Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

When life stagnates

The Boy is still sick. I'm not well, but I'm no longer deathly ill. I am, however, extremely hungry for something sweet, which is a good sign. Or a bad sign. Depending upon, you know, whether or not I want to eat sweets and start that downhill ride again. Which I kinda do and kinda don't.

Yesterday I spent the entire day working, doing errands, and trying what to do about this nagging problem. You see, I have a home health aide that comes in once a week to clean, and help with certain chores. We had one woman for a year and I liked her a lot, but asked for a replacement when she became somewhat unreliable due to car troubles. I felt badly, but we got this second woman who cooked the most amazing good. We LOVED her cooking, her cleaning wasn't great. But they fired her. I am not sure why, probably because this was her second job and she didn't take it that seriously.

Then the agency we use didn't really have anyone, so we had a bunch of replacement people, none of whom lasted for more than a couple of week. At one point, the State (who pays for this) intervened with the agency, who blamed all the different people coming and going on me. I set the State straight, and tried to talk to the agency, but that's difficult for a variety of reasons.

Anyhow, we got yet another new person who we've had for a month. She sucks. I mean it, she was here Tuesday for 4 freaking hours and she did virtually nothing. She did not clean the kitchen counters or sink. She did not wash the wood floors throughout the entire downstairs. She did not clean either the coffee table or side tables in the living room, nor did she clean the kitchen table, which could have used a decent wiping down. She barely dusted. She didn't vacuum either of the rugs. She didn't clean my room at all, nor did she change my sheets. She did clean the bathrooms, but marginally. 4 hours. Honestly, I couldn't see any change at all between when she got her and when she left. I had to ask her to clean the microwave, because she had skipped it 3 weeks in a row. And she complained because there were dishes left in the sink (the Girl was sick and didn't do them). Not that she washed one of them, because she didn't. But she complained about it. Ummm, that's her JOB.

So, I have to call the agency and complain. Which I really do not want to do. But the week before she was so sick she did hardly anything, and this week she did nothing. The Girl said that she caught her twice sitting on the sofa. Twice.

I feel like a demanding bitch. I feel like one of those sitcom jokes, "We just can't get any decent help these days." But it's seemingly true. We had one substitute that was FABULOUS. She was a whirlwind. The house has never been cleaner. But she doesn't have a car, and I often need prescription pickup or shopping help, so the aides have to drive. Plus they don't want to walk the 1/4 mile from the T to my house.

What to do? What to do? The options are: switch agencies, which might or might not be advantageous. Or keep the same agency and try to deal with the pretty crappy leadership and their inability to keep decent help.

I know that these women are paid poorly. Most of them are recent emigres from various places in Africa. They have minimal English skills. Many don't know how to ask for cleaning supplies when I run out. And frankly, I don't keep the best tally of what we have since I don't clean much myself. I've gone through two vacuums because the women don't know how to use them. One broke several things and never told me. I came upon a broken chocolate pot that was my great grandmothers from England. I was NOT happy about this.

I don't want to whinge on about this. I just feel like I need to get it all out before I take action. Blech!

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