The CREAM test


If you are ever in a position where you have someone come into your home to do some work for you – p-l-e-a-s-e have it within you to treat them with a bit kindness and compassion.


After 25 years on and off doing work in people’s homes and having spoken to hundreds and hundreds of tradespeople and gardeners about clients from hell. Here is a synopsis of how I feel people who work in our homes should be treated. Digger’s CREAM test.

[many of the points in this acronym blend in together]



Pay the poor soul cash £££$$$. We must avoid paying these unlawful criminal taxes in every way we can. What on earth are we supporting these evil bankers for? Always pay cash payments, because it is exactly what these control freaks in government do not want. We have to be as awkward as we possibly can, in every little way we can. Why should this person who is struggling anyway have to struggle further, just because we have been lazy or inconsiderate not get a bit of cash ready for them)?)




How on earth can we warrant respect from others if we haven’t got a clue how to give out respect(?). The first level of respect we can give someone is call them by their first name. That person’s first name is the most important word in that person’s language. Use it. Just take a look at these two examples of asking someone to do something:

Example (i)  Walk into the room and just announce in an assertive bossy tone what needs to be done like “Now, what we need to do is move those boxes over there to here!”

Example (ii) or, like this: “Jane, if you get a moment, do you think you would be able to move those boxes and place them down here for me?”

There is no comparison, this is a no-brainer. Yet, despite this being so blatantly obvious to us, you would be staggered how many people get through their entire lives not knowing how to communicate with people; and most of these people have spent their entire working careers in jobs where one needs to have good communication skills. 




If someone is just popping to your house for an hour, offering them a cup of tea would be nice for them. Especially if you complement the tea with some biscuits or a cake. But if they are working all day in your house; is it really too much to offer them a light lunch? Just a light snack. A plate with a sandwich, a banana and a packet of potato crisps/chips and a cup of tea with it.


What you are doing when you do this simple act, is offering that person a plate of compassion. It is more the offering, giving. Saying to that person I am treating you as a human being. I value you. I appreciate your time, skills, etc. Therefore I value myself, by expressing this to you. All this as a simple token of kindness, just by offering them a light bite to eat.




Tip them for crying out loud. Kind words are wonderful, but they never stand up unless they are backed up with a token of kindness. Give – give – give – give – give – give. Please don’t come out with the excuse “Well I can’t afford to keep tipping.” Look, how often do you have people working in your home? It is a luxury these days to have a tradesperson, or a gardener working in your home all day. Show some bloody appreciation.


Again, it gets back to self worth. Have some self worth, by caring about others. If you really appreciate what they have done for you, especially if they go out of their way to help you and do that bit extra, or make the effort with a quality finish and tidiness. Then thank these people beyond nice cosy words. This person is undoubtedly struggling these days to get by, give them a decent tip if you can. Or if you really can’t afford to give money, give them a gift. Or offer to put some advertising up for them locally. This is a form of giving and appreciation. You will get this generosity back tenfold anyway.



Mind games

No fuckin mind games!! No little sneaky tricks with the money, like paying them, then immediately asking them to quickly do a job and hope to get away without paying any extra. Or pretending you have so many other gardeners available, as a hint that person must be on the ball give you value-for-money. Or pretending you are tight for money, when you are clearly not. These mind games can go on and on. Cut it out. This is just more of the unconscious snatch n grab conditioning we have lowered ourselves to as a society.


Simply put; treat others as you would wish to be treated. Do no harm (physically and emotionally). Imagine you are in their shoes going around to a strangers house – how would you like to be treated and acknowledged that day?




It’s just an expression of one’s level of consciousness, how one treats other people.



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  1. Mark R. Elsis |

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