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

Updated on April 7, 2010

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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