Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Maid's Punctuality Progress Chart

Months ago I gave up trying to use negative reinforcement on the maid. I told her that if she arrived late, I’d cut her salary. She was still late so much, that I couldn’t bear to cut her salary by the amount she’d merited, or more accurately de-merited. I would cut it by a little and she’d make such a big deal out it I just lost my resolve. For the past 9 months, she has been asking me for a raise, and my response is always that when she starts coming on time, she can have a raise. Well it’s been a year now and she just has not been able to come at a consistent time. Now I’m trying something new.

I have a chart on the wall with a calendar of December. If she comes within 10 minutes of the set time, she gets 10 extra rupees. So, if her target time is 3:00, and she comes between 2:50 and 3:10, she gets a bonus. If she does that everyday for a week, with 6 working days, she gets 60 extra rupees. If she comes on time every working day, she basically gets a 10% raise.

There’s now a big calendar on the door opening to the terrace where she does the laundry. She can’t read numbers, so I’ve color-coded it. If she comes “on time”, she gets a +10 in green. If she comes late, she gets a big red “X.” At the end of the month I’ll total up her bonus rupees and add them to her salary.

When I explained this to her she was looking at me as if I was from the moon. She seemed to think it was quite funny that she would have a little punctuality progress chart in our house, but she’s happy that she’s already earned 30 extra rupees by being on time three days this week. Let’s see if she continues or just gives up! I think if she manages to actually come on time all the days in a month, I’ll add a bonus on top of the bonus, although I may be too shocked to believe it.

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