Friday, January 16, 2015
THE demands that are placed on the modern-day woman to be mother, wife, professional, church sister, etc, means that oftentimes she has to delegate responsibilities to keep her sanity.
And so another woman will step in to do the job she’s too busy to do — a woman in the form of the domestic helper who will keep the house while mommy goes to work.
This helper, as many women have found out, sometimes functions very efficiently, rewarding her employer with committed work, loyalty and devotion.
Others, as the women below share, will devote themselves to carrying out the ultimate form of betrayal.
I took some time off work when I first had my son. My intention was always to go back when he was old enough. My husband and I discussed it, that when the time came, we would hire a helper. We found this woman who said she was from the country. We took her in and everything was great for a couple of weeks; there seemed to be no problem with her and my son as they got along great. One afternoon I had to make a quick trip back home. When I got there she was not there but my son was in the crib, crying his little face off. I couldn’t believe it. I sat there and held him in my arms. When she returned about an hour later, there was nothing that she could say to me to possibly explain why she had left my son alone in the house.
We had a helper for over 10 years, however, she got sick and so had to take some time off to sort out her medical issues. So here I was again screening people to possibly find another helper as good as the one I had. My husband usually leaves this task up to me which I don’t have a problem with as I can’t just let any woman come into my house just like that. I found this little young Miss, a bit younger than I would usually take on, but she was eager to prove herself. I took her on as a live-in helper as her own home was too far away, plus sometimes I needed the extra help in the evenings especially if we were entertaining guests. Within a few months I realized that she and my husband were becoming a little too friendly for comfort. I confronted him one night about it before we went to bed and he assured me that there was nothing to worry about. Long story short, the helper nuh help herself to mi man? Right under my nose too, that was the worst part.
At the time I hired my helper I was a single mother and so my budget was not all that big. I really needed the help though and so I hired this mature lady to help me around the house with washing clothes and such. We agreed on a weekly wage and everything was going okay. A few weeks into her employment I started noticing that some things were going missing — canned food, detergent, that kind of thing. I eventually confronted her and she didn’t deny it. ‘What you expect me to do maam? Yuh pay mi this little amount a money, mi nuh have to take a few things here and there to supplement my earnings?’ I was dumbfounded. I didn’t have it already and here was my supposed help helping herself to the little that I had for me and my children.
I was a sales rep back in the day and so I had to travel all over the island. I wasn’t at my apartment much but when I was there I was just too tired from all the travelling to clean up the house and make it look presentable. I got this lady through a friend’s suggestion and so I took her on as a day’s worker. She would come once a week and while I was out running errands or in the other room sleeping I would just leave her to do her duties. My helper and I were about the same size and every now and again I would hear her make a comment or two about how good my clothes looked but I never thought anything of it. My friend who is friends with her on Facebook sent me a photo of her. When I looked good at the picture, the lady had on my clothes!
My helper is an experienced one. She comes highly recommended as she has held similar positions in the past. So when it comes to budgeting her weekly wages she is an expert. She religiously waits on the JUTC bus to pass the house at 5:00 before going home, even if I relieve her from her duties at 3:00 pm. But she is a proud woman also and so when I suggested to her that she wear a uniform while in the house, she resisted initially but eventually she came around. But the problem came when she told me I was expected to not only foot the bill for the uniforms but also pay for the upkeep of them as well. My helper would rather allow her uniform to become ragged before she would spend a cent on her appearance. Eventually I caved in. The maintenance of the uniforms was not worth the headache.
When I went through my phone bill every month and I saw the list of numbers, there were always a few that I knew I did not call personally. I asked my children and neither or them called those numbers. The only person left was my helper. So I asked her and she confessed. I let it pass as these call were less than a minute or so, five minutes at most. The next month my bill came and I realized this was becoming too ridiculous. I guess because I didn’t say it explicitly she didn’t get the message but I had to once again confront her about the issue. Her response? ‘Maam, is just a few calls mi a mek, mi neva have nuh credit.’ I was speechless.