. Fly under the radar. It’s like riding a motorcycle in heavy rain – you pull under the overpass until the rain lets up and no one is the wiser.

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3) Avoid Agitators

These are sugar, alcohol, drugs, caffeine and comfort foods. You don’t want to trick yourself into feeling better with agitators. Stick with veggies and smoothies. It will help you detox your body and your attitude.

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4) One At a Time Please

Only one person in a company or family gets to claim that day. If you and your coworker claim the same day – all heck is going to break loose. Flip a coin.

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5) Create Space

If somebody claims a day, honor that. Give them some space. Save your important conversations until a different day. Be kind. This is not a day for nagging and getting to the bottom of things. Let it go until the rain passes.

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6) Come Back

When the sensitivities end – announce that you’re back. Come back and pick up where you left off and continue being normal and happy.

Isolate Bad Moments – From A Bad Day

Bad day not a bad life on coffee napkin

Before you claim an entire day, ask yourself if this could just be a moment. A moment is where you fall down and get right back up again. You might realize you don’t need an entire day to be grumpy, sarcastic and depressed.

Don’t claim a day if you don’t need or want it.

It’s Exhausting to Be Miserable for an Entire Day

In our home when we stub our toes, instead of cursing, which doesn’t actually help anything – we play a game. We see if we can keep a straight face while hopping around on one foot. And we say these exact words. “I wish that didn’t happen.” Everyone knows it means something really bad just happened. And you get the sympathy you need instead of making people run in the opposite direction in fear. It usually ends in laughter which is closely associated with pain.

Sign, You have to fight through a bad day to earn the best days

It is easier to laugh through bad moments with support, than to curse and make everybody afraid.

Choose to have bad moments rather than bad days.

Do you know how long a moment is? If you Google it, Wikipedia will tell you it is 90 seconds. “In the middle ages, an hour was considered to be made up of 40 minutes, with each minute divided into 40 moments. Disregarding the elastic notions of time then prevailing, and allowing 3,600 modern seconds to the hour, that gives us 90 seconds to each.” Whatever.

But if you are watching the hands of a clock, 90 seconds is a LONG time. If you are efficient, that is enough time to have a moment and then bounce back without turning into a nasty person.


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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

The Happy Employee –

Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know –

30 Days to a Happy Employee –

How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship –  

Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT –

The Corporate Coach: How to Build a Team of Loyal Customers and Happy Employees –

The Shocking Confessions of Real-Life Housekeepers –

How to Cope With a Bad Day at Work –

5 Ways to Bounce Back From a Bad Day at Work –

Be Happier At Work: 10 Ways To Turn Around A Bad Day –

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