You know, sometimes in your life there are things that seem that they would be quite easy. Sometimes those things are easy, other times that are not so easy, regardless of how the look. Today, I want to write about hiring house help, or in other words maids. Having a maid is one thing that a lot of people tell me draws them to the Philippines (usually it is the wife who is excited for this, because us men tend to let the lady take care of the household chores anyway). Sometimes, though, it seems that having a maid, or finding a maid to hire is so difficult that you would be better off without.
Over the years of living here, we have had many maids. I don’t know, in 9 years of living here, we may have had around 20 maids now, maybe even more. It is not as bad as it sounds, because sometimes we have had as many as 3 maids at a single time. About a year ago, or so, we decided to not have a maid. We had several nieces and nephews living with us anyway, and if everybody pitched in and helped, it was a small job on each person to take care of the house. A few months ago, though, one of our nieces moved out, and we were at the point where we did kind of need a maid.
So, we have been looking for a maid for several months now, pretty much with no success. A couple of weeks ago, Feyma’s sister contacted us and said that she had found a maid for us. She recently graduated from High School, and needed work badly to help support the family. So, Sally traveled to Davoa from GenSan with the new maid. The girl’s name is Pat, and she is 17 years old. When I met Pat last week, the first thing that I told Feyma is that she would not last. “Why?” Feyma asked. I told her that Pat was too young and too immature and she would be homesick within days.
Sure enough, in 3 days or so, Pat had started telling people in the house that she wanted to go home. Soon, we heard that she wanted us to get her teeth fixed at the dentist, and even send her to college. She said that if we did not send her to college, she would leave in a month. Well, I told Feyma that we would not be sending her to the dentist for repair on her teeth, if she was planning to leave us after a month. Feyma agreed totally with me.
I don’t mind getting stuff like dental work done for a maid if she will be with us for the long term. That kind of service is cheap here anyway, but why should I spend anything on it for a stranger who is going to leave after 30 days anyway? Answer is that I will not.
Today, Feyma sat down with Pat to have a talk. Others in the house were present too, so that there were witnesses to the conversation. Feyma talked seriously to Pat, and asked her if she wanted to go home, and Pat confirmed that she did. She will be leaving tomorrow.
I did not participate in the conversation today, because I felt it was better handled by the lady of the house, and also introducing a foreigner (me) into the conversation could lead to difficulties. So, I was not around when the conversation took place, and I feel that was for the best. When the conversation was completed, Pat was not fired, she quit. I had told Feyma to try to just get her to quit, because firing her could lead to issues that could come back to sting us.
So, Pat was here with us for a period of a week and a half. Now, the work starts again – trying to find another maid. It is not an easy job, either (finding the maid).