Life Advice



Ask Amy: Broccoli works, until Mr. Oreo arrives

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

This Tuesday, she broke our microwave turntable and said she would replace it. I called her the next day to ask if she knew when she would be able to get it for us. She said didn't know when and apologized.

I told her I had found a replacement online and the soonest delivery was Friday.

She told me that we should subtract the amount from her next check for her cleaning services. The total is over half of what we pay her.

My partner is completely OK with this. I'm not sure. I feel like everyone breaks things or makes mistakes occasionally and we can absorb the cost easily.

I don't want to lose our housecleaner. She works very hard.

What do you think?


– J

Dear J: If in a decade of being in your home, moving things, dusting things, and working/cleaning your appliances your cleaner has only broken one thing – I’d say she has been exceedingly careful. If a guest or family member accidentally broke this microwave turntable, would you expect them to pay for it? (It sounds as if your husband would.)

Most of us accidentally break a few things a year, and these minor issues should be taken for what they are – accidents.

The kind thing to do is to accept this as an accident, replace the item yourself, and tell your faithful cleaner that you appreciate her apology, but “these things happen,” and that you consider the matter closed.


swipe to next page




David M. Hitch Arctic Circle John Branch Noodle Scratchers Peanuts Mallard Fillmore