Imagine inviting an assaulter to your home and paying them. This is exactly what happened to a lady living in a Posh Society in Bengaluru’s Whitefield area when she called up HouseJoy’s team to clear her place.We have come to a point when the system is doing close to nothing when it comes to prevention of rapes, the sad truth is that your protection lies in your hand.
The cleaner unzipped hi pants when the lady was inspecting the work done by the team, it was due to her quick thinking that things didn’t go south but could have, as there were 2 stranger in her private space.
When contacted the HouseJoy team they were not really worried about the safety of the lady but tried to rub it off as the vendor’s mistake, trying to prevent a negetive PR and refused to give any resolution to this serious issue. According to the lady this complaint is not to defame the company but to aware everyone to protect themselves from any such incident. After all, you may be inviting an assaulter in your home. Following is the first person’s account of the incident.
I would like to share an incident that happened with me 2 days back and that really shook me. To some my tone may seem helpless or victimized BUT I AM NOT. So as it happened, I am AGITATED about it. I am ANGRY that I able not able to get the resolution and the right action to ensure it never ever happens to me or to anyone else.
So here it is the narration of the incident:
I reside in a Bangalore, city known to be safest to stay and have law and order in control. I live in one of the posh gated society in Bangalore in Whitefield area. So just like everything being online these days, I booked a home service for deep cleaning of bathroom with “Housejoy”. Also avoiding an inconvenience of finding a local sweeper to do the job I preferred having professional service which claimed to have police verification of the cleaning expert assigned on the job.
The appointment was confirmed for Friday, 27th Oct @ 10:00 -11:00 and had plans to go to work after that. The name and details of the cleaner coming to my house “Chandra Mohan Uds” was confirmed via email and message from Housejoy few hours before the scheduled appointment. When the expert showed up at my place they were 2 people (one of them seemed senior guy in early 30s and another just a junior or helper in team in early 20s), both been sent from Housejoy. I felt slightly weird as I wasn’t expecting 2 people but then I thought maybe I was given the detail of the senior expert who would get his team to get the job (that could be the business model of the company to notify their customer, just one SPOC detail for job and extra help get them finish the task faster). However their presence was fine, they were professional and seemed presentable and immediately got on to the task.
Now it was almost the top of the hour, they were very much wrapping up the work. The senior cleaner (standing right at the bathroom door) asked me just check and inspect for the satisfactory service. The other fellow was inside the bathroom wiping the floor and every corner as the job was very much completed. I didn’t get into every detail of inspection rather just stood outside the bathroom and few steps away from door where it’s enough to glance thru the bathroom. The senior guy insisted to check thoroughly (gesture like other agents do for client satisfaction on services). I didn’t move from there. Meanwhile the young chap approached the shower area to wipe the water and slid the shower panel door. It is a translucent sliding glass door but has visibly clear trace of person behind panel.
While I was just peeking at how the cleaning service is done, I noticed that the young chap unzipped his trouser-fly. I was very uncomfortable at what I just saw and same time I couldn’t believe I really saw him unzipping!! In my bathroom! WHAT CRAP!! And then a hundred thousand thoughts at random in those few seconds…. Why would he do that? ?? What the F%^$#. I had a bad intuition right away and while I was wondering all this shit, in that fraction of second he unbelted his trouser , I saw that shadow trace on the glass door when he turned his head towards the door and then …he put his hand inside his trouser……F%*K!!… The thought of that sight still makes chills run up and down my spine… Couldn’t stand his filthy gesture, I just moved away from there.
But somewhere in my head I was alarmed by what just happened (and my hunch says he fucking really wanted me to see him do that) ……and asked in a unobtrusive tone to the senior guy next to me “ Kya ho raha hain ?” (What is he doing?). He seemed to kind of taken a back but I am not sure if he pretended to look perplexed or really was for what was happening in shower area) and called on him with a moderate tone “Eh! Kya kar raha hain tu ?”, he replied in dismissal “Kuch nahi panni saaf kar raha hun aur kya ?”
My immediate reflex was to get these guys out of my house immediately with causing any scene or any harm to me. I went to the main door of my house opened it and put a door stopper in a precautionary way to have the exit ready and prevent an isolation. I didn’t want to confront that guy and requested both to leave immediately as I was getting late for work. To avoid any further interaction with them I paid them cash asked them to take all their stuff and step out. I did not take the invoice neither was interested to take the change back from them. I just wanted to throw them out and shut the door.
I was devastated, it happened at my own house by an outsider! I thank my stars, things didn’t go south
Incident Reported to HouseJoy-
I was still in shocked and shaken state of mind an hour passed, I decided to make call to inform HouseJoy about this horrific situation though BUT I also wanted to stop that guy to do that to anyone else. I filed my grievance with HouseJoy customer support and escalated the report.
I spoke to the team leader of escalation management team of house joy and narrated the incident. She was apologetic and empathetic (for obvious reasons…). She informed, that the cleaning experts were from the vendor services they had a contract with. I demanded to confirm the background and police verification of those bastards and necessitate the resolution for such incident.
Few hours later, I get a call from the City Head of HouseJoy in Bangalore to address the magnitude of the incident, apologize and assure that he will get the police verification details of culprits from their end. My demand was still the same, I needed a resolution to make sure this never happens to anyone.
End this shit!!!
He offered me the resolution, “One thing which I can do mam I can file a police complaint on him. I’ll just make sure he doesn’t repeat this.” He also mentioned, there was a second complaint raised for the same team but for a different issue not same person. “If you want mam, we can call the cops and follow accordingly, legally mam”.
He also added that, HouseJoy will file a complaint on this vendor. We have an agreement. So if anything go out of hand, we have some clauses with the vendor for so and so things, like if there is any misbehavior with customer or any harassment happens then we can legally file a complaint on vendor.”
I got concerned about my security if a police complaint is done for that bastard. But the thought of vengeance scared me more. HouseJoy City Head responded in his fumbling attempt to put up my security and confidentiality. His incapacitated tone said it all. \
Next day, I got another call from HouseJoy’s customer experience team. All I could sense now is there was a damage control being done for PR of the HouseJoy. There was no freaking firm action on the issue but just enactment of a pretense to provide support but not taking the complete responsibility for safety of the customer who avail services from HouseJoy.
It seemed there were negotiation options for closure of this issue like, asking for a go ahead for a police complaint and still no surety that this would never happen. It anguishes me to see such perception in our society with an acceptable norm for tolerance of sexual harassment to women.
All I know, I took cleaning service from HouseJoy (as they claim the verification and identification of their executives) and sends an assaulter at my home and I pay for harassment service with security threat to my personal space.
I demanded a resolution to control this. All I know that Bas%$# is out on streets of the city and has open opportunity to do anything he wants. Housejoy hasn’t given me copy of his documents of identity (confirming that there was a police verification done). There is no proof of document for termination of his job nor did anything to confirm that he would not be hire anywhere in industry with such a background.
Some may say this is not as bad, but why should we wait until its bad. The lady was at risk, yes. This calls for an action by the team which they failed to provide. What do you think should be done? Do share your opinion with us.