Monday, April 23, 2012

U is for Undone

Listening to: The construction next door – Argh!
Mood: Concerted effort to be Mellow

As you may have heard (did I tell you or not, I always forget whom I tell what to!) I have a housekeeper named Indira. She does our dishes, cleans the floors every day, folds laundry, etc. Our relationship is an uneasy truce.

When Indira started, life was good. She came every day on time, always finished all of the work she was supposed to do, and didn’t take lots of days off. As is the norm in India, now that we’re comfortable with each other (i.e. she is less likely to be fired for not doing what she should) things have changed a bit. The number of tasks she does each day has drastically reduced, sometimes for no apparent reason at all. There are a few basics (dishes, floors, making flat breads called chapattis that are like tortillas) that she just randomly doesn’t do. Yesterday, she didn’t show up at all. No call, nothing.

I know quite a few people who have come to rely on their housekeepers. They whine a great deal when the ladies call off. This is not what I’m pissed about – that I have to wash dishes for myself for the day. No, this is more about me hating to deal with other people’s drama and not even caring enough to call and give an excuse – even a flimsy one. So here is my response to this whole situation.

You know, I didn’t even want to hire anyone. I’m 30 years old, healthy, able, and more than capable. I have been cleaning up after myself and my family for my entire life. There is absolutely nothing around here that you can do that I can’t/won’t do, except for making chapattis, and if I wanted to, I could learn to make some kick ass chapattis too.

I would like to think that I’ve been fair, patient and even kind to you as we settled into our groove and getting things done. I have treated you with nothing but respect. Just because I am not riding you like my mother in law did does not mean I will put up with a whole bunch of nonsense. I absolutely hate having to guess what will and will not get done and whether or not you will show up and if so, when. I have the social skills of an otter sometimes. I am friendly, but I don’t get all of the nuances. I am not good at guess work or passive aggressive nonsense. Since you refuse to negotiate with me or tell me what you need out of this situation, I am left fumbling in the dark. I do not feel bad about the arrangement we worked out because you seemed ok with it.  If you agreed to work in more houses after I hired you, the least you could do was talk to me about it so that you have an agreeable time to come and I don’t have to bitch at my husband every night about how frustrating this has become.

In short, I really don’t need you here. If you can’t get your act together, perhaps it’s time to end this relationship. These calluses didn’t get on my hands from sitting around getting pampered all my life – quite the opposite. It was hard enough accepting the fact that I was letting someone else in my home to do work that I was raised to believe was mine to be done. You have not undone a lifetime of being responsible for myself. I am still very much capable.


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