For years Odette, the cleaner at Miriam House had stolen from the various tenants. She’d grab something and hide it in her ‘changing room’, (the maid’s room as it was called by the first Matron, Bertha McGill).
The maid’s (or changing room) was a small cluttered bedroom, just left of the back door opposite the washing machine. As there was so much junk in the room it was easy for Odette to hide her take and wait to see if the theft was noticed.
After an arbitrary period of time, if there was no alert, she’d remove it from the premises. Depending on what she’d taken, she’d eat it, sell it, keep it, or use it.
She’d been working at the Miriam House for over twelve years and stealing for the past Ten. Selma was her third ‘boss’.
Odette knew the Matron of Miriam House had no power, the Board did. The matrons couldn’t throw out a tenant nor fire her. Only the Board could. And the Board was made up of stupid and disinterested people.
Everyone on the Board had one of those fancy names or was connected to one of those fancy names.
At first Odette had respected them, as if they were royalty. As she came to know them she found them insulting, overbearing, and stupid. They had no idea what went on at Miriam House and apparently, couldn’t care less.
As she developed disrespect for her bosses, so too the women who rented the rooms. To ‘raise’ her status, Odette stole as much as she could, whenever she was able from them, to prove that she was smarter than they were.