Are you respectful to your office cleaners?

After all you don't want to end up being pilloried in an official report.

Anyone who doesn't respect support staff is a prick.  Anyone who is rude to waiters, waitresses, barmen is a prick, and usually hasn't been one.  If I see anyone doing this I have the worst kind of contempt for them.  

Absolutely.  The idea that you wouldn't respect any colleague or co-worker is repellant, but particularly to do that to people who clean up after the entitled twots that mainly inhabit the legal profession is beyond the pale.

Yes. We involve junior colleagues in recruitment decisions and often how candidates interact with them during recruitment processes is an important factor to consider 


GL - I used to ask reception staff to let me know how candidates had treated them too.  It is very telling how people speak "down" as well as "up".

In fairness to the partygoers (and I really am loath to defend any of them), the extent of the "lack of respect" seems to be spilling red wine on the carpet. 

I think how office people would answer this, would likely be different to how the cleaners subject to their behaviour view their behaviour. I read a list of complaints made against office cleaners in 2022 a few weeks ago, and none of the complaints had anything to do with the cleaners, but were made against the cleaners, and the team was too scared to defend themselves against them. I would guess office people understand the distinction between cleaning and picking up litter or moving objects around, and how the duties of the cleaning team are determined, by and large.

Yes, kind of snobbish question. One thing that enforces a certain amount of respect in our place is that the cleaners, as original long-term denizens of the area, live in better houses than the lawyers do. I do enjoy the moment when the newbies realise that.

tbh i don't think i have ever spoken to the cleaners in any office i've ever worked in

i've never left a pile of sick for them to clean up either though

same pancakes - we dont work the same hours but otherwise its simply a case of benign neglect.

Same from some IT analyst - never gonna come across them. 

I know the home addresses of the cleaners because they live round the corner from me, you loon. They're my long standing good neighbours. 

Yes. And the only time I’ve properly hauled someone over the coals publicly was a junior sales guy who was an arsehole to our canteen staff. Treat everyone with respect or I don’t want to work with you

I always say a polite good evening to them if I'm still in the office when they appear and don't leave a mess on the basis that they aren't employed to clean up glasses and empty bottles.  If you have a few drinks in the office it's down to you to tidy up before you go.

Anyone who doesn't respect support staff is a prick.  Anyone who is rude to waiters, waitresses, barmen is a prick, and usually hasn't been one.  If I see anyone doing this I have the worst kind of contempt for them

This a thousand times. The biggest dickhead I ever worked with as a American private equity partner who during dinner at a Michelin star place sent back 5/7 courses of the tasting menu (all of which was flawlessly sublime) including the fvcking bread. He was a total dick to the waiters and kicked off when the chef wouldn’t “come out here to explain himself”. I hope they pissed in every course 

I went for an interview once about 25 odd years ago in Canary Wharf and was v nervous.  The woman on reception and I had a bit of a chat and I confessed I was nervous.  She was really nice to me.  I got the job and a few years later she was part of the group that would go to drinks and she told me that as soon as I'd been interviewed the interviewer came down to see what the receptionist thought of me - she gave a glowing report (apparently) and the rest was history.  You should treat EVERYONE with respect and like Tom says above, if I see otherwise then those people go straight to the bottom of my pile estimation wise and thereon if I can possibly manage it - I wouldn't give them the time of day.  Showing true colours.

Has anyone ever replied to one of these threads saying they're a deliberately abusive and difficult prick to all support staff actually?

"American private equity partner who during dinner at a Michelin star place sent back 5/7 courses of the tasting menu (all of which was flawlessly sublime) including the fvcking bread."

Heh @ the bread! 


I think the abose shows some of the problem - a mere conversation isn't an act of respect. It's the bare minimum in civilised conduct, like wearing a clean, ironed shirt to a job interview. Respect, as I see it, and thinking about the petty complaints I read, is working together to enable each to work well, compromising when we can.

It's cleaners either not using the noisy hoover, or only using the quiet hoover, during busy periods in the office. It's office people moving to a place that doesn't interrupt the cleaner's work, if they are in the office outside of normal working hours, and the cleaner has work to do. It's office people moaning to their employer about the lack of funds devoted to cleaning, because the work of the cleaners is valued and matters, so should be more frequent, instead of making complaints against the cleaners for perceived work not done or not done to the office person's standard. It's office people tidying their mess and putting their litter in bins and cups and plates away, so the cleaners can focus on cleaning. It's office people going to other floors to use the toilets, instead of walking on freshly-cleaned, wet floors. It's cleaners making sure the extra toilet paper stock is stocked, so office people don't get stuck without it.

