Last time i blogged about my maid, she’d just started, and so far she was amazing. She had some flaws, but then who doesn’t? Her work was great, there’s not to much to do at our place, because its semi mechanized. When we first got married, we had a kinda pact thingy that we wouldn’t have a maid. One reason was because we both find it kinda creepy having a stranger traipsing through our house. Truthfully, not having a helper is kinda unrealistic, as we were soon to find out.
My husband had to move to Kenya when our baby was a little over 3 months old. My maternity leave had ended, luckily my sister was available to help, till she went back to school. My mom lent me the lady who works for her till i was ready to move to Kenya. Due to some delays, I couldn’t travel as early as i’d thought, and my mother in law had to come help with the baby. By now it had dawned on me that a help was in the picture somewhere down the line. I honestly couldn’t assume that people were just going to press pause in their lives, and jump to help because i’d decided to replenish the earth. When baby number two arrived, the work tripled. Its impossible to sync a newborn’s timetable to yours, its the other way around. Yep, they totally own you! Add a toddler to the mix, and you have a mini riot. I say that lovingly.
So after my mother in law came to visit and left, it was pretty hard adjusting. I slept, but i never rested. There was just too much to do. After some deliberating, we decided to get a maid. She was good with work, great with the kids. And initially she wasn’t much of a talker, which was great as i’m not much of a chatterbox myself. Her being around allowed me to focus on starting my business, i decided to get to know her a little before renting a space for work. All was well, except she was always asking for money. She resumed at 9am and left at 5pm, monday to friday. We paid her well, way higher than most maids are paid here in Nairobi, and the first month, though she started 10 days into the month, we gave her transport allowance, and still gave her her salary in full. Yet, she’d always ask for 1k here, 2k there. It was inconveniencing for me, because sometimes, that’s all the spare cash i’d have, but i kept giving her. Month end, my husband would say, let’s just bless her with it, and we’d pay her in full. She never once seemed particularly grateful of impressed by the extra money. I wondered about that, but i never talked to her about it.
In June, we traveled to Nigeria for 3 weeks, and gave her the 3 weeks off too, with pay. The first week in july, she said her husband just got a job in kisumu, and needed two thousand shillings for transportation, i gave her. Few days later, she said he was back, as the job required someone with computer skills. i wondered how he’d ‘gotten’ the job in the first place if he wasn’t qualified, but i let it slide. Couple of weeks later, it was a friday, i came out of the room, and i saw the backlight of my phone on. I expected to see a new email or sms, none. no missed call either. I had a strange feeling, and so i put a password on both my phones. Minutes after she left my place, i got call from my husband, he wanted to know how my nanny/maid got his number. i was confused. He later forwarded the messages she’d sent him. Summary of it was, she wanted him to give her money, and please she didn’t want him to tell me, so i wouldn’t be angry. He replied her to tell her, as she worked for me, and should ask me for any thing she wanted, and warned her to never go behind me to him.
*insert evil laugh* .
To say i was angry, is to put it very mildly. The fact that she had the effrontery to go through my phone was thoroughly unsettling. She was a very bold one. And i felt totally violated. I cannot stand people who do not have or respect boundaries. Here’s a woman who has two children, the first who’s 8 years old. I just wonder the values she’s impacting in them. How i managed to wait till monday, i still don’t know. I wanted to see the look in her eyes as i questioned her. When i questioned her, guess who was to blame? the devil of course! He made her do it. She hadn’t even finished her probation period, yet she felt so indispensable. It wasn’t yet month end, but i fired her on the spot, month end, i sent her salary via mpesa to her.
I wish i could say it ended there.
Some weeks ago, she sent me an sms, she saying her her husband has left her, and she desperately needs a job. I helped her advertise on facebook, and some ladies were interested, i gave her number to them, she was called for some interviews. She gave me feedback, that most were offering between seven and eight thousand shillings only per month, and it was too little. A few days after, i got a message from one of the ladies who’d interviewed her, she’d liked her, and had told her to resume the next day. And Ruth (my former nanny/maid), told her she didn’t have transport money, and like we’d done when she first started with us, the lady gave her money upfront, And that was the last she saw of her. I was thoroughly embarrassed, i apologized and offered to pay back the money, but she refused, saying she just wanted to give me a heads up. I quickly went and pulled down the posts i’d made advertising for placement for her, then i called her to inform her i still had photocopies of her documents, and should she try any criminal behaviour, i wouldn’t hesitate to assist the authorities to track her down.
Maybe she thought she’d be allowed to come work for me after she gave me that sob story. Like my father would say ” na here dem bury her placenta?’. Good question!