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For the ladies...Maid Service-am I expecting too much?-My maid woes.

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Post by Chapalagringa on Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:19 pm

I've hired someone who I can trust but I'm starting to wonder if I'm expecting too much? I physically cannot keep up with my house because of my back...as much as I'd love to! Over the past few months I've resorted to making a list for her. The list has now grown boxes to check off to make sure she's understanding me & doing what I want her to do. The problem isn't in general, it's the being thorough that I'm speaking of. Since there are little persons in my home from time to time, I realize milk and formula & other things get spilled. Is it too much to ask that the maid get a damp rag/trapo and scrub off the dried stuff from the furniture or cabinets? Being there were guests coming over this afternoon, I finally got in there myself, was on the floor washing after I realized that the top of the chair was dusted but not the legs! ARGH! So, for the most part, the house gets cleaned, I'm happy go lucky, then after realizing things have been on the slide, I get uptight and try to get it tidy again. DH says no one is going to take care of my home the way I will.

That's my complaint in a nutshell, if you'd like to read my maid woes, continue reading:

The front room was repainted last week, so we had the pictures off of the walls and moved the furniture away...can you imagine how uptight I was?? I've heard from other people that they also have to stay on top of the maid. I try to explain, be firm yet have to make a joke to lighten up and carry on. Her friendship means more than my house being spotless. It can only be spotless for a moment because we're going mess it back up again! It's the thoroughness that I'm speaking of. Anyone else have to ride their maid to keep the house the way you want or do you just kind of clean up what they don't seem to reach or get what you were saying? I try NOT to have a lot of knick knacks etc But the tops of our books/dvd's weren't even getting dusted!

My new list also includes WHAT she's allowed to clean with and where! Seriously. Don't use a 3M pad to clean the bathroom water fixtures...ARGH! OR lija/fine sandpaper used for cleaning toilets on the bathroom sink! I told her that I can't replace that, but scratches are there permanent now. Or the scratches from her idea of using newspaper on the window block wall, mirrors and stainless steel trash can! One thing I can be grateful for is that I don't allow her to clean up my kitchen. My gf here let her maid do that and she used a 3M type pad and also permanently scratched up the face of their brand new stainless steel refrigerator!

My thoughts vacillate. Do I slowly ask her to come less often till she finally quits and I find someone else? (which I really don't want to do because I can totally trust her) or do I take a deep breath and keep dividing out the more thorough things throughout the weeks so things don't get so out of hand? This is hard for me. DH says she doesn't scrub. I'd finally paid my son to clean the tubs. I let her know they need to stay white and she's got to apply strength. It's not a product that's going to keep things clean it's scrubbing. The water is so dang hard here.

Last weekend I'd finally gotten so fed up that I asked other Mexican friends about it. One of the gals has a brother who housesat for us. While her brother was housesitting for us, he had his mother and sisters(her being one) come over and clean my house before we got home. It was SPOTLESS! I was so impressed that I wanted to hire them but they weren't for hire & I wasn't really ready for a housekeeper. So, being that I was talking to a Mexican that knows how to clean, I figured I was speaking to the right person. She said when you hire someone, they have to do what you ask. I'm thinking that it's just a bit more difficult here in Mexico, being we have all tile floors that need to be swept and mopped at least 3 times a week!

Couldn't I find someone that was like me? Someone who sees when fingerprints need to be wiped off, dried milk washed off, how to dust and not just hit and miss. Can't she be at least as TALL as I am to be able to reach the top of the mirror without a step stool? Or at least not afraid to take it out and use it? I can't be asking for too much because we did have a maid, who came once or twice when we lived in Guadalajara during language school. I didn't even know how to MOP when we moved here! That gal moved every stick of furniture in that place. There wasn't much there but she made her presence known and it was CLEAN! Our maid now doesn't seem to want to make a peep. Won't use the shop vac to sweep the floors etc. Doesn't want to know how to clean the vacuum cleaner for the rugs. It's like she doesn't know how so she won't even try or ask. Although she has become more outgoing since she started, that's a good thing. A little of me has rubbed off on her.

