Sunday, August 23, 2009

handling house help

i know it must sound so bleh for me to go on and on about my domestic woes.... but what can i say? they seem to consume me! each morning when i encounter one or the other maid, the questions begin. Don't you just hate it when the first thing you are asked in your sleep filled stupor is to detail the tasks for the day or the menu plan? i wonder how K put up with my constant questioning for now close to 6 yrs. Is this Karma? While one has been with me for more than 2 yrs now, she still feels the need to ask me inane things. sometimes i wonder if it is more to show off to the cook that she's the woman about the house and has her finger in every pie of this house? the more i think of it, the more i am convinced that's the only reason for the sudden clarifications in the morning.

the cook just kills me with one question unfailingly every morning...."what shall i make?".... why cant she remember all the things that she has made so far and repeat? i have now told her that everytime she asks me what to make, i will cut 20 bucks from her pay. She giggles....and repeats....i think it is time to cut pay.

Even tho i am writing a blog post this morning about this, as Amma hustles and bustles getting ready for her flight back to bangalore, i fully acknowledge that these are the women who set me free. they run my home, do the chores, handle my kitchen and allow me to blog on the mornings before i set out to do anything else. they've also taught me important lessons. my first experience at becoming a better manager has been taught by the ones i employ. They've shown me first hand how praise and encouragement works. they've shown me how my mood affects others. they've taught me to delegate, to train, to manage conflicts, to trust and more importantly to let go. the last part has been very difficult. tho i didnt have too much of a choice but to get a cook. I wondered how i could accept something that was such a big part of my life. i wonder sometimes if it is some one else's life I am living . From being totally untrusting of people to do things the way i want them to be done, to now being able to extract the results i want, i think this education has been priceless.

like all other relationships, trust works the best. So does acknowledging and acting on your gut feel. i have never been happy with someone who gave off uncomfortable vibes. praise and motivation works. So does the fact that they are spoken to in a calm and even tone., even the most demanding of works gets done. Screaming has never paid dividends to anyone. giving them fresh food is a plus. While most maids welcome leftovers to take back home, they really are delighted when they can eat the same breakfast as we do. While Maslow's theory of the Hierarchy of needs is something that has proved itself again and again, most of us look for the same things in an employer. Stability, value and a peaceful work environment. Give them something to brag about in their basti, and you will have no "bai" problems. its easier to deal with the question of the day rather than spend precious time doing chores when you could rather be chasing your dreams....

1 comment:

Swapna said...

Well 'said' ..:)