There is a big risk in the roles we play. As a house cleaner you have a business role to play. The customer also has a business role to play. Changing those roles can totally ruin your business and cost your company a lot of money. Here is what you need to know to stay on track.
Listen: The Roles We Play
Watch: The Roles We Play
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
The roles That You Play
Have you ever thought about the roles that you play and the risk that goes with them when you change the role? There was a caller that called in and asked this question.
“My housekeeper came to work and sat down in the chair to visit, like she always does, and informed me that she wasn’t going to clean the house today, that she was strictly going to visit. What do I do now? Do I fire? Do I talk to her? I’m at loss, please help me. Thank you.”
All right. This is a very interesting question because what happens is this comes back to the roles that we play. Now, everybody has a particular set of roles that they’re really good at, and they are different from person to person. Here’s how it works.
Everyone Has a Role That They Play
Let’s say that you are a guy and you have children, that makes you a dad. The role that you are playing for those children is you are the dad. When your wife comes into the room, you have a different relationship with the wife than you do with the children. So you play a different role to the wife. You’re the same person, but you play a different role to the wife than you do to the children.
And then your sister comes to visit, and yet you have yet a different role that you play with your sister than you do your wife and your children. Then your mother comes to visit, Oh no. How many roles can one person play?
You’re a different person towards your mother than you are your sister or your spouse or your children, right? So there are different roles that we all play.
There are Risks to Changing Your Role
Now, there is a risk when someone has become dependent on you to play a certain role, and then you change the role. And what’s interesting is this, if you decide as to the father, that you are going to become a friend to your children and you give up that parenting role in lieu of the role of a friendship, what happens then is the children will treat you like a friend.
They will not respect you as a parent because you have given up that role. So as we switch roles, we’ve got to be really careful about why we’re doing it and if we want to do it.
There are Two Roles in House Cleaning
Now, I want to go back to the scenario for a second, because I appreciate your phone call. And what happened in this particular scenario is a house cleaner came over and there were two roles going on, one of the customers and one of housekeeper or house cleaner, who was supposed to provide the service. And that was the role set up originally.
But you said in this call that she came over and she sat down to visit as she normally does. So somewhere along the way, you became a friend instead of a customer, and she became a friend instead of a house cleaner. So now she is fully transitioning over to that new role where she says, “I’m not going to clean today. I’m just going to sit here and chitty chat.”
And so you’re trying to reclaim the old role, but you’ve already given up that role by sitting there allowing the chit-chat every single time she comes to clean. I’m not saying it’s your fault, but what I’m saying is the roles have dynamically changed.
She Fired Herself So You Don’t Have to
So no, you’re not going to fire her because she already fired herself. You are the customer paying for a service that she refuses to do. She fired herself. So you asked the question, should you talk to her? My suggestion is yes, talk to her.
We’re still in the COVID era. There are still people that are staying at home, for the most part. Social interaction has changed. It’s changed for you. It’s changed for her. And there are a lot of people that are not taking this very well, at all.
She’s probably going through a very difficult time and probably needs a good friend and it sounds like you’ve been a wonderful friend and a great listening ear.
Try and Start a New Relationship With Her
So since the roles have changed, and since you are now friends, I suggest that you have tea together and that you chat and let that be your new relationship with her. And then hire a new housekeeper who can actually fulfill that role. And then I would caution you on this.
It sounds like you’re a super friendly person and you’re fun to talk to. I love that about you. I just think that’s amazing. As you hire a new house cleaner, keep the roles really separate. Make sure that you are the customer and that they are the contractor or the person that you’ve hired to come to do the job.
Let that be a business transaction instead of a friendly, “Let’s chit chat for a couple of hours before you get to the cleaning.” Right? That always muddies the water. It’s not good financially for the house cleaning company.
Establish a New Role With Your Cleaner
It’s just better if you guys say, “We are friends.” Establish that as a role and then sit down and have tea and just relax and don’t worry about the house cleaning with that person. The person that comes to clean your house, keep that a business relationship and let them clean your house.
So my caution to you today is, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that we need to be aware of the roles that we play and the reasons why we’re playing those roles. Because once we are clear about the roles that we play, the people around us can start counting on us and we are reliable to them to provide that role relationship.
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