Although I respect all house-help professionals, I have somehow taken to Betty. As I wrote somewhere here, she is highly responsible, transparent in her communication, and has a great positive attitude.
All of us know what a significant boon it is when the HHPs attend to house cleaning early in the morning and finish their job handing you a squeaky clean kitchen by the time you start your cooking. Unlike my earlier experiences, Betty immediately agrees to my offer of work in the morning.
“Morning? Yes, mam. Sure. I can even come as early as seven am.”
I shouldn’t have taken that offer so seriously, as I realized later with some dismay. I am myself not a morning person. My husband is, but on weekends he likes to laze in the bed until late. And I had forgotten that it was a weekend!
Blame this also on yet another hoax published virally on Facebook. The post had a scary picture of a brain gone haywire since it was exposed to some “magnetic wave field” created by a mobile phone left on your bedside table. Being a naïve believer, I promptly put my phone away for the night.
With all elements of disaster being firmly in place, it was poor Betty who was the silent sufferer. Betty came to my door a few minutes before seven and kept ringing the doorbell for almost twenty minutes or so. In fact, I had left my front door was unlocked, but she didn’t think it proper to enter without some kind of permission. Meanwhile, my phone was quietly receiving her calls at a far-away table without letting me know.
Poor Betty. She waited for some time and then had to return to her residence.
It was only when I woke up that I tried to gather the pieces of disaster. To shield myself from any kind of shock, I first blamed my husband for the entire episode: “Why didn’t you wake me up?”
My husband is usually quite immune to my occasional blame attacks. However, this being a weekend, suffering from the want of a cup of morning tea, he reacted sharply – “It was you who put your phone away. That too on silent mode.”
Hungry stomachs quibble a lot. A few minutes were spent in sharp exchanges and loveless stares at each other. Then both of us realized that we need to make amends. I called Betty and began to apologize profusely.
“It’s all right madam,” she said with her usual calmness. “I will be there in a few minutes.”
I must have looked crestfallen when I opened the door to Betty, but she was her usual smiling self. As she started working in the kitchen, I gave her all my reasons and excuses trying to promise her that this won’t happen again.
“That’s fine man. Next time I shall call the landline first.”
How smart! She had noticed that there was a handset at my bedside. And landlines are usually not kept in ‘silent’ mode – until there is a Facebook post about them, of course!
When Betty left after a couple of hours, I felt this was a much brighter start to my weekend. A display of patience and calm smiles can do wonders to your morning. Yes, Betty cleans much more than just my house!