Madam let me tell you one thing - cleaning materialsI’ve had an overwhelming reaction to the sad story of Sudha’s husband dying in that horrible accident.

You’ve all been very kind.

I should point out that I didn’t make it quite clear enough that the accident happened back in October. So still very recent, but she’s beginning to come to terms with it now. She rarely breaks down in tears in the kitchen now, and is carrying on with things.

She also told me that her court case has been settled. I don’t think she’s got the money yet – and I don’t know how much it is. But she’s on the phone less to lawyers, though occasionally I still here heated debate on the phone while she’s ostensibly ‘doing the dusting’. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that dusting is not a full time attention grabber for our Sudha.

I gave her a little extra for Easter this year – well for Passover actually as I’m fairly sure she has no idea when the Jewish holidays are, so won’t be expecting money at particular times of the year. I try and give her a little more at totally random times so she doesn’t get to expect and then demand it. I know that sounds callous, but trust me on this – it’s a very sound plan.

Anyway, she was suitably pleased (it was quite generous) and she got quite chatty for once. She told me that she used to be a Hindu, but when she married she converted to Catholicism. At first she missed temple very much, but since her husband passed, she’s found great comfort in the church. And she showed me her crucifix and did genuinely look comforted. Which I have to say was very touching.

Since my unexpected largesse, she’s been a bit more diligent with her work – the place is almost clean for instance, and she was almost proactive about moving furniture and cleaning round things.

To the outside observer, this would imply of course that I usually pay her a pittance and that the Easter bonus bumped her up to a decent wage. But of course, this is not the case. I pay her stupidly well, and she originally sold herself on the fact that she did three days work in only two days. Very hard worker, very strong, was her pitch. This is simply not true. Very light worker, very lazy, would be considerably more accurate.

However, she is honest, mostly shows up and is very pleasant to have round the place. And those things are important. Irrespective of her recent tragedy – which stops me from getting a more energetic duster to replace her anyway – the fact she doesn’t steal is a huge bonus. It’s such a regular occurrence with maids, that it’s almost impossible to find people who haven’t had something stolen by a maid at some point. Of course there are many, many honest maids, but as there’s a reasonable turnover of staff in a home, it will eventually happen to most people. It’s just that common – too much temptation I suppose.

So, Sudha, her honesty and complete lack of dusting ability is a long term fixture at Rethink Central. Sigh.

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If you’ve enjoyed this post, perhaps you’d like to read a bit more on the heady subject of dusting? No really, I assure you it’s more interesting than that sounds. Check it out here:

Her husband died in a hideous accident
If your maid’s so rubbish – why employ her?
Too many fruits, Madam

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