How Would You Feel About Sum1 Taking Things From Your Trash?

Lounge By three_sets_of_twins Updated 22 Nov 2009 , 8:12pm by adonisthegreek1

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three_sets_of_twins Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 4:53pm
post #1 of 44

Hey ladies.
I have a live in housemaid who is starting to really get under my skin. (Dont think I'm rich or anything, in the middle east everyone has a house maid cos they work for very little.)
Now she has been truly getting under my skin. I kinda put up with her because she is "nice" to my kids, ( She doesnt take care of them or feed them or change them unless told to) she's just nice to them and doesnt snap at them. The cleaning is bad, I have to call her into the kitchen several times to reclean, and she is constantly in her room on her cell phone while the house is a MESS instead of working. Even when she isnt in her room, she is on her cell phone like she is right now talking about me in her language.
Well we are very kind to her and give her every weekend off. While she was away, I was looking through my kids closets (she has a shelf in their closet for her stuff) and saw that she has been taking things out of my trash can and collecting them.
My body lotions, books, make up, hair stuff, kitchen stuff, kids toys.
This has REALLY upset me.
I know she probably figures since I threw it out she can take it, but well, I dont want her having my old stuff! Or anyone!
Even things I have in the box marked "Charity" she has gone through and taken without asking for permission.
I think my issue is not that she is just taking them (and hiding them) but that she has taken them without my permission.
There was even an old rocking horse that I had told her to put into the charity box. Well it turns out she didnt, she had hid the horse under the staircase and then on her way out the door to her day off, takes it out of her hiding place and says "madam im taking this" and jets out the door!
I took the stuff I found in her closet that I dont want her having out and put them back in my room like old clothes of mine (lingerie even!), my lotions, old make ups. She went up to her room now that she just came back and spent a good hour up there before coming down and now wont get off the phone. I'm sure she's telling her friends about it all since she is huffing and puffing about something and also muttering under her breath.
I've yet to confront her about it, but she knows I know. I wanted to get some other opinions here. I dont want to come off as mean or selfish but I already started having resentful feelings for her due to her lack of work and cooperation, and now taking stuff without permission. Yes it's stuff I tossed or wanted to give to charity, but just cos I wanted to give it to charity or throw it, doesnt mean I want to give it to her. I feel we have been great employers, teaching our kids to be respectful to her, giving her every weekend off, making sure she goes to bed early and gets enough rest and has enough to eat. We even pay her more than the average house maid sallary.
Sorry I just feel really angry right now. Do I have the right to be?

43 replies
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dailey Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:07pm
post #2 of 44

i would not like it either if someone was going though my trash. can't you sit down and discuss your concerns with her? perhaps she could have first dibbs on junk you don't want.

in your first sentence, you stated that you pay her very little. why not give her a raise and maybe she'll make more of an effort to clean your house?

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Kiddiekakes Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:08pm
post #3 of 44

Hmmm... it is a tough one and I could see how it would upset anyone,I think it might have something to do with their way of living etc..that maybe she feels like she has hit the jackpot never seeing these things before you brought them and now she sees you throwing them out that she feels she can have them.What concerns me is if she is taking things with out your pernission that you discard as garbage or for charity....will she take items like money,jewelry etc when you don't discard them???.I would definetly have a discussion with her and tell her how you feel about her taking your unwanted items without asking...tell her that if it doesn't stop you will have to replace her with someone else as you feel this behavior is like stealing...Maybe that will be enough to smarten her up..If not...I would have to say fire her and get someone else.

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three_sets_of_twins Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:23pm
post #4 of 44

Hi daily. No sweetie I said in this part of the world, they are paid very little so everyone has housemaids. But if you read a little farther you'll see where I wrote that we DO pay her more than all the other maids in town get. I feel it's better like you stated. And also in a way encourages a person to try to keep their job although in this case its not working lol.
Thanks kiddie cakes for your advice..cos she's acting somewhat like I have no right to tell her 'not to have' something I threw out, but I still dont like it.

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indydebi Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:24pm
post #5 of 44

I don't see the issue. I look at it as "you threw it away" so that's makes it open season.

Whatever your reasons for not wanting her to have your things is for you to decide. I respect that and am not suggesting it's right or wrong. Just saying how I see it from my perspective.

