Sunday, July 6, 2008

Travails of finding and keeping good Domestic Help

One of the things most Indian working women will agree is that there is a dire need of good domestic help. Granted there is the vaccum cleaners and the washing machines, but think about it, who has the time or the inclination..

My mother for example belongs to the old school of thot that the more housework you do around the house, the better shape one is in, she perhaps is right. So I used to do this complete sweeping and swabbing of the house over the weekends, and do the entire weeks laundry over the weekend..whew how on Monday morning when one is swapping stories of “what did u do in the weekend” I used to only have my very exhausting stry of housecleaning and laundry to share..

IN Bangalore I did the entire work was something enjoyed. Then in Kolkata, I started getting used to having a weekend maid. Bless her. She would do everything like a little genie..and even sample my experimental and at times slightly bizarre cooking. Yes this is the same lady I had rescued from being exploited by the neighbours who used to cheat her of her wages. The other blessing in Kolkata was the IFB Laundromat for all my rugs and bedcovers etc to be laundered. Super service.

Then in Chennai. Well it seems like a bit of a challenge to find good help. IN fact on the day I was moving in my furniture the maid from the house above said she was available for work. The wage range was 1000! In a city like Chennai that’s a bit steep..since I was aware that my friends were paying say 500-800 for about 1-2 hours of work.

What happens is, if there is some new resident-imagine this - aggressive housewives, overweight, well manicured hands, spends time in the afternoon shopping, and hasn’t done a day of work in her life(at home or professionally) and will just overnight set the trend of highly maid domestic help service in a building premise..

So I have this maid…who stands and does a perfunctory sweeping action with the broom, most of the time is standing to see what I am doing. My dad asked her if she wanted anything…and realized she was just gaping for no reason..whew.Then there is the swabbing of floors, where she decides to generously pour out the LIZOL..i even asked her would u do this at your home ? so, why do I put up with this ? cause maybe I don’t have the energy or the inclination to be working like a beaver even when I get home..

Yes I am a bit miffed at this. Cause here I am struggling to have a clean home after getting back from work only to pay thro my nose..seems like my salary increases are just to pay off maids and drivers…as for drivers ? well that’s another thing

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