There's another woman I know begging for work. I'll come and iron your clothes or do whatever you want. It's hard because I don't know this woman very well. Why doesn't she have work? How well does she clean? Can she be trusted? Unfortunately, she doesn't speak any English, so who can I recommend her to? How can I recommend her when I don't know enough about her, other than she is a friend of someone trustworthy? Need a Spanish speaking maid to try out? pm me. :)

As far as time is concerned. It seems our maid works so slow! We had her coming 3 hours each day, which she said she could clean the entire house in 3 hours, and it got to the point where we felt we couldn't live our normal lives for those 9 hours. So I tried to make a deal with her. Work faster and be out in 2...isn't working out at all. Right now I have the maid coming 3 days a week while she's paid for 9 hours total. Keep in mind that my house isn't that big. After talking with her we're going to be switching her schedule around so she'll have one longer day and 2 shorter days to see if she can get all the work done in one day w/touch ups the other days. Also told her that if it's not written down on the check list, it's my fault it doesn't get done. Otherwise, I've caught her getting distracted with things I didn't ask her to do and doesn't complete what I want her to do and that really frustrates me. All the while I'm feeling this way I'm also considerate of her feelings.

My other thought was maybe this is great training for her to work at the new casino and great training for me to be more firm and exact with the next maid! But if I DO finally get her trained well and all my check lists done to MY satisfaction, I'll let you know and pass them on. Not her but my checklists lol! flag waver
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Post by SusieSunshine on Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:34 pm

I'm told this is the 30 day problem...have you had her thirty days?

I had a maid that was great for 30 days and then suddenly did nothing right. I have a daughter with chemical sensitivities and was very clear on the products that could and could not be used. She brought in her own heavy duty products twice and we had severe issues. When I told her that I could no longer risk it, she said what she would accept for a severance.

I think there are some great maids out there, though! I was going to try out a few, but they don't want to come do a one time clean without the promise of, at least, a weekly spot. I have a tiny little place, so I just decided it wasn't worth the hassle anymore. I wouldn't let someone else do my laundry or dishes (or honestly a lot of things...I'm picky); I just want a thorough wipe down and scrubbing once a week.

I firmly believe if you are hiring someone to do a job for you, then it should be done for you the way you want it done. If not, I would find someone who does it right.

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Post by Chapalagringa on Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:59 pm

She's been here almost a year. Here's my questions for others:

Do you make out a list for your maid? The needs change for us as the seasons change with the level of dust.

I think what I wanted was to not think about it, hire her and her see what needed to be done. I stayed out of it for a very long time and then I started to notice things. Noticed that the vacuum cleaner was twice as full as noted was the MAX level before cleaning it out. The tubs. The water is hard here but when I wanted to soak in the tub, I didn't want to get in it. It DOES come off and we scrubbed that stuff off! Now she's required to keep up with it, so maybe I'm making progress. She's really short! I've often teased her that the house was clean from her eye level down! She needs to look UP & take out the step stool that we bought her.

At first, I let her make suggestions on what could be used to clean but after the newspaper incident, I said forget it. Now I'm being firm about what she can use and where. We buy all of our supplies. I don't like ajax residue much either...use more agua! Last week, she left ajax on the glass wall because she ran out of time??? I don't get that. So, she can't use ajax on the glass walls anymore. One time, I got into the tub after she cleaned and broke out in a horrible rash on the back of my neck and shoulders because she didn't rinse the tub well enough. You know, some people have never taken a bath here. They have walk in tile showers and that's it. So running a vacuum or cleaning a tub may be a scary thing, I guess, if you're afraid of new things. But she could ask. I'm learning to give her opportunity to clarify if there's any questions. Hopefully, we're finally understanding each other.

Would you like that woman asking for work to come and talk to you?
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Post by SusieSunshine on Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:21 am

Sure. I just did my big Thursday clean, though. Probably next week. Do you see her on Sundays? I might come by then.

I think she should be able to see what needs done and do it. ESPECIALLY after a year. However, if it is something out of the ordinary or something that you notice wasn't quite right then a note is good, but a checklist seems like a little much for someone who should know how you like your house kept. As for the bath...it is just like a big sink, so I don't see a reason there.

