GET­TING A MAID

... so that both are con­tented.

Woman's Era - - Contents - Vib­hor Sharma

144

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!

In­ter­view

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!

Ver­ify

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.

Man­ner­isms

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.

Gift­ing

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.

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