Broken dishes: Tales from an Innkeeper's crypt: Third in a series about Kari

This article in the third in a series about my housekeeper/assistant Kari, who has worked for me for over a year. You can find the first article at: House for sale and the second at Keeping it All Together

Kari and I were shampooing the carpet and furniture in one of the guests rooms and had moved a humongous glass coffee table into the adjoining room. I leaned the glass from the top of the table against the love seat so it wouldn't get broken. For some reason Kari pushed against the other end of the love seat and the glass started to fall. We both ran to catch it.

We succeeded in saving the glass, but the love seat was pushed too near the doorway, so Kari decided to push it back the other way. She gave it a hard shove. The sofa slammed against my beautiful grecian floor lamp at the other end shattering the white porcelain shade and denting the lamp base, another thing to add to the long list of things she has broken or destroyed in my B&B. I was so upset I sent her into the other room to shampoo the white sofa.

When I walked into the room, there she was taking the cover off of one of the bolsters. I had distinctly told her not to, as they are too hard to get back on. She said she was going to wash the covers in the washing maching. Why would you do that when you can't put the whole sofa in the washing machine too? If you did, the result would be bolster covers a different color than the sofa. She quickly stuffed the bolster back into the cover, cotton batten and all. Of course it didn't go back in smoothly. It'll never be the same. It's all crumpled and ripply looking along the top where it had been smooth before. Now it doesn't match the other one.

After kari leaves each day, I check the rooms that she says she completed and ready for "check-in." There is always something undone, done wrong, not finished, or missing. She will forget one of the drinking glasses or robes. She will leave the windex bottle or a large roll of paper toweling in the middle of the room. A pillow case might be missing from one of the pillows on the bed or she will mix up the five towels that should be in the room and put two different kinds of towels on the rack so they don't match.

She's taken window shades down and put them back up backwards. She leaves laundry in the washer and dryer and dishes in the dishwasher after I've told her not to. She burned tons of muffins and cookies and has broken dishes, glasses, an electric can opener, and a waffle iron. And she always comes, to work late.

So why do I keep her? I really like her. And I have always been sensitive to people who have the kind of learning and cognitive problems she has. She is very bright, so I can imagine how very frustrating it is for her to keep making mistakes, forgetting, and having trouble problem solving. She keeps trying though and she has a good spirit. I really admire that about her. And my guests love her.

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Comments 21 comments

BetsyIckes profile image

BetsyIckes 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

Very Nice story. I loved it!

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio

Wow, Nancy, what a lot of patience you have, lol...

But I understand how it is to like someone enough that you can overlook their shortcomings--Kari is lucky to be able to call you her friend and employer!

Is she still going to buy the business from you?

Thanks for an enjoyable hub! :)


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Your hub is the first one I opened from the ones waiting for me to read, as I was curious about the continuation of the adventures with Kari. :) You have patience and understanding, Kari is blessed to have an employer like you.

Enjoyed your hub!

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

@Betsy Thanks for the nice comment and glad you enjoyed the hub

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

@Tamcor: Yeah, she and her husband are buying the business and the property. They finally put their house up for sale a couple of weeks ago, so I have to wait until they sell theirs before I can buy one in Austin (TX). I'm really looking forward to not working 12 hours a day 7 days a week and just writing.

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

@VioletSun: Well, it helps to have been a learning disability consultant and teacher. I really have a good understanding of ADDH and OCD, as well as how individuals learn and the best way to work with them and impart knowledge. Never realized how much my teaching and consulting years would help me in the bed and breakfast. Thanks for the comment.

jo ann 6 years ago

Love the story are there more. Nancy weren't you a teacher in early life or am I thinking of someone else.

Forgiving Kari is something a teacher would do and seeing her short comings is a plus for you.

I put a big purple plum in your hat for that

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

jo ann...Yes, I was a teacher for 30 years in Chicago and worked with students who were ADHD and OCD, and had behavioral and learning problems. There are more stories. Look up at the beginning of this article and you'll see links to two others concerning the same person in the first paragraph. Click on my picture to find more articles on other subjects and poetry. Thanks for asking.

BrianS profile image

BrianS 6 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

Sounds like my wife!!! Only joking.

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

Very funny. Better not let her hear you say that. LOL Thanks for the funny comment...or maybe it's not so funny.

FashionFame profile image

FashionFame 6 years ago from California

Ver nice story. I enjoyed your hub.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

You are very patient. I hope the business works for her.

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

@FF: Thanks for your comment. So glad you enjoyed the hub.

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

@Ivorwen: Well, I guess you finally learn to be patient when you get to be my age. I think Kari will be fine. She has made some great strides lately. Just realized she's been with me for 16 months now and I can see that she's learned a lot. Her planning and organizational skills have really improved. And, in this business, that's a big plus.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

alek - I myself am a cleaning lady and always worry about screw ups. It's a tough job and I must say that every single person I have worked for has been kind and considerate. You sound like a lovely employer.

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

Well, Dolores, I appreciate your saying that and wish that were always the case. But, in all honesty, being a workaholic and perfectionist and a top notch housecleaner myself, I can be a pretty tough task master. :=)

ralwus 6 years ago

Now you know you are a good writer dear. I enjoyed this, is she color blind maybe? Now I am certain you can do fiction and you did pretty well with the last I read on that. My Word is messed up and must find time on my wife's PC to finish my good stuff. My hubs I can do with Wordpad. See ya later, much love, Charlie

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

Yes, I know about my writing skills LOL but thanks anyhow Charlie, dear curmudgeon. No, Kari is not color blind LOL. She's ADHD and OCD. How's that for sterotyping? I really hate labeling, but it's so much easier than having to write it out.

ralwus 6 years ago

Ineresting. Hey I was wondering if you are all prepared for the up and coming Derby? Burgoo for you?

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

No burgoo. We're going the more sophistocated route.

Cocktail party tonight: Brie en Croute, fresh shrimp with a great cocktail sauce, spinach and feta cheese hors dourvres, Boursin cheese with cranberry chutney, artichoke dip with chunks of French bread and Derby Pie slices. To drink: Mint Juleps and or choice of wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, or Rose.

Saturday (Derby day) we're having a Champagne brunch with mimosas, Grand Marnier French Toast, Herbed eggs, Sausage and bacon, fresh mixed fruit bowl, croissants, two kinds of muffins and Freshly ground French Roast/European blend coffee.

Are you jealous?

ralwus 6 years ago

Yes! LOL Very much so, but no Scotch? Shocking! Now I am most hungry. hehe

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