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  • Tracey Jannaway

WASHING UP (originally post in 2016)


QUESTION: I've got one PA who's a lot `hotter' on this than any of my others! She gets annoyed as she finds things not done properly/to her standards and so re-washes saucepans etc. This is a tricky one for me, as I can't be constantly watching over everyone else to make sure all my plates are bright and shiny and to be honest, have other priorities.. but I do see her point! So what should I do??..

SOLUTION: You should make it clear to all of them the standard you expect. What is the minimum acceptable and what gets a gold star.

Then you should decide how you feel about the "hot washer upper" redoing everyone else's work. If it's getting in the way of her doing other stuff and it's actually not that bad (ie it's at least as good as acceptable) then tell her to leave it and get on with your priorities. After all, she may have high standards, but it's your standards and priorities that matter.

I get this all the time. Yes, I like my house clean and tidy and it's great when PAs want to go beyond what is expected.But not if it means they don't do the things I've actually asked them to do.

SOLUTION: Your about the PA using her own standards to 'judge' others washing up and possibly not your own is a good one.

Just a thought, being the cynic that I am, do you think that at times PA's use this redoing of jobs as a way of getting out of other tasks that they may not like/enjoy? It's just something I see colleagues at work do!

SOLUTION: Quick solution - tell all your PAs to not only wash up but to dry up (this will prompt the PAs to check again that the plates are clean enough) and then put away - out of sight out of mind - that being when your next PA comes on shift she or he will have nothing to judge their standards against as the plates will be tucked away in a cupboard!

REPLY: It's just the odd pot or pan and when she shows them to me, I do agree they're not clean; I think partly it's almost a culture clash, as she's much more `efficient' than most of the others.. and me! And sometimes that's very useful.

I think partly what it is, is that things with me do tend to be a bit "Out of sight, out of mind", in that if I was given a dirty cup or plate, I'd certainly notice and complain. However I don't inspect things like saucepans, probably partly because I don't directly use them. I've had interesting conversations with other PA Users on cleaning & cooking. I know friends who like to over-see both but I don't and perhaps this is due to my never having really undertaken those tasks myself. So they're just not a priority.


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