Her height makes no difference. My friend has this amazing woman who comes in every couple days and cleans the house from top to bottom and cooks them a few meals. She is teeny, tiny...maybe 4'7"...and gets in every nook and cranny of that house...high and low. She goes in and takes everything out of the cabinets and cleans the inside. She scrubs down the walls! I was there once while she was and it was like the Tasmanian mother in law. She was here and there and working so fast while telling my friend's husband what all he does wrong. He had his feet on an ottoman (she thought it was a table) and she hit him with a towel and told him to put them down. She told him that he needed to romance his wife more. Everyone laughed and I could tell she was quite loved and respected...there was no rudeness. I want her. :)

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Post by Parker on Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:51 am

To be totally honest we have not had these issues to deal with. The maid we hired came looking for us, she knew us from staying at a friend’s house several times while they were on long vacations. The only thing we asked of her was to keep our house clean to her standards and keep down the dust issue.

I’m allergic to many things so laundry we would do plus in the beginning we would take care of the outside courtyard. We have about 3500 square feet and felt this was too much for anyone to take care of. (no kids and one cat that gets brushed everyday) She now takes care of the courtyard, not because we asked she just felt she had the time. (or felt she did it better?). Granted we are clean, never having a maid before and wanting my house clean most of the time and not just on the days the maid comes, on a daily basis take care of dishes, wiping down counters, garbage etc….

The one issue we seem to not discuss is the issue of salary. If you want someone to do their best they need to feel their getting the best pay for the amount of effort. Never underestimate others, they know when you’re being cheap (or overworked) and are only pacing time for another better opportunity.

There is a 30 day rule but the payoff is really not that much. Just don’t put it off because it can become quickly considerable. Read rollybrook.com site for a better insight.

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Post by Rolly on Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:40 am

I think Parker was thinking of this article.
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Post by johninajijic on Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:48 am

Chapalagringa - What is the size of your house, bedrooms, bathrooms? How many days and hours does your maid work? How much per hour are you paying her?

We have been here ten years. Two of our maids had to quit because of health problems. They both came in and dusted, cleaned the bathrooms, swept the floors and mopped the floors. We never had them iron or do laundry. Both maids worked for 3 hours a day - 2 days per week. We now have their sister and have cut back to one day a week thus saving $ 900. US per year!

We have never given our maid a list of things to do. We don't know anyone who does.
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Post by ferret on Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:51 am

Nobody will ever clean your house the way you do...not even NOB.

I often work with the maid. On the occasion of breaking in a new maid, for about a six week period I definitely am there every second "helping". I have even had to show a maid how to make a bed...I don't want the top sheet tucked in but I do want the sheets even on both sides. Nobody can read your mind but some people are just generally more intuitive than others...no checklist but tell them what you want. In San Miguel, we had one maid for nine years. In San Pancho, it was four tries before we found someone who actually had a work ethic and she was with us for four years.

In the end, you don't need a maid that aggravates you but it's a whole lot easier to fine tune what a maid misses than to do the whole thing yourself.

We've been using Spring Clean here...they will come once or regularly. They are more expensive but you don't have to worry about anyone being sick 'cuz they just send someone else. They're covered for IMSS, vacation, aguinaldo etc. All have been vetted and are trustworthy. Love 'em.
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Post by Chapalagringa on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:22 am

Our gal came to our home and worked one day. I asked her to clean the house as if it were her own & believe me, it was dirty, which is why I was good and ready to hire someone and not fight my kids anymore to help me. She set the hourly rate, which she had/has other clients and how long it would take her. We're a busy house and not everyone feels comfortable with someone being here all day. After feeling that we couldn't live in our house in the a.m.'s I asked if the pay stayed the same that she could work faster. Gave her a nice raise & less hours. She said she'd try. Now we've moved on from that idea because it isn't working either. Starting this week, she'll have one long day and two short days. We have no problem being generous to a hard worker.

