Housecleaners are going through a rough time right now as the coronavirus pandemic has put a hard stop on much of their work due to social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders. None of them want to risk further spreading the virus or put their loved ones in danger by continuing to work, but it’s never easy to lose your source of income, no matter what the situation may be.
That does not, however, mean that they actually miss the work. Housecleaning is not a job for those with low constitution scores, and many people are stopped from even trying it out by considering the kind of things they might have to see (and clean) in the homes of strangers. Still, these soldiers of cleanliness have labored on in relative silence.
That is, until Tabitha McIntosh snapped.
Dear British lady ‘I love my cleaner’ twitter: I cleaned your houses when I was the single mother of a toddler. I despised every last one of you and would’ve cheerfully lobbed a brick through your window had you told the internet how *proud* I was to be elbow deep in your toilets— Tabitha McIntosh (@TabitaSurge) May 13, 2020
McIntosh appears to be responding to the phenomenon of well-off people complaining that they can’t get their houses cleaned due to the pandemic and are trying to get around doing it themselves by claiming that housecleaners all love their jobs and their clients. Anyone who has ever worked in the service industry knows this is extremely false, but housecleaners themselves are so fed up with the lie that they’re now sharing the horror stories previously kept tucked inside their nightmares.
And here’s to all the pubic hair, skid marks, and puke stains. Pay your cleaners to stay at home during a pandemic. It’s the absolute least you can do.— Tabitha McIntosh (@TabitaSurge) May 13, 2020
McIntosh’s message inspired many other housecleaners, some of whom are absurdly not getting paid to stay home by their terrible clients right now, to share their own horror stories. Here are the worst of the worst:
My Mom cleaned houses for 25 years. Your going to think Im making this up but she cleaned a vacation house for a woman who would hide plastic bugs around the house to make sure she was cleaning under furniture and couch cushions. Unbelievably weird.
— Heather Ostrander 🌹 (@HeatherOstrand4) May 14, 2020
I worked as a cleaner for a bit when I was first out of university. The worst was the person who gutted and descaled fish in the bath and left it for me to clean up.
People are weird. And unhygeinic.
— Katherine Schofield PhD 🇪🇺 (@katherineschof8) May 14, 2020
My friend was a cleaner and one of her clients got her to come in and clean up sick from the night before. They’d just put a towel over it, ffs.
— 🐥Jamie Louise 🐇 (@MrsjGouldy) May 13, 2020
I think my favourite ‘customer’ when I was a cleaner, was the one who’d leave used sanitary items under and around the bed for me to collect and dispose of.
— claire hamilton (@claireh00371979) May 14, 2020
My mom cleaned a lot of hoarder houses when I was growing up and I would often help out. One time, we going through someone’s room and found a cage with two rat skeletons in them. They weren’t pests, they were pets the kid had forgotten about. Blew my freaking mind.
— Jeremy Hanna (@JeremyHanna753) May 14, 2020
My Mum was a cleaner. Shout out to the woman who came to our home ‘to check’ if my Mum was telling the truth about a family bereavement and complained that she couldn’t come in that day. So proud when Mum handed her back her keys and asked her to leave.
— Chris Tuite (@ChewyTuite83) May 14, 2020
Cleaned for a nudist couple once. Got trapped in a basement for twenty minutes and was late for my next house ‘cuz the husband was naked leering at me from the next room that lead back upstairs. Explained to management what happened, and they brushed it off.
— Ms. ‘Me-With-That-Gay-Shit’ (@Battycakes1) May 14, 2020
I was an au pair with a posh British family. The house was enormous. No vacuum, no tools for cleaning … it was ridiculous. Water pipes burst that winter bc it was so cold – I had to clean up the mess. The nursery was total chaos. No central heating. I had to carry coal – I left
— Ute Susan Weiss (@TeacherSusanUte) May 14, 2020
Even after cleaning up all their garbage, scraping used condoms from under beds (why would they throw them under there!?) and having to deal with their elitist attitudes the university would have security check us after every shift just to make sure us non rich students didn’t— Night of the living CHONK 🧟♀️ Ashley McGuire (@OhioCatLady) May 14, 2020
I was hired an au pair for a family in Germany to care for three small children. I found out I had to also do household cleaning, wash laundry by hand, iron and shop groceries. I was so exhausted, one day I just up and left. The Frau cried begging me to stay but I was done.
— Pamela Irene (@safaridreamer) May 14, 2020
My mother got fired because she had the audacity to pocket 5c that she found while hoovering instead of putting it in a penny jar in the kitchen. She cleaned 22 rooms by herself, including a sauna and yoga room, and they usually only gave her 3 hours to do it. 5c & she got fired
— The Old Whore’s Almanac🍑 (@oldwhorealmanac) May 14, 2020
I was talking to a cleaner, he told me as the majority of the people he was cleaning for who had stopped paying him were isolating he offered to to their shopping thinking he could earn a little fetching & carrying instead but none paid him any more than what the items cost.
— Rachel Soens (@soens) May 15, 2020
I worked two summer camps: one with cleaners, one where me and the kids did it ourselves. The one with the cleaners was all rich kids and utterly disgusting. The one without, the kids didn’t have two cents to rub together and kept it spotless. It was telling.
— Alex 🏴 (@AlexTGSP) May 13, 2020
I cleaned and nannied a family for a yr. The dad would always “pop by” when I was cleaning and mum would leave passive aggressive notes around the house.
When I cleaned for a hotel, the managers would check all the rooms first and take tips left for us, the housekeepers.
— 🌻dorothy♡$5 OF//$3AVN🌻 (@dot_sprig) May 13, 2020
I was a nanny/cleaner for a family for 3 years who allowed their children to disrespect me and never tidied the house between my cleaning days.. I had to clean rotting food from under their beds and scrub their floors. Piles of dishes.. and they thought €55 a week was fair..
— Elliot ⋈ 🇮🇪 (cult member) (@elIisays) May 14, 2020
I also lived in halls and had a cleaner (my colleague) for my room. I'd tell her to have a cigarette break in my room because I knew how shitty some of the students were.— Lois K (@loiskitten) May 13, 2020
I have and I’ve also been a cleaner. Would leave a dirty toilet – it’s disrespectful and downright horrid. I’ve also paid my friend and cleaner, Angie, not to come to keep us both safe. Anyone who treats someone badly that they trust to be in their homes and lives is a wrong ‘un.
— Glitter Monkey (Lynn A) (@Glittermonk3y) May 14, 2020
My dad is a cleaner for a UK university. He’s currently on furlough at the moment but he’s told me some stories. He was cleaning a bin once and some bloke said to him “rooting around for something to take home”?. Do you know what’s worse? This office worker lives near us!!! 😳😳
— Bethy🤷🏽♀️ (@BethanyDaisy95) May 14, 2020
hotel wait staff also kept making fun of us as well, esp since we were all people of colour and most of my co workers couldnt speak english very well so it was an extra flavour of racism topped off— ❤️Զաւէն☕ (@LOVESTRUCKBEAR) May 13, 2020
I used to a lady’s house every Sat. in high school. She used to give us random other tasks to do, like once I had to chase her duck around her yard for like an hour and put it back into the barn and almost got bitten. (They had a “hobby farm” and paid cash to avoid min. wage.
— Li. (@VM2022Beijing) May 13, 2020
My mom cleaned people’s houses all her adult life. Shout out to the women who insisted she move the heavy furniture by herself AND cook their dinner for them before she could go home.
— Luann Slinker (@luann_slinker) May 14, 2020