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Thread: Is my wife making a big deal out of this?

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    Senior Member Array Bangkok Phil's Avatar
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    Is my wife making a big deal out of this?

    We have a cleaning lady come to the house every Wednesday morning for a few hours. She's been coming to us for about a year now. She's very polite and works hard. I like her. And so does my wife.

    Yesterday, I went downstairs while the cleaner was polishing a chest of drawers and she had opened the bottom drawer where we keep our photo albums. She was lost in her own little world looking at an album of photos we took in England 10 years ago, when I walked in and disturbed her. She tried desperately to force the albums quickly back into the drawer, but to make light of the situation - because I really didn't see any harm in it - I said "I looked a lot thinner ten years ago don't you think" and just laughed it off. But there was no concealing her embarrassment.

    In the evening I casually mentioned the event to my wife. I genuinely thought it nothing more than slightly amusing. My wife went ballistic. She phoned her mother. Her mother went twice as ballistic. I begged them both not to say anything to the cleaner because it makes me look like a snitch. And that is not what I want. Sneaking a look at a photo album is perfectly OK with me. No one dies in the process. But my wife and mother-in-law are adamant that the cleaner has to be told that she's there to clean and nothing else.

    Whose side are you on?

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    Elysian Fields Traveller Array pucky's Avatar
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    At least it wasn't the cookie jar,eh? More like Cinderella day-dreaming about something she'll most likely never have.
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    Yours. I dont get it and would be bothered if they took it out on the her. Otherwise I would make a mental note not to tell the wife this sort of thing in the future and let it pass.

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    Senior Member Array goo_stewart's Avatar
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    Jesus Phil, you gotta put your foot down here. No harm done, hell, she has probably been putting your underwear on her head and looking through your porn collection. That is what you get when you have a maid, it is acceptable that other folks are curious as to what kind of porn you like or what that latex gas mask is for. Just normal behaviour. If she ain't stealing, then no problem. She is just curious. Don't mention it, she is embarrassed enough as it is. Tell your mrs not to mention it, it all seems like an over reaction to me.

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    Tiny Bubbles Array Don Ho's Avatar
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    Is she required to open the drawers to clean the chest? If yes then I would have no problem with it. If no, then she's going through your personal things when you aren't present and the temptation to steal something could be too great.
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    Senior Member Array russellsimpson's Avatar
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    I'd be firm and just tell them both that you'd very much appreciate it if they just dropped their concerns.

    Of course I'm not married, so it's easy for me to make such a suggestion.

    I'm with you. What's the big deal ?

    She has a year of hard work and politeness behind her.

    Is that worth nothing?

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    Can't say I get it. Maybe there is something else going on you're not aware of. Maybe they see this as the start of a much more invasive habit. I'd make it clear that you don't think it was a big deal, but maybe allow your wife to at least show her displeasure with what she sees as an invasion of privacy.
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    Senior Member Array Bangkok Phil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Ho View Post
    Is she required to open the drawers to clean the chest?
    No, not at all.

    In fact, you need a bloody good tug to open the drawer the albums are in because it's solid wood and weighed down by the albums and some other stuff.

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    Senior Member Array russellsimpson's Avatar
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    ^^^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Phil View Post
    Originally Posted by Don Ho Is she required to open the drawers to clean the chest? No, not at all. In fact, you need a bloody good tug to open the drawer the albums are in because it's solid wood and weighed down by the albums and some other stuff.
    Hmm..that does change the picture a fair bit.

    Yup, maybe you'll just have to stand back and let the wife deal with it as she deems appropriate.

    Is she required to open the drawers to clean the chest? If yes then I would have no problem with it. If no, then she's going through your personal things when you aren't present and the temptation to steal something could be too great.
    Yup. Nail/Head Mr. Ho.

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    Striver Array Mr Pants's Avatar
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    The cleaner looking around is something that should be expected IMO. Particularly if the place is already fairly clean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Ho View Post
    Is she required to open the drawers to clean the chest? If yes then I would have no problem with it. If no, then she's going through your personal things when you aren't present and the temptation to steal something could be too great.
    You can't convict someone before they've commited a crime.

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    Olive Brancher (*) Array
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    Quite honestly, if that's the worst your maid has done, you're lucky - tell your wife and her mother to chill out, and get off their high "status" horsey. Yes, the maid's job is to clean, but likewise a wife's job is to listen to her husband and STFU ;-)

    Seriously, it's quite possible that she opened the drawers as part of the cleaning process, saw the photo albums, and just got curious about - she's human, after all, and not the cleaning robot your wife apparently considers her to be. Maybe a Roomba is better suggested for your wife's rooms.

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    Senior Member Array russellsimpson's Avatar
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    Although if she had to tug to open the drawer and opening it was not a part of the cleaning process, then she has crossed a certain line.

    No?

    I know many folks who would be extremely upset with her. And probably can her ASAP. This is a fairly serious intrusion.

    It means basically that you can't leave personal and private items as well as jewellery and cash anywhere that isn't secured by a lock.

    And everytime you open a drawer you have to wonder if there is anything in there you wouldn't necessarily want a stranger to see.

    I'm starting to side with Phil's wife here.

    The maid crossed the line.

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    Got a light? Array Slim Chance's Avatar
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    yeah but you can certailny sack them before a crime is committed.

    I don't think you've got any option - your wife no longer trusts her....anything goes missing etc the suspicion will immediately go to the maid.

    Its harsh but true.....and I don't think its appropriate for her to go through closed drawers - and going by the maid's reaction she knows it's wrong too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
    Seriously, it's quite possible that she opened the drawers as part of the cleaning process, saw the photo albums, and just got curious about - she's human, after all, and not the cleaning robot your wife apparently considers her to be.
    If the maid is not meant to be opening drawers, then I think the OPs wife has a point. I don't understand why she would go "ballistic," but I do understand what she might be thinking about.

    I don't see a connection between looking at photo albums and theft.

    Still, if anyone should be saying something it should be the OP. I'd tell my wife I will talk to her...then nicely explain that I think it best if she didn't go through personal stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Phil View Post
    In the evening I casually mentioned the event to my wife. I genuinely thought it nothing more than slightly amusing. My wife went ballistic. She phoned her mother. Her mother went twice as ballistic. I begged them both not to say anything to the cleaner because it makes me look like a snitch. And that is not what I want. Sneaking a look at a photo album is perfectly OK with me. No one dies in the process. But my wife and mother-in-law are adamant that the cleaner has to be told that she's there to clean and nothing else.
    I understand that reaction. We, westeners, are a lot better as seeing people as more or less the same, but Thais are extremely prejudiced towards "labor people". She is way to beneath your wife and mother in law. That's insulting to them. She's not in the same level as they are and they took it as a huge insult. If I were you i would let them fire the woman. There is a reason why they go ballistic like that. I employ many labor people in my house because we have a big house and we live alone here. They would never think of looking at pictures of us. Actually, they walk in with their heads down and dont even look at me. They dont even use the bathroom here, they go outside somewhere. Listen to them and leave the westerner's point of view aside for this one.

    At least that's what I think.

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