I am writing something today related to the column that Bob was writing about the maid situation. We have lived here in the Philippines for almost 9 years now and yes we have some good and bad experiences with our maids. The one comment that really bothers me was:
1. Feed them good food. Not just dried fish and egg but, chicken, meat, fish and veggies. This is a major major factor for maids leaving. Lousy food.
2. Don’t be so demanding on them. They are not slaves but human beings. Wait for them to finish projects before loading them up on other things.
We never give that kind of food to our maid. What we eat is also the food of our maid. If we had steak they can also. Whatever we have is available for them too. Hey, I like to have dried fish once in awhile, so if I have that we all have it, except for Bob of course. I demand that the house be clean, but guess what, I help clean around the house, and so do our nieces too. I never let the maid do all the jobs around the house alone. I have a few nieces and nephew that lives with us. They help a lot around here.
Before coming here to live Bob and I talked already about maid situation. We want that they will eat with us together, and they will have the food that we have. Then when we came here we had a few maids and a guy helper, his name is Greg (House boy they call it) with us and a nanny for our youngest son at that time. The maids lasted for a year or so the Greg stayed with us for over 6 years. When I hired him he was a tiny, I mean a thin little fellow. I even told my sister I would not want him because his really young and so thin. But this kid told me that he really wanted to work for us. So I finally told him that I will accept him if he can show me that he could open the big gate for me. Our gate had wheels and was kind of hard to open. I think because he was so determined to work he opened the gate with a little bit of a hard time. I told him I will hire him because he showed the that he really was willing to work. He also had a hearing problem, so I told Bob to just blow the horn louder on our vehicle so that our Greg can hear him when he is outside the gate. Bob did that. You know what, just after a few months his hearing were getting better. We think it might just be from lack of nutrition that he had a hearing problem. The longer that he stayed with us the better his hearing. He also looks better physically.
When we moved to Davao he went with us too. By then he could already bake and he is already an expert on making bread and cookies. I forgot to mention that he is just an elementary graduate. When we moved here to Davao I told him he should try to study high school even just for the weekend. I think I scared him off on that. He told me that he doesn’t want to go to school. He is always making an excuses when enrollment times come. I just didn’t mentioned it again because I think he just is not ready yet. When our oldest son Chris was home schooled, sometimes Greg will sit down and just listen to the teacher. Also some of our workers were teaching him too. Really by the time he quit to help his mom he was already loaded with knowledge that he could use and will stay with him forever. Last time I saw him at my sister’s house he was so thankful of all the stuff we taught him. He said we really helped him a lot.
We had several maids that stayed with us for over 2-3 years. Most of them quit because of the family problems they had at home. Lots of tears were shed because they were already family to us and their feelings towards us also. Our laundry lady(Inday) came back after being fired by my niece without my knowledge. She would never be back here if we treated her bad. She cooks for us too. She told me even before that Bob and I were very nice to our people. That’s why she really comes back. I had previous maids that wanted to come back if only they don’t have small children. They said they really like us. I am not bragging here but you guys can ask some people we know. Even Teacher Bebe, you guys can ask her. She’s here a lot at our house.
That last maid we had quit she told her friend that she doesn’t have problem with the work here. She said not much work. Her only problem, its so quiet and when she gets out of our downstairs the only things she saw was the high wall fence and the clouds. She hardly sees people. She also had a friend who is a maid somewhere in GenSan and her friend would finish the job around midnight and get up early too. Pat told her friend that she gets up around 5-5:30am and have nap in the afternoon and by 8pm she’s done with her job. Gosh, the friend of Pat was really shocked that she didn’t have much job to do. Anyway in short Pat doesn’t want a job but just have some fun instead. Can’t blame anybody for her immaturity.
Anyway, hopefully we can find a good and mature worker soon.