I can't believe that I'd be asking for too much. My mother's house is much larger than mine and her maid takes 4 hours to clean 4 bedrooms 3 full baths. Granted, she does not live here, nor does she have wall to wall tile but she has loads of knick knacks and book shelves(mucho mas muebles/a lot more furniture).

I was taught that if you train someone, it'll help them out with future jobs.

@John, our house is a smudge over 1700 sq ft.
I do know another Mexican family who live in Chula Vista Norte and they do make a list. She's the one who ended up w/a scratched up fridge while training her maid therefore, I opted no kitchen. She doesn't do laundry or ironing for us either. I need help with those things I'm not physically able to do anymore.

@ferret, I have to agree with you & thank you, it is easier to fine tune than start from scratch.

It's good to remind myself that before she started, I was dependent on my sons. One, who made me want to pull my hair out and the other cleans well but got tired of his brother not doing his share. He's the one filling in for the things the maid is missing. And I also pay him the same hourly rate.


Last edited by Chapalagringa on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by simpsca on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:23 am

Yep, I've been here over 12 years - have always had the same problem as you. Recently she was cleaning the new expensive bathroom faucets with wet sand paper and taking the new finish off. No idea why she started this. I spoke to her about it and found and threw out all the sand paper. And many more similar problems to you.

I've done better than 30 days with being good, but eventually they all spend most of their time sweeping dust from one place to another and swishing a mop around. I also get a friend to move the furniture periodically and there are HUGE dust balls.

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Post by johninajijic on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:42 am

We don't have our maid clean the kitchen either.

chapalagringa - You said your house was 1700 sq ft. Your maid needs only 3 hours a day 2 days a week to clean that much space. If she can't do a good job in that time, get rid of her and move on to another one. Pay the severance and fugettaboutit. Don't stress yourself!!!
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Post by hound dog on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:52 am

I have had the same maid for 10 years and have no problems.First I did it with her for the first week and told her exactly what product to use with what. What to do and not to do.
A few things need to be repeated , like maintenance type of things, empty the vacuum cleaner seems to be one of them. She is mecanically challenged and I have had to show her several time how to connect things. Another seems to be that she unplugs everthing and forgets to replug things.
Nobody is perfect and I will tel her every time something is not done according to my wishes. No need to nag or make a joke about it just tell her as you catch things.
She is an employee not a friend no matter which way you look at it. You need to be firm and fair.
Once a month I have her come to do details that she does not have the time to do on a regular schedule ot to do whatever chore I need done.
Can you do your whole house the way you want it in the time you are giving her? If you can do it with her once, telling her as you go things that are important to you. Do it 3 times and tell her every time something is not right, if after the 3 times she still does not do what you want, get rid of her and pay her severance. Change keys if she has the keys.
For me the most important thing is trust, I will overlook some small problems if I can have someone I can trust.
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I do not get a friend to move furniture once a month, I get the maid to do it once a week and have a clean the dust balls. They come back on a weekly basis so I am sure after a month they are huge.


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Post by Parker on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:53 am

After reading these testimonials I certainly appreciate our housekeeper. She comes twice per week for anywhere from 3 to 5 hours per day, depending on what she thinks needs to be done. My house is always clean (no dust balls). She has been with us for six years. Very Happy

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Post by hound dog on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:00 am

Johny each house is different, houses full of nicknacks or with kids and animals are time consuming to do. Every person has different priorities so I do not see how you can tell anyone how long it takes to clean a house without knowing the specifics.
My house is over 3500sqf and it gets moped , dusted , the kitchen cleaned and one odd task gets done, like some windows, cobwebs removed inside and out and so on. A little extra task gets done everytime but I do need her once a month to do odds and ends.
I have 4 dogs , no knick knacks, the house is picked up when she arrives. The cleaning lady knows the house inside out and is very fast and hard working. I had her mother for 3 months before her and she could not do half the work in that amount of time.
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Post by gringal on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:12 am

WOW! That would give me nervous conniptions, Chapalagringa. When I lived in SMA, we had a house about the size of yours and a maid for 2 hours, three times a week. She found us, and was reliable and thorough.

