Monday, March 17, 2008

10 of 30 Days of Freebies

I had to fire one of my employees today, and what made it worse is, she's not only an employee, but family. She's a young single mother, has a new baby that's about 3 months old, lives with her parents, and needs her ass whipped. I hired her last week because I needed a fill-in, and she needed the money, but I should have listened to that little voice in my head. Not the one telling me to drop my kids off at the closest Goodwill box and wrap hubby up in a rug and donate it to the Salvation army, but the one that told me never, under any circumstances, should I hire family. See, I'm usually right, but sometimes I just don't listen to myself.

Now let's get into the story about WHY I fired her. This still puzzles the hell out of me, but I had a customer call me today that was missing a pair of shoes from last Thursday when we cleaned her house. SHOES. She said it was a pair of Birkenstocks that she kept by the back door, she just slipped them on to take the dog out and took them right back off again when she came inside. She was kind of snickering when she called, said she thought that maybe one of the ladies had picked them up and put them somewhere, but she had looked all through her house and couldn't find them. I could tell that she didn't really want to call me about a pair of SHOES but she was a bit puzzled about where they could have gone. She lives alone, so there were no hubby or kids who might have misplaced them I told her I'd check into it and see if the ladies remembered seeing them, and get back to her about it as soon as I talked to them.

So last week one of the ladies was out because her husband had had surgery (if you missed THAT story you can read all about it here), and I hired my cousin to work in her place for a few days, and had planned to keep her on part time as long as she still wanted to work. She worked with my other employee, Kristie, who is good at her job but not much of a people person. She's always afraid she'll make someone mad so she doesn't speak up about much unless she's absolutely sure she won't get anyone in trouble. Anyway, after I spoke with my customer, I called Kristie and asked her if she had noticed whether or not there were any shoes by Mrs. Thompson's back door and told her that she couldn't find her Birkenstocks. Kristie told me no, she hadn't noticed any by the back door, and then got quiet. I kinda felt like there was something she wasn't telling me, so I let her know that I would really appreciate it if she'd tell me if she noticed anything strange, and that if she wanted, I would keep her name out of it. So she finally told me that while she finished up the floors, Teresa said she was gonna take her jacket out to the car, and Kristie said she had it folded up and was holding it to her chest with both hands. She didn't take ANY of the equipment out with her, and they were finished with everything except the mop and mop bucket. Anyway, Kristie said she didn't think too much about it at the time, but later in the day as they were getting the equipment out at another house, Kristie said the jacket had slipped off a bit and she saw a pair of shoes underneath it. And when they were finished for the day and got back to the office, Teresa jumped out with her jacket and purse and put them in her car, and then came back to help her bring in the equipment.

Well, I called my aunt, Teresa's mom, with whom I've been really close all my life, and asked her to walk outside so I could talk to her without Teresa overhearing. I explained to her what went on, and asked her if she'd noticed if Teresa had come up with a pair of Birkenstocks sometime since last Thursday. My aunt said, well, she found the ones that she has been missing for a while. I asked her to PLEASE explain, she said that Teresa had been looking everywhere for the past few weeks for her Birkenstocks, and she finally found them this past Saturday. Well, that was too much to be mere coincidence, so I had no choice but to fire her. Even if she didn't take them from Mrs. Thompson, I can't send her in any more houses without that little voice in my head saying, "You dumbass, you know she's a thief." I hate to just assume the worst, but if it were anyone except family I wouldn't even debate the issue.

In her explanations when I asked her point blank if she had wrapped the shoes up in her jacket and took them out of the house, she told me that she didn't even wear a jacket that day. No hesitation, just an immediate answer. One, I know damn good and well she did because she ALWAYS wears her Auburn jacket, and two, who the hell remembers whether or not they wore a jacket to work 5 days ago?? OK yeah, if you think about it a minute, you might think yeah, I remember that it was cold that day, or yeah I wore a jacket because that was the day I shut it up in the car door and dragged it down the road for 10 miles and everyone blew the horn at me and yelled that something was hanging out, making me look down at my zipper in horror, or something, but you don't remember it fast enough to pop out an answer immediately after someone asks the question.

So, now everyone on that side of the family is all like, poor Teresa, she's already going through postpartum depression and now she gets fired from her job because of something she didn't do...blah blah blah. But I wouldn't be a responsible boss nor would I be a trustworthy business owner if I continued to send someone into people's homes that could potentially steal from them. I mean, come on, if she'll steal a damn pair of used SHOES, what's she gonna do if she sees a $100 bill lying right there in the open and there's no one around to see her take it? And yes, things like this do come up. You'd be surprised at the valuables people will leave out when complete strangers are cleaning their home. We are licensed, bonded, insured, and are even members in good standing with the BBB, but there's an issue of trust that we have to work very hard to obtain with each and every client. And family or not, I can't use ANYONE that might screw this up.

So I have to call Mrs. Thompson back tomorrow and grovel. I hope she will be happy with an apology and a reimbursement, but you never really know about things like this. Hopefully she won't insist on a police report. I told Pam that she can never EVER take off work again...I get into too damn much trouble without her here to crack the whip LOL

Anyway, today's freebie is the numbers 0 through 9 in the second alpha included with Peachy Fantasy. You can snag it Here on 4Shared or Here on Rapidshare. If you download please leave a comment.


PS - An update on my Dr. visit...Turns out I have a pulled muscle in my back, which, strangely enough, is causing me to have trouble not only moving, but breathing and talking as well, and coughing just about kills me. Hopefully with all the drugs she gave me, it will be better soon, but if not, I'll be too stoned to care LOL. I told her the kids were out of school ALL friggin' week and begged her to give me nerve pills but she promised that Loritab would do the job and if not, the Flexiril would knock me out and I'd never hear them, so it's all good. She doesn't have any kids....maybe I should loan her mine for the week so she can see exactly why I need those nerve pills.


Maria said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today.

Marlies said...

Thanks for the nice shares

Kyrsten said...

I feel for you. Had the same thing last week!! Pratically crawled to the dr. Monday morning begging for relief. She gave me Steroids & muscle relaxers. Feeling MUCH better now!!!

Michele T. said...

Sry to hear about the drama with potential stealing. That just SUX! I always wonder how it is that I trust anyone to clean my place but then we don't have many valuables either I suppose. Trust IS important!

btw, thx for the freebies. Love 'em!