NO human being is perfect, nor anything created by mankind. One reads often enough that a certain machine has been perfected, but no machine has yet been found immune from certain technical imperfections. After such a statement regarding the perfection of a machine it is not uncommon to hear that some eminent scientist has bettered ifc. This shows how the human mind can be deceived. Anything perfect cannot be bettered. Motes and Beams
Like the machine, everyone has faults, and is at times liable to break down. Perhaps we do not always recognize our own weaknesses, but most of us are all too ready to find them in others. Wo forget the mote in our own eye, and sec only the beam in our fellows.
None of us likes to be compelled to work like a machine. There are times when we do not feel inclined to work at all, and others when the most trivial task takes much longer than usual. These are points to remember in the relationship between mistress and maid.
A maid is expected to be punctual and quick, but she must not be regarded as capable of mechanical precision. Sympathy and encouragement are factors too frequently overlooked in the conduct of a household.
Engaging a Maid
When engaging a maid it is necessary to make it quite clear what she is expected to do and what time she may regard as her own. An interview is always more satisfactory than an exchange of letters.
In an interview with a prospective maid it should be ascertained whether she has good health. Wages, which depend on age, capabilities, and experience, should be the next question. Time off should be settled, with the proviso that should the mistress want the maid to stay in, when by previous arrangement it should be her night out, the girl would be expected to do so. In actual practice this should not be done unless absolutely necessary. Uniform The matter of uniform should not be omitted. Many mistresses supply maids with this, but this is not always necessary. Should the girl have uniform, even though not the colour one would choose, let her wear it, at any rate for a while, and then, if she proves satisfactory, provide her with another. The reason why the girl is leaving her present situation must not be forgotten. References Providing the interview has proved satisfactory on both sides, the girl may be told that, subject to her reference being satisfactory, she will be engaged and expected to arrive on such and such a da and at such a time. Assuming the reference to be in order, a letter repeating these particulars will be all that is necessary. A reference is better applied for in person, if possible. On the other hand, if the girl has been in a situation in the same district and the name and address of her former mistress is familiar, it is quite in order to either write or telephone. Work before Breakfast There are many things to be remembered when applying for a reference. Is the MISTRESS AND MAID MISTRESS AND MAID girl healthy, clean, and honest? Is she cheerful or moody, good or bad tempered ? Willingness to learn, punctuality and economy are assets to any girl. An extravagant maid is expensive.
Providing a maid gets up early a con-siderable amount of work can be done before breakfast. Her first duty should be to open all the blinds and windows. Fireplaces should be done next, and the dining-room fire lighted and the room dusted. Next the shoes should be cleaned and taken upstairs. The front door-step should be brushed and washed before breakfast if time permits.
Breakfast must be Punctual
Early morning tea has next to be attended to. Hot water for washing must not be forgotten. Letters, when they arrive, are either taken to their respective receivers on a tray, or put on the breakfast table, according to the rule of the house.
The breakfast gong must be sounded on the tick of the hour stated for this meal. If this is late the whole household is upset and trains are missed. If by chance the maid should happen to oversleep through her alarm failing to go off, this may necessitate some of the work being left till after breakfast, but whatever happens, the breakfast must not be late.