We moved here and for a couple of months we were in remodeling mode, so it was just us shoveling it out in between. When the workers were finally finished, it was way beyond us to deal with it: it would have been beyond a normal maid, too. That's when we saw the ad for "Post remodeling cleanup" in the paper and called in Spring Clean to do the job.

They did such a great job that we talked to their Jefa about getting maids in on a regular basis for normal cleaning. We have no kids or pets, so that limits the need, but we have over 3000 sq.ft. of tile floors, two and a half bathrooms and a wide canterra staircase, so that's a lot of mopping, cleaning and dusting. They send two ladies with all the necessary equipment every two weeks for four hours. They do a great job of cleaning the kitchen (no scratches). They're very thorough, and the agency takes care of the insurance, aguinaldos, vacation pay, termination issues and any problems that come up are dealt with between me and the jefa: a tiny dynamo who also speaks Engish. We have used their services for four years now and wouldn't have it any other way. Nothing has been stolen and no inappropriate materials are used on our possessions. The ladies have been trained already. Life is so much less stressfu,

That's a possibility you may wish to consider. PM me if you need more information.

Not everyone shares my viewpoint, but I don't expect a maid to be my "friend". She is an employee and as such, gets my respect and courtesy.

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Post by raqueteer on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:13 am

I guess I finally got lucky, however it took a lot of tries before I got to that point. As in maybe 10. If a maid doesn't work out, and I'm assuming that you speak Spanish, it may be time to show her the door. BTW I'm still, after years, working on the gardening issue. 1700 sq. ft. does not take a massive amount of time, and should be doable in 9 hours a week, no problem, even with kids.

My maid is like the one Susie Sunshine describes. Our house is not done to our standards, it's done to hers, which are much higher. Inside cabinets, dusting everywhere, she moves furniture and cleans where most people wouldn't even think to look. A good maid will consider it her house as well as yours and act accordingly.

Being friends with your maid is not the best of ideas IMO. It's best to consider them a valued employee, and treat them as such. After many years I still refer to her as usted, we do not discuss personal issues, and if I introduce her to anyone she is my mano derecha. She's much more of a housekeeper than a maid. When new appliances, or new surfaces are introduced, it is your responsibility to demonstrate exactly how to clean them. On stainless appliances, you need to use those microfibre cloths, and no bleach. Otherwise, spotting will occur, and then they will go at it with something aggressive. Use of a vacuum is a massive issue here. However you just have to persist, and be prepared to replace them every so often.

Since there are just 2 of us, she also does all the ironing, however I maintain control over the washing machine, no one, not even my husband is allowed to touch that.

Since our place is bigger, we have her for 14 hours a week, and if the casita needs a heavy duty cleaning, one extra afternoon on occasions.

Trust is also a major concern, references are essential.

My suggestion would be to give her a written letter of warning, date it, sign it, and have it witnessed. Either she'll get the message and clean up her act, or possibly start looking for other employment. With three letters, you are well within your rights to let her go, be sure and do each one as described then if you do let her go, again with the witnesses, preferably 2, you are not required to pay the 3 months plus, plus, plus. I would give her 2 weeks, and prorated aguinaldo and vacation pay. Once she has signed and agreed to that you are in the clear. It has been my experience that a number of people here are looking to get fired and scare the owners into paying outrageous termination pay. If she knows, that you know, that won't happen. JMHO.

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Post by Chapalagringa on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:16 am

Well thank you John. That means she's getting more than ample time for the space. That's what I was wondering as well. It's a little more than hiring or firing being that she, as a person, is important to me. Believe me, I was seriously thinking of letting her go but I need to give her more time. I need to do what Bridgette said and go through a day with her a few times.

Called my friend in Chula Vista, Mexicana. Her maid is there 6 days a week, 8 hours a day!! Yes, her home is larger than mine. I wouldn't be able to handle that schedule. She said I have to train her as she's going to be like a child. Sometimes people's background are such that they may only have a cement or even dirt floor and they don't know how to take care of things. As someone else already stated, I need to walk her through the job and show her how, then have her try. She said to check her work after she's done. Being that this friend also knows my maid, she encouraged me. Said that she'll want to please me and said I'll be able to train her & she'll end up being a great maid. :) It was embarrassing for me to hire someone to begin with & really wanted someone who already knew what to do. Then became frustrated that things weren't up to my expectations, need to take time to train her, my error.

