One of the few things that I do for myself is that I have a woman to come in and clean for me twice a month. Molly (not her real name) has been with me for about 15 years off and on. Molly cleans pretty well and doesn’t charge me a lot but she does have issues.
First of all, Molly doesn’t drive. She does her cleaning during the morning hours and works at a nursing home in the evenings while depending on her customers and her family members for transportation. It is kind of inconvenient for me, a spoiled woman who is not necessarily known to be a morning person, to get up earlier than usual to drop my kid off at school, pick up Molly, take her back to my house, then head off to my office. My usual morning routine is that I get up with just enough time to get dressed, rush my child out the door to school just beating (most of the time) the tardy signal and then off to work. Luckily, Molly doesn’t live too far from me so I have to just bite it and pick her up on the days she cleans for me.
Secondly, while Molly has a great personality, she isn’t a rocket scientist. I don’t think I have ever seen her read or write anything. I have given up leaving her notes and have resigned myself to the fact that I will have to give her the same instructions over and over again.
Now, that doesn’t mean Molly isn’t smart. Over the years, I have observed that Molly is a very savvy negotiator and has great planning skills. She will only accept cash for payment (hmmm…..) and will never give you a specific amount that she charges. She says that you can just pay her what you think the cleaning is worth. She will however ask for any clothing, appliances or household items that you might be thinking of getting rid of. Or even if you aren’t planning to get rid of something, Molly will ask anyway just to get her bid in. She used to tell me that she had a family member (usually a sister) who had lost everything in a fire and needed _________________ (fill in the blank with clothing, shoes, dishes, computer, etc.). After many years, many sisters, and many fires, I found out that Molly sells the stuff in a booth at a local flea market on the weekends.
So, on to the last and probably most annoying issue. Molly drinks. When she is at my house, she drinks my husbands liquor… his good liquor. I am talking Gentleman Jack, Wild Turkey Special Edition, and Crown Royal. The last few times Molly cleaned for me, I have found one of the plastic cocktail cups we use for entertaining left on the back deck… sometimes with melting ice and a cigarette butt or two. This last time, when I picked up Molly, she seemed a little…off. Her appearance was kind of disheveled. Her skin was very oily and her hair didn’t seem to have been combed. I was surprised but Molly explained that she was off that day and was going right back home after helping me. Ok….. I dropped Molly off as usual and went off to work.
When I returned that evening, I found that one of my champagne flutes (I put them out in preparation for the holidays) had been broken. One of my son’s bath towels had been ruined with bleach stains. Molly had used one of my son’s favorite t-shirts as a cleaning rag and… my husband’s Gentleman Jack bottle was almost empty. Of course, further investigation revealed one of the plastic coctail cups on the back deck next to another cup holding cigarette butts. It seems that Molly works hard to finish her cleaning early so that she can relax with a smoke and a drink before her ride comes to pick her up.
Guess I will have to have a talk with the help.