Ever since I had my wood floors resurfaced (which included a thorough post-work cleaning) I've had 4 different maids. Before that, I had none.
Wanda* - spoke English, and minimal Spanish. Brought a helper most days. Easily the most competent of the lot. Showed her helper all sorts of tricks of the trade, including little stuff like folding a triangle on the toilet paper, so the user would know she'd been there.
Amazonia* - was Wanda's English-speaking assistant. She took over when Wanda decided to go all-commercial. She was tall enough to reach the tops of the doors, unlike the others. Things worked well for awhile, then she started showing up very late, or not at all. Lots of excuses about working multiple jobs, working the 3rd shift, etc. She became undependable, so I eventually had to show her the door. Too bad, as she really needed the money.
Juanita* - spoke little English, but her daughter was fluent (they worked as a team). Sadly, she simply would not set the alarm when she left (I heard she thought Immigration would be there in a few seconds after arming it). I gave her two chances, then fired her. Since then, I heard that her work's been slipping at her other customers.
Estella* - speaks little English, so I've resorted to online translation tools, and a bit of pointing/gesturing. Peculiar #1: after she finishes a room, she closes the door. Last week, this trapped my cats in one bedroom, and one of them had to go #2 (on the carpet) since it couldn't get to The Litter Box. It could've been worse: #1 (cat urine) is much harder to clean up. Peculiar #2: the first time she was here, she decided the heavy paper cleaning cloths were machine washable (they weren't -- I raked the pulp from the inside of the washing machine). I've tried to position the Real Cleaning Rags where she'll find them, but so far .. no such luck. Eventually I'll be working from home one of the days she's here, and will try to communicate that to her. Peculiar #3: she appeared baffled when my vacuum cleaner suddenly stopped working .. so, I demonstrated how to change a bag .. problem solved?
*the names are changed, to protect their identitiesMost all of them (except Wanda) also have an annoying habit of putting things in (sometimes) nearby drawers, and never returning them to the top-of-the-table from whence they came. Often it takes several days (!) to locate them again, as "nearby" may be loosely defined as "within 10 yards".