My friend also said that it's important to explain that this is how I do and want things done. If you can show me a better way, than i will consider it but right now we'll do things my way. Could have saved my bathroom faucets, sinks, block walls & trash can maybe. :( She said it takes time & I'll have to help her to make new habits, otherwise she'll fall back on her old ones. Sounds like I'm on the right track but hadn't gotten the big picture yet.
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Post by raqueteer on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:19 am

Chapalagringa wrote:Well thank you John. That means she's getting more than ample time for the space. That's what I was wondering as well. It's a little more than hiring or firing being that she, as a person, is important to me. Believe me, I was seriously thinking of letting her go but I need to give her more time. I need to do what Bridgette said and go through a day with her a few times.

Called my friend in Chula Vista, Mexicana. Her maid is there 6 days a week, 8 hours a day!! Yes, her home is larger than mine. I wouldn't be able to handle that schedule. She said I have to train her as she's going to be like a child. Sometimes people's background are such that they may only have a cement or even dirt floor and they don't know how to take care of things. As someone else already stated, I need to walk her through the job and show her how, then have her try. She said to check her work after she's done. Being that this friend also knows my maid, she encouraged me. Said that she'll want to please me and said I'll be able to train her & she'll end up being a great maid. :) It was embarrassing for me to hire someone to begin with & really wanted someone who already knew what to do. Then became frustrated that things weren't up to my expectations, need to take time to train her, my error.

My friend also said that it's important to explain that this is how I do and want things done. If you can show me a better way, than i will consider it but right now we'll do things my way. Could have saved my bathroom faucets, sinks, block walls & trash can maybe. :( She said it takes time & I'll have to help her to make new habits, otherwise she'll fall back on her old ones. Sounds like I'm on the right track but hadn't gotten the big picture yet.

Does this mean that she has never worked in a gringo style home before?

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Post by Chapalagringa on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:31 am

Yes, I'm getting that work and friendship won't mix anymore, at least not during working hours ;0) Come to work and work.

She works for other expats also but she'd never cleaned granite before. Her mother was also a trusted maid for a large home in Chula Vista.

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Post by hound dog on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:40 am

Gringal
Your post shows very clearly that a lot comes from management. Many people who never had employees come down here and think they will have everything perfectly done without puting an oz of effort themselves. It does not work this way.
We could not last two weeks without someone coming as we live with all doors and windows open and the dust comes in faster that you can mop it out. Dogs do not help either...
If you do not want or cannot manage people you should not have employees, hiring a service is the way to go in that case.
Brigitte


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Post by johninajijic on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:40 am

Chapalagringa wrote:Yes, I'm getting that work and friendship won't mix anymore, at least not during working hours ;0) Come to work and work.

She works for other expats also but she'd never cleaned granite before. Her mother was also a trusted maid for a large home in Chula Vista.


Cleaned granite? What's to clean? How do you clean granite?
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Post by gringal on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:46 am

Not with a steel wool pad! LOL.



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Post by raqueteer on Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:04 pm

Chapalagringa wrote:Yes, I'm getting that work and friendship won't mix anymore, at least not during working hours ;0) Come to work and work.

She works for other expats also but she'd never cleaned granite before. Her mother was also a trusted maid for a large home in Chula Vista.


The amount of granite should not be a concern. It's not all that difficult. We have marble in the bathrooms, and it's just fine.

Let me explain further, I have always had a maid, or a maid service, both in Canada and here. Some were better than others. There is always a training period as Brigitte points out. Being friends even outside of working hours will still have the same result. If you are all buddy buddy with them, they will think that you will let them get away with doing a half hearted job. One of our maid services actually did rob us. so since then I have mostly steered clear of them.

