Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

Colorful picture but a little frightening? It is part of a mask that hangs in the portico. Those could have been my eyes the last week or ten days. My maid came one day and then she didn't come back again. She didn't say she was unhappy, or she was quiting or anything. When she left on a Monday, we smiled at each other and she walked out the door. But she did not come back on Wednesday. Then we find out that she isn't coming back again.

That triggered the "eyes" like a deer in the headlights. It isn't a question of whether or not I can keep this house. I can't! I can keep the apartment in Houston clean but not this Mexican house. I need help in San Miguel! There are two terraces and a patio that needs to be swept three or four times a week because they are part of the living space. The house is open and there is always dust. It means sweeping and mopping every week and in some rooms several times a week. I "could do it" but I'm going to use age as an excuse to not do it all by myself.

I have found someone who started yesterday. We know some other members of her family who work for friends. They are all wonderful  people so I'm hoping that Juana is going to work out although she does not have a lot of experience in taking care of gringo houses. She needs the work, seems eager to learn and willing to do it my way. So I'll keep my fingers crossed.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi!! There's a saying in Mexico that goes: " te fuiste como las chachas" which literally means you went away like the maids" but the real meaning is you went away without saying goodbye. It's very common in Mexico that the help will go without a notice or explanation.. Good luck with Juana!

Emmiegram said...

Love the photo, and the tie-in with the subject. Very clever!!! It has never dawned on me that our maid might, without notice, not come back. Good luck with the new one.

Gloria said...

What a great mask! Sorry your maid left, but glad you have another. Must be nice having a maid. I could get used to that. Take care.

Jonna said...

...and get used to it we do.

It's tough when an intregal part of our normal lives just disappears. I hope the new muchacha works out without too much disruption.

Marc Olson said...

I am in the same situation, housewise. Patios, lots of floors, and I am not really up to doing it all.

After four years with the same maintenance/cleaning person, I let him go. Things had slowly deteriorated and I was no longer getting what I needed; he couldn't for some reason go back to the way things had been, and pretty much stopped coming.

I decided I did not want employees any more. For six months I have not had anyone, which means I do some of it myself, and have lived with a less-clean house.

However I am getting tired of the state of the bathrooms, the kitchen, the dust, dirt and leaves that I do not want to deal with. Time to find someone new. It can be difficult, can't it?

I have thought about getting a much smaller house.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes maids leave because they don't like they way "los patrones" treat them (too much work or too friendly). They are not confident they would be able to communicate their feelings to their employers and prefer to leave without an explanation. Carlos

Sam and Bob said...

Love the photo!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that your employee left, especially that you don't know why. It is so unfinished.

You commented about caring for gringo houses. I have heard this before that there is their way, and our way. Would you be willing to comment on those differences? When I arrive at my Oaxaca apartment, it has been cleaned but for me it is not the "right" clean. I thought I was just particular or fussy. Maybe it is cultural?

Joan

John y Ginger said...

Dear Anonymous - I think it's cultural. The things that are important to us, the Mexican "just don't get". A friend of ours told the story; she told her maid that her sister was coming and she wanted the walls cleaned. After a pause the maid replied, your sister must be very tall. Sometimes it's hard to understand the need to throughly clean the commode when the person cleaning doesn't have a commode.

Billie said...

To all commenters, I do have a pretty good idea why the maid left. She didn't like the hours. She was told when we hired her that the hours were 9 to 1. She preferred something like 9:30 to 12:15 or maybe 12:30 and some days she was an hour late but still left early. I don't mind when on occassion the maid needs to go to school with the children for a program or has a doctor's appointment but not everyday. When it happens daily then only the top layer is getting cleaned. For the last few months that she worked here, I thought we had settled "my" problem. But maybe she found that she didn't really want to work from 9 to 1. Her decision to leave was probably best for both of us.

Joan, Other than not being able to get our dear maid that we had for 8 years to go get the sheets off the bed the first thing in the morning so that she could finish the wash all in one day, I have found that they try to do whatever you ask of them. And, although I showed this last maid several times how I wanted shirts ironed, she was terrible at ironing. I admit that I'm particular about my ironing. I guess that comes from ironing my own clothes since I was about 10 years old.

John and Ginger, you are right. It is better to show them how to use the washer and drier and clean in the bathroom.

But as an update for everyone, things are going very well with the new lady who has come to work for us.