Regular LiP Blog participant, Pete e-mailed me this morning and asked me if I could write a little about how to find a good maid. Well, I am happy to oblige, Pete. I am not sure how much I can write about this, but I’ll do my best. You see, finding a good maid is extremely difficult. Keeping her makes the job of finding her feel like it was easy!
I have lived in the Philippines for more than 7 years now (just a little more!), and Feyma and I have been through many maids in that time. It always seems like when you find one, they last for a few months and then leave. Actually, the maid we have now has probably been here as long as any maid we’ve ever had. I guess she has been here more than a year now, although only Feyma could really say for sure. I don’t really keep track of such things.
We have used a number of methods of finding a maid. Firstly, it seems like most girls who want the job of being a maid come from out in the Province, not really from in the City. Girls in the City generally would be looking for a better job than being a maid, in most cases. A lot of girls out in the Province are less educated, and being a maid is something that they feel would be a good job for them. The best method of finding a maid is by word of mouth, I’d say. You ask friends if they know somebody, and go by the referral system. They might know somebody from back home in the province where they came from. Ask a lot of people, and you will soon start getting texts or calls from people who know somebody looking for a job as a maid.
Let me tell a little story about one time when I got tagged with the job of finding a maid. Normally finding a maid is a job that Feyma handles. Once she finds somebody, I generally get to talk to her and give the word if I will want to give her a try or not. But, the job of the search goes to Feyma. However, about 3 years or so ago, I got into a situation where I had to search for somebody. You see, we had these two sisters who worked for us as maids. They were young – teenagers. After a while I got so fed up with their poor work that I kind of had it out with them. I confronted them about the fact that they were doing a poor job – the house was always dirty, and when I went downstairs they would be watching TV! I just had too much of that, and I let loose. They just looked at me silently. Finally, in a moment where I didn’t know what else to do, I asked if they would rather clean up the house or leave. They said they would prefer to leave, so I said – Goodbye, then! They were gone in 15 minutes or so. Feyma looked at me and said “what are we going to do now? You fired our maids!” I told her she needed to find somebody new, and she informed me that since I fired the maids without even telling her that I would, it was going to be up to me to replace them! Oops!
Well, I had a friend who was a teacher at a local University. She was quite a nice lady and had helped me in the past in learning to speak some Bisaya. Her name is Au. Au was from a small town in Compostela Valley Province. I called Au and asked if there was anybody from her hometown that might be interested. She called home to her Sister and they started searching. Within just a day or two, they had a couple of people who were interested. We took a drive out to their place, about 2 hours away, and met the two girls. They seemed good, and we hired both of them, and they rode back to town with us, as I recall. Maybe they came on a bus the next day, I have forgotten. But, as it worked out, they were pretty good maids, for as long as they stayed.
So, basically, as I say, word of mouth seems to be the best way to find a maid. You can’t really put an ad in the paper or online, because the kind of people who are interested in doing this kind of job don’t normally read newspapers or go online. So, the methods of searching for a person are limited. Use your personal contacts in the community, you will find that somebody will come through for you!
In my next article, I’ll write about how to keep a maid once you’ve found one. That is not an easy task!