Thursday, May 05, 2011

We have ourselves a situation

I've had the sense over the last month or so that things in my house are going missing.

Nothing big, but things like a spoon, that kind of thing.

I mentioned this to Julia last night when we were emailing each other and she said something like "trust your instincts; that's what they're there for". Good advice.

This week I asked N (cleaning lady) to change the bedding to winter sheets (I bought a new duvet and pillows on the weekend) and to put on the green winter continental pillowcases.

When I got home on Tuesday, there were white pillowcases with green trim (summer cotton ones).

I thought, "obviously she misunderstood" and so this evening I got up in my cupboard to get the correct ones so I could change them.

They weren't in the spot I'd last seen them.

I bought new, moss-green winter ones at the end of winter last year and so they haven't been used yet and are/ were still in their plastic cases from Mr P Home.

About 6 - 8 weeks ago, I climbed up in that same cupboard to "straighten it out" as it was a mess (for me) and saw them there, still in their cases.

So when I couldn't find them tonight, I went berserk (do you also go crazy if you can't find something?) and ripped EVERYthing out of the cupboard so my bed was FULL of sheets, duvets, etc.



this is how I took the pics - hanging on with one hand and leaning back

bit of a close-up

It is now beautifully organised but still those things are nowhere to be found.

Then I thought, maybe I'm in fact going mad (I hate this feeling) and so I went berserk again.

I went through every drawer and cupboard that houses linen in this whole house looking for those green pillowcases.


Again, everything else is decluttered and tidied but no pillowcases.

I also have a sneaking suspician about a duvet cover but I may have given that one to my mother so I will check first. Still it's strange I have the pillowcases and continental pillowcases for that set but no duvet. Hmmm.

So now what do I do?

I am so not in the mood for firing and rehiring people although I promised myself the last time (2009) that I would not be a softie next time around.

It's not the value of the pillowcases (R80 each) but the principle behind the whole thing.

I asked D and he says, "do you really want to make a big deal about this? maybe it's your memory?" until I explained that I have searched EVERYWHERE.

And he knows when I go wild, I go WILD!

The only thing I did tonight was cook, have 1 30-minute coaching session, eat and look for these darn things/ organise linen.

Which is two wasted hours of my life I can never get back.

LOL and now I'm blogging about it.

I will ask V tomorrow if she knows anything. I don't think she's taken them but maybe she'll have seen something? And she's scared to say but if I ask her outright she'll tell me???

In 2009 our cleaning lady P helped herself to lots of things. I was in the crazy newborn stage and thought I was SERIOUSLY sleep deprived because I could swear I had tops in orange and purple but yet there was only one colour. Many such incidents.

Once I sent her a text and said, "P, when you come on Sat please will you remember to look for my silver ring. I can't think where I might have put it but it means SUCH a lot to me" and then on the Sat we left and went to coffee or something.

When I got back, she'd "found" it fallen down the side of the bed. Of course I knew it wasn't there but I wanted my ring back and if she had taken it, I wanted her to know to bring it back.

I don't want all these games.

For the moment I'm going to pray and ask God to please please please show me if they're in the house so I can stop going crazy.

And this, people, is why I'm organised. I just don't have hours and hours to indulge my crazy tendencies and look for things.

What do you think I should do? What would you do?


  1. I know exactly the kind of "I can't find that" crazy you are talking about! I hate having to second guess myself, especially since I am the Baroness of Lost Objects in our house...

  2. Goodness me, I would also have gone crazy!
    It's a tough one but, as I said, your instincts are there for a reason and must be trusted. I would first make very sure that I haven't given anything away before doing anything and then I would just come straight out with it. I can't actually see any other way, especially since you don't feel for the games. I agree that it's not about the value of the items but that it is the principle. I have not been in a situation like this before and can only imagine how it must suck to be suspicious of the people who work for you.
    Good Luck.x

  3. I'm sorry, I have to laugh at the "craziness" because that's tame for me. I go ballistic! I have this insanely childish pet peeve about things going back in the right place. My husband deserves a medal but god love him, he never remembers to put things back in the right spot. It's cause for a divorce really.

    Since Miss B has been born, I'm lucky if I remember where I park my car let alone where I put household things. I've had to eat my words, swallow my pride and lay off my hubby.

    Here's hoping you find those blasted items. Pray to God but also to St. Antonio. He's the saint of all things lost. Think he'd be able to retrieve my brain for me??!?

  4. This is yet another reason I could not let someone into my house! I have to take care of these things myself. I would go crazy not having total control (did I just admit that?) and I would feel horrible thinking ill of someone to find out I was wrong.

    Now a pool boy or lawn care I could totally go for! Please take all the dog poop and dead leaves you please!!

  5. Does it sound crazy to say that I so hope you are right and it's most definitely NOT Nanny V? I feel strangely attached to the stories about her. : )

    I don't think it's anything to play around with, because if you let it slip, it could always escalate into more valuable things.

    I hate the feeling of knowing exactly where something was, only to find out it's not there. I can SEE it so clearly in my mind...and yes, I go crazy until I put my hands on it.

  6. You can question her about it - like you say, perhaps she have seen it somewhere.
    The other thing about this is that you can't really prove that she is taking the things. You only have a suspicion. Try to catch her doing the deed - I know it's not always an easy thing to do but this calls for some creative thinking in this regard.
    Good luck

  7. If your relationship with Nanny V is good enough, tell her straight out that you are missing them and that you do not believe she has taken them, but can she please help you if she knows what happened to them. Lucy came out straight last time with our cleaning lady.

  8. Yes, Cat, that's exactly the approach I was thinking of.

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  10. You have to nip it in the bud. Start by sitting V and the cleaning lady down together, and just stating very clearly that you trust them, but if anyone is ever caught stealing anything from you, they will be fired instantly and charged with theft at the police station. You cannot make unfounded accusations (it's illegal). It's tough because you know stuff is missing and you haven't caught anyone red-handed, but being clear about what will happen upfront is usually all it takes to end this kind of thing.

    Then, if you do catch someone, there is no ambiguity! Nobody can say "but I thought" etc.

  11. It would drive me completely crazy if I couldn't find stuff that I knew where it was. That's one of my signatures. I know where everything is in my house. I can talk my DH over the phone and let him know where things are.

  12. Yes, that is quite the situation and it would drive me absolutely NUTS!!! Maybe you should post a "missing items" list on the refrigerator so everyone who comes and goes knows that you know what's missing...maybe things will mysteriously STOP disappearing!

  13. I am exactly like you when I can't find something - I will stop doing everything else no matter what it is and search until I find it. This Easter we were at my folks house and I had some of my laundry done by my Mom's house keepers. Well all the laundry was laid out on the bed except my new top, so I went ballistic and caused a fuss and insisted they phone her then and there (it was after she had left for the day). Turns out she had hung it on a hanger on the window which I could not see as the curtains were drawn! I would call your lady out on it as I've got no tact!

  14. I'm a b_tch when it comes to this kind of thing. If I know someone is stealing from me - I fire them. No discussions. I don't actually care what they steal either, whether it's cheap or expensive doesn't matter. If they ask and I can then I give.

    Those are my none negotiable rules about stealing.


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