Keeping it all together: Tales from an Innkeeper's crypt: Second in a series about Kari
This article in the second in a series about my housekeeper/assistant Kari, who has worked for me for a year. You can find the first article at: House for sale.
Besides being my housekeeper, Kari is also my assistant in the bed and breakfast. She asked me to teach her the business so she and her husband could buy it, along with the house. So I said okay. I've been doing that for a year now. But it aint goin' that well. Wait a minute...that's not exactly right. Some times it does go well. But I never know when those times will be, she's so inconsistent.
I knew from the moment I hired her that she was ADD, OCD, LD and also took medicine for depression. All of these affect your personality and work. But I never hesitated for a minute to hire her as she's bright, personable, easy to get along with, and I knew with her OCD she'd be really good at cleaning toilets. I figured, since I'd had experience as a learning specialist in Chicago, and with persons who were OCD, LD, BD and ED, I'd find a way of working with Kari.
Kari has problems with her memory, attention span, concentration, and making decisions. I figured, with a little guidance from me, she would function fairly well. And she does....most of the time. The trouble is that she's very inconsistent and needs a lot of checking up on. I need to be careful what I throw at her, especially when we're crunched for time as we frequently are at the bed and breakfast.
I too have some learning disabilities (LD) and a bit of ADD (attention deficit disorder); however I am totally aware of it and have worked on it for years, using it to my advantage. With Kari, she is aware that she functions a little differently from the norm, but she doesn't know what to do about it if it gets in the way. We're very busy at the bed and breakfast, so I need a lot of help which means I spend a lot of time with Kari.
It can get pretty crazy around here, especially when we have ten or so guests to take care of over a few days. We make a full breakfast and serve it in our dining room each morning, which is no easy task for this many people. I was doing all the cooking prior to hiring Kari, along with running the operation, the cleaning, the marketing, the buying and ordering of supplies and the reservations. Obviously I needed some one to help me. Kari was a culinary arts student at Sullivan University, which has one of the finest culinary arts schools in the nation.
I figured she must have pretty good skills for working in the kitchen. In fact, when I hired her she told me she did. She has since said repeatedly, she's learned more about cooking and baking from me in six months than she did in a year at Sullivan. I must say, I whipped her into shape pretty fast.....out of necessity, if nothing else.
When she started with me, she didn't know how to make Belgium waffles, omelets, decent scrambled eggs, baked french toast, quiches, or muffins....the mainstay of a B&B breakfast. I wondered just what they were teaching her at that school. But now, she can whip up all of these and serve them to the guests in record time.
Definitions (I know, I really hate labels too. But this is what the clinicians use. It just makes it easier to talk and write about).
OCD: obsessive compulsive disorder
LD: learning disabled
BD: behavior disordered
ED: emotionally disturbed
ADD: attention deficit disorder
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