Yes, as I said in the title, I think it’s time that we part company. It’s been an interesting run, but I feel like the writing is on the wall, and it’s time to move on. So, please go now.
Oh… wait… hello LiP readers! No, I’m not talking to you… I am not ready to move on from LiP, not at all. Actually, it’s time to… well, read on and I’ll explain!
It happened last week. It’s happened many times since we lived in the Philippines, probably close to a dozen times already.
Our maid quit.
This time, though, was a bit different. Let me tell you why.
We had another maid, maybe 6 months or a year ago, I don’t recall exactly, but in the recent past. This maid, after having been with us a week or so, got up in the middle of the night while everybody was sleeping. She went around the house and grabbed a number of valuables (mostly cellphones) and left. We never saw her or heard from her again. To be honest, we did not lose too much in the way of valuable things, mostly just cheap cellphones that were of little true value. However, when something like that happens you feel violated.
When that happened, I had a talk with Feyma and others in our house. We had been lucky, because if this maid who robbed us had been a little more resourceful, she could have truly hit us a lot harder. We have 10 computers in the house, most of which are used to earn our income. We have valuable family heirlooms. The things that were valuable to her were really minuscule to us, thankfully. But, when that happened, we decided to re-evaluate our household security, and make a few changes.
- We started locking up my office at night
- We have always locked up our outside gates, but now we also kept the keys to the gates in a secure place in the house
- Generally, we just paid closer attention to the goings on in the house
- We decided that when a worker, mostly a maid, started talking about quitting, it was time for her to leave immediately.
Last week, I think it was Thursday or Friday night, around 8pm or so, Feyma told me that our maid was talking about quitting.
What? Why is she still here? I asked Feyma.
Well, she is not really sure yet, Feyma told me.
No, I’m sorry, but she has to go now. Feyma suggested we wait until morning, but I insisted that it was time for her to leave.
Why the hurry?
Well, in all of my years of employment, mostly as a manager or supervisor of some company operation, it has always been my policy that when somebody quits, it is time for them to leave. Two weeks notice? For the most part, no. Why? Well, when somebody has decided to leave, they generally do not have the same attitude toward the company any longer. They may not care as much about the company policies. They may get the tendency to have “sticky fingers” and pick up things that are not theirs. Of course, over the years, I have made exceptions to this general policy, but for the most part, when somebody mentioned that they would be quitting, I just have told them thank you for your service to our company, and good bye.
In the case of a maid in the Philippines, I think that this is a very good policy to have. I mean, we are talking, in most cases, about a person who is not so bright, and also not well to do. I mean, if a person were smart, she would not be a maid, right? Rich girls, or middle class girls are not maids. The poorest of the poor are generally those who seek employment as maids. So, when they have decided to quit, there is certainly temptation for them to look at all of the nice things that her employer has, and remember just how poor her family back home is. It’s not a good recipe for a happy parting of the ways, to put it lightly. Do all maids steal? Certainly not. But, I feel that it is a good move to protect yourself. Of course, there are exceptions, but those can only be determined by you.
So, getting back to what happened last week, our maid, who was from the General Santos City area, had expressed her desire to leave our employment. Even though it was around 8pm, I told Feyma that the girl had to leave immediately. We had her pack up her things, we took her to the bus terminal, gave her any money owed to her, and paid for her bus ticket home. After the correct amount of time had passed, we also verified that she had made it home. That’s it… to me, all was done.
Oh, one other thing that we always have done when a maid quits…. we let her prepare a note stating that she has been treated fairly in our house, she has been paid all money owed to her and such. She is asked to sign that note, so that we are all parting company with the same understanding, that nothing is owed, and that the girl has been treated in the proper manner. We have known others, in the past, who got no such note, and later found themselves accused of some impropriety with the maid. She may say that she was not paid in full. She may accuse you of abusing her by striking her, or verbal abuse. Perhaps the worst case scenario is that if you are a man, she may accuse you of making sexual advances toward her while she was in your employ.
So, to our former maid…. yes, it’s true, it was time that we part company. I wish you well, and I am glad that you agreed that you had been paid in full, properly treated, etc. I wish you well in life.
To LiP readers, if you employ a maid or helper, or really any type of employee in the Philippines, remember to keep things on the up and up, and always protect yourself from any false allegations, and also from theft. You will be thankful that you did.
And now we begin the difficult process of finding a new maid. It’s not easy to do!
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.