Three maid staff from Merry Maids Croydon have recently celebrated significant work anniversaries.
Milestones are important, especially in the workplace. Being in one place for a long time isn’t always easy. Especially given how much can change in a single year, let alone multiple!
So, it’s no small matter when staff can celebrate significant work anniversaries, like those observed by three of the team from Merry Maids Croydon this year.
Brenda Bond, Kim Robinson, and Maxine Barker have now all been members of the Merry Maids Croydon team for between 10 and 15 years.
To celebrate, business owner Debbie Walker threw a barbecue this summer. And to mark the occasion, we sat down with each of the maids to chat about their experience, and how Merry Maids Croydon has changed over the past decade.
All three women came to Merry Maids wanting a change. Brenda, who has been with the business since 2007, and Maxine, who joined in 2012, saw local adverts and have worked as part of the team ever since.
Maxine knew that she wanted a job that would allow her to be flexible in her work, and Merry Maids has allowed her to have this lifestyle.
Whilst Brenda was completely new to the cleaning industry but thought she would give it a go. 15 years later, she’s still part of the team, whose friendliness she says makes it easy to work well together.
In contrast, Kim had worked for a cleaning company earlier in her working life but didn’t enjoy it. But she knew that she wanted a job after having her children, so she decided to try working for Merry Maids.
15 years later, although she admits that the work has sometimes been difficult, she has no regrets about making that choice and has enjoyed every minute of her time in the role.
Each maid says that they find different aspects of the role rewarding.
“I love the spring cleans and the dirtier they are the better! I love the challenge of making it neat and tidy. I also enjoy them as I like seeing the progress, and what we have done to help for the better,” Kim says.
Brenda says that what keeps her motivated to do her best is getting the reward of a grateful customer thanking her for her hard work. While Maxine says the cleaning, itself, gives her great fulfilment.
She says being able to go into a really dirty house and leave it clean and tidy has remained a high source of satisfaction during her time working as a maid.
All three women tell us how their roles have developed as they, and the company, have evolved over the years. Notably, both Brenda and Kim say that working as a maid has significantly improved their confidence.
Merry Maids Croydon owner Debbie adds that Kim has greatly improved in this aspect, becoming a confident and highly valued member of the team.
“I think Kim has grown a lot,” Debbie says. “When [she] started, she was probably a little bit shy or didn’t have as much confidence. She’s grown over 15 years and continues to grow [her confidence].”
“[Kim has] developed into a person that I look to all the time because she helps me with the team. She’s very good at understanding people [and] at pointing out when there’s a problem. When we need to do something, she tells me truthfully. It’s a real benefit, to have somebody like Kim that does that.”
The Staff and Clients
Over the years, the business and the staff like Brenda, Kim, and Maxine have had to overcome many obstacles.
As Kim says, “We’ve had a lot of challenges professionally, from COVID-19 to the petrol crisis, to the bad weather, but we have overcome them as a team.”
Maxine seconds this and adds that the safety-oriented nature and setup of the business meant that working throughout COVID-19 after the business was able to safely reopen was made smooth and easy.
Brenda also recalls a time when she and another staff member were stranded in the car for two hours during a snowstorm on the way back to the office from carrying out a quote. But throughout this, as with many challenges, the team have had each other.
Even as the size of the business has grown, with the client base growing from, “Quite small houses,” to “a variety of job sizes,” according to Maxine.
Kim says “It’s the staff that make the company.”
“The clients … are absolutely lovely – they really are, especially the older ones,” she adds. “They make the business [what] it is. The business still has the family feel of when [she] joined with only six to eight staff. It has now over twenty.”
Brenda notes how much she enjoys working with elderly clients and appreciates how the business has evolved to work with vulnerable community members, such as becoming dementia friendly as part of Merry Maids UK’s ongoing work with Dementia Friends this year.
For her, this is part of a wider change she has observed in herself, towards becoming a people person.
“I’ve become good at meeting new people. I also now know how to look after different types of clients,” she says.
Kim also remembers a time when she and some colleagues truly went above and beyond the call of duty. But we’ll let her tell it:
“I was in a team with two other girls, and we had pulled over for a break.”
“There was a car in front,” she says, with what looked to be a couple in it. “We thought they were having an argument. [Then he got out and] started to walk towards us, and we were a little bit nervous.”
Surprisingly, “He then passed his phone to us, which was on a call with the emergency services. His wife was in labour in the back seat of their car!” And yes, believe it or not, “With the guidance of the emergency services, we helped to deliver the baby. It was born in the car.”
Kim also remembers that Debbie then rang the client to explain why the girls were so late, and when they got to the job, he made them a hot drink.
A lot has changed in the world since Brenda, Kim, and Maxine started working for Merry Maids Croydon. But at Merry Maids, we offer consistency, even in the ever-changing landscape that is the 21st century.
With our trademark regular and domestic cleaning services, we have been able to adapt to support our staff and customers through turbulent times like the COVID-19 pandemic, and have maintained a culture where they are valued and well looked after.
Across our 30+ franchises nationwide, our network employs an ever-growing number of home cleaning specialists. Each of whom is ready and waiting to help you get the time back to do what matters most, and not the cleaning.
Get in touch with your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.
And if you are local to the Croydon area, get in touch with Debbie, Brenda, Kim, Maxine, and the rest of the Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.
Congratulations and special thanks to Brenda Bond, Kim Robinson, and Maxine Barker for all of their hard work over the years!
A big thanks also to Debbie and Anna Walker from Merry Maids Croydon for their help with this blog post.