I still remember the day she walked into our lives. I could never have suspected that she would grow to have the power over my husband, and now my own life, that she currently does. Out of all the applicants we interviewed to replace our retiring housemaid, she seemed like the perfect candidate. She had been personally recommended by our outgoing maid, who had served us for nearly 20 years until her back problems were too bad for her to continue. Our aging ex-maid told us that Marta was the niece of a close friend, and she could vouch for the young lady’s character.
The girl seemed perfect for the role when I interviewed her. Demure and precise, with downcast eyes and perfect deference to me in all questions, I felt that I could adequately rely on this young woman to carry out the duties I required without me having to overexplain myself and without asserting her own opinions. I cannot stand it when the help offer their own feelings about how my household should be run. I grew up learning to demand a certain standard of quality in all of those who work for me and house staff are no exception.