I have one of those 3-panel screens that you put 8x10's in. I have it in the shop with photos of my cakes in it. Where did I find it? Sitting on the curb in my neighbor's trash! Told my daughter to get it and she said, "Mom! Someone will see me!" I said, "Then you better move fast!" icon_lol.gif

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sadsmile Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:25pm
post #6 of 44

Wow that is quite the situation isn't it.
I wouldn't have an issue with things that are still useful being re purposed but taking the charity stuff with out permission is like stealing. It's pretty erie that she kept lingerie-yuck. Who does that?
I think you should have confronted her about it. And mentioned the rocking horse and the stuff she has kept from your trash. And told her that it is inappropriate for her to take things from the trash and it is stealing to take things from the charity box.
I do think that it was out of line to take back all the things when she was gone. I think it would have been better to confront her about the issue with a desicion made and told her what you want her to do with the stuff.
Bottom line it sounds like this situation is not working out for both sides.

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Memie Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:26pm
post #7 of 44

Sounds like the only thing going for her is that she's nice to your kids. Why don't you just get rid of her and hire someone else? Why continue to employ someone who doesn't do her job and takes your discards without asking.

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dailey Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:32pm
post #8 of 44
Originally Posted by three_sets_of_twins

Hi daily. No sweetie I said in this part of the world, they are paid very little so everyone has housemaids. But if you read a little farther you'll see where I wrote that we DO pay her more than all the other maids in town get. I feel it's better like you stated. And also in a way encourages a person to try to keep their job although in this case its not working lol.
Thanks kiddie cakes for your advice..cos she's acting somewhat like I have no right to tell her 'not to have' something I threw out, but I still dont like it.

looks like your only option is to sit her down and voice your concerns with her. maybe she doesn't realize how much you resent her taking your trash?

oh, and don't call me sweetie...

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three_sets_of_twins Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:34pm
post #9 of 44

Hi yall. I am thinking of getting rid of her and I think this is the last straw to be honest.
I think she sees herself as charity, so she thinks she can take the stuff? But I mean at least ASK first! I would have said ok to the charity stuff (some of it) but to my old lotions and clothes n stuff that was trashed no..

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three_sets_of_twins Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:34pm
post #10 of 44

oh, and yes I will be confronting her on it but we are both upset right now so I'm going to do it in the morning.

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KitchenKat Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:37pm
post #11 of 44

I already started having resentful feelings for her due to her lack of work and cooperation, and now taking stuff without permission...Sorry I just feel really angry right now. Do I have the right to be?

You have every right to feel the way you do. It sounds as though you're no longer happy with your staff. The way I see it, you can try to have a chat with her, setting clear limits and making sure she understands what is required of her. If she doesn't improve then let her go. Or you can give her notice and immediately start looking for a replacement.

My unsolicited opinion though is that you've both reached the point where you're no longer happy with each other. The talking on the phone & chatting about you is disrespectful. I'd find a replacement now before she finds another employer and leave you high and dry.

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Auryn Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 5:44pm
post #12 of 44

everything about taking out of the trash aside, she needs to go for the simple fact that she doesn't actually do her job or well at all.
If she is being paid to clean, theres no reason for her to constantly be on the phone all day.

Indy, I love you and I too am a purveyor of things from the dumpster or the curb,
but I think its different when its someone in your home who you employ, who could have just asked for it.

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7yyrt Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 7:34pm
post #13 of 44

I'd fire her for not doing her work, maybe taking from the charity bins; but I see no problem removing things from your garbage.
People trash usable things all the time. I'd just as soon someone else get good out of them.

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TexasSugar Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 7:58pm
post #14 of 44

This is one of those times I should keep my mouth shut, but I have to ask, if you didn't want it and threw it out, why do you care if she kept it? I don't get the, I don't want it but you can't have it mind set with this one.

If something was going to charity it means you were giving it away. You are giving it away for someone else to use correct? If she can use it, what's the problem?

There are people that hate to see things beign wasted, so I can see people pulling lotion and other things from the trash to use them. Again if you don't want it....

I do agree that it sounds like you have other issues with her, and if you aren't comforable with her working there, or if the only reason you keep her is cause she is nice the the kids, then it sounds like it is time to replace her. But replace her for the reason of her not doing her job. Not her removing *unwanted* items from the trash.

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multicrafty Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 8:40pm
post #15 of 44

I totally agree with Indy on this one.
'one mans trash is another mans treasure'
But if she can not preform her job duties as expected then maybe you should let her go.

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peg818 Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 8:47pm
post #16 of 44

I have to say i don't see the problem with her taking the discards, you didn't want it, and if someone can get some use out of it then hey why not. The only problem i would have with this is that she is bringing the stuff back into the house that you are trying to get rid of.

Now that said, it does sound like you have other issues with her and if you can't work them out then she should be let go, but make sure you do it for the right reason. and not that shes stealing your garbage.

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myslady Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 8:53pm
post #17 of 44

Unless there is something else to the matter, I am not understanding why it is bothering you. You appear to had been okay with her not doing her job correctly as long as she was nice to your kids, but you are more upset with her now that you found out she took things that you intentionally threw away.

