Hiring Good Help

I have never felt entitled or special because I have help with housekeeping. Mike decided early in our marriage that I needed help with keeping our house up. This is a service for which I will forever be grateful because of my busy schedule. Believe me finding good help is not an easy task.

The Valley Home

Our first housekeeper, when we lived in the San Fernando Valley,  came highly recommended by some of Mike’s co-workers. She was a complainer who would not hold back on letting us know how she felt. Once when Mike put a special coating on the tile in the master shower, she told us that she was not going to be responsible if anything happened to the tile. Needless to say she quietly faded away; either I asked her not to return or she just stopped showing up.


Don Quijote can no longer hold up his sword, fingers broken off, now he looks militant
My Risen Christ is missing a finger…I know, an over kill with wall decor

Our Orange Dwelling

We have been living in our current home in Orange for almost 40 years. The first lady that I hired would often bring her destructive son with her; he was a terror and ran around the house like a wild horse. He thought it was fun to jump from five steps on to the floor, screaming bloody murder. I had asked her not to bring the little barbarian, but she did not have anyone to watch the minion so she had to quit. I hired someone from my parish but on the first day of work she broke two Lladros statues (expensive porcelain figurines). I paid her and she never set foot in my house again. Throughout the years many of my beautiful Lladro´ figurines were damaged or destroyed.

My headless angel and broken clock

Then came the first long- term housekeeper. I loved her, she was wonderful, and we became friends. She shared with me that her son was getting married, so I offered to take her to purchase a mother-of-the-bride dress. She looked beautiful in it! Then something went wrong; she stopped showing up. She had been working for us for over nine years, so this came as a surprise to me. She asked for a raise, and we complied.  Again she stopped showing up. I had no idea that she was upset. During a telephone conversation, which was her exit interview, she said, “I’m never going to clean your house again, you have the dirtiest house I have ever cleaned!” I was so baffled: first because she insulted my clean house, and second, because I had no idea what really went wrong. I played her last words in my head for years. I will never know the real reason why she was so angry.

Warning Signs

Then came my new housekeeper.  I was over the moon with her! Young, sweet and thorough, it was a match made in heaven…or so I thought. She too worked for us for years, but slowly we started to notice that she was like a tornado cleaning the house. The sparkle and clean smell that once filled our house was gone. I have a shadow box in my downstairs bathroom where I display small collective artifacts. I noticed that a miniature hand blown Christmas tree with ornaments was missing. I asked her if she broke it. “No, Señora, why would I break things and not tell you?” she answered. The following week she had a personal matter to take care of, so I cleaned my house. As I was sweeping behind the toilet, I found a piece of charred glass from one of the ornaments. Did she lie to me? To avoid having her break things around the house, I started to clean my bathrooms. At first this seemed normal to me but to her it was a gift! Now she could leave even earlier. I trusted her and would often run errands while she cleaned. I was always witnessing to her about God and how she should go back to Mass. I felt like I was making headway when she shared with me that her children wanted to go to Mass. When she had a special prayer intention, I’d pray for her needs. I gave her so many holy objects that I had purchased from overseas.

Now It’s Personal

One day when I got back from an errand, she said, “Señora, whenever you want to get rid of your shoes, give them to me. I tried on your shoes and we are the same size.” Out of the kindness of my heart, I did give her several pairs of shoes along with many other items. I continued to witness to her about God. I showed her a Bible that was signed by Saint Teresa of Calcutta and a special rosary with a first-class relic. The following week these two items were missing. I have always kept them in a special spot, but now they were gone. I asked her if she had seen them, “No, Señora, I don’t know what you did with them.” A few weeks later the items mysteriously reappeared. Again, I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

Because I was sending a message to my friend in Spain, I needed a little help with the translation. When she came from upstairs to help, she smelled so clean. “Oh my gosh! What lotion are you wearing? It smells so good!” “Oh, Señora, it’s yours. I tried some of it.” “You mean the lotion that I save for special occasions? Please don’t touch my stuff!!” I had had enough, but it does not end there. I took prescribed medication that required me to cut the pills in quarters. I kept the pills in the container that’s used for cutting the pills. When I went to take my pill, the container was empty! I found my pills in the trash. Again, “Señora, I did not throw the pills away, etc.” She opened the container that I had wrapped in a rubber band, but when they spilled out, she tossed them in the trash!

I was saddened by my decision to tell her not to return. Through our friendship I had created a dysfunctional relationship that in the end was damaging to both of us. I would never badmouth her with others because she is a hard worker and a likable person. Part of the problem, which I’m responsible for, was sharing too much personal information with her. Nonetheless, she still holds a special place in my heart.

New Housekeepers

Since June Mike and I have decided to clean our own home. All the complaining about our bathroom being too small has now turned into a blessing. So far, now not only do we both have plenty of time to clean, we do it with love.

My Prayer

Dear Lord, I pray for every person that You have brought in and out of our lives. May You bless them and, if I am responsible for any offensive actions, please forgive me. Amen.

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