I've posted before on the topic of maids so you know how I feel about it. That said, this past week my neighbor told me she had a woman come clean her whole apartment for 50LE. She said she did a great job and finished in like 5 hours. I thought hey, that would be great. So I contact the cleaning lady and set up a time and day and right away, I start to regret it.
I kept wondering: What is the protocol here? Do I de-clutter and tidy up first? Do I make small talk? Feed her? I was stressing out. My neighbor made it seem like I had to hide all my stuff and lock it away or any cleaning woman would want it/steal it or just feel bad. I was like, whatever.
The night before the woman who was supposed to come called me and said she had a toothache and couldn't come but she would send her relative and that she was very good and very trustworthy. I was like alright. 8 am? 50LE? Yep? OK.
8 am today rolls around and no cleaning lady.9 am finally the doorbell chirps. I let her in and she looks so young. I told her to sit and rest from the stairs and gave her some water. I asked her how old she was and she said 15. FIFTEEN! I was like. Ummmmm I didn't sign up for this. I told her I thought an older woman was coming. She looked down and said she was very good and that I would like her a lot. I felt so bad for her. She already took public transport to get here and I figured she/they need the money. So I told her the plan and we got to work.
She said she'd start with the kitchen. While she washed dishes for an hour I dusted the whole apartment. Then she moved on to wiping down the cabinets. And I washed the walls and doors. Basically I cleaned the house and she helped out. She was pretty slow and didn't' clean very well. Could I blame her? She's a kid! She was enthralled by the vacuum though.
I really felt bad for this girl. She should be in school but sadly, many poor families have their children work to make money instead of going to school and learning. She asked me twice if I knew anyone who needed housecleaning. I told her I'd call her mom if I did. You see her mom called to check on her when she wasn't back yet at 3. I told her she was just about done and when she asked how she was I said she is very nice but still very young. So she finished up and I paid her and figured she'd be on her way. It was almost 4 pm by now. She didn't want to eat so she just sat there after she finished her sprite. I don't know why she just sat there or what she was waiting for. It was awkward. I asked her if something was wrong. She said no. So I told her not to keep her mom waiting.
NOW, I am totally off the idea of anyone cleaning my apartment but me. I thought the help would be good but I could have done it better and faster. I have a small place so I can handle it, for now.
I gave her an extra 10 LE for helping me wash a rug and I unloaded a bunch of old clothes, shoes and some half empty shampoos/lotions and stuff on her. She seemed pleased. She thought I wanted her to come weekly but I told her that it was just a one time thing and thanked her.
Seriously it was so weird to have this young girl cleaning in my house. I'm old enough to be her mother. I felt so bad.