Considering that her job pays very little, she may not be able to afford those things that she took and once she sees that you threw them away as her opportunity to get them.

That little saying just comes to mind in this situation: one man's trash is another man's treasure.

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Deb_ Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 9:28pm
post #18 of 44

I wouldn't have a problem with an employee taking my discards either however, I WOULD have a problem with him/her taking something and then hiding it in my house. By hiding the items she knows that she is doing something sneaky and she's trying to keep it from you.

What else is she hiding? That's my thought.

As your employee she should tell you that she's taking the item from the trash or ASK your permission to take something that you've labeled as "charity".

Having said that I'd have a bigger issue with her speaking on her phone in her language (most likely about you) when she's supposed to be working.

If it were me, I'd have ONE conversation with her to warn her that she needs to shape up and if she doesn' her.

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Texas_Rose Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 9:32pm
post #19 of 44

The people I know here with cleaning ladies all give their discards to the cleaning ladies and tell them to just pass along what they don't want to Goodwill. It's just the normal thing to do here.

My guess is that she sees you having so much while she has so little, and she can't afford those nice things that you're throwing out, so she didn't think it would hurt anything for her to take it. If she weren't a live-in, then you wouldn't even have known that she kept the stuff.

I'm not the kind of person who is ever going to have a live-in maid, but if I did, I wouldn't feel like I had the right to go through her room when she wasn't home unless I had a real reason to supspect her of something dangerous, like drug use, and even then I would feel odd going through her room. I'm not saying you're wrong to do it, though...obviously it's your home and that makes it your business.

Oh, and about her being on the phone when she's working, does she have set hours to work with a lunch break and a couple of other breaks when she can use the phone?

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cakesbycathy Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 10:47pm
post #20 of 44

The trash issue aside, if she does such a horrible job cleaning why are you keeping her anyway icon_confused.gif
It's great that she's nice to your kids and all, but if she isn't doing her job get someone who will.

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costumeczar Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 12:19am
post #21 of 44

I agree with the idea that if you throw it away, you shouldn't really worry about her taking it (it is a little creepy, but technically it's trash, so it's fair game.) But taking things from the charity box without permission, not doing her work, and huffing around the house talking on her phone all the time isn't cool. I'd fire her and get someone who knows how to do the work you're paying her to do, since that's really the main issue. Just check her bags that she packs to leave with to make sure her sticky fingers haven't found anything else to take with her when she leaves!

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maggiev777 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 2:11am
post #22 of 44

In short - I'd hire someone I thought was awesome, and be an awesome and generous boss to them.

I grew up overseas and we also had a live in housekeeper - it was just the way things were done in that country. But ours was great. Not perfect, but did a very good job and lived considerately. My mother would not have tolerated otherwise.

So, trash issues aside, I'd let her your housemaid go, and find someone with a better work ethic.

Regarding her taking your discards... if it were me, I'd offer things to my househelp before donating them or getting rid of them. The fact that she has a poor work ethic would make me less interested in doing this, but I wouldn't keep her around if she didn't do her work.

Regarding lotions and clothes that you threw away (not charity items) - personally, I think people have to be pretty desperate to take things like that (or at least reeeeally want them). I'd hire someone I liked better than her, who performs her job well, and then I'd give her periodic good gifts of special things I know they can't purchase in that part of the world (or that are too expensive for her income level).

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Rachie204 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 3:11am
post #23 of 44

I must say this would bother me as well. Taking a piece of furniture from the road is a little different than going into trash cans. There is all kinds of private information in ones trash...bills/credit card statements/Femine items. It's just freaky. I would definitely sit her down and tell her to straighten up or you will replace her.

Man I wish I had some help around my house....

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LaBellaFlor Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 5:09am
post #24 of 44

I'll be damned if someone I pay to do a job is in my house huffing around with an attitude...and she doesn't do a good job. Yeah, she may be upset about you taking them. But I'm with Dkelly, she must have felt like she was doing something wrong if she hid your own house no less!!!

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summernoelle Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 6:00am
post #25 of 44

It's creepy.

I've had it happen-we built our home in a new subdivision and when we moved in, several of the houses were still under construction. After moving, I had put some baskets in the trash and caught the construction workers taking them out of my trash can. I noticed they would look for treasures in people's trash. It creeped me out, but what could I do?

In your case, though, jeez I would be uncomfortable. She's in your house, with your kids...kind of Hand That Rock the Cradle or something. I think I would fire her-I'm big with boundaries and privacy, and she's crossing a line. Yikes!

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redpanda Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 6:11am
post #26 of 44

I agree that the real issue, with regards to her suitability to stay employed in your house is her lack of work ethic/attitude while on the job. On the other hand, I'm not sure she was "hiding" the stuff, other than the rocking horse. It sounded like the rest was put on a shelf that was her designated place to keep her belongings.

