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Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Individual and Family Therapist
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I have a new housekeeper working in my home and everyday she

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I have a new housekeeper working in my home and every day she carries a red tote bag half empty and leaves for the day with a full bag. I do know she goes through my garbage and takes things that I throw away. I don't mind, but she doesn't tell me and it makes me wonder what she has in the bag. I don't want to insult her, but i have a lot of expensive things and I don't feel comfortable not knowing what she has in her bag. How should I handle this. She doesn't speak English, but she is sharp

Thanks for your question.

I completely understand your desire to know what your housekeeper is taking home with her. You are paying for her services and if you suspect that she is taking things from your home then I do believe you are entitled to say something to her about this. At the same time, I also respect the fact that you don't want to insult her and that you are taking her feelings into consideration.

For the most part I think that the best way to confront most things is to keep it simple and direct. As long as you are able to communicate with her, you can probably say exactly what you said here. You know she is going through your garbage and you would just like to see what is in her bag before she leaves. Perhaps you can offer to leave things out for her before they go into the garbage, and that would make her less defensive overall and show her that you really don't mind.

I'm not sure there's a perfect way to confront this that would ensure her not getting defensive or upset, but it also sounds like you are being very fair and your intentions are obviously good. If you're able to convey to her that you're not upset you just want to know what is leaving your house, then I think you have done your part. At that point if she gets overly upset or defensive it may be worth considering how honest she really is and whether you want to trust her with your possessions. Best of luck and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

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