House-Help Chronicles

Somehow, it is inevitable that this blog would have a series dedicated exclusively to house helps and all the lessons i’ve learnt employing them. With a job that affords me just about enough time to come home, eat and hit the sack until the next morning, having a help is not even topic for debate. Did i say a help? Make that TWO helps in my case, one in charge of the kids’ welfare and the other to take of general housecleaning. And having two helps saves me a lot of headache and embarrassment. What sort of story would i have concocted for the office after that help of mine ran away, if i didn’t have a backup in my nanny?
My house-help ran away weeks ago; i mentioned it in my last post. Last week {Thursday to be precise} i got a replacement from Enugu. This post is all about the replacement and the lesson i learnt from her!
Thursday 20/10
4:10pm- I called this 20-something year old help to ask her whereabouts to determine when to go pick her up. She said she had no idea. I asked that she find out from the bus conductor or driver or whoever could give her the information. She returned, few minutes later, with, “We are in Benin”. Great.
6:05pm- I called her again. She picks and says they are in Ojodu Berger.
 “Progress”, i thought.
 “Thank You Jesus”, i said.
Then i told her to stop at Ojota to which she replied, “Be coming out now. Come and wait there. I’ve told you we are in Berger. Just come out and wait in Ojota”.
To be totally honest, i’m still smarting from Precious’ absconding, the help that ran away. It pained me more because she waited until i paid her salary and as i left for the neighbourhood market the next day to get foodstuff, she took off...literally...slippers in hand. And so, when Madame New House-help said i should stand in Ojota, name card in hand i suppose, and wait for her, i got pissed again. Whats with me and these girls with attitude?
6:29pm- She flashes my phone; i called back. She said they were in Ojota and i said, “Good. Now ask for the bus coming to Maryland Junction. Its about 5-10 minutes drive and it won’t cost more than N50”. She started whining, “You know i don’t know anywhere. You were supposed to be waiting for me in Ojota”. I told her not to worry; she cant miss the Mr Biggs by Mobil Gas Station in Maryland Junction. No way. Also told her i would be waiting right there for her. Tihehe...small victory i know but i’d rather show her right off the bat who was BOSS...ME!
7:02pm- 30 calls later...23 of which she ignored out rightly, 5 cut off...we meet ourselves for the first time ever.
I usually give my new employees pep talks but i decided to skip hers that night. She was tired from that long ass journey. Pep talk can wait until the next day. I gave her food and told her to go rest.
Friday 21/10
9:07am- PHCN just brought the light. I was in the bathroom trying to load the kids’ dirty laundry into the washing machine. New Help was cleaning the loo. She met me, mop and bucket in hand, in the bathroom and started “mopping” the bath floor. Then she asked, “Which bucket am i supposed to use and mop this floor?” to which the nanny replied, “Haba, the one you are using right now”.
New Help: Hian. Don’t you people have that normal mop bucket? Because my hand cannot touch this mop.
I heard that statement and my ears perked up. I slowly backtracked and asked her: What did you just say?
New Help: My hand cannot touch the mop head to squeeze off the water. It irritates my skin.
Me: How did you clean the toilet?
New Help: I just hold the mop until the water stops dripping and i use it. Theres no way i’m touching that mop. You people should try and buy the mop bucket.
Me: Can you see my hand? Is it scaly or itchy? Can you look at Happy’s {nanny} hands? Are they scaly or itchy?
She answered, “All hands are not the same!”
I gave her the pep talk then...but it was not the initially prepared talk. I gave her a different, more aggressive, not-ready-to-take-shit version of the pep talk and it seemed to sober her up a bit.
5:27pm- I came home from my day’s waka and met with her to give her the chore list. Before i gave her the list, i asked,
“Have you done this sort of work before and where?”
“You won’t know the place so there’s no point telling you”, she replied.
“What?” I was shocked. My goodness!      
“Its my Aunty’s place and we were three and...”
“Whatever”, i cut her off and read out her chores. After i was done, i asked her if she had anything to say. She started:
1.     I don’t like working and working and somebody cannot rest in between work.
2.     I don’t like someone sending me on an errand when i’m already working on something for them.
3.     I don’t like being disturbed by kids while i'm cleaning.
4.     I don’t like children scattering places i’ve already cleaned.
5.     Ulcer is real. I don’t want anybody starving me o. I need my food 3x a day.
6.     When can i watch TV?
I was dumbfounded!! What??? When i recovered, i asked just that one question, “That money i sent to your agent for your transport, is any still remaining?”
I need a help not a liability. I need someone that would reduce my stress level to the barest minimum not someone that would increase it ten fold. And i certainly do not need any ugly ass entity with attitude, schlepping drama around my household. Enough was enough!
Tuesday 25/10
6:05am- I woke up and told her to pack. This relationship is cursed from the get-go. I helped her pack the electric iron and plate and cup and cutlery into her bag! Who packs their own plate and cutlery to a job like this?
In the four days she was with me, it has been one drama or the other. Just yesterday, a friend of mine that we all went to visit walked her out of her house. My friend says she thinks her problem goes beyond attitude. She senses a dark spirit around her. Oh boy!
I know the lesson these few days thought me. I will never second-guess my first instincts.  