Does she have her own room, but insufficient space to keep belongings, or am I misunderstanding whether she is live-in or not? Even if she has her own place to say on weekends/days off, if she stays there most days overnight, she would most likely need to have not only clothes but some comfort items.

I may be unpopular for my opinion, but if items that are thrown away are still perfectly usable, there isn't really anything "creepy" about somebody salvaging them. If, for example, I were to throw away half a bottle of lotion because I don't like the scent any more, I wouldn't see it as creepy that somebody who doesn't have a lot of disposable income might want to take it.

I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel, and the contractor we are using actually put the still-usable (but not in my new kitchen) range hood and somewhat-rusted on the edges sink on the top of the pile in the trailer out front, so people could take them, if they wanted. The next morning, somebody actually came to my door to ask if we minded him taking the sink, since it was a lot better than the one he has, and he can't afford a new one now. i was happy to be able to improve his condition.

Then again, we are avid Freecyclers.

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summernoelle Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 6:15am
post #27 of 44

Yeah, it seems like lots of people don't think it's a big deal. Stuff like that just gives me the creeps. icon_lol.gif

My parents used to work in the same place. There was this creepy cleaning man who would take stuff out of the trash like that. One time a woman had taken a pregnancy test-thrown away the test in the restroom and the instructions in her office. He literally took the test out of the restroom trash can and left it on her desk with a note that said "congratulations on your new baby."

I know that's not the same thing, but, ew!

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redpanda Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 7:54am
post #28 of 44

Yes, summernoelle, that is indeed beyond creepy. It seems like he was trying to get "the dirt" on the employees. I'd worry about that, beyond the fact that he was looking for usable cast-offs.

There is a big difference between, for example, salvaging a cell phone case that some pampered young thing threw away because another young woman made a comment about it and a used toothbrush. It's amazing the things that people will throw away, rather then finding a way to pass it on to somebody who would appreciate it.

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Mike1394 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 11:55am
post #29 of 44

My question is why do you want control over your garbage? Why should you care if someone has something you tossed? Sounds more like control issues.


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three_sets_of_twins Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 1:30pm
post #30 of 44

Hi everyone, thank you so much for your honest and very informative opinions. Yeah I am one of those people who do feel creeped out by someone using my personal items, even ones I tossed...a picture frame in the trash I'd probably pounce on too if I didnt know the person lol. But the lotions, body creams, make up, and whats with the underwear we're not even the same size lol?

Now that I have slept on it, I think my anger wasnt so much about hiding the things I have been tossing out or collecting for the local charity (Just to clarify- due to lack of space she has her own room but shares closet space with my children in their room- so I was digging out their winter clothes cos its starting to get chilly, and then saw one of my tossed items poking out of her clothes. But yes after I saw the lotion I admitt I started looking through and found the other stuff- I give her all the privacy that I can and dont even go into her bathroom or enter her room without knocking and getting confirmation). But was resentment bulding up from all the cell phone talking, attitude, lack of work, etc. Yes I didnt like the fact that she had taken the items without asking me prior, or mentioning "if you dont want this do you mind if I have it". I view that as just common courtesy really. But I guess seeing that the items were still in my house, hidden in her stuff, while I thought they were out of the house, I felt very disrespected. icon_sad.gif which hurt!
Today though, when I brought the issues up to her, (other stuff more than the trash) it was kinda like talking to a brick wall sadly. A pretty mouthy brick wall. She started yelling at me that she does clean properly (even when I showed her simple things that should be done but were filthy, and im ashamed to say filthy), commented on how many hours were being spent in her room on the phone while I am downstairs with the kids giving them what they need AND cooking AND making an order AND cleaning stuff up, etc...I told her that if she didnt want to work her anymore that she needs to let me know, and not act this way in hopes I fire her. (a common unusual practice with houshold help here?)

Well after our talk, I think she wanted to show me who was boss, and has not put her cell phone down all day. Even when I call her from her room to come help with something, tells me "Im on the phone".

So this is her last day. I'll give her her sallary and send her home.
I guess it is dumb to keep dealing with that just cos they are "nice" to your kids. Part of me gets so scared though, because I have seen all those nanny cam videos and stuff on tv and youtube I get horrified that it might happen to my kids too. I donno. I've also had a few before her that werent mean to my kids, but werent nice either...ignored them and stuff.

I also find it hard to find someone willing to work for me due to the fact that I'm a home baker. A lot of them have turned me down because "We don't want to have to wash all those dishes".

Oh well. Hopefully everything will work out. God help with three sets of twins under 12 and the catering!!

Thank you again everyone for the honest opinions.

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