Publish Novellas 22 June 2022
EPISODE 5 – ASSESSMENTS
Consuela confronts a handsy employer. After severing ties, she assesses her role in improving the outlook for domestic workers.
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Garcia Tuesday Afternoon
Consuela drives to the first school and sees the boys waiting out front.
“Okay, hop in,” she says to Alejandro and Santiago.
“We knew you would come for us!”
“It only feels I should, since I have your father’s car. Let’s go get your sister.” When they drive up to Graciela, she is phoning Consuela.
Graciela is similarly excited to see Consuela. But this exuberance may come to an end when Consuela confronts Señor Garcia.
At the house, the children go to the kitchen for afternoon snacks while Consuela searches the home for their father. She finds him in his bed after tapping on his bedroom door.
“Come in,” Señor Garcia invites.
“Are you decent?” she asks.
“That depends on your point of view.”
“Considering your actions yesterday, I find your remark to be inappropriate,” Consuela says while peeking in. She sees him wearing pajamas, laying under the covers. Not taking any chances, she remains standing by the open door.
“You appear to be feeling better. I stayed the night with the children to keep them from having any wild parties while you were gone. So I had to borrow your Range Rover, which I am returning to you now before leaving. I hope you recover soon.”
“No, please, listen. I will pay you extra for your time. People who know me realize I talk with my hands. It’s my culture.” Señor Garcia explains.
“Well, it’s my culture to slap anyone trying to take liberties with me. You grabbed my butt and my breast! That is sexual harassment and abuse.”
“Noted. Will you accept my apology?”
“Yes, but this is still my last day.”
“Please, you can keep the Range Rover as part of my apology.”
“No thanks, I already have one,” Consuela replies.
“Really? You must do quite well for yourself.”
“I planned to stay a few weeks. But I already have enough information.”
“Enough information for what? Are you some type of police investigator?”
“No, nothing of the sort. Like you, I own a large villa with servants. This has been an experiment to experience life through their eyes. I want to make certain that they are treated well and retain their self worth.”
“This is unbelievable. Where is your villa?” Señor Garcia asks.
“Whether you believe or not is immaterial. My location is unimportant since I am not inviting you over. Just understand that there is no necessity to remain and be subjected to demeaning behaviors. Nor do I care to be your servant.”
“This revelation greatly elevates my respect for you, Señora Consuela. You are an extraordinary woman. Perhaps we should get acquainted under different circumstances. When I am better, I can take you to the finest restaurant in the city.”
“No thank you. I am partial to my own chefs’ cooking. It has been an enlightening and unforgettable experience. I am not one for long goodbyes. Your door servant has the keys to your vehicle. I will let myself out.”
On the metro ride home, Consuela jots down notes for her book. With much less explanation, she extricates herself from employment with her other two clients by the week’s end.
To recuperate, Consuela gets a new hairstyle, slips into her satin pajamas, and sips a glass of red wine. The next week, she settles into her normal routine at home.
Consuela then makes plans for her book. She develops the main plot and subplots. Descriptions of the characters take shape. Then she outlines the chapters. A publisher is eager to visit her villa and provide feedback in the reading room. He is in shock over her first-hand experience to gather research.
“I don’t think I have worked as hard in my life. If you do not publish the book, I have definitely picked up some useful skills for my résumé,” jokes Consuela.
“The premise of this book is most compelling. I eagerly look forward to reading your first two chapters. But I can already say, I have a strong desire to publish this book, even if I need to hire the best ghostwriter,” he replies.
Consuela completes her book under a nom de plume. Not all good books get published. Not all published books are bought. Maid in Spain becomes a best seller among Spaniards. It is later translated to French, Italian, English, and Chinese for wider distribution.
The narrative highlights the plight of domestic workers, who admire the heroine. Unfortunately, the book does little to improve the wages or treatment of such workers as a whole. Yet, with transparent acknowledgement of work conditions and the liberties some employers take, more workers are empowered to set limits on what they tolerate. Consuela finds satisfaction with this success.
She also entertains the idea of accepting an invitation from a neighbor to a Saturday gala. Perhaps she will bring a chew toy as a housewarming gift.