The Case Of The Housemaid


Sensemaking means identifying the meaning in your experiences. It is similar to creating mental models about reality.

In order to make sense of situations presented by life (personal or professional), one needs to connect the dots present in those situations.

My core belief is that excellent people are excellent sensemakers too. I will write more on this topic soon. But, for now I present to you a connecting-the-dots case. Connect these dots below to make sense of the situation depicted by these dots. Scroll down the page for the answer (will be posted on 16 April 2017)!

Note that this is not a murder mystery case. It is a simple case based on a real life situation. Over time, I am going to write more intriguing cases, hopefully!

The case of the housemaid

Goal: Connect the 6 dots below to make a simple 2-3 line theory that can explain the behavior of this housemaid. Be life’s Sherlock Holmes!

Time allowed: 15 min


1. She does not shirk form work at all, and is pretty hard working. She does not indulge in chit chat or gossip and keeps on silently doing her work

2. She has never taken even a single day off from work

3. But, what is surprising is that she is also quite lost/absent-minded while doing any work– as if she is not applying her mind and as is she is not enjoying the work. Other maids enjoy themselves a lot while working, for example by gossiping, etc.

4. She is very particular about taking her 4 days off (in a month). Even if you offer her more money, she will never agree to coming for work on these 4 off days. This behavior is sometimes irritating–because other maids usually give in to these demands if you offer them a bit higher daily rate. But never her!

5. The above dots are being observed since the time we hired her. So, these are not one-off or recent observations

6. She is thin, dark complexion, ~30 years of age. She comes from a poor family–with 2 kids, husband, and in-laws in the family


The housemaid is a sincere person who is being forced by a bit unreasonable in-laws/husband to work!