Monday, June 23, 2008

Cheating On My Cleaning Lady

My loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know that we've had the same Polish cleaning lady for almost four years. Our housekeeper, Margaret, usually comes every Thursday, but right now I am cheating on her while she's on a two month vacation. Even though Margaret does a terrific job cleaning up after Rex's masterpieces in the kitchen and all the toys and dolls the girls leave all over the house, she drives me nuts because she cannot organize and "tidy up" the kind of paperwork messes I make. The Roxiticus Desperate Housewives all share the symptoms of Pre Housekeeper Traumatic Stress Disorder in which we lose our minds trying to prepare for the cleaning lady the night before she comes!

Now, to justify the longings of my cheatin' heart... You may have heard through the grapevine about the day my girls now refer to as "The Hairbrush Incident" here a couple of weeks ago. Just a few days before Incredible Kid Day, our nanny asked me what had happened to the girls' hairbrushes...she couldn't find them anywhere. I had no idea, suggested she look in corners and under beds and in bags (one of Margaret's weird housekeeper things) dice. The next morning I came out of the shower and...MY HAIRBRUSH WAS GONE! Nowhere to be found...after all, our nanny had turned the house upside down searching for hairbrushes the day before. I ran around the house ranting and raving like a total lunatic. Luckily, the Mother of the Year award people weren't lurking or I'd have gotten ten demerits.

The Hairbrush Incident wasn't Margaret's fault, but her boss chose that day to "bait and switch" me. The usual minivan full of Polish housekeepers pulled into the driveway as I was packing the girls' lunches for school and finishing up other last-minute tasks before the schoolbus, but this time, the driver and a random Polish housekeeper jumped out. "Margaret no come. Train her!" says the driver. As Maddie repeated at kindergarten show-and-tell for the remainder of the year, Mommy said "TAKE HER AWAY IN YOUR VAN!" When I followed up later with the bosslady of the cleaning agency, she said, "Margaret didn't tell you? She's on vacation for two months!" Well, bosslady got an earful about her bait and switch routine, along with the message that we would not be needing her services until Margaret's return. Let the cheating begin!

Given an estimate of "$20/hour, maybe takes five hours," we tested out one of the other Roxiticus Desperate Housewives referrals last Monday, to get the house cleaned up before our big Roxiticus Sunset Party on Friday. Rex was away for the day, and returned to learn that the agency had sent two women who spent five hours chatting, perhaps watching soap operas, but accumulating ten woman-hours, charging $200 for their happy day here in the Roxiticus Valley, and leaving me with a load of napkins to be folded. I probably violated a couple of child labor laws by paying my girls and their two play-dates 50 cents each to fold them all and put them away. Rex insisted that they never come back, so I called their evil bosslady to fire them.

We interviewed our second set of housekeepers on Saturday among the detritus of our party, but made it no further than the laundry room. When the English-speaking translator told the worker bee that we expected her to wash, dry and fold our laundry during the day while she was here, she made such a disgusted face that I believe the translator must have said something about expecting her to provide a clean house while servicing all of the landscapers and pool guys behind the barn for one price. This pair apologized, but on Sunday they sent another member of the Extended Housekeeping Family, who gave us a fair estimate and arrives for her try-out tomorrow (Tuesday).

I will let you know how it goes, but at this point I'm thinking I'll just give up, have the girls run an energy-saving Dirt Devil around the carpet in the family room and downstairs play room, and bring the Roxiticus Desperate Goats in from our backyard to lap up any kitchen spills. I'll save money as well as energy -- the new AccuCharge Stick Vac and Hand Vac use 70% less energy – making AccuCharge the first cordless cleaning technology to earn Energy Star approval.

The good news for my local readers is that, given my bad housekeeping karma, once I find the right housekeeper, I'll be able to give all of you the recommendation of a lifetime! Oh, and if you have any suggestions for me, drop a line to my e-mail'll find it in the top of my sidebar.


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LadyJava said...

Hi Roxy
Am here spreading my midnight magic with LLP EC now.. Take care!

Mariuca said...

Hi Roxy! I'm waiting for this SS slot, and I saw that one of ur posts were selected as the best one to date over at SS...congrats! Hope u get one of those cash bonuses soon dear!

PS. Dropping off MPG. Am almost done with MPG and gonna start on Mariuca next. Have a great day! :)

Mariuca said...

Hey Roxy, am here again, this time with Mariuca. You must be sleeping, pleasant dreams! :)

Henson Ray said...

I'm very grateful for the housekeeper I have. She comes in twice a month, and does such a thorough job that I barely get anything dirty before she comes back. The only problem is, she will soon be moving back to her own country to reunite with her husband (How selfish of her, right? Heh, heh), so I will be losing her any week now. And then I will be in the same unfortunate predicament that you are. I'm thinking of roping off part of the house so it never gets dirty.

Daisy said...

Hi Roxy! I always see your blog at BlogEx but never really stopped by and read. Not until I added slightly drunk to my blogroll.

I see you have an amazingly interesting blog. I'd be coming back to read more.

btw, I have been voting for you at BOTB!


Mariuca said...

Hola Roxy! I have something for you at my blog, congrats!

Mariuca said...

Hey Roxy, am here to vote! And to let u know that I'll be on BOTB myself later tonight, if ya know what I mean? ;)

Cindi-Moomettesgram said...

OMG, you write some of the best posts I've ever seen! And talk about housekeeper envy! But I'm thankful I at least have Cinderella!

conflict and compromise said...

Very entertaining. I would suggest that you do the cleaning yourself, but I just can't bring myself to suggest it. I can't stand housework, and I don't have a housekeeper. I just wasn't born with any of those housecleaning genes.