Doctor Love: Perturbed

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

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Dear Doctor Love,
On the referral of a friend, I hired a girl to tidy up and clean the kitchen and bathrooms. We agreed on seven half days and one full day a month and I pay her a very generous salary that includes lunch and taxi fare.
After she left the third time, I noticed a piece of jewelry wasn’t where I normally keep it. I couldn’t be certain I had put it back but then I searched everywhere, and I haven’t been able to find it. When she came again, I asked her about it and she denied seeing it, so I let it go thinking I had lost it myself.
But that same day after she left, forty dollars was missing from the drawer where I keep the money to pay my monthly bills. I know how much was there because I had been to the bank the previous afternoon and I put the correct amount aside for rent, cable, electricity and water. The remainder from the bank withdraw was in my purse.
My friend laughed out loud when I asked her if she’d noticed anything missing from her place. She said it is normal to expect a little stealing in this country—you just have to limit the amount you let them take. She figures that if the girl actually shows up to work and cleans the house properly why get upset over a few dollars pinched here and there? The next one will only steal as well so it’s “better the devil you know.”
I can’t believe it’s accepted as the norm here, but what do I do? I could fire her and find someone else but then I would be hiring another unknown person. I could let her stay on and lock up my valuables and keep an eye on her. Do I confront her or let it go and lock everything away and not leave my house while she is here?

Dear Perturbed,
You’ll meet many people who will swear their staff would never steal, then be shocked to find out they have been robbed blind. Then on the flip side, you will find others with the same attitude as your friend—everyone steals so hire someone who actually does the job and limit their “supplemental income.”
The Doctor believes that most people are honest and if you ask around, you will find someone who will do the job you hire them to do and they won’t help themselves to your rent money. Really, the decision is yours based on your attitude towards honesty and integrity.

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