Words repeated ad nauseam in this post: perfect stranger, cleaning lady, god forbid.

It’s not just that I’m fundamentally against a perfect stranger going through my most personal things, but also that I resent the colonialist aspect of paying someone to clean my house. That said, those of us with office jobs have better things to do than mop the marble tiles, bleach the bath tub or dust the oak furniture twice a week, because god forbid someone visits you and the place is not impeccable! So, my mixed feelings about cleaning ladies are something I usually keep to myself when I’m in Santo Domingo; since it’s no secret that anybody who can afford the cheap labor here has one. But there are a few things I’ll write about today that drive me absolutely crazy.

Waiting for the cleaning lady: so obviously you’re not going to give a perfect stranger the keys to your house (partly because you don’t know them and mainly because should anything happen, you have no idea where they live); but trying to guess what time they’re coming if they have no phone is insufferable. And god forbid you happen to be out when they finally arrive! If they are kind enough to wait, you won’t hear the end of it until they’re gone for the day.

Feeding the cleaning lady: but what really kills me is that one is somehow responsible for feeding the cleaning lady, as if for some reason I’m completely missing they can’t feed themselves. So, if you don’t happen to buy food for her, she’ll have to stop the cleaning so she can cook and god forbid you forget to tell her that of course she is welcome to use anything and everything she can find to cook with or eat: she’ll starve to death and then tell your sister.

The cleaning supplies: each cleaning lady has her supplies she’s comfortable cleaning with. God forbid you don’t buy the right brand of detergent or bleach: she’ll blame you for the cleaning not being as good and tell your sister.

The water all over the floor: yes, this is the Caribbean, so we have tile floors, which need sweeping and mopping but for crying out loud why do we need to “echar agua” twice a week?!! Something about not being able to walk around the house because the whole place is flooded with water from the cleaning lady puts me in a pissy mood.

The common sense, or should I say, lack of: dear lady, lots of problems do get solved by just mentioning them to me. For example, if you have to take the day off to register your son in school I really do understand. You don’t have to get here late and keep me waiting, then show up with your child and complain out loud that you will not be able to register him because you will not finish cleaning on time. School is first: house cleaning can really wait!

Now that I’m done with this rant, I’m off to cooking. The cleaning lady is hungry! 😛

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