Friday, June 15, 2007

Domestic help and my problems

I have just gotten back from discussing Domestic help ( maids) with a friend and came home to find that she had already posted on the same topic.... before our discussion... which now explains why she had that grin while I ranted and raved!!!!! hmnnnn!!!
After reading it I just had to write... I tell you... sometimes.. these people just drive me mad...
I have a full time live in maid.. who is usually pretty good.... she is neat and clean and is very affectionate towards my son and has been with me from when I was four months pregnant and took very good care of me.. Due to all this I also know she is a good person....I usually don't make a fuss over everything she does...I check her if she doesn't do something right.... and I always do so in private... I do not do so in front of others and specially not the other help....
This does not however mean... that I will take all the rubbish and keep quiet....
When I was discussing this with my friend who has always had problems with the help....and I am usually the one who has to listen to her rants and raves and I always feel very sorry for her...managing a big house... two lil kids and a lot of crazy help....however.....this time I was fed up...
My maid... after she joined us realised that all the help employed with my family....even extended family have been there for ages... once they join.... they rarely leave.... they are a very well looked after lot.... they earn well.. they are tipped very frequently....thanks to all of us having innumerably guests all the time.. we look after their medical bills and also loan them or gift them money in their times of need. We have people over frequently for dinner and I usually ensure that she eats by around 9 pm.. cos sometimes our parties carry on till very late and there is no set time for dinner.. so why make them wait while we enjoy ourselves ?
We even don't make differentiations regarding the food they eat.....they eat what we eat... now in a number of places... they eat leftovers... and their rice and atta is made separatly.... in our family no such thing is allowed... we eat basmati... they do too.. we eat pillsbury atta they do too....some people say we spoil them.... well maybe ... but then again...its worked ok for us....
The maid at my mums house.. now buys... tea and rice from here and takes it along to her village when she goes on her annual leave... according to her .. now she can't get used to eating the thick rice they eat in the village... so yes maybe we spoil them!!!!
Anyways.... I sometimes feel they also take us for granted.....
I usually ask the maid to take her food after I have finished my meal...and put away whatever is left after she finishes... yesterday..I forgot...to ask her...
This morning after breakfast ..when I asked her to clear the dishes and have her meal while I played with Joy....before his bath.....she comes up to me and with this very "naeka"look....tells me ... that she never ate dinner last night.... so I asked her why....and she said... that ..Just....
so I was like Ok... whatever... and kept quiet.... and got busy.... then when Joy was being fed his mid morning snack... she repeated her not having dinner story....so this time I again asked her why..and she said...coz I hadnt asked to eat the night before....
I blew my fuse... I was hopping mad....I told her... that if she expects me to ask her after every meal she is sadly mistaken.....she should have the brains to eat ...I have never stopped her or asked her to eat.....what the hell!!!!!
What got me even more mad was that she expected me to feel guilty... well I dont ....
She has been given a piece of my mind... and has been shown the door incase she is finding it difficult to take it.... naturally she started stuttering and stammering after that.....
ok ..so that was her!!!
The bit is ..now that I have come back and set up home close to my mums place.. a lot of the support staff are old timers.. they cook at mums and granny's and also come to my place and cook... it suits me fine... they are known people.. when I start work.. familiar people .. will be around Joy...for example the cook... he has seen me since the age of 15.... the grin Joy gives him everyday is priceless....he comes to cook at the crack of dawn and when I was looking for a cleaning person.. he volunteered saying that... I shouldnt let too many unknown people into the house... and that he would come and do the cleaning... so I was quite relieved...he is fabulous with Joy...He once told me .. he misses his own kids so much..he has two of them.. whom he sees only once every year for a month....so I feel sorry for him and let him drop in and play with Joy often...Joy knows him as Bharat Mama...
Anyways, the problem .with old timers... he doesn't listen to me most of the time.. If I have asked him to make a vegetable in a particular way he will cook it in the way he wants to....he sometimes doesn't come to cook and when I ask him the next day.. he turns around and tells me... "why? I cooked lots of food at nani's yesterday... there was a party... werent you all invited...? I thought you all were so I didnt think it was necessary to come here and cook...."..accha tell me....can't my grandmother entertain without us....? I found out later...that he does it with the others as well.. In case I have a party one day that day he conveniently bunks mums and nanis... I tell you he takes the cake... Then since he is the old timer... he bosses over all the other help... and sometimes.. gets them into trouble...by telling them what to do... when I have told them to do the opposite....
But he is a good soul so usually he gets a stern talking to... and everything is fine after that....
This friend also mentioned about how she was shocked when she saw some families who had come to a restaurant with their maids and didnt give them a morsel of food to eat..... I so agree with her.... I too have seen this happen very often and have always wondered .. why people do this...
The husband and I are so particular... if we go over to a friends place where we feel it will be helpful to have my maid along we take her... I always ensure that she eats her dinner before we go over.....If we feel we can manage with out her.. which is often.. we leave her home after all she also deserves some time off..
Till a month ago we had a driver... so since I was being chauferred everywhere I didnt need to take the maid if I went for a cup of coffee.. I could hold on to Joy...
Now we have let the driver off and I am driving my car... we didn't have a car seat for Joy all these days...so suddenly I found that I was stuck taking the maid everywhere I went with Joy.
One day I had to go to a Barista for a cup of coffee... the poor thing she heard we were going to this place... and took out her best saree to wear...I felt so guilty....I wasn't meeting anyone.. it was just supoosed to be Joy and me.. so I made her sit at our table and ordered her a cup of tea as well... poor thing she felt so out of place....but also was quite thrilled.. so I made it sound as if I had brought her here to show where her" babu" likes to come to have his Mango smoothie.. she had been hearing about this place...so I thought she should see it as well...
Anyways... the very next day.. I went out and picked up a car seat for Joy... and so now we can go out just mommy and baby without inconveniencing anyone and ourselves....

2 comments:

Mystic Margarita said...

I can understand that having domestic help can cause a lot of problems. Saw my mom handling all these hassles during my growing up years. One good thing of living abroad is that, unless one is a Warren Buffet in the making, domestic help is rather heavy on the wallet. But having to day every little thing on your own leaves one so drained - but that's another story....

itchingtowrite said...

getting the right domestic help is v difficult. since u have 1 - that cook of yuours - hold on to him inspite of the idosyncracies...