With the exception of clothing, I prefer quality over quantity. I believe you're better off spending more for something better, rather then getting something cheap, just to pacify yourself for the time being, then later end up buying what you originally wanted, thus spending more in the long run and being temporarily stuck with something you didn't really want, instead of enjoying something better from the start. Okay that was a run-on sentence.
Onto today's dilemma. My maid is stealing from me. The first thing I noticed was a hair clip. I didn't actually realize it was missing until I saw her wearing it. It's nothing special, just a clear alligator clip. I know it's mine because it was one of only three that I had: one black, one brown, and one clear. It was one I brought from the US, so the fact that it's lasted me almost two years, is no mistake. The quality is excellent even though it's constructed of made in China plastic. When I saw her wearing it, I kind of did a double take, then went and checked my dressing table, where it was missing from.
I could care less, really, about the clip. It's the principle of the thing. If she needed hair clips, I'd happily buy her some. A dozen, if she wanted. Just don't take my stuff. Strangely enough, she noticed that I noticed it, and stopped wearing it.
This week she knocked on my door and asked me if I had an earring back she could have since the one attached to her earring was loose and she was afraid of losing the earring. I asked her for the earring so I could bring it inside and find a suitable match for it. Upon looking at the earring I realized why she was afraid of losing it. It was a diamond and gold star shaped stud, that I purchased at JC Penney several years ago. To have the nerve to take it, and come back and ask me for a back for it, really has my head spinning.
I told my husband about it, but neither of us have confronted her. On one hand, I don't want her to feel bad, but on the other hand, I'm really irritated. We pay her a significant amount (by Indian standards) for what is essentially substandard work, by my account. Anytime they've asked, we've given them extra money, paid half their kids school fees for this year, plus always give them extra during Eid as part of the Zakat requirement.
Getting back to my opening paragraph: I don't think I'd care if she had taken something ultra cheap, but she's taking the good stuff! Either way it's unacceptable because she shouldn't be taking ANYTHING but culturally, I'm not sure of the appropriate way to confront her and not make her feel bad (or vindictive which might lead her to take more stuff, or to accidentally drop a piece of my fine china while cleaning the kitchen) and since we don't speak the same language I don't want to have anything get lost in translation, which would cause us to have to revisit the topic.
I'm open to advice, especially those of you married to, or living in India, on how to handle the situation. Please share in the comments below.