Jillian R.
I looked at my last entry dated June 10 and am absolutely shocked that 3 months had zipped by. I really meant to write more but life sometimes get in the way. 

I'll run through some updates quickly; we went to Penang for a three-week visit, it was hot as hell every day whilst we were there then cooled off during the LAST three days of the trip, just to mess with me. I found myself sweating profusely ALL the time and running through a pack of tissue a day (which I'm not very proud of because tissues aren't exactly environmental friendly, are they?). Then, we came back to Abu Dhabi, expecting to move within a week but of course, just like most things in this part of the world, moving got delayed and we were stuck in our old apartment with boxes everywhere for an additional three weeks, the whole time worrying that the landlord would kick us out before our new place was ready, while I'm 8 months pregnant!

So finally, after all that we managed to move in to the new place just fine. It's in the 'burbs' so to speak, it's out of the city, away from people who hate dogs and walking them has been nothing short of normal - nobody barked at us or screamed or taunted them and of course, no crazy person tried to run us over with his motorcycle. Instead, we have street gardeners who actually smile pleasantly, people on the street who wave and kids who stop and ask what are the dogs' names. I know these are normal things to you, dear readers, but trust me, it certainly is NOT here. Apart from the people, it's a great community with beautiful greens and landscaping, not an easy feat in the middle of the desert!

Anyway, moving into a new place this late into the pregnancy meant that I would need lots of help unpacking and making the home baby-ready. So we're forced to hire a housemaid to help me while Eric goes to work. We found a nice girl who started working for us for about two and a half weeks now. The first week she came every morning and helped me put the house together, which I'm really thankful for because there was no way I was able to do it myself with my belly in the way. Plus lifting things probably wasn't a good idea anyway.

My issues began the second week of her working for us. I have very high standards when it comes to cleaning my home. First of all, I have two dogs, which means there is fur everywhere and with the baby's impending arrival, the need for everything to be clean is even more crucial than ever! I never wanted to be the kind of person who stands over her maid and watches her every move, so I told her what needed to be done and left her to it. Then last weekend, I decided to vacuum and clean my house myself - which was when I discovered the most horrendous things (apart from some of the horrendous things I already saw her do while working)!

- She never vacuumed or mopped under the bed
- The vacuum dust bin (I use a bagless vacuum) was never emptied, so it was filled to the brim with fur, so I have no idea how it managed to suck in more fur and dust
- I see her mopping in circular motions and although I didn't think it was an issue before, after I mopped, my mopping water was the color of milk tea. So the floors were never really cleaned
- I also happened to see that instead of the half bucket of water I told her to use for mopping, she uses a QUARTER of an already small bucket, so the mop was never submerged fully in the water
- She never rinsed out the bucket, so it was covered in a layer of sand and dust
- The wet rags she used to dust and clean were left to fester and breed bacteria although I told her specifically never to leave wet rags to fester and breed bacteria

... among other things.

I really can't afford the time to train another maid so I've decided to just stick with this one and provide her better training. So when she came by last Monday, I gave her a notepad and a pen and told her very nicely of course what needs to be done, all over again. While she appeared to be paying attention to the things I was saying, she NEVER TOOK ANY NOTES!! Then, here comes the icing on the cake, before she left, she asked me if I wanted her to put my vacuum cleaner dust bin, y'know, the one with all the dust, sand and fur remnants INTO my DISHWASHER once a month or so to clean!!! I get it, she means well, but really?! Dust bin, dishwasher?!! All I could say at the time was "WHAT? Why? NO!!" Oh, she apparently does it in some of the other households she works for.

This is my vacuum cleaner by the way. The bin has a total of THREE parts - the bucket, a mesh filter and an inner HEPA type filter, one just needs to rinse it with soapy water, and voila, done! Why does it need to go into the dishwasher?! I just washed it myself, it took all of TWO minutes.

I must be honest, I'm very disturbed by this. Will update again soon, with I'm sure, more misadventures.

Note: I feel that I have to clarify, I don't feel as if just because we can afford to a hire a maid (whom I'm not very proud to say, are quite reasonably priced here), she has to cater to my every whim and fancy, I don't think it is unreasonable to want a certain level of cleanliness and hygiene in my own home. Having said that, despite all my ranting I still treat my maid with respect, and I always made sure that her well being comes first.

"Don't you know how hard it is to find good help?" - Adrian Powell, Devious Maids

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