She said she was ill (and I’m sure she was) but her doctor appointments always happened to be on Saturday mornings.
The cleaning management company occasionally rallied to arrange temps but most of the time I just had to bear the brunt of the ex hissing venom at me at 9 in the morning when the cleaner had failed to show up, yet again.
“It’s your job to arrange the cleaner! Why isn’t she here?? I don’t care if her kidney is infected! Blah blah blah!”
The ex an I saved our relationship by getting a cleaner. We have totally different ideas of how often to clean and how often is too often, so cleaner issues turn critical very quickly.
On a side note:
This is such a desi wifely whine. More specifically it’s a very middle-class desi whine. Middle class Indians are always complaining about their cleaners.
Meet any woman running a house and she’ll give you a long rant about the cleaner or how the cook spoke to her very rudely the other day. (The cook and the driver are second and third in line of things to complain about.)
“Can you believe it? So rude she was. So I told her she can go look for another job if she speaks to me like that.
“And she always over cooks the daal. How many times I’ve shown her how to cook the daal but she still over cooks!”
“Plus I told her not to put salt in it. Every time too much salt. She never even tastes.
“Now the driver is upset because the cook got a bonus but the driver didn’t get the bonus.”
“Then the cleaner never jadhoos properly either. I always have to jadhoo the bathroom myself. She just does fut-fut-fut and thinks it’s done. Oof ho! Bus. What to do?”
“Haan haan, it’s so hard to find good cleaners… but have I told you what MY cleaner did…?”
In fact never ask an Indian housewife about the either the cleaner, the cook or the driver. It’ll never stop.
So to get back to my wifely whine, I’ve been designated as ‘cleaner manager’. My duties are to supervise and organise. (Catchy no?)
I’m expected to keep them up to scratch somehow. Inspect under the sofas, chase them around the 2 and a half rooms we live in. (Even if I did chase them around the flat my idea of “its clean” is clearly not going to match the ex’s expectation. So my supervision is really fruitless.)
The problem is the ex is the type of person who’d put of a pair of white kid gloves and run their hands down the furniture to test if it has been dusted properly.
So naturally the ex was enraged with the general incompetence of the temporary cleaners who came to fill in for Ona.
One of the temps dropped a painting off the wall. (Didn’t break, thank god. It was one of the ex’s tacky pieces of touristy shite. All hell would have broken loose.)
She then used the sulphuric acid that’s meant for unclogging drains to clean the oven. The ex caught that one.
I caught her cleaning a framed wall mirror violently and stopped her before she knocked that off too.
She then dusted the side tables by removing all the knickknacks and balancing them on the arms of the leopard print couch. The ex caught that one again.
In desperation I asked my boss at work if he knew a cleaner. This is the same boss who I once smoked a doob with. The fun one.
So he recommended a girl, so I called her and she told me she would send someone over one Saturday morning for a test run.
First day, the new girl (Elina, or Elita or something. Couldn’t quite hear her and now I can’t ask again) broke the power mop and left without telling us. Turns out she doesn’t speak any English.
We aren’t allowed to call her directly and can only contact her via her handler.
That aside, I’m still feeling optimistic.