Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Young Housekeeper's Friend, Part II

I've been reading more of The Young Housekeeper's Friend and according to Mrs. Cornelius I should 'accustom myself, each evening, to arrange in my own mind the meals for the next day, and also the extra work to be done by others, and what I will do myself.' Others??? I have others who will do work? I must find these others. If by Others she means The Others from Lost then I have a problem with this.

But if she means Others as in a staff of people to do my bidding then I am ok with this. Speaking of The Others....have you watched Lost this week? I just got caught up last night and now there is a NEW group of Others? Where have they been all this time? Where was this temple? All I have to say is if everything isn't totally resolved at the end of the season I am going to hurt someone! I was saying....

Mrs. Cornelius says I am to 'visit all the rooms and closets that are in constant use, every day. You will thus acquire that habit of attention to minutiae, upon which neatness and order so much depend, and it will cost a less expenditure of time and effort to secure these ends, than if a great many little things requiring attention are suffered to accumulate. This habit will also have the best effect upon those who serve you.'

First of all...are there rooms in your home you don't use?? I think I do visit all of my rooms everyday. Except maybe the upstairs spare room. Which I can see her point. I had not been up there for a few days and yesterday I discovered all the sheets and bedding pulled off the bed and made into a tent....hmmmm....wonder who did that?

Second...'those who serve you'?? Again, where are those that serve me? Maybe they are hiding in a room I don't use.

This is where Mrs. Cornelius goes on to talk about your domestic staff. This is such a foreign topic to me that I am fascinated by it. I know that even in 2010 there are people with full-time domestic staff but I don't know any of them. I don't regularly hang out with people with domestic staff. Maybe that is because I AM the domestic staff.

When a new domestic enters our service, observe whether she seems to understand her business; if not, teach her your methods. Refrain from severity and too much frequency in finding fault, and be careful not to speak to domestics of their errors at a time when they are perplexed or very busy. If the dinner is not properly done, it is usually best to say nothing at the time; your cook will doubtless be conscious of her failure, and your silence will have a much better effect upon her than anything you can then say; but the next time....remind her of the previous failure, point out the defect, and give her minute instructions how to avoid it's repetition.

That's what everyone wants I'm sure....let the cook do dinner wrong TWICE before you tell her of the problem. Bring up her mistakes at a later date when it's all over and done with.

You need not, you must not, if you regard the best welfare of your household, utter one impatient word from the beginning to the end of the year.

Wow...I'm going to have to work on this. Apparently the welfare of my household depends on me being patient.


Mellodee said...

Definitely words of advice from a bygone era. Its a bygone era for good reason! ....and Good Riddance!!

(Tho, I wouldn't mind finding my "others"!! I wonder where those little dickens are hiding!)

Nikki said...

I think Mrs. Cornelious is a nut job. I'm just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Lynn,I LOVE your writing!!