This is an unprofessional post which I must write to exorcise the memory of an awful guest. I might edit this into oblivion later, but for now…
Yesterday my cleaner said she’d met someone at one of her other gigs. This person hated her current short let & was desperate to move immediately - and obviously couldn’t find any short-term accommodation on the market. I mistakenly thought my cleaner knew this woman, and I am an idiot for charity.
So please enjoy my last 24hrs. Maybe tell me at which one of these many red flags you would have sent this special guest packing. This lady:
- Told me she was born here, knows the city, asked the address. I gave it & said “The house is just off (major road into city centre, with iconic cathedral at the end)”. Her response - “but how do I get there?”. I repeated the directions twice.
- Insisted I meet her at the property to show her how the heating worked, despite me explaining it was self check-in. After failing to explain the concept of a keybox over the phone, I decided it’d be quicker to meet her…
- But when I got there: also the oven, the thermostat, TV, microwave, washing machine - I went over them AT LEAST twice, sometimes 3-4 times. It took well over an hour.
- her: “What are the numbers on the oven dials?”
- me: “That’s the gas mark. It says which one to use on the food.”
- While turning the washing machine on for the 2nd or 3rd time, she was insistent it was broken because it wasn’t immediately turning the water on. Talked about how modern machines toss the load around first to even it out, weigh it etc. to try to shorten their cycle. She seemed suspicious of this explanation, and I felt our relationship curdling.
- Was having work done in her own house due to “air quality issues”. Wasn’t very specific about how long she’d been out of the house.
- While looking round upstairs, she screamed loudly because she had… turned the shower on and it soaked her. It continued to soak her while I rushed upstairs, pushed past her to turn the tap off.
- her: “The shower just soaked me!”.
- me: “Did it do it spontaneously?”
- her: “No, I just touched that tap there”
- me: pause “Yes, that’s how it works”.
- (we proceed to turn the shower on and off several times)
- Asked over and over where she could park for free (it’s Residents outside our place) - I said nowhere, she’d have to pay for the car park over the road. Kept repeating the question as I left.
- I tried to change my mind and say actually - I don’t think the property is in a great state, and I’d rather she left. She begged, she was desperate, she had nowhere. me: Well, OK…
- Tried to negotiate price due to all of this , I had to just say “No, sorry that’s not happening” and stare her in the face. Wouldn’t give me her card, insisted on cash (she snappily gave me her card details later in the evening).
- Called me after I left to ask me to come back and set her iPad up on the Wifi, because she’s “useless with technology”. I refused. She offered to pay me £10.
- Called me 3 times in the evening, then at 2am and 3am (I was developing better instincts & had silenced her # after the awful check-in).
- In the morning, she said she’d slept in her car due to “terrible smells”, wanted some restitution - I said I’m sorry it’s not working out, maybe it’s time to go.
She went. Apparently there was still nobody in her last, unsatisfactory, place, and she could just go back there. I didn’t even try to understand the layers of bs, I just let it calmly wash over me by this point.
I refunded her everything except the cleaning fee, and checked the house was OK. No smells. (maybe a slight smell of crazy). So glad to see the back of her.
But then the neighbour knocked.
She had also:
- Knocked on their door during the evening, demanded they come and show her the thermostat (again!!) but not before telling them to go back into their own house and wash their hands.
- Borrowed a phone charger, and now left with it.
- Pranged their Mercedes.
I just … have no frame of reference for how someone well into middle-age functions in this state. I genuinely assume she must have lived in sheltered acommodation her whole life - her behaviour seemed like … to be kind … that it would need a lot of support and patience. And paid help.
And personally, I realised that I excuse lunatic & entitled behaviour for someone who’s well-heeled & drives a nice car, but I am trying to improve