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Keeping it all together: Tales from an Innkeeper's crypt: Second in a series about Kari

Updated on March 21, 2010

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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    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks RC, appreciate the comment. I got my sense of humor from my grandmother. She used to have all of us rolling on the floor.

    • rosecobra profile image

      rosecobra 8 years ago

      I love your wicked sense of humor,lol. Keep it up.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks for comment. I'm really not going to start the memoir until i move to Austin, probably this summer.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      This sounds all very interesting. I wish you good luck with this.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      OK Ms Dependable, seems like you've learned to live with it. And I know what you mean about accepting people "where" they are.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Oh as well as can be expected - he has just been a challenge to raise and watch 'mature' - he is 34 in a few days actually has been more challenging BY FAR than my blind fellow! It is just sad because you see so much potential; he is a fantastic person and has so much to offer but he gets lost somehow. He thinks he is normal so I guess that would be the rub. Anyhow - don't want to bemoan my sorry tales of life when you are trying to deal with your own misery. I have just learned that with certain people, you can't count on more than what you see at that moment. That is hard for me because I am Ms. Dependable - and I have a cape and tights to prove it!

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      OMG sounds awful. I know it must have been hard on you. Is he managing ok now? Thanks for all the comments.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Oh my - I'm thinking to myself you poor probably does help that she has OCD when it comes to cleaning toilets (or polishing the dials off your stove....still haven't forgotten that one) oh man. Our oldest boy has ADD and I honestly think after 30+ years, I STILL haven't gotten over it - it about killed us both. If he had anything else wrong with him (although he does have some addiction problems which is a real neat add-on), I'd probably be dead. Do you think you will survive it all? I'm thinking about you!


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