Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Succumbing to a mild bout of salmonella?

Succumbing to a mild bout of salmonella?
18 December 2012

I am blissfully spoilt with a marvellous domestic worker, whom I love more than Grant – seriously.  Now I am not scared of a bit of housework and am happy to jump in and help, but particularly over the weekends, the kids get roped in too.  They have turns to do dishes, tidy the lounge, table duty, turd patrol in the garden, feed the dogs, etc.  All character building you see and the fact that it lessens my workload is of course a marvellous by-product.

But does it really lessen my workload?  Does it?  Are they really all that helpful?  Tidying the lounge is always a half-hearted attempt.  Setting of the table inevitably leads to a call back.  Things are dumped and plonked down haphazardly.  And they are often called back because “the table has not been set with love” and “I don’t see the love” or “I don’t feel the love with this table”.  Yes, I know – I’m very hard work.  My boys’ wives will thank me for this one day and Amber will terrorize her children in the same manner.

When it comes to feeding the dogs, they are often led by their hearts.  And tend to overfeed out of love, compassion and concern.  No amount of explaining about an adequate food supply and tendencies towards obesity in dogs make any impression.  And inexplicably, Cole always needs a shower after doing turd patrol.  Yes, I’m sure you understand exactly why.  Somehow or other he always gets “dirty” and very often “mysteriously” trips.

But if there is one area and one area alone where they truly excel, it is the washing of dishes duty.  Well, when I say excel, I am quite obviously being sarcastic.  Because their mediocrity and dedication to poor service delivery is astounding.  They put their all into it.  Or should I say their nearly bugger-all.  Oh, they do it alright.  That’s not the problem.  It is the quality of their workmanship that is the problem.  When they are done, inevitably the last of the dishes are still in the rinsing water, the counters have not been wiped down, the washing up water looks like a dreadful and deadly unpalatable soup-gone-wrong and everything is coated with a thin greasy film.  It is as if they’re actively inviting salmonella into our home.

But perhaps this is their master plan?  Because I think that they think if they do a bad enough job, I simply won’t ask them to help out again.  Hah!!!  But I am on to them.  I was once a kid too and know their conniving, manipulative and clever ways.  So, to offset their evil machinations, I have a fail proof system in place.  When they are not looking and are otherwise occupied, I tend to be forced to rewash again.  It’s not the control freak in me doing it (much).  It is the looking-out-for-my-family-hygiene side of me.  It does also seem to lessen my gag reflex when I want to use a plate and cutlery that they have just “washed”.

But do I let them off the hook completely and simply wash everything myself from the very beginning?  Of course not.  That would defeat the whole purpose.  They have to help and do their little bit.  No one gets a free ride and we all lend a hand.  So perhaps my hands are better at getting the job done, but that is not important.  However, what is important, is making them feel like they’re needed and helpful and giving a contribution.  Like their hands are also needed.

I gently try and guide them towards ensuring everything is washed and rinsed properly, yet I praise them for their efforts, irrespective of the outcome.  But on the odd off chance that they’re trying to pull one over me, I’ll keep my eyes open and watch them like hawks.

After all succumbing to either a mild or more virulent strain of salmonella doesn’t really fill me with joy.  Because who will be left to clean up?  Moi!

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