When I contacted an agency several months ago for a new houseboy and gardener, they assured me that their "employees" were trained. BS! Trained? Not in the very least. Clueless. Totally.
Gardener No. 6 didn't last and has been replaced by Appuk - who does a fabulous job! He is old, he is slow, but he works very hard and anticipates what needs done and just does it - and if he thinks the bushes need trimmed and is not sure whether or not he should trim them - he asks. I am hopeful that he will be here as long as we are here so that I do not have to worry about finding a "real" gardener to replace him. [Although, interestingly enough, twice yesterday during my morning walk with The Kids two workers approached me and asked if I needed a gardener. Do they know something I don't? Is Appuk planning on retiring or leaving?]
I have tolerated HB15 even though he doesn't do a very good job, but he gets along with my Kids and that is extremely important. However, I realized a couple of days ago that no matter what it is that HB15 does or cleans for me it is nothing more than a half-ass job. I am not going to tolerate it any longer. I spend as much time cleaning up after him and re-cleaning that it makes absolutely no sense to have him coming here to work. I contracted him to come and work for me three days a week from eight o'clock in the morning until one o'clock in the afternoon. Last month he started telling me on Monday that he can only work three hours. Three hours doesn't get everything done. So after three weeks, I eliminated Monday from his schedule. There problem solved. You no longer work three days a week - now just two. This coming Wednesday will be his last day. Does he know this yet? No. But I won't have any problem whatsoever telling him when I pay him on Wednesday that his services are no longer needed.
The bathrooms are only being cleaned marginally. I went in to DH's bathroom this morning to put new towels up and realized that the spots on the floor that I noticed last week are still there. HB15 spends about an hour in each of our two bathrooms cleaning them - what exactly he is doing in there is a mystery because he obviously isn't doing the cleaning that I've instructed him to do. We had issues with him being on his "mobile" while he was here working for me - and I had to flat out tell him that he needed to put it away - he is working for me and that work does not include talking on your damn phone! He goes into the bathrooms and I hear water running - and the toilet being flushed - and all of the "sounds" that one would hear and make cleaning a bathroom - but he isn't cleaning - or the spots wouldn't be on the floor, would they? HB15 shuts the bathroom door - I should have known better than to allow him to - I'm guessing he is running water and spending the entire hour texting on his mobile - while at the same time doing the bare minimum as it to make it seem like he is cleaning the bathroom. Obviously, he isn't.
I have stacks and stacks of rags - which I clean and neatly fold. We have had the same conversation now about two dozen times - HB15 and I: Use a new, clean rag, for each job. Am I the only one who understands that if you use the same rag for every single job that all you are doing is pushing dirt around?!? I do not want you dusting furniture with one rag and then using it to clean my counter tops. What do YOU not understand about this? Each time that he is here I have to "correct" him on this. And yet, even after we discuss the issue, he continues to use the same rag. I have literally taken it out of his hand and put it in the cleaning bag next to the washer. I ask him if he understands and he says that he does. Obviously, he doesn't.
It is very, very hot outside. And lately it has been humid, too. About a week ago, I saw what looked like a big bug shoot across the floor in front of me and into our broom closet. I moved the vacuum to "stomp" on it and discovered it wasn't a bug, but a baby gecko. I like the little gecko's and had no intention of ending its little life after I realized that that was all it was. However, I don't really want little baby gecko living in my house with me, either. And The Boy will go absolutely berserk trying to get it if he realizes that there is one. Two days ago little baby gecko was crawling up the wall and hid behind a picture - I told DH and had him catch it and take it outside. Yesterday morning I opened the back door and little baby gecko shot back inside. Apparently it is too hot and humid outside for him or her and he or she wants to live inside. DH tried to catch little baby gecko, again, and couldn't. Baby gecko is now residing underneath the refrigerator, in what DH said is a pile of dirt. My fault. I haven't specifically asked HB15 to pull the refrigerators out and clean underneath them - or vacuum the backs of them. Is is really asking too much to find a houseboy that will take a little bit of incentive and actually do something extra - like pull the refrigerators out and clean under and behind them? Yes. Apparently, it is.
On several occasions I have had to tell HB15 that he needs to move the furniture when vacuuming - no, not all the furniture - I don't expect him to move our bed or the bureaus, but I do expect him to move chairs or at least make an effort to reach underneath furniture with the vacuum. I have seen "dust bunnies" living underneath our furniture that are larger than real rabbits! Why do I have to repeatedly tell HB15 to vacuum underneath the buffet or to move the chairs? I shouldn't have to - he's been told on numerous occasions - and yet he still insists on not doing what he's been told. He refuse to vacuum the air conditioning vents unless I specifically tell him to. No, they don't need vacuumed every time you bring the vacuum out - but once a week would be good. Oh, right, you're working a shorter week now - and don't have time. You - or your agency employer - have decided, contrary to what I requested - that you don't need to work for five hours on Monday - only three hours - and I eliminated Monday's since it doesn't work for "your" schedule. Newsflash: You are going to accommodate me - I am not going to accommodate you.
We are leaving for the States soon. I can do all of the housework until then. We will have a man come stay here and take care of The Kids - he is going to have to clean up after them and himself - as HB15 won't be coming... I don't have the desire or the time to try to train someone new before we leave. It will just have to wait until we return. But I am done paying HB15 to come to my house and do a half-ass job that I have to turn around and either reclean or clean up after him. After HB15 has finished cleaning the kitchen floor this coming Wednesday he will be finished cleaning for me. The only reason he has lasted as long as he has is because it is so frustrating to have to try to train someone new. I may decide that I don't even want a houseboy any more. I do much of my own housework - I do all of the dishes, the laundry, and vacuum regularly anyway. I really only want someone that will do the big stuff - clean the tile floors, the windows, the bathrooms... I can do a better job and it is just NOT worth the frustration!