Tuesday, July 24, 2007

maid woes.

I wrote about my last maid who ditched, and all of you gave me an earful for putting up with the old hag (forgive me for the usage, but its Potter time, folks). Have been on the lookout for a replacement, but I am finding that it is easier said than done.

Of course, I did check with Muruga, but she has found herself a new house, and then too, she would have been willing to come back to me, if not for the fact that the master of the said house had gone abroad for month, and the lady was all alone, and hence she could not ditch her. Have I mentioned earlier that she is a very responsible person? Boo Hoo Hoo. Am hoping that she sickens for Sonny boy and comes back. ( she cried while leaving, and now I'm almost crying that she comes back.)

Swati very kindly gave me the number of a lady she knew, who had just left the employ of her firned, and was quite good, but unfortunately, I think that lady's also already found herself another house, for her mobile remains switched off. And on re-checking with Swati, found that this conscientious lady does not use her phone while at work. Boo Hoo hoo. Why are all the good ones snapped up so soon?

Then came along another lady brought to me by our security person. The man told me that she was his neighbour, and that she was excellent with kids. She certainly looked a motherly type, was fat, and cheerful, and smiled beguilingly at Sonny boy and me (forget that the teeth were paan stained...). but there the charm stopped. Before I could tell her about the nature of work, she started asking me how much I would give her. And she started glossing that she got this much in the previous houses she had worked in and wouldn't I also give her that much? I would have given her much more than that if she had inspired me with at least a little confidence, but...

Momma lady's sweeping was shoddy, and her swabbing was as if the house had been flooded(as if a hyper 3 yr old needed anything further to skid and fall..), The vessels had remnants of sambar, and milk, and tea all stuck to them, I had to give back at least 5 vessels to be re-cleaned, and then again another 3- no exaggeration.(and I use Vim!!)In between she kept reassuring me that she actually was a good worker, just that this was the first day, you see.. She had never done any bathrooms, she gave me a quelling look when I said I'd show her how I wanted mine done. I gave her an equally qquelling look and proceeded to demonstrate in the first bathroom. After that, I left her to the second bathroom, and when I returned to check later, half the Harpic was still on the toilet rims, and the wash basin had froth on it from inadequate usage of water... I decided that I just didn't have the patience or energy to train this lady, who just didn't want to learn anyway, and told the watchman to dispose of her, after giving her the money for the day.

Two days later, my watchman brought along another girl. She was quite alright- clean in her work, not lazy, pleasant and cleanly attired too. Unfortunately, she couldn't stay full time, as she was already working in another place and didn't want to leave there. Another of those loyal people. She could come in and do the chores, if I wanted. Oooh, I wanted, but I wanted more...Boo Hoo hoo.

Two weeks later, came along another girl, this time brought by the neighbouring watchman. Very helpful guys these are. A smart cookie, this one, she knew exactly what I wanted. She had gleaned that info' from the watchman. She proceeded to tell me that she could do all housework, and she had been looking after kids in one of her earlier houses... and how much would I give her? I asked her how much she wanted. She refused to give me a figure and waited for me to make the first offer. I told you she was smart. I came up with a figure slightly lesser than what I gave previously. She came up with a figure almost 3 times that and said she was getting this much now, so, how much could I offer her? Husband and I looked at each other, assessing the situation.Now my wise husband always tells me that I react too soon, and foolishly to situations, so I waited for him to say the first, wise word. Finally he ended up agreeing to give her slightly more than we gave previously, and she agreed. (Obviously!!)This week, she has said she will come in at some time during the day, as she can't suddenly ditch the 4 houses she's working in, and we agree to that, provided she comes in at a time when Sonny boy is around, so that he can adjust to having her around. She told me, 'Aunty, you don't worry, your son is like my son'.

The next day, Smart Cookie came in the afternoon. Since my Mom wasn't keeping well, (she's still with me, the sweetheart) I had taken the afternoon off, and so was there when she came.
She had come with her grandmother in tow, who she said would help her. The grandmother proceeded to do the dishes and the Smart Cookie proceeded to do other stuff.

