For 2 weeks now I have help with the cleaning in the house and it's a great relief. Her name's Ir, in her 40s, she's a Russian from Ukraine and she's living with an Italian guy who works for Enel (electricity company).
Ir's very friendly and cheerful and works fast. Pretty talkative too. Unfortunately, she's not as attentive as I would like her to be when it comes to the spider webs and she has this big thing for reorganising and redecorating the house - meaning that you cannot find anything once she has finished cleaning the house. Things have thus far moved from the kitchen to the dining room and from one bathroom to another. And S, a mom from school who used to hire her, told me just moments ago that Ir used to move her things from bedroom to salon, from kitchen to garage etc etc. Well, there are people who like to arrange things and people who don't (like me).
I've had cleaning ladies in France and in Germany and none has this gutso that she has when it comes to opening drawers and looking through wardrobes and cupboards. There isn't one drawer that she hasn't opened. She has even managed to find hangers that I had hidden in the Babies' wardrobe for a rainy day, taken them out and used them to hang the Hub's shirts - all without even a by-your-leave. But on the positive side, she's proactive and doesn't need to be told what to do.
The Hub adores her because he goes for the house-is-tidy thing. It doesn't matter that nobody can find anything anymore. He even wanted to know if she's cute.
As I've mentioned earlier, I was talking to S and she told me that Ir has worked for quite a number of expatriate families in Modena and almost all of them has been burglared. She was pretty sure that Ir never stole while she was cleaning the house, but it was nonetheless curious that the houses that were burglared during her absence all had clean jobs to them.
One family gave her a key and the burglar(s) apparently did their job leaving no sign of a break-in, for example.
S' house was broken into when she was away playing tennis one morning. The burglars drilled through her kitchen door and walked straight to her safe. Even the Police was amazed that they came with tools to drill out her safe (apparently not a common thing even here in burglary-rife Italy). They didn't touch anything else. They just knew where her safe was and where her little bits of everyday jewellery (in a drawer in another room) were. They really didn't touch anything else - curious, no?
K was pretty sure that "she is the link to many robberies of expat houses in the neighborhood. My advice would be to keep away from her".
But I'm so desperate for a cleaning lady. C (who introduced her to me) said the same thing and has apparently refused to tell her hubby about S' house being broken into out of fear of having to fire Ir!
In any case, I believe in being fair. There are suspicions about her being linked to burglaries but no one has ever caught her red-handed. Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise. And I like her, she's cheerful, kind and not cynical even though she's had a hard life before.
Besides, there's nothing to steal in my house. I've only got Ikea furniture and lots and lots of food, clothes and shoes. My jewellery I'm going to bring them everywhere with me in my panty.