A moment of crisis (not mine!)

Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Spain  ,
Monday, August 21, 2006

Let me try to explain what my job entails. I am honestly not supposed to do anything other than play with the children and speak to them in English. I don't cook, clean, do laundry, make beds, nothing. I clean my own room and bathroom, and wash my laundry, but that's as far as it goes. And not because I haven't tried to do things, rather when I have it has been made clear to me by the parents and the housekeepers that it is not my job. Which creates an interesting situation, because I am not family, but I eat at the table with the family, and am served my meals by the housekeepers. Yet I am technically an employee to. And I am allowed to make use of the house as if it were mine: I can swim in the pool, watch TV if I want, help myself to whatever food, drive the car with permission etc. The housekeepers are a different story. I have never seen either of them in the pool, even on their time off. They will only sit in the living room if the parents are out of the house, and even then infrequently. And even if the whole family is out of the house, they still have jobs to do cleaning and preparing food. Whereas if they kids are out of the house, and I am not with them, I literally have nothing to do. And part of my "job" is to be with the kids, so if they are going to play padel, or out on the boat, or to the beach, most times I am supposed to go with them! So a typical scene each day is me walking out the door in my bathing suit, sarong and sunglasses, while the two housekeepers (hk's for short) in their uniforms are vacuuming, ironing or cooking. Extremely weird!

So the other day the two hk's were out somewhere, and in the house were me, the kids, the mom, some friends and their mom. Usually when there are guests over some snacks are put out (by the hk's of course!), but there was no one to do it. It was the funniest thing! The mom announced that it was time for a snack, and then looked up and realized that there was no one there to make it....she kind of looked around the room, lost, for a moment. And then, light bulb! She zoomed in on me. She asked me if I would "help" her for a moment, which of course I did most willingly, because so little is often asked of me. Once we got to the kitchen, of course "help" meant she would tell me what to prepare, and then I would bring it out and serve it! Let me reiterate that I had absolutely no problem doing this, in fact I am more comfortable doing that than sitting chatting with their friends. I just thought it was interesting that a moment of panic for her is not having someone around to put out a snack for her guests! Like I said before, different worlds.
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