Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A Spit and a Polish...

Today our new cleaner started. This is our third one this year. We are not entirely sure why we seem to be going through domestic help at such a ridiculous rate, but both the husband and I have our opinions.

HE thinks that it's because we should pay them MORE money than their other clients, thus keeping them sweet. (And no, he isn't referring to bonuses for holidays or special occasions, he means that we should just voluntarily up their rates for no apparent reason. I try to imagine the conversation...)

ME: "Thanks so much _____. Great job today. Listen I'm giving you a bit extra because I want you to know how pleased I am with your job performance."

HER: "What? I no understand..."

ME: "No, my husband and I thought that you deserve a little more than you're getting, so just keep the change...ok?"

HER: "Me no understand."

ME: "Umm...."

The husband doesn't understand that to up someone's hourly rate when a friend was kind enough to put in a good word for you, could result in your friend being made to look cheap - or worse - the cleaner demanding that her other clients match your generous offer. It's a lose/lose situation any way you look at it - especially as I am convinced that money has precious little to do with the fact that cleaners ain't too keen on cleaning for us.

I have a few theories myself. Maybe it's because we have three bathrooms to clean? I mean, how horrid is that? Or perhaps it's because the husband insists on maintaining his Mount Everest pile of clean clothes balanced precariously in the corner, making our room resemble a student dormitory at times. Or perhaps we've got two little boys, too many flights of stairs, and are simply...unlikeable...? We're getting a complex about it now...

At any rate, we didn't start this new relationship very well this morning with the sweet, lovely woman who rang our doorbell at 8:30am. (They're all lovely in the beginning...before I get the inevitable text saying, "Sorry I no come no more"...)

Dumpie squeezed a whole tube of bright blue kiddie toothpaste on the upstairs landing, just as she walked in. And then I proceeded to call her the wrong bloody name all morning until she was leaving and gently corrected me (calling me by my right name of course), "Natasha, my name is ____ not _____...though that is nice name too!"


I give her seven weeks. The husband predicts three or less. Especially since he helpfully pointed out that me speaking in pidgin English to her might be construed as patronising...

I give up...


Let me know what you think!