I did it. Finally. Screwed up the courage to tell M that her services were no longer required. And it has taken me exactly four months to do so.
M our cook, landed up on the very day we moved here. And from then on, apart from cooking extremely mediocre meals, has been a source of constant torment to me. Each morning I'd wait for her to turn up and make my breakfast or rather A's breakfast since he like elaborate ones and not the plain milk and cereal sort. I'd arrive home late from work, dead tired, crawl in to bed, sleep uneasily with my never ending job lists haunting me and crawl out bleary eyed next morning. As the minutes would tick past and the clock inch towards 9 when my cab would arrive, I'd start making A's breakfast. On a good day, M would turn up just as I would enter the kitchen and on a bad day (which was more often the case) just after I'd finish making A's breakfast. I would have minutes if not seconds to spare and rush without giving M a piece of my mind and of course, sans breakfast.
She did turn up early, well before 9...but only on weekends, when I would be really loathe to leave my bed early.
She'd never remember the recipes and finish cooking (irrespective of the number of dishes) in less than an hour and leave with the kitchen tap dripping, lights and exhaust fan on, the kitchen a mess. But I couldn't complain. Work swallowed up most of my time.
If I am sounding mean, I am not. I let her take a day off whenever she wanted to or if she said she was not well. And more over we often spend the weekends with our in-laws and was OK with her flexi timings.
Recently, I quit my job (Yes, I have quit), and now had the time to supervise her.
"Why are you late?"
"Well you are home now, so I can come in a bit late", meaning What's the fuss? You can make the breakfast can't you?
"Don't drop the peels on the floor", I tell M.
"J hasn't come today has she?", referring to the other maid who does the floors, and continues to drop peels on the floor.
Each morning, the same thing. M with her face an unreadable mask and me sounding like a nagging stuck record.
Recently friends were coming for lunch. So I'd ask M to chop up veggies after she made the breakfast. I could begin the cooking lunch and M when she returned could do the rest. When she turned up three hours later, I had finished two dishes. She took one look at the uncooked bhindis and said, "Three hours and you haven't done the bhindis yet?"
Just after I quit my job, A and I went for a seven day trip to MP. Before leaving, I told both M and J to check at 10 on the day we were returning. J dutifully did. M sauntered in at 1. By that time, I had ofcourse finished cooking lunch.
"What"?, I asked her angrily.
"What do I cook?"
"Nothing, I have finished".
"OK", she leaves, cool as a cucumber.
She turns up at 12 one day.
"Why didnt you come earlier"?
"Here I am", (ignoring my comment).
"Yes I can see that. But why so late"?
"Oh, I overslept".
You get the picture. After much internal debating, I told her not to come any more.
J, the other maid, tells me the next day, M has found three new jobs. And she is getting paid really well.
And she reminds me again the next day.
I retain my cool and say that is really, really good.
And then she tells A, "Madam is so nice. She is doing all the cooking herself and is saving you money". Argh!
And finally, today, she has a ring side view of my cooking episode involving lots of lal saag, worms, my hysteria and her eventually rescuing me from it. Bet she and M are having a nice laugh.