It seems house helps bring out the petty in me. After toughing it out for more than a month with no DM (domestic manager) I finally hired one only to sack her after 17 days. Then I hired another who is testing the work of the Holy Spirit in me.
I fired the first DM primarily because she was not forth right and secondly because she was grumpy. Petty, huh!
Let me start with forthrightness. My house is not an office. You have access to me and my children and my husband during our down time. You get to overhear private family conversations, see us vulnerable. You might even get into my bedroom and bathroom. You most likely have access to my handbag. So, no, standard rules of hiring and employment don’t apply.
I need to know everything I need to know about my DM to feel comfortable enough to leave her in my house and with my children and with my keys. She can’t be vague about her mother or who’s watching her children while she’s working or about her about her ex-husband. She can’t lie to me about how far her home is in hopes of minting extra bucks for fare. She can’t lie to me about small stuff in my house – like if my children ate supper or not or the details of a household accident no matter how miffed I’m likely to get.
Miss Grumpy. In her 17 days, I never heard her laugh despite hanging out with kids. She also had this look whenever I asked her to do something or called her a little too often for her liking, I guess. Yet she came to work in my house on her own free volition. May be circumstances were forcing her to do household work but that’s neither here nor there. May be she was running away from someone or something and my house was her safe house. If I had those details I might have been more accommodating. But I couldn’t have a DM who looks as if she’s under house arrest. A DM is a key atmosphere setter in the house; she can’t alter the mood in my house for the worse. If she can’t play, laugh and sing with my children, she is in the wrong job and wrong house. If working for me makes her so miserable, then I don’t want her working for me. It’s not a punishment.
My current pet peeves – taking three minutes when I call, wearing my or my husband’s slippers, leaving oil and food marks on utensils, leaving work undone to go chat up a neighbour’s DM or a young man in the estate, not turning clothes when hanging them and vice versa when folding them and ignoring my directions/not following instructions/not doing what she’s been asked to do. Initiative only counts after you have finished doing well what I expect you to do.
However because I am a grown up who’s been doing these DM manenoz long enough, because I am human with my own weaknesses, because I have discovered I can’t have a life without a DM at least for the next three years because I hate washing dishes after dinner and mopping floors, I can live with these little annoyances as long as I see a DM has a good attitude towards her work, me, my husband and my children and that she listens to correction and tries to learn and grow. At the end of the day a DM with great attitude trumps all. But then again, you never know how long my patience will last.