Firing someone is sometimes necessary. It's the same as running a business, bad employees have to go. If you still have to do the kitchen, that is completely unacceptable, or at least it would be to me. The fact that her mother is a trusted maid is irrelevant, it's what she does that counts. Missing milk splashes, or failing to clean the chair legs would also be unacceptable. I kind of ignore the sometimes forgetting to plug in a light after vacuuming, and tilting the pictures and mirrors to indicate that she has in fact cleaned them. All good maids tend to do that. We have quite a few collectables, and our maid is very careful of those. If you don't want her to touch something, you'll have to tell her.

If you have a bad back, then you really need someone who will do everything, and well, so that you can relax. It's all part of keeping yourself happy, even with a bad back and pain. Stress and worry will make it worse. Trust me on this one. My entire neck is in terrible shape, and I'm not willing to undergo surgery. Relaxation goes a long way to helping you cope.

Good Luck

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Post by hound dog on Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:20 pm

Raqueteer´s comment about "gringo" style homes reminded me of a few years ago when we reconstructed a ruin in the historic center of San Cristóbal de Las Casas as a Chiapas regional home for us and, while, our housekeeper is fine and presents us with no problems, we had some interesting experiences building down here mostly to do with plumbing, electrical and kitchen fixtures. We wanted a garbage disposal, a dishwasher and toilets and drains installed in such a way that toilet paper could be flushed down the commode. We had to bring the garbage disoposal with us from Guadalajara since not one store in San Cristóbal carried that item. Once it was installed, we looked for the on/off switch under the sink and there was none. We spoke with the plumber who had installed it and he was amazed that we wanted an on/off switch. He responded to our inquiry by advising us to that, when we wanted to use the garbage disposal, we simply needed to get down on our knees, plug the thing into the back wall under the sink to make it go on and unplug it to stop it. We had him installl a switch.

One day, the worker installing the dishwasher approached us with what he thought was a horror story. The manufacturer had failed to install an inlet for hot water and he advised us to immediately return the machine. We had to let him know that that particular machine heats its own water internally.

We had many other cultural problems to overcome in this reconstruction process, many of them amusing some of them irritating but we learned one thing. One of us had to be down here all the time to prevent disaster so my wife moved to San Cristóbal for the six month or so duration of the project and prevented by her presence many mistakes from unvented toilets to the electrician´s proposal to install all single wall plugs and even some of those in entirely the wrong places.

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Post by Chapalagringa on Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:55 pm

As far as getting the dried milk splashes, I wonder if I wasn't giving her enough time before but now, she'll have one long day and it will be insisted. But if you're all saying 3 hours is plenty of time...I hope things will improve. I'm not sure where she's getting hung up and I'll have to watch her more carefully. Or at this point in time, she pretty much knows how I want things done. Will tell her I'm only paying her for this many hours as I feel it's sufficient time and if she takes longer, that's her call. I would never be able to clean the house in that time now because I physically can't. I know that I could easily clean the bathrooms, dust and vacuum in a snap. Moving the furniture, sweeping and mopping, would take me all day because of all the breaks I'd have to take.

This morning I remembered & checked that the tiles near the new entertainment center/fireplace needed to be scrubbed after construction. She remembered, as it was pointed out to her last week, while I forgot about it. I'll be sure to thank her for remembering that as I've been looking for reasons to praise her.

I grew up with a housekeeper & was brought up to be self sufficient. My mother, although self employed, does her own books to this day. Only during ages 10-18 did I clean my mother's house. Good training she said, and she was right! One reason why I do not have many knick knacks, as she has many & I don't like dusting them. However, my mother had a thing about toilets and never made me clean one. Also didn't learn how to clean a toilet until I was nearly 22 years old! Then she taught me.

Managing employees. It depends on what type of ship you're running, that's all I can say. I don't imagine we're in the same line of work. Yes, this is my first long term domestic help employee and obviously, I'm learning how to do this after getting over my embarrassment. My DH made it quite clear to me from the get go that I had to separate friendship from employee. I think I confused the employee to employee relationship with the employee to boss relationship. One reason is because I have other boss employee relationships, but they aren't cleaning my house! :face: lol! flag waver
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