Good Help is Impossible To Get

by Marinka on September 1, 2009

In the late 1990s, when our beloved Basset Hound Mavis was still alive, we had a dog walker. But even before that, we had to interview several people to find a reliable dog walker.

For reasons that I like to call “Husbandrinka’s difficult personality” it wasn’t going well. The qualities I looked for in a dog walker were along the lines of “has legs and can hold a leash” whereas Husbandrinka was clearly anticipating the terrorist assault on our country and wanted to make sure that the people we hired to drag our dog around the block would be able to pass all security clearance.

I remember interviewing two women, partners in a dog walking business. They sat in our living room and fielded questions from us.

Marinka: Mavis likes to pick up garbage on the street, can you like make sure that she doesn’t eat any?

Dog Walking Mavens: Yes, sure.

Marinka: Thanks. Because she can get really sick and throw up and shit everywhere. Nightmare. That’s good, though, if you can keep an extra eye. Honey, do you have any questions?

Husbandrinka: (reading through notes) Do you have insurance?

DWM: Insurance?

Husbandrinka: Liability insurance. (I’m assuming for those times when Mavis accidentally fell asleep on someone).

DMW: Well, we just incorporated our dog walking business.

Husbandrinka (eyes lighting up): You’re incorporated? Fantastic! Are you an INC or an LLC?

DMW: Err..

Husbandrinka: Just have the certificate of incorporation faxed to me when you get a chance. And the certificate of insurance.

Five minutes after leaving our apartment, these lovely ladies called me to say that they could not possibly work for us, although Mavis seemed like a darling. And I was a princess among women. They said nothing about Husbandrinka, but I didn’t have to be Newton to do the math on that one.

“You drove away potentially fantastic dog walkers!” J’accused Husbandrinka. “Now Mavis’ bladder will explode!” (Note: Mavis died a mere five years after that and due to what Husbanrinka referred to as “financial priorities”, an exhaustive autopsy was never performed).

“They were full of shit,” he told me. “No way did they incorporate. They were making it up.”

So, with this in mind, fast forward to The Present. (Not like The Gift, but like The Here and Now. Good grief, English is a confusing tongue.)

After many false starts, we have a new cleaning lady. She’s great in the sense that she cleans everything and I’m even willing to overlook that she folds our dirty laundry, instead of, you know, washing it. No one’s perfect.

Except she asked that I leave her notes and I’ve toyed with the following:

“Please clean the apartment!”


“A clean home is a happy home!”


“Thanks for cleaning our home. In exchange for money!”


“Better you than me!”

But the other day, I decided to add, “Please do not open the windows because Nicki may fall out and die! Thanks!”

Husbandrinka saw that and was all, “you’re going to drive our cleaning lady away and it took us forever to find her!” and I’m all, “Why would asking her not to open a window drive her away? We have air conditioning!” and he’s all “Cleaning ladies really like to open windows.”


Is this a really new fetish or something?

Also, I’m looking for good ideas for note fodder for the cleaning lady. But not “please do the laundry”. I don’t want to come on too strong.

One year ago ...

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