After the drama with my housekeeper in 2011, I had hoped that we had put the drama behind us. Obviously not. We found someone to replace her. She was recommended by a family friend and we were told that she was trustworthy, so after allowing her to clean up one or two Saturdays we gave her the keys to come in while we were not there. It is so much nicer for someone to come and clean up while you aren’t home because you and the entire family are not under their feet the whole time and you come home from work and walk into a house that ‘magically cleaned itself’. You know?
This housekeeper had some positives, but also a lot of negatives.
- She cleaned thoroughly, moving furniture and dusting everywhere
- She would not tidy cupboards, even when asked to do so
- She would often leave the ironing unfinished
- She cleaned two houses a day to maximize her income, but did not finish the work at ours
- She didn’t do washing
- She used the tumble dryer on a sun shiney day in summer
- She had someone with her helping her and still didn’t finish
- She would not come in on her designated day without notification and when questioned would change the day she was coming in
Ok. So I could only think of one positive. I suppose on the one hand I was looking for a reason to let her go. Her mother would usually come in with her to help her with the work. Her mother stopped coming to help her because she has a problem with her knee and having to walk up from the main road to our house would leave her in pain and unable to assist her on the few days that followed. We had agreed that she would come to our house on Wednesdays while we were at work. Her last two working weeks in December she did not pitch up on Wednesday. The first time I did not hear from her at all. I called her, she did not answer or return my calls. I sent her a text message, she sent me a please call me and she then asked if she could come in another day that week. I agreed. The next week she didn’t pitch again, this time she sent me a please call me ON the day and then changed her day again. I requested that she let me know if she needed to change when she was coming in so that we could plan accordingly. While we were on holiday she was meant to come in on her regular day, but she contacted me in advance and requested to come in the Monday instead of the Wednesday. I agreed since we wouldn’t be there anyway. Yesterday we came home and she had not been. No contact, no notification, no warning – NOTHING. I was completely fed up. I sent her a message telling her that I understand that she is having trouble coming to work for us without her mother’s help and that we will make another plan. I thanked her for her service and assistance when we needed her and advised her to leave the key with the employer that originally recommended her.
Now we have nobody. The kitchen is still in a state. There is a mountain of ironing to do. I didn’t get time yesterday between gym, cooking and caring for Babyice. I don’t iron. I CAN iron. It’s not rocket science, but I’m not excellent at it. It takes me ages to do one item of clothing, maybe I am too much of a perfectionist. I hate that my time in the evenings will now be spent doing housework instead of playing with my son.
Replacing the housekeeper would be difficult. We would need to build a relationship with someone again. We would need to have someone come in on weekends while we are there, IF we are there. Do we put our social lives on hold for the housekeeper? Already next weekend we are not home. Rudi did ask someone to come in on Saturday (even though we have plans around 14:00), but subsequently cancelled as he is convinced we can do the housework ourselves and get DSTV instead of having a housekeeper *sigh*. I don’t want DSTV. We wouldn’t have time to watch it anyway since we’ll be busy with housework!
I know having a housekeeper is a luxury. I realize this. I was not living above my means by having one. I was providing someone with a job. I am not lazy. I do a lot of housework in between the time the housekeeper would come once a week. I was feeling really down about it this morning. Luckily some shopping for Babyice’s party cheered me up. Rudi said he would do *some* ironing tonight. I’m not sure how far he will get. If I remember correctly he tried to iron once before when our housekeeper was on leave and he wasn’t very good at it (clothes still creased!). The point is that he is willing to try and help. At least I have that! I’m sure I will still end up doing the majority of the work, but I guess it is a sacrifice I will have to make.
I usually pay for the housekeeper since I’m the one she helps out the most. It costs me R150.00 per day or R600.00 per month. It’s a decent amount of money. Maybe I’ll spend it on personal trainer sessions once I’ve gotten used to the housework 😛 I told Rudi we should set up a schedule for the housework to chop it up into smaller pieces and then alternate who does what to make it more fair. He won’t always want to iron and I don’t always want to clean the toilet! Let’s see how things go. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll start hunting for a replacement again.