She rolled the carpet up, without cleaning it, and kept it on my sofa, on top of the newspapers and the cushions. She also took Sonny boy's shoes (which happened to be inside that day) and kept it on top of the centre table. I had gone to check the vessel cleaning abilities of the granny, and coming back, I saw this and managed to not yell, and told her quietly that carpets were not to be put on sofas. They were to be dusted, and put out to sun, on the balcony railings. To be fair, her sweeping was ok, and so was her swabbing. But she came with her own perfume, an overpowering odour of sweat and dirt and whatnot, with the result that the house smelled much dirtier, even tho' it probably was cleaner. I am not exaggerating, the whiff brought Husband out in a hurry from the bedroom when she went in to swab; and this when he was lying reading the penultimate Potter book is saying the ultimate about her body odour. I certainly do NOT want her to be even around my son (and fastidious Sonny boy will not either) let alone, carry him/feed him. And btw, for someone who said your son is like my son, she didn't give a second glance at Sonny boy who had just come back from school. So that, was that!

But I found the granny quite alright, actually. The vessels were Vim clean, she didn 't have a distinct air of superiority, and did her work quietly and efficiently. Just that we found communication a bit of a problem, managing by means of smiles and nods and other gestures, her knowing only Telugu, and me knowing none.

Now am back to square one, looking for a replacement, who will do a bit of housework and look after Sonny boy like he is their charge, not like he is their son. I will do that. Hmmm.... Life is not easy, folks.

13 comments:

~nm said...

Maids are such issues I tell you! I remember telling DH just a few months after our marriage that it ook me much longer to decide on a maid than a husband :D

DotMom said...

oh-oh. Hope you find a good replacement. It can be nerve wracking. nm, my dad says the same thing to my mom :)

DotMom said...

I just added you to my blogroll. thanks for leaving a comment. Would you add me to yours too?

Usha said...

OOps...I am so sorry. I hope you find a good maid soon.
Now I understand what people mean when I complain about my maid for her non stop talking and they say that i do not know what a blessing she is for me. I guess they don't make them like that anymore.

Just Like That said...

Nm- Truly...

Dotmom- My pleasure.

Usha- Most of my maids have been good to me and vice versa. Am hoping that the fruits of patience will be sweet.... very very sweet...

Anna said...

hope you find a good maid soon... the last few years, i took more leaves for maids than for me...finally found a good one three months back, and was just starting to feel relaxed... now she says her husband is ill..so now,I am the one with nightmares abt her husband:)

Just Like That said...

I truly empathise, but I couldn't help grinning when I read either. Ha ha! you better not tell your maid this!

WhatsInAName said...

"She told me, Aunty, you don't worry, your son is like my son."

If you are her aunty and your son is her son... I am breaking my head trying to figure out the relation lol :)

My maid is one smelly creature as well. But she is HONEST and REGULAR. and thats what makes me grit my teeth bear that stench :(
The world is full of compromises!

Heres wishing you a speedy-discovery of a good maid!

WhatsInAName said...

I just realised that I sounded rude about my poor maid. She does smell bad and I wish she does something about it!
Sigh!

Just Like That said...

Win- I have a neighbour, who faced with the same situation, gave her cook a bar of soap and asked her to have a bath before coming to work.

I thought that was a practical approach, but terribly rude to the maid. But turned out the maid didn't mind, and was quite happy to pocket the soap every month, whether she did have a bath or not is a different issue...

Fuzzylogic said...

I truly sympathize with you on the maid hunt. It's hard to find a good one. We do have one maid back at my mom's place in India and she is a gem.Keep looking,don't settle for shoddy ones.

Something to Say said...

good luck with your maid hunt - maybe u cud wait a month for muruga? so that she neednt ditch her new employers? and come and work for you whrn the man is back?huh?

Just Like That said...

Fuzzy- the search goes on for the diamond, but so far, only coals have emerged.. Sigh!

STS- Yeah, I too have hopes, but if she stays for a month, she is sure to bond with them too, unless they are nasty... But how nasty can a lone woman get?:-( Am keeping my fingers crossed.