I need my house clean. Need, not just want. Not necessarily tidy and neat every time, but clean, always! The habit of living in a clean - and I mean real, sparkly, spic and span type of clean - stems right from childhood. My parents, both of them are sticklers for cleanliness and neatness. Honestly, I hated it then. Always wondered why it was necessary that the house be so ironed! Only after I had my own house, did I understand what it meant for me.
Recently I hired a maid for the daily sweeping-mopping. Not that I was happy with the prospect, but then, considering I had other commitments to honour, I just couldn't afford to lose time in doing the daily chore. Let me mention here that in all my growing years, mom had never hired a maid. So I hardly have the knack, or the patience even to handle one. Coming back to my new employee, S. S was supposed to start her duty from the 15th of April. Mutually consented date. A few days before the D day, she informed me that she had some sort of a vrat, and hence would start at a later date. I agreed. After all, what could I do.
When the first day dawned, I made my stance clear, stating how clean I expect the house. A weekly day to wash the balcony was also decided upon. I also stressed that I don't like to nag, so she would get the freedom to do her job as long as she did it properly and sincerely. So far so good.
The next day she forgot to sweep the balcony. And the day after that too. The third day I reminded her, and she promptly cleaned it without a word. Fourth day, she informed me that she was gonna remain absent for 2 days. Yes, I know, already! I managed to give a peaceful approval. In the 15 remaining days of April, she bunked about 6 days, but by informing me. That way I couldn't slice her salary. However, I decided to play tough and point out that if this happened often, I am going to have to cut her pay.
That wasn't all. The balcony, remember? Well, she forgot to sweep it every single day. But didn't forget to silently get angry at how she was taking me for a ride. Oh yes, call me mighty stupid, but I cannot tell beyond point. I don't like to keep nagging. I believe every person should do his job with integrity without having to be told every now and then. The day I reminded, she would do it.
Work wise also I was just not satisfied. Obviously I didn't have any impossible expectations of her cleaning every nook and cranny and under the table and bed stuff. I know that's all a fairy tale, or one has had to have done some punya ka kaam in previous lives to get a bai who does all that! S completed the entire set of work within 7 minutes. She would shift the dust and dirt from one place to another conspicuous place. I remember how once there was one chaii stain on the kitchen floor and how it remained there for days, despite her mopping over it every single day. I would cringe at her work, but kept mum that I had someone do the work for me.
The whole of the above paragraph happened in the first 9 days of May. Because after that-yes, you guessed it right- she was going for a vacation! for full 22 days! And surprise, she was doing me a favour, by giving me a replacement bai.
By now I was fed up and frustrated of living in a dirty home. I had had enough. I told the replacement bai that I wouldn't be needing their services any more.
Since the day I have had to maid-it, I am at peace. Yes I have to wake up early in the morning than I would like to. But as compared to having a bai, early mornings seem worth it!
You might argue why I cannot employ another one, or that why I cannot be stern with them. I just cannot. I am sorry, but I cannot be a nag. And if I have the time to nag around, I might as well do it myself. I don't like to engage in everyday verbal battle. I find it an interference in my time, to give orders , or to remind, or to correct. Not to mention the forever waiting for them to turn up at the right time.
Well, for now I am gloating in my clean house that remains so till I clean it again the next morning.