Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Help

It is really hard to find good help these days.  During the last 26 months hubby and I had a total of 5 housekeepers all of whom we had to fire for various reasons.  That amounts to about one housekeeper every 5.2 months.  It’s exhausting and not allot of fun, especially not for me seeing as I had to do most of the firing.  Having just sacked our latest housekeeper yesterday and with the new one starting tomorrow I could not help but wonder, is it really that difficult to find good help now days or are we just impossible bitches to work for?
Looking back at some of the housekeepers we had over the last two years I can’t believe that we put up with half the shit we had to deal with.  One housekeeper that we had the longest drove me especially crazy.  She was an older lady that seemed to be a good worker, but as the weeks went by her nosy, meddling and manipulative nature emerged.  It even reached a point where we ended up hiding things from her.

You see, the sleuth was obsessed with how much stuff cost and she had a keen eye for spotting anything in the house that was new.  If she spotted something, no matter how inconspicuous, she would rummage through the trash looking for the item’s receipt.  Then she would make a point of letting you know she had spotted the new item and would comment on how expensive it was and how she wished she could have nice things to.  It drove me fucking mad!

It reached the point where we actively started feeling guilty whenever we bought anything.  In an effort to avoid this we started hiding and/or shredding receipts in our own home.  Did this stop her?  No!  Whenever she could not find a receipt she would simply ask us how much we spent on whatever we bought and telling her it was none of her business didn’t stop her either.  And then there was her destructive side.
She would break stuff and then hide it.  The first couple of times we concluded that it was an accident, but when the instances became more frequent it became a problem.  The final straw was when she broke an artifact that I paid a boatload of money for in Egypt and an antique perfume bottle that hubby inherited from his grandmother which she inherited from her grandmother.  Both items were irreplaceable and almost priceless.  So we fired her.  Later we learned that she had a drinking problem and the reason she broke so much stuff was because she was plastered at work.

Then there was the bitch.  After the nosy boozer was fired we hired a new lady and right from the start my gut told me she was bad news.  It wasn’t until week 2 that my gut feeling was confirmed.  The bitch would do small things that showed her passive aggression.  For instance, instead of putting our chef knives back in their knife block she would dump them all in a drawer; knives, forks and spoons would be thrown in drawers haphazardly, not taking any time to even try and look like she made any effort of separating them and placing them in their proper places.  What was even worse was her bad attitude.

The bitch would arrive at work always looking miserable and she would never greet us properly unless she wanted something.  On more than one occasion when we did not give her what she wanted she would say something sarcastic and rolled her eyes at us.  Having had to deal with her was like visiting the dentist for a root canal.
At one point hubby and I even started fighting because neither one of us wanted to talk to her as she had a special talent for ruining your day.  This went on for 4 months until the one day when I had enough and she rolled her eyes at me for the last time.  I fired her impertinent ass and it felt good.  There is only room for one bitch in my house and that bitch is me!

The latest housekeeper that I fired replaced the bitch.  The first day she arrived for work hubby took her through the house and took time explaining what was expected of her.  His exact words were “I expect the house to be clean.” To which she responded “Yes, the house is clean.”  At that stage we didn’t have a maid for almost two weeks and the house was NOT clean.  We should have known right there and then it wasn’t going to end well.

Our house has not been clean for just over 3 months.  The sloth seemed incapable of doing anything properly.  Hubby would talk to her, leave her notes and even got down on his hands and knees multiple times and showed her how to clean certain things.  We would ask her to do something and then she would do it once and never again after that.
Hubby even considered leaving post it notes all over the house with instructions for her with one note on the dining room table that would read “There are 123 post it notes in the house.  Find them!.  It felt like she needed constant reminders to do her work and at one stage I thought she might be a brainless zombie.  The cats hated her as well.  We never did the post it notes though, it seemed like it would have been a waste of paper.

After giving the sloth warnings and putting her back on probation hubby wanted to fire her, but I felt sorry for her and wanted to give her one last chance.  So on Tuesday morning I had a talk with her.  I explained to her that we were not happy, the house wasn’t cleaned properly and that I know that she leaves work at 12pm, and occasionally at 1pm, and that we were not paying her to work half day.

I showed her the sand that accumulated under the carpets, the dust, cat hair and crumbs under the cushions of the sofa, the thick dust on the portraits.  I spent a good hour talking to her and showing her evidence of her mediocre work.  She was told that this was her absolute last chance and that the next time I needed to speak to her she would be fired.
The sloth seemed to understand the gravity of her predicament and as I left for work I was confident that things would improve.  She did ask me whether I was going to do inspections and I said I would.  After work I arrived home and was delighted to find her still there.  I took it as a good sign so I didn’t do my inspection straight away.  After she left I decided to check and was horrified.  She vacuumed under only 2 of the 6 sofa cushions, there was still sand under the carpets and only one of the portraits was dusted (the one that I used as an example).  I called her back and she was fired.  I don’t know how Donald Trump does it every week.

We are now on housekeeper 6 and I hope the 6th time is the charm.  I don’t think we are nasty bitches or bad to work for.  We don’t ask for much, all we ask for is to have our house cleaned properly twice a week.  We don’t expect miracles or to be able to see God’s reflection in the floor tiles or to blind astronauts in space with our cutlery.  It would be nice, but we have realistic expectations and let’s hope maid number 6 lives up to them.  I do not want to fire another one.

Till next time.


Clueless said...

Wow!!! You have had really bad luck with housekeepers. Sounds like a reality show to me. It is difficult to find good help nowdays!!

Pierre le Roux said...

It really is! Maybe we should put secret webcams in the house and call the show "Desperate House Maids of Nebo Crescent".

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