I have realized over time that the breaking points of maid employers differ from home to home. While some can’t stand someone who lies at all, another can manage a lying person… as long as she is hardworking. It’s perfectly okay to choose to be patient with your maid; however, many employers don’t seem to know when there isn’t any more hope that their maid will get better. Whatever your breaking point may be, there should be a standard limit to which you decide to continue to stick with a method, or relationship that isn’t working. If you continue to try the same thing and you haven’t noticed any change, then you should try something else.
Some people find it hard to see reasons why they should try someone else. So, I’ll shed some light on 7 signs that indicate you may need to change the kind of maids you’ve been hiring, to an educated or more professional help.
You have gone through more than three maids in a year
This could be due to any reason; either because your maids are running away, or you are firing them. Firstly, it’s not healthy to have that many strangers into your home. Secondly, the mental and emotional stress that comes with the sudden absence and the process of hiring another person is not something you should be putting yourself through. Thirdly, turnover is expensive; it’s best to take the time to hire the right people in the first place. It may be time to opt for stability by hiring someone who understands professionalism and will most likely be bound by a contract.
You are more worried now than before you hired your maid
When your maid is becoming a frequent prayer point, not because you have decided to bless her, but out of fear of what she might and can do, it may be time to go professional. Hiring a professional gives you the assurance of being able to trace and hold someone responsible if something goes wrong. You shouldn’t have to live in constant fear over what you have control over.
There’s no difference between your life now that you have a maid and before you did
If you have to do your chores all over again because your maid did not do it well, you still have reason to complain over certain things your maid should be handling, rather than consistently shouting or beating her (which is totally wrong), save yourself the stress and hire a well trained maid.
The money you’re spending is not commensurate to the value you are getting
Like I stated in my last article here, your maid is not supposed to be an inheritance that you have to keep by all means. You buy clothes, shoes, send to school, feed and so on. If you must spend that money on hired help, why not get someone who will give you commensurate value. And if by any means that person costs even a bit more, you are assured of getting excellent results.
It’s becoming a family affair
You know that phone call that comes in with the voice on the other end sounding sober “Madam, Mary’s uncle died, please she needs to attend the burial, she will come back after one week”. “Madam, please let Bisi come home for Christmas” (even when she just resumed in November). You can serve a warning first, but if it is unending or crosses the line, then it’s time to do the needful. An employer told me her maid’s family was calling her husband behind her, to get a job for the maid’s brother. What a wawu!
You cannot try to communicate without feeling frustrated
When your instructions are not properly understood, your home is endangered. How frustrating can it be, to be limited by someone else’s thinking? So one day, you say “put baby’s food in the fridge” and she hears/understands only baby and fridge and puts the baby in the fridge (Nollywood movie scene) *insert frustrated smiley*.
How about if there is an emergency and this person cannot communicate properly what exactly is going on? You seriously deserve better.
Your maid is covetous
Someone who persistently has an eye for everything you have. She wants to drink your juice, eat the same number of meat, wear your shoes and your clothes. Asks you for the best of your things..”Madam, that cloth you wore yesterday, when you are not wearing it again, give me”. The key word here is persistently. It’s okay if you decide to correct and put her in her place once in a while, but some maids are relentless. This kind of person will never find what you give her to be enough.
After maid disasters happen, we discover that the signs were always there, but we decided to still keep going. Deciding to keep an incompetent maid is a choice. Choosing to fire an incompetent maid and hiring someone else who is no different is also a choice. To end recurrent maid disasters, we should look to stepping out of the norm which thus far, has not proven to be effective. There are a lot of educated and more professional people who are willing. The market is also ready. I’m only still trying to understand where the fear of bringing these class of people into our homes come from.
P.S This article was originally published on Bellanaija here