These threads always turn out to be an absolute cringe-fest, with posters variously feeling guilty, navel-gazing about their privilege, making patronising comments, and competing to be seen as nice guys. For those of us who actually socialise with ordinary working people on a regular basis, it's not even an issue. 


Don't feel guilty 3-ducks. Though your treatment of the staff would make Joe Pesci wince, I won't judge you. Stuffing bread rolls into the mouths of sobbing waitresses is perfectly acceptable. It shows that you're a big man.

Yeah I chat to Ange and contribute to her present at Xmas. 

Dunno why anyone wouldn’t be respectful of them. Cleaning is an important job. 

It's office people going to other floors to use the toilets, instead of walking on freshly-cleaned, wet floors.

So when your cleaner has just finished with your bathrooms do you pop round to the neighbour if you fear Alan Carnage is about to be unleashed?

reminds me of the Thick of It Sketch where Tucker interrupts screaming at cabinet ministers to be massively polite to the cleaner.

Respect in this context is more about whether you leave crap all over the place -

do you put your litter in the bin,

do you put your cup in the kitchen

do you clean up your spills

do you leave your shoes all over the flooR

Most of you won’t get to say more than a hello to them but these things - not being untidy / messy / minging is probably the respect they’re looking for 

dont cleaners get employed for fixed hours?    I mean dont do anything disgusting obviously but ultimately it is the employer who suffers if their is an untidy staff rather the cleaners as they will have to pay cleaners for longer or have an inadequately tidy office.

Indeed Guy they are paid to do certain tasks during certain hours which don't include tidying up after a lash up in the office so do that yourself.   It's just polite to them and your colleagues.

It was always refreshing and often a stress buster to have a chat to cleaners and other support staff. 

Yes - as others have said it's nice to talk to someone normal at work who isn't obsessed with tedious things like deals, documents, opportunities etc.. used to have a good laugh talking about music and football with the floor support guys and the print room people. 

I have on occasion been quite curt with IT support in moments of stress, but I have always apologised thereafter. Doesn't make it OK obvs. 

Yes as I am the only one who ever cleans the 5 lavatories in this office/home - I kiss the floor on which she (I) walk on.

A tip I always give to young lawyers is to be extra careful to be friendly and courteous  with all the court ushers and staff, and  always try call then by their first name as per their badge.

Talking to my Judge mates, any rudeness or arrogance towards the staff generally gets back to them.

Guy, no. They are paid to complete certain tasks. It isn't a time thing especially. Your company cares that some things are cleaned, and doesn't give a damn about others. Often the carpet is filthy, and the company doesn't care, so long as it is hoovered, for example. There are less bins in offices these days, to reduce money spent on cleaning, and so on and so on.

On the list of complaints I read were things like

"I know the carpet has been dirty for 4 weeks - I've been watching and waiting to see if it was cleaned, and it was not!"

"Sink overflowing with filthy dishes"

"I told them 3 times there's a spot on the window they keep missing, and they still haven't cleaned it"

The person complaining has no idea what the cleaning company is tasked with cleaning, nor whether they have done something wrong, or not.

I recall a cleaner telling me they had been cleaning the evening before, and someone wouldn't let them clean near to him, because "I have important work to do". Since it's open plan, this meant a large amount of space was not cleaned. Other colleagues of this man complained about the cleaning the next day, with no mention of the context that their colleague had forbid the cleaner from cleaning (he didn't let it be known either), and the cleaner lost her job as the cleaning company is desperate to keep the contract as there's so little margin on cleaning and it's really competitive because they lost so many office contracts during the COVID shutdown.

Not cleaners but support yes ,  on the whole people are respect full but had many over the years that completely look down on you 

What pancakes and dux said. A lot of virtue signaling on this thread from people who have no doubt thrown a coffee over a homeless a la The IT crowd

Lets be honest, the legal profession hates the working classes generally speaking.

Funny how everyone is so nice to the cleaners though.

Maybe try and recruit from somewhere that isn't a posh school?

Davos always enjoys a bit of matey banter with his working class cadre eg. his office cleaners.

His incessant questions to them about how many houses they own however are not especially well received.

Nice to the cleaners, receptionists to the building and our floor, building manager etc

and ensure that our contract with the cleaning company pays the cleaners london living wage not just minimum wage