I've had my cleaning service for roughly three years as my husband and I routinely work 12+ hours a day and are often sent away, as well. Since the beginning, I've had a strict rule of "Do NOT clean the living room. EVER." This is due to me keeping a VERY elaborate aquarium (1300 gallon reef) and cleaning products used near it can kill my fish. Because of this, I'm the only one who cleans the living room.
A few days ago, I noticed a few of my fish seemed to be breathing heavily and a lot of my coral was closed up. This is a very well established tank and it's been running for the last seven years, so I immediately knew something was wrong. Most of my fish are just as old as the tank and I've had very little sickness happen, at all. Fortunately, my setup allows me to do massive water changes and I was up until 8:00am changing probably 80% of the water. Despite my best efforts, I lost a LOT of fish. Seahorses (had their own section of the tank). Rays. Various tangs. But, the losses that hit me the hardest were my Moorish Idols and a 6ft Tessalata Moray. My entire tank was set up for the Idols, specifically. I spent over a year preparing it, before I even got them. My moray, Bill, I'd had since he was under a foot long. I hand fed him all of his meals.
While I was trying to figure out what could have possibly caused my tank to crash, I noticed that the living room was clean, spotless, even, and I knew what happened. Chemicals got in the water and killed almost everything. I immediately called my cleaning lady and lost it, telling her that she had ONE thing to remember. ONE. And it shouldn't have been possible to forget, seeing as the reason took up almost an entire wall of my house. She told me she'd hired a new girl and must have forgotten to explain to her that she wasn't supposed to clean the living room and continued to ask if she'd done a good job. I replied that she'd done such a good job cleaning, she cleaned out my tanks inhabitants and told her she wouldn't be returning to my home and she wouldn't be paid for the week.
She didn't take that very well and started threatening to bring me to small claims, because the job was still done and done well (apparently). I basically told her to kick dirt and she's lucky I'm only firing her and not suing her, due to the THOUSANDS of dollars I'd lost due to her "mistake."
Everyone keeps telling me "they're only fish, just buy more!" or "She was just doing her job! I'm sure the poor girl feels horrible enough!" Maybe I'm just letting my anger and upset cloud my judgement and I'm being unreasonably harsh, but I loved those fish. They weren't "just fish" to me and I loved them all very much.
So, please. AITA for firing my cleaning lady for cleaning?
Edit: Thank you guys for being so kind! A lot of people are suggesting I sue, or at least lawyer up. I do have a lawyer on retainer, just because of the line of work I'm in, but I have no plans on suing, unless she tries to make a claim against me for a measly $150. I live in an incredibly small area, so word of mouth will be damaging enough.
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