View Full Version : Need your sage advice :)

6-9-11, 4:11pm
I have been working at a chiropractor's office since last August and have built up a fantastic clientale for pain management/ therapeutic massage. The office is quite cluttered...kind of like the absent mind professor, but I can let that go because it does not affect me. The thing that is bcoming a problem is that she does not pay for a regular cleaning service for the bathroom. I have helped her clean a few times with no pay and it is just making me resent her. I have not done anything there in the last 6 weeks and during this time she has also been doing some renovations and construction dust, garbage, nails, papers, and unused/broken equipement is everywhere. The bathroom is also a disaster with a ring so thick and gross in the toilet bowl.
I have also had issues with her not turning on the air conditioning until it reached 80 degrees and bascially had to threaten to leave for her to put it on. The room I am in has no windows, is small, and I cannot put the fan on because the clients get cold on the table.
The most awful part is the bathroom....I bring in my own clorox wipes and put down paper towels before using and try not to look inside the bowl!
I have a thriving home business, but it is enough to pay my bills and a little more. The income I earn from her office goes towards saving/emergency fund/buying things for my business.
I have suggested that she have her home cleaning lady also clean the office....she said she would think about. I don't know what else to do and I hate confrontations. Any advice?

6-9-11, 4:54pm
I would think it would affect her clients coming back. I think the cleanliness of a place says alot about it. If she has money to do remodeling, then she should have money for a cleaning service. If all they did was clean the bathroom and empty waste baskets, it shouldn't cost too much.
I think you have to be totally up front with her. Say to her that the bathroom is so gross that you fear patients will be put off by it. You don't have to be confrontational........just act really concerned that the state of the bathroom might hurt business.

6-9-11, 4:54pm
Doesn't sound like she is going to change, so you might have to:

1) go somewhere else, is there another office you can work in.
2) clean up yourself
3) live with it.

I think #3 won't work for you, so you have to make a decision. I would base it on the fact that she is the owner of the office and she is not going to change. Good luck.

6-10-11, 7:46am
CathyA....I did bring it up as a concern regarding how it affects our personal image and that is when she said she would think about having her cleaning person also clean the office. I agree with you that it would not cost much at all....but she is a very cheap person...not frugal.
Kally....I am leaning towards 1....I have a beautiful home office and quite a few personal clients who come there now. I am scared of taking the leap to just having a private office.
Thank you both :)

6-10-11, 8:03am
If she really resists having a professional come in and keep the bathroom clean, and its cleanliness is important to you and your clients, I would ask myself, "how much business does her office bring me?" If it brings in a lot, then it really may be worth your own sweat equity to do it yourself. After all, if you get the thing properly cleaned once, it shouldn't take that much care to keep it tidy, and supplies will always be a legitimate tax deduction. It may also be cheaper than moving home and possibly losing a large chunk of your business. On the other hand, if you moved home you wouldn't be paying her rent, but you may have to invest more in advertising. Run ALL the numbers and see what chugs out at the end. But I agree...toilets are gross and NO ONE wants to clean them if they don't have to, which is why cleaners get paid to do it! :)

6-10-11, 8:11am
Why not tell her you will clean the bathroom but need to be paid for it?

6-13-11, 12:21am
I really don't want to do the cleaning any more and there is no chance of getting paid for it either. I am definitely looking for other avenues and marketing my home office.

6-13-11, 12:28am
You could call the Health Dept. & complain...

6-13-11, 7:02am
I think you can do much better than hitching your wagon to someone who

1) Is unreasonably cheap and
2) Works in a HEALTH field but yet does not meet basic hygenic standards in her business. That is just disgusting. I would never patronize someone who did not take care of the basics at that level. I would always be wondering if she was too cheap to buy soap or even wash her hands. Ewwwwww....

Also, think of how her poor practices are reflecting on you because you put up with them. People may assume that you don't care, either. I am betting you will win a lot of respect (and maybe a whole new clientel) if you disassociate yourself from her.


6-13-11, 8:19am
Can you just tell your clients from having worked at the chiropractic office that you will now be working out of your home? Or is that a no-no in that business?

6-15-11, 8:19am
Redfox....I have thought about it but I don't want her to get in trouble.
Lhamo...thank you! I don't know how someone can basically ignore the basic cleanliness and is a frigging doctor! She is leaving for vacation June 24th with her family to Israel for two weeks. I am hoping I will not be going back after that.
Fidgiegirl....in this case, I will be getting postcards printed up and emailing them to the clients with my studio information and directions. I never signed a non-compete with her so I can technically let them know where I am going. Also, she only does the adjustments and not massage so I wouldn't be "stealing" them from her.

6-15-11, 10:58am
Redfox....I have thought about it but I don't want her to get in trouble.

I would consider it more of protecting clients... because, like lhamo said... EWWWW! And, I suspect that she wouldn't get in trouble per se, but probably get some coaching & perhaps a warning. Well, your call for sure, and I concur that it's a good move to unlink from her to shine on your own.

6-15-11, 4:53pm
She has probably lost a ton of customers and doesn't even realize it. YOu may actually be doing her a huge favor by showing her clearly that people will not stand for that kind of behavior in a business. Lots of people pay attention to that kind of thing. I will not patronize restaurants that have unhygenic bathrooms, for example -- if they don't care for the space, it is most likely they are not making sure employees wash hands regularly, etc.

Good luck branching off! I predict a great result. If you enjoy the team-based approach and think people benefit from it, maybe there is another chiro or a physical therapist you could partner with in your area. Work with good people and you will have a great chance at succeeding.



6-16-11, 9:50pm
Since you didn't sign a non-compete I'd agree with telling your clients that you're going to be continuing your practice elsewhere (either on your own at another chiropractor/physical therapy practice and give them your contact info. Hopefully they'll follow. After all, hairdressers move around all the time and their clients follow them. Your service is as equally unique to each practitioner as hairdressing, so I'd imagine plenty of your clients will go with you wherever you end up.

And I agree with lhamo, in the long run you will most certainly benefit from being "partnered" with a facility with which you are proud to be a part. Even though the current place isn't "yours" clients that only know you from there can't help but associate you with a filthy place.

6-18-11, 10:54pm
Ugh....I had to clean out the toilet bowl friday....too disgusting for words. I left her a note today that she really needs to get someone in to take care of the unsanitary conditions and that it would actually benefit us. Let's see what happens. I am not worried about people following me....most of them will and already have asked for my information which I have given them. If she does not address this, I am gone. We actually bid on a house today which has a fantastic front room for my studio :) It is also handicap accessible and really nice and big to accomodate my hydraulic table :)

7-14-11, 10:49pm

I gave her notice this past monday....she told me not to bother coming in anymore. I sent out thank you notes to a few of the regular clients and inserted my card in the note. I am sure that a few will definitely follow me....I am seeing three of them this coming Saturday. She is PISSED....but I told her that I was going to concentrate on my own business instead of telling her she is a filthy, gross person!

7-15-11, 4:47am
Good move! I'm sure this will do nothing but postive things for your reputation and your business. She was lucky to have you and stupid to lose you. Her loss, your (and your clients') gain.

Good luck!