GETTING A MAID
... so that both are contented.
In today’s times, getting the right maid in any urban Indian city seems like a mammoth task in itself. Reasons for this could include wide pay disparity between what you can pay and what is paid in your neighbourhood, dearth of lowerincome groups in and around your locality, strong unity amongst maids against certain residents, etc. Below is a quick guide that will help you in keeping the right maid who best suits your house requirements, minus the drama of getting your house robbed, or you having to go on indefinite scouts searching for your next housemaid!
Interviewing promising domestic staff for positions of permanent cooks and cleaners, helps the employer in understanding the maid’s mind-set towards responsibly undertaking domestic work, her attitude towards time, her sense of cleanliness and personal hygiene levels and, most importantly, it is the personality and behavioural aspects of the maid that come to light.
Interviewing new maids helps to a large extent in understanding the way in which they speak to their tobe employers and if at all they follow the concepts of showing respect and speaking politely.
Other aspects that can be discussed during interviews should be the monthly pay, including whether you pay in cash, or cash and kind such as giving ration items like rice, flour, pulses etc. While interviews are a great medium of getting to know your new domestic staff and learning about where all they have worked in the past, having dealt with different types of work and on what pay basis; interviews also help you in weeding out the right from the wrong!
An employer in today’s date must be extremely vigilant about the character she is allowing to enter into her household every day in the guise of domestic worker. While over-suspicion and neurotics is never advised, being too lax, is also a direct invitation to trouble!
When having shortlisted and hired a new housemaid, most women tend to relax, unwind, and let the new maid take over all the household responsibilities. Despite thinking that once with the arrival of your new housemaid all your household problems will be solved, the fact of the matter will remain that one morning you will wake up to find one of your favourite decorative brassware or crystal items missing.
In order to avoid such traumatic situations, it is best advised to note down all important details of the new maid whom you wish to hire. Before starting work, every lady employer should seek copies of the maid’s Aadhar card, her husband’s driving licence, other personally identifiably documents, permanent residence proof, contact numbers of the maid, her immediate family, etc. While most maids desist and strongly oppose to part with such personal information (for reasons best known to them), those who are hell bent on getting work will produce some if not all of these documents, thereby showing their eagerness to work with honesty being their virtue.
The employer should most certainly ask the local police station to get the maid police verified in the employer’s presence, and eventually be handed over a copy of the duly filled and signed police verification form that the maid has filled, or told the local policeman to fill, citing her illiteracy. After receiving a copy of the form, it is then the duty of the employer to repeatedly follow up with the policemen demanding them to do a thorough background check on the information that has been provided by the maid.
Though most employers feel that if a maid has been employed by them, it gives them undue leverage to ill-treat, verbally abuse, threaten, and harass the maid in order to extract work out of her to the fullest, you must not forget that even if the maid is your servant and she serves you, you, however, do not own her.
One must not ignore the fact that the maids who come to work in your houses – be it your lavish apartments or fancy bungalows and mansions – are mostly women who live in extreme poverty and financial difficulties. These women who double as domestic maids are living lives which are absolutely incomprehensible to the educated, wealthy, and mostly self-obsessed upper classes. Urban and rural poverty today is one of India’s greatest disgraces and a slap in the face of all governments that have
INTERVIEWING NEW MAIDS HELPS TO A LARGE EXTENT IN UNDERSTANDING THE WAY IN WHICH THEY SPEAK TO THEIR TO-BE EMPLOYERS AND IF AT ALL THEY FOLLOW THE CONCEPTS OF SHOWING RESPECT AND SPEAKING POLITELY.
come and gone. Domestic maids therefore have a lot to deal with in terms of running their own households as also their professional households where they work.
Conversing in pleasant tones therefore is a great tool to see to it that your maid does her chores efficiently and aptly.
Even at times when you find yourself not being in the best of moods, and find your maid testing your patience with her whining about a particular chore, avoid an argumentative confrontation and either let her do the task her way or tell her to take it up another day when you are willing to engage in a conversation elaborating the way to go about it.
While it is extremely generous of employers to gift goodies such as clothes and sweets to their maids during festivals and on special occasions, it is often seen that urban maids take this notion of gifting as an act of concealment or cover-up of the neediness and weakness of their employer.
While they should be happy and content with the gifts, they however tend to think that their employer most desperately needs their services in order to keep her house running, and is therefore offering regular goodies in hopes of continued domestic services by the maid. Maids tend to take this genuine act of gifting and kindness as an opportunity to demand a raise in their monthly salaries. And, while some are able to extract what they wanted, most are shown the door in no time! So, while gifting your domestic help is most certainly an act of showing that you care (even if you don’t and have hidden agendas), the point is, the manner in which your maids will interpret these acts of yours is open to doubt and question!
Therefore, the best thing to do is to pay your maid her monthly wages on time, so that there is no scope of annoyance on your maid’s part. Time-table
Most domestic maids working as part-time helps expect that their employers maintain a ‘time-table’ so that work is done on fixed timings for fixed durations every single day, after which the maids are able to undertake additional work in other households as well.
This expectation is only valid and proper because, not only does maintaining a proper time-table help in the on-time running of a household, it also help maids to earn more from taking up similar jobs in multiple households.
An employer must never forget that a part-time maid’s timings are to be respected and followed like religion, else she will quit in no time.
However, a maid residing with an employer’s family is duty bound and also has a moral obligation towards her employers to have flexi timings; but only to the extent to which she is comfortable and doesn’t feel burdened or harassed.