By adhering strictly to these two points, the housewife will soon perceive that she can dispense with the services of her employee for the remaining hours of the day without much inconvenience to herself or her family. She may even find it more pleasant than otherwise to be relieved from the sight and sound of household work, for at least a few hours a day, when she is in her own home.
Possibly the housewife who has but one employee will not accept with alacrity the proposition of allowing her to be off duty for an entire day once a week, for unless she be willing to do the necessary work herself on that day, she must engage a special person to take the place of her regular employee. But many families engage a woman to come once a week to help with the washing and house-cleaning, especially when they have only one household employee. If this woman came on the day the regular employee was away, she could relieve the housewife of all the housework that could not be postponed until the next day.
When only one employee is engaged in a private home, her services are needed more at meal time than at any other time of the day, especially if small children are in the family. As the hours for the three principal meals are about the same everywhere, the following schedule is a very useful one.
From 7 A.M. to 10 A.M. 3
From 12 M. to 3 P.M. 3 hours
From 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. 2 hours
In the morning from seven to ten o’clock, the employee had ample time to prepare and serve breakfast and wash up the dishes afterwards, and do the chamberwork. The three hours from noon until three o’clock were filled with duties that varied considerably each day. Luncheon was served at one o’clock; it was but a light meal easy to cook and easy to serve, therefore the time from two to three o’clock was usually devoted to ironing, or mending, or cleaning silver, or polishing brasses, or preparing some of the dishes in advance either for dinner that evening or for luncheon the next day. Two hours were sufficient to cook and serve dinner and wash up the dishes afterwards. A woman came once a week, on the day the employee was off duty, to do the family washing and assist with the general housework. She also did some of the ironing; the rest of the ironing was done the next day by the regular employee.
This schedule has been tested, not merely once for a few months, but several times, and not with the same employee, but with different employees, and it has always been most satisfactory.
It may seem doubtful to those who have never had their housework done on schedule time that the work can be completed in the time stated, but the greatest incentive that an employee can have to work quickly and well, is to know that her position is as good as any she can find elsewhere, and that when her work is over she is free to do exactly as she pleases with the remainder of her time.