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29 January 2011

I'll be honest -

I'm not thrilled to be awake at 6.20 AM.  

I'm days behind on blog reading.  Maybe will catch up over the weekend.

I just had a funny dream.  I don't remember my dreams often.

Duane was an architect.  He and i were in his office.  He'd told me that he'd agreed to meet a client there because it was more convenient for her.  I guess he normally met clients in some corporate office a few miles away.

She came in and they talked a bit.  His desk (like his desk in real life only a little neater) had a ton of stuff on it, including a couple of dishes that had change in them.  One dish probably had $3 or $4 in dimes, nickels, and quarters.  As she was talking to Duane, she began rifling thru the change and dumping some of it, mostly quarters, into her purse.  She didn't make eye contact with either of us, and we stared at her with our mouths open.  

Finally, one of us asked, "Why did you put Duane's change in your purse?"

She looked up, surprised, and gave a garbled response, the gist of which was lost, but then she rather said, "That bothered you?  I can't believe it bothered you.  Why does that bother you?"

The time with her didn't end there, but i know that somehow Duane and i conveyed to each other that she would not be welcome in his office again, she would have to meet him at the corporate office.  

Then, somehow her grandchildren were there.  They were a boy and a girl of about 8 and 10.  They were totally out of control, running about the office, opening file cabinets and drawers.  I firmly closed one of the cabinets, saying to the child, "That is private."

The woman picked up a mock-up drawing that belonged to Duane and myself.  She began sticking it into the papers she was carrying.  "That belongs to us," i told her firmly.  She acted surprised, but gave it back to me. 

Duane and i communicated to each other that she definitely would never be welcome in his office again.

I decided to ignore the children, and found a pamphlet that was a catalog, but also had some sort of storyline in it.  Or i made one up.  The children asked what i was reading, and i began telling them the story.  It was sort of a morality-tale, about children behaving or mis-behaving, and getting what was coming to them.  

Then i woke up.

I had someone here yesterday to cook for us.  Her name is Holly.  I'm really pleased with what she did and the efficiency with which she works.  She made 3 lasagnas, 2 with meat and one without.  Also there was left-over spaghetti sauce (with meat) that would work for sloppy joes, too.  Also some meat made for tacos that we froze to use in the future.  

I commented on how quickly she worked and how pleased i was with it.  She then said, "Yes.  I work quick.  That's why i'd prefer to be paid by the job, not by the hour.  I could stretch this out to take more time, but that wouldn't be honest."

This really threw me for a loop.  I think what we are paying is eminently fair.  Also, i've since realized, i was comparing her work to the last person who was with us, and who didn't work out and whom we didn't have continue, NOT to the work Rebecca did.  I was very pleased with Rebecca's work, and she would have done about the same amount of work as Holly did yesterday, in the same time.  

I told her i don't think on my feet well, which is true.  Also that i completely understand her point about time.  However, it was my plan to pay her for 5 hours, and seeing the amount of food that she did in 2-1/2 hours (3 hours after clean up), it didn't look to me like five hours of pay.  I asked her if she thought the 5 hours of pay was a fair price for the work she did, and she agreed it was not.  

Duane and i discussed it, also.  We purchase the ingredients for the food, so we can't even compare it to purchasing prepared food at the store.  If i paid $8 for a lasagna from the meat store, they supply the ingredients.  I've been willing to pay her to come here and make the things for me from my ingredients, because i then can control what goes into the food that is made, and i KNOW it is healthier than anything we could purchase pre-made.  Also, it is hard to buy good quality gluten free items.

But also her comment about "by the job" made us look at what we are getting.  It was really probably not a good idea to draw our attention to this, because we realized that if we begin paying "by the job" it will definitely put a price on each meal she makes.  (I recognize that each meal has a price, regardless of how we see it.  However, that was not our thought process before, and i'd prefer not to go there.)  That brings our attention to it, and we said, well then, we might as well begin eating out for every meal for that price.  

This is apples and oranges, i realize.  No quality of food in a restaurant can compare to the quality of what we make at home.  Their ingredients are not grass-fed beef, bison, venison, and their ingredients are not organic. There is no Italian place in town where i can go get GF spaghetti, manicotti, or lasagna.  Also, i know, again, the quality of what they produce is not the same.  STILL, if our focus becomes the price of each meal we consume, we may be tempted to give up and eat out more.  

So, when i see her again, i think i will tell her the following.

1.  I understand her point about time, but when i said she was "quick" i was comparing her to the person we last had working - and she's not working for us anymore.  If Holly began taking more time to do the same work, i'd either have to drop the hourly wage, or stop having her come. 

2.  Because we purchase the ingredients for the food, we can't do a comparison of purchasing these foods pre-made.  If the focus becomes that of how many meals she prepares instead of giving her a fair wage for her time, then we may end up throwing all that out and eating our meals in restaurants instead of having it home prepared.  Because, frankly, it is very expensive to purchase high quality ingredients and then pay to have someone else prepare them.

3.  The hourly wage we pay her for her time is very fair and more than i ever made working hospital with a 4 year degree.  

So, yeah, i was a bit teed off when this came up (after, actually; i don't think things thru at the time very well).  But i'm still very pleased with the work she did, and i think it can still work out.  She's not lived in Big Bear for long, and it is possible that she won't stay long, either.  But i think it will work for while she is here.

The skies are clear, blue, and sunny.  But the weather forecast says we may get some more snow late Sunday and into Monday.


1 comment:

lisa said...

I love that picture of you two behind the dog house! So, funny. Dinners looked good.