When Aiza arrived at eight thirty this morning at my house, a workload matrix written on the white board on the dining room wall greeted her. Minus the lines, her welcome message looked something like this:
Monday - laba (AM), clean upstairs bedroom(PM)
Tuesday - defrost ref, clean electric fans (AM), plantsa (PM)
Wednesday - laba (AM), clean downstairs (PM)
Thursday - linis CR (AM), shoe rack,shoes and bags (PM)
Friday - laba (AM),cleaning upstairs and downstairs (PM)
Saturday - laba uniforms (AM), off (PM)
Sunday - whole day off
It was her first day and I got her under the auspices of getting a full-time helper to replace M, who demanded full-time wages for part-time and sporadic work.
It is a lie. I do not need a full time helper. I am perfectly ok with M's schedule (8am to 1pm on week days except Wednesdays) and M's work-- except that she is shameless and unreliable. There are still days she doesn't show up. I have often dreamed about teaching her a lesson, seeing the look on her face as I tell her she's been fired. And now I've let her go.
Today it was me who was nervous because I wanted so much for things to work out. I wanted a domestic arrangement that was seamless and systematic; such will relieve me of a great deal of stress. But I realize helpers are not robots but individuals with their own issues. Pluses and minuses and everything in between. Weighing these will determine whether they are worth keeping, bearing with, or firing altogether.
But I wanted,too,a universe of my own. I hated strangers. Especially strangers who acted familiar. I have never liked extra head count. I resent a body hovering while I try to enjoy some quiet time. The coziness of my home diminishes just a little.
I wanted,too,to expose the children to helping around the house, Big Brother style. They were big and able and smart. Surely we could strike agreements,schedules, assignments. It is so much fun working hard if family members worked hard together. And I really want to show them that while they did not have to be responsible for the whole house, they could be responsible for their own spaces. Of course it's easier said than done.
Worse, Aiza said she was a smoker.
Still, if she could just be the worker that I hoped she would be,perhaps everything would turn out nicely.
If the first day is any indication,however,I am doomed for disappointment. She followed the matrix but did not do her tasks thoroughly enough. Cleaning the upstairs bedroom only meant sweeping it. The pile of freshly laundered clothes remained. There was no imaginary sparkle that told you this room had been "processed." Something tells me neatness is not one of my new helper's virtues.
SOmething tells me this set-up will not last for long. I have to figure out acceptable arrangements. After all, it is my home. I am Queen.
And because I don't have a King, I am, well, Queener.