domestic chores and was proud of the fact that my father went to work with a brilliantly white, starched shirt every single day. Through genes I’ve been handed the same gift, I can clean with the best of them, I'm thorough and conscientious, I just don’t find any joy in it and choose to not do it unless of course I’m forced too. No one would want to eat off of the corners of my house unless of course you’re a four legged rodent. I’m busy. I run a business and have four dogs! But
I do have my pride and I can’t let my friends know my dark secret, so when they arrive for the party they’ll think I’m a domestic goddess. Just don’t look under the rug!
For the past few years I had a cleaning service and I thought I died and went to heaven. Twice a
month two wonderful angels came through the door touting their cleaning paraphernalia and went through my home eradicating all the dust and grime of day to day living. The house sparkled like a new penny and smelled as fresh as a summer breeze. But disaster hit just before last Christmas, things were never the same and now, sadly, there are no angels.
We had just taken receipt of Jake, a three month black poodle who flew in from Quebec. Puppies are a going concern and along with my other three they kept me hopping. It was Friday and I had an appointment with a client, so I packed up the pups and headed out the door a bit on the frazzled side. I’m a creature of habit and as I go out the door, I usually lather on a bit of hand cream and put on my rings that always rest in this little wooden bowl on my kitchen island. But this morning I was a bit distracted with Jake and left empty fingered and never thought twice about rings until I was leaving the house Saturday morning for work.
I went to the bowl and my trinity diamond ring wasn’t there per the usual. I figured I must have taken it off in the bedroom and it was too late to run upstairs so I opted to wear the solitaire. There had been five rings in the bowl the previous day, but now there were only three and both the trinity and solitaire were missing. Alarms went off immediately. I wore the trinity daily and the solitaire only occasionally but they both should have been in the bowl. A sick feeling began to spread in the pit of my stomach as the implication set in. The rings were stolen, and it had to be yesterday as they were definitely there on Thursday. The only people in the house were the cleaners.
Now it isn’t easy to accuse someone of theft, I hope you never have to do it! I worried I wouldn’t be taken seriously. If my allegations were denied, who would the cleaning company believe? There was also the worry that the innocent of the two women would fall under suspicion. The older of the two I knew from way back, we actually worked together in a restaurant in my youth, and I trusted her without a doubt. She had also worked for the company for twenty years so was tried and true. The girl with her was a trainee, only on the job a few months and I never even got to meet my nemesis, because for the first time ever, I wasn’t home when they cleaned.
So I spent all weekend hoping I was wrong but knowing that I wasn’t. Frantically searching the house, the car and the shop for the rings, it was so much better thinking I had goofed instead of thinking someone had stolen from me. I felt violated and let me tell you I tortured myself the entire weekend wondering what I should do. I even considered not saying anything just to keep the peace. You see, I knew something the thief didn’t; the two rings stolen had fake diamonds in them; Diamonelle to be exact. The #1 simulated diamond in the world with a hardness of eight and most are not able to tell without a jewelers loupe. I was happy with the fake diamonds, as I never had to worry about losing them. Collectively I paid around $500 for the rings, most of the cost was for the real gold settings. The thief, on the other hand, thought she was walking away with approximately $10,000 worth of rocks and that is why I had to make that call, to spare another home owner from knowing this kind of grief.
The thief was clever and spent a bit of time setting up a scenario. She mentioned to the upstairs woman, when she came downstairs to empty her cleaning pail, that the owner of the house had beautiful things and that the three rings in the bowl on the counter were lovely. That brought the second woman’s attention to the bowl, noting there were three rings present, so later, when questioned, she told the police that is what she observed. They interviewed me and I told them I was positive, without a doubt, that my rings were missing and the only people in the house were the cleaners. They zeroed in on the new employee pretty quickly, and to my surprise she confessed. Said she took the diamonds out of the settings and buried them in the yard and flushed the gold down the toilet. I never quite believed that, especially when there was an ad in the local paper of someone at the mall that very weekend buying gold. According to the police, the woman had a drug habit and stole to support it, so it was unlikely she threw guaranteed money down the drain.
The police retrieved the fake diamonds, prepared their case against her and before they issued a warrant for her arrest she absconded to England, her childhood home. During the investigation, the also discovered she stole from a few more homes that day, even the parents of the person who owned the cleaning company. The police waited for her to return but months went by and they finally just dropped the charges.
When the police called to tell me she confessed I burst into tears. They offered grief counselling but I said this was just the relief of being believed and having the ugly mess over. I had a lot of stress over that nightmare. I worried I wouldn’t be taken seriously, stressed over someone innocent being fired. So much was weighing down my shoulders, the confession lifted the burden and the relief washed away through a river of tears. The cleaning company reimbursed the cost of my loss and life went back to normal. They continued to clean my home with the proviso that only their older, experienced women did the work. No more trainees ever! Over the next few months there were several times when it wasn’t possible to send the regular team, appointments and sickness and life being what it is. So they kept cancelling and I got a little frustrated and said forget it, I would clean my own house but I should have kept my mouth shut.
I’m not interested in doing housework on top of all else I have to do and I don’t want to live in filth! In the New Year I think I’ll phone them back and work something out or look for an independent.
So they say every black cloud has a silver lining and this tale does have a happy ending. My hubby felt so badly for me, knowing how much angst I went through over the ordeal, that he bought the real deal for me that Christmas. It was a lovely sentiment, but now I have to worry about a real diamond, and let me tell you, it never leaves my finger so the next person wishing to take what’s mine will be forced to pry it off my cold dead hand!