help(er) please…

in fusion we had the privilege and the stress of having a helper.  lest you think i’m complaing about having a helper let me begin by explaining why having one was such a privilege.

first of all it was quite humbling for someone to be willing to work for us.  especially when communication is limited by my inability to convey my thoughts concisely and often times, accuretly.  it was also an awesome privilege for the simple fact that someone was willing to do so many of the tasks that i typically loathe.  such as dishes and toilets.

at the same time, having someone in your home, even if they are making your life a bit more bareable is stressful.  being a “my home is my sanctuary” kinda gal i don’t like people meandering through my home all the time.  especially when i feel the need to rest.

so it was when we moved back to the east side that i decided that the stress didn’t outweigh the conveniences that having a helper brought to my life.  i remember specifically telling jarod i didn’t want a stranger in our home.

but jarod, being a bit more realistic than myself, came home one day to say that while he and sterling were out a fruitseller fell in love with sterling and subsequently asked him if he needed a helper.  after a very brief conversation we went together to visit her.  jarod immediately began negotiating with her.  i, on the other hand, didn’t feel as comfortable with her.  but i truly felt trusting jarod over my feelings was more important in this case.

needless to say, on the appointed day for her to begin working for us a friend came along (huh?) and as i tried to explain how/why we do things a certain way (hot water & soap for dishes please) the lady we had “hired” would literally walk away.  at one point she even went and sat down while her friend, taking the initiative began practicing doing some of our housework and cheering the “helper” on that it was easy.  then the friend turned to us and said that the original lady wanted more money.  we were baffled.  so while we were trying to figure out what was going on our so-called helper put on her shoes and walked out the door.  her friend/negotiator/manipulator followed.

in truth, i felt totally violated.  a stranger, begging for a job, came in our home… then deemed me unworthy.  it was a horrible feeling that took well over a week to shake.

needless to say, i was a bit gunshine afterwards.  so it wasn’t until after liberty was born that i realized that i really did need a helper.  while at the guest house a sweet lady came in every couple of days to sweep, do the dishes and make the beds.  her visits usually lasted 45 minutes.  it was heavenly.  so, when we recieved an email asking if we’d be interested in a “pre-trained helper for foreigners” who was currently looking for work jarod reserved her services right away.

her first day of work was to be the day we returned to our “home, home” with liberty.  unfortunately, upon entering our home we were surprised to see some of our “biggies” left undone – mainly the dusty floors.  over the course of a month our new helper was only able to come a handful of times.  and though this was inconvenient, it wasn’t detrimental.  eventually though she stopped showing up all together.  not even a phone call.  in this culture it’s not uncommon to be indirect so we calculated all the signs and determined that she didn’t want to and/or couldn’t work for us.  so jarod called to ask her to return our key.  she promised she’d come to work the next week.  again, she was a no show.  and her cell number was no longer working.

at this point i was feeling quite put out with her as we had given her 3 outs… the first out was when we asked her to come 3 days a week instead of 2.  she could have simply said “no.”  the second out was when we gave her a key.  to us, and most people, that’s the equivelent of saying we really want to make this permanent.  and the third out was when we called her and instead of admitting whatever the problem was/is she promised to return to work the following week.

eventually my frustration turned to anger.  which was fueled by my increasing feelings of exhaustion.  so as the clothes piled up and there seemed to be an endless supply of dirty dishes i became increasingly agitated that i couldn’t keep up with the maintenance of the house (primarily floors, clothes & kitchen), much less accomplish the many projects impatiently awaiting my attention.  thankfully jarod put a stop to my increasing anger as we spent last sunday afternoon organizing all the clothes and bins in the house.  it was a huge relief to have a place for everything and everything in its place!

proof of our need

proof that even in the midst of chaos, life must go on… so you might as well make it fun!

so after surrendering to our current circumstances jarod gave our so-called helper a call and she instantly offered to return our key.  thank you.  it’s nice to no longer be strung along.  then jarod called a helper service.  his attempt to meet a potential helper and sign a contract didn’t exactly play out as expected… as the helper wasn’t at the office when he got there, but the service said they’d send her to our place when she does arrive.  several hours later the introductory lady and the helper-to-be showed up at our place.  of course, the house (and i) looked like a wreck ’cause i didn’t really expect anyone to come.  all in all we’re feeling pretty good about the lady who’s supposed to start on monday.  nice thing about using a service is we have a buffer if things don’t work out.  naturally, this ‘protection’ works both ways.  even so, i’m excited at the possibilities… and the probability of a cleaner house!

as with most things here, there’s no guarantees… but hopefully we’ll be enjoying the privilege of having a helper very soon!

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4 thoughts on “help(er) please…

  1. Wow. We’ve had some helper run around too. This post inspires me to write one of my own. My initial thought with the fruit seller is that maybe she thought the job would involve playing with the kids. When she thought through it, she wanted more money??? I’ve ALWAYS had people come to our home with a friend. Over CNY, Shi Ayi called me up out of the blue and asked if she could come back to work. She starts Monday. There’s pros and cons. But I’m thankful to have some help.

  2. Hope you can get some help soon. It makes a HUGE difference in the time you are able to spend with the children and the hubs. The stress of having someone there (especially in the beginning) is hard, but in the end it is well worth it when you are able to have a clean house and some help with other tasks. My suggestion…start with a minimal amount and then expand duties and time as you see fit. Looking forward to the updates!

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