Cleaning lady inflating work hours
February 28, 2013 1:29 AM Subscribe
Our cleaning lady, who otherwise seems to be pretty honest and is regarded like a family member, has been inflating her billable hours. We know this for sure. How should we deal with this?
posted by lost_lettuce to human relations (65 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I moved in with my girlfriend, whom I will call A., several months ago. She already had a cleaning lady, whom I will call B. -- she comes in one morning a week, and she has done so for several years. B. has been working for A.'s parents for over 20 years, nearly full time, and she was hired by A. and her siblings when they moved out. B. is generally trustworthy and regarded like a family member and a confidante, not merely the "cleaning lady". In fact, A.'s parents have spent several weekends away with B. and her husband.
I get along with B. as well. However, since I am a freelancer and sometimes work from home, I have a good idea of the number of hours B. actually works. B. reports her hours at the end of the month by writing down on a sheet the number of hours worked on a specific day, so that A. will do the math and pay her one month worth of work. At the end of January, I noticed that her reports didn't quite match what I remembered from these days, and I told A. about this. In February, I paid a little more attention and wrote down B.'s hours for that day after she left. I didn't stay home specifically to "control" her, but since I was there already, doing some work, I wrote that stuff down.
Now it's the end of the month and my notes and her reports don't match at all. In my notes she worked 5hr - 5hr - 4hr - 5hr, and her reports state she did 6.5 hr - 7hr - 5.5 hr - 6hr (the latter being on the day she did the reporting, so we can't think this is a matter of bad memory). This means 6 extra billable hours she didn't actually work.
The question is, how do we deal with this without being too accusatory? This is not a matter of money, but we would rather not being taken for idiots. B. is paid market rates and, on top of that, she gets a Christmas bonus and paid vacation (two extra "months"). A. would be perfectly fine with paying a higher hourly rate (B. never asked for this, though), she just doesn't want B. to inflate her hours.
How should A. approach B. about this discrepancy? Preferably, without making me sound like a snitch or like I stay home to control her... I actually like B.! I just don't care for her math...