Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Monday Night at my New Home

Last night was fairly quiet ... unless you count moving more of my stuff to Varen's place, making dinner at home (yippee) and finishing Season 2 of Dexter (brilliant).

On my arrival at home (Varen's ... weird), Varen had just finished arranging the 2 new Atlanta chairs (they've arrived, they've arrived!) in the wide open space that'll one day be our lounge & dining room.

We skipped gym due to the dismal weather and sheer lack of enthusiasm and instead headed over to Loulou's so that I could pick up more of my stuff. We now have my outdoor cast iron pond installed with fish and the pump from what was previously my indoor fish bowl (with no fish, it can hardly be called a fish bowl any longer).

And then we (I?)made dinner ... hake topped with peppadew & feta from Woolies, I can recommend it :) And settled in for the last installment of Dexter S2 on our new comfy chairs :) No more sitting on the floor or eating dinner in bed for us!

Which brings me to my latest point of observation ... Varen's Maid. Now last year he couldn't stand this woman however, when he moved into his new place he offered her a twice a week position from January. Which in theory is okay, but I have maid issues, okay?

I am very specific and a bit of a control freak (like you hadn't noticed?) and like things done a certain way ... and have no desire to end up in a war with the maid about where things go. You know the story, everyone does. You put something where you want it (since it's your house / living space). The Move-It-To-Prove-I've-Cleaned Maid arrives and moves it elsewhere (not entirely sure what their logic is around this but I digress). You get home and move it back to your chosen spot (same one as last time ... this is not about confusing her, it's about how you want things arranged). She arrives a week later and moves it back to her elsewhere spot. Aaargh. I have no patience for this.

Another thing I cannot bear (and yes, I've experienced) is the over-enthusiastic maid. I put my dirty clothes in the washing basket. Hell, for the most part I do the washing myself (machine, obviously) and just leave it for her to iron. So why does the Over-Enthusiastic Maid come into my cupboard and take random items to wash. This is especially infuriating when you head for the cupboard with a specific outfit in mind, only to find that it's hanging wet on the line ... Aaargh.

Varen's maid doesn't seem too bad except for her compulsive unpacking of things that are neatly packed in boxes (like wine, for example) and for packing away everything on counters (like my toothbrush, for example).

And, all of you sitting overseas thinking that I should just be grateful for a maid, I am certainly not the only with these and other complaints.

So I've instituted the Schedule-System that I originally developed while living with Bean. It's a detailed list of instructions for each day. Unfortunately I'm not convinced Varen's maid can read English ... or understand it too well even. She is Zimbabwean. If I'd had my own house, I would've seriously looked into those Cleaning Services that work to your specifics. But now it's too late and I'm now slowly training this very eager (and admittedly she's a hard worker) maid of Varen's. I'm holding onto my patience and will learn every little thing that needs to be explained and re-explained after each of her days as I check how much she understood of what I tried to explain.

It's not that I don't respect her, I just need a way to communicate what I want done (versus what she thinks needs doing) in a way that is effective for her.
Perhaps, I need to update the Schedule with pictures instead of words ... ?



Nico van Rensburg said...

once she's trained she'll be supermaid, the terminator-rolls-royce of maids, just take it easy and keep at it.


phillygirl said...

@varen - thanks baby, fingers crossed and thumbs held!

ExMi said...

i seem to have similar issues with my maid.

only she never packs anything neatly. my cupboard is a fecking mess. and she completely ignores all the instructional labels i have placed in the baby's cupboards. i dont mind if my cupboards are a nightmare, dont feck with my organisation of the baby's cupboard!!

and she doesn't seem to understand spoken english, but handles written instructions quite well, which is weird, since my handwriting is difficult to read.

we've taken to communicating on paper. yesterday she left me a note saying she needs washing powder and a feather duster.

reading back through your blog - we also bought furniture from Coricraft - our lounge suite in fact. it's beautiful. i was surprised at how reasonable priced they are too.

other than that - how goes domestic bliss?

phillygirl said...

@em+ct - at least your maid understands the written word ... then my schedule would work. Varen doesn't care, I'm just fussy like that tho ;)

And appreciate those notes she leaves! Varen & his brothers nearly fired the poor woman cause she didn't do their washing for 2 weeks ... until they discovered it was cause there was no washing liquid! Paha, serves them right.

Domestic Bliss is blissful ;) I'm surprisingly calm after supremely over thinking the whole decision (as I tend to do).

Tara said...

I've actually given up in the maid wars. After having 3 that steal, 2 that do the moving your stuff thing you mentioned, 4 that didn't actually clean very well but ate all the bread, 1 that just watched TV, 1 that continually broke things and 3 that did more than one of the above mentioned things, it really seemed apparent I would have to do my own cleaning. Good luck on your mission.

phillygirl said...

@goblin - sheesh, and I thought I had problems ... your maid wars sound like they take the cake! You must have such vast quantities of patience to not have had a brain aneurysm with frustration (I have one of those comical kapow! images in my head of this).

I bow to your patience and completely agree that after all that, even I could learn to iron my own clothes ;)

Tara said...

It's a curse :P
Luckily for you in your mission I have heard tons of stories from people about their wonderful maids. May you have one of them :)

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