The ‘choice’ 27/09/2010

How many candidates turned up and how did the interview go off, asked my husband (he was referring to the interview I conducted to select a part-time help).

Well, there were three of them and it was a harrowing  experience interviewing them, I said.

Have you appointed one or not, he asked with concern.

Well, I am not able to decide, I said.

Do you mean to say you found none of them suitable? Why don’t you tell me more in detail so that I will decide for you, he offered.

OK. The first candidate stated her terms even before I could state mine. It appeared she worked in three apartments by the hour. She didn’t “mind” working for me exactly for an hour provided I release her promptly at the end of it.

He let out a deep sigh.

The second one was smarter than the first. She said she didn’t believe in taking up more than she could chew. She offered to work “only” for me if I paid her “a good” salary.

What did she mean by saying “a good salary”? Don’t you think good is a relative term, said my husband.

Hold your breath, she wanted Rs 2,000 per month and the perks.

Did she mention them?

Yes, a good breakfast, lunch and a weekly holiday plus a yearly bonus of double her salary. She says what  she mentioned is very reasonable because people living in independent houses can easily afford to pay the salary she quoted and the perks.

It is ridiculous, even corporates will not be convinced of such logic, he remarked.

What about the third candidate? Was she any better, he said, and I knew he had already ruled out the first two.

The third looked too old and too frail. I thought she needed someone to take care of her than the other way round, I said , quite exasperated.

I have a bright idea, he exclaimed after a long pause.

What is it, I asked eagerly.

Do you really need a part time maid ?  he asked  stressing on really.

Yes, of course, you don’t expect me to do the household work all by myself, do you, I said surprised.

What if it fetches you Rs 10,000? Will you then consider the offer, he asked looking straight at me.

Give me some time to decide, I said.

N .Meera raghavendra rao


9 thoughts on “The ‘choice’ 27/09/2010

  1. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

    Accept the offer, I would suggest. Seriously however, we have to consider the costs & benefits of each decision — whether to employ a domestic help and pay them the market rate and conserve our body energies for more creative pursuits even if the monetary returns are less than the costs of hiring a domestic help or accept the offer of Rs. 10,000, do all the back-breaking chores which might as a pay-off improve your health,joint mobility and spinal flexibility and forget about writing & journalistic pursuits and spend that money on shopping for your dresses, footwear, electronic gizmos like blackbery and entertain your friends at restaurants. So which is better ?! It all depends on what you value more : money or freedom to actualize your potential.

    The sudden twist at the end of the skit is hilarious. Maybe your husband wants you to be more active to improve your health. Or he might have some other hidden agenda ! Like a spouse who is too tired to insist on going out in the evenings when the hubby would like to be a couch potato !

    1. meera rao

      None of the reasons mentioned appeal to me to accept my husband’s offer however tempting it might be.Engaging oneself in intellectual and literary activities is more rewarding ,though not in monetary terms!

  2. V Raghavan

    No point in doing the cleaning work yourself. You should confine yourself to cooking. This way you will have freedom to eat out whenever you want. With efficient time management, you would have enough time to do your literary activities.

    I pay Rs. 1500 per month for vacuum cleaning the house and doing the vessels. All seven days, no food and one month salary as Diwali bonus. The clothes are washed in the machine and the maid just hangs them once in five days. There is a cook in addition, salary Rs 3000, all seven days, no food and one month bonus. Both of them finish their work in about an hour. Of course, there is less work in my house.

    1. meera rao

      Having a cook doesn’t mean you will not have the freedom to eat out whenever you want/prefer because you can always ask her to take the food she prepares ,in order to have a taste of her own medicine!

    2. I have three maids working for me part time whom I named as cyclone, tornado and the psunami.The first sweeps the compond and does the kolam, the other washes the vessels, sweeps and swobs the house, the third does the vessels in the afternoon and washes clothes. All their work put together adds up to less than an hour. I keep telling them four maids work in my house, the fourth ofcourse is me tying up all the loose ends at the end because efficiency and speed don’t go together.

  3. bharati nair

    No way! How would you have time for your blog and other activities? One has to set one’s priorities whatever the monetary incentives.You may have to ‘adjust’ but get someone please.

  4. meera rao

    Ha, a woman’s perspective indeed! Thanks. Yes, a maid is quite indispensible when we have better things to do .The choice in the present “maids” scenario is either to abide by the timings of an honest maid or a dishonest one who is too ready to abide by our timings.My neighbour had engaged one belonging to the second category who disappeared within a week along with the diamond studs of her mistress!

    1. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

      You are spot on about the dishonest maids. So many cases of stealing in my friend’s houses. It is perhaps better to have a maid who is inefficient and untimely but honest. Reminds me of Devika Rani’s maid in Bangalore. Devika Rani had hundreds of beautiful paintings done by her husband, the internationally famous Russian Painter Svetoslav Roerich, settled in India since the 1920s. When Devika Rani was bedridden before her death, the maid transferred all those paintings to her own house and also stole almost all the jewels of her mistress. When the police questioned her after the death of DR, she said that DR had given all that in recognition of her services as a caretaker for so many years.

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