HoneyDame said...

Wow!!!! I dont even know how you thought you could manage such from the get-go!
I am still reeling from the ego...
the size of Texas has got nothing on hers.....choi!

LadyNgo said...

wow, thats just crazy. If you're going to work as a house help how can you be complaining about helping out around the house? Talk less of talking to your employer is such a tone. smh

ms cookie said...

wow, glad u sent her ass packing she had a lot of nerve

Coy~Introvert said...

say what?????? you were really good, damn, I would so crush her bones, which kind sharp mouth be that. ThankGod she's gone!! house help wahala....

Luciano said...

ennnn??? are yu kidding??
househelp o abi na PA she come do? any househelp without the "ma, ma" attitude wont even spend one night in my house.
thank God for the spirit of patience cos seriously, i dont know what i could have done to that kinda person

aloted said...

Oh my lord! What da??

As in people like this really exist?? SHUUU

i am glad u let her go..if not she for don become madam .


enjaykay said...

babe i got to learn that the big girls always have the attitude so i went for one that wasnt so big and guess what she broke my sons hand. he had a cast for a month so to tell u the truth i think they are all the same. Somehow God made their brains smaller. will holla at u soon dear.

Anonymous said... the attitude problem exists in naija too!
I sent my nanny away for stealing my children's clothes, she had the nerve to complain that I maltrated her by not paying her for 2 days she did not work last year. I had to remind the ingrate that I paid for a week's vacation 2 weeks before the 2 days she did not work. She had the entire week off for thanksgiving and xmas (all paid) in addition to 2 weeks paid vacation. I then asked if any of her previous employers have done the same.

Toinlicious said...

WTF?! Oh no she didn't! Yu certainly have more patience than me (& i tot i was patient) With her stupid rules? Good Lawd have mercy, i'd have shipped her back the very next day. mshew.

Myne Whitman said...

Wow, that lady sure had a lot of drama. I would prefer to talk and interact with any would be help before hiring them.

Jemima said...

Fantastic, did i read that correct, there seems to be a lot of uppity helps nowadays o, someone told me she interviewed a help and one of her conditions was to follow the family for summer.what???

HoneyDame said...

@Jemima, that's a joke, right?! Summer bawo? No be only summer, autumn sef go joi!

Jemima said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jemima said...

Its not a joke o, there seems to be a strange breed of helps nowadays, you should hear me and my friends when we swap help stories..someone asked her new help what she would do when her 8 months old baby starts crying and the help replied..mummy iyen ole, ma kan gbe oyan mi si ni lenu,a dake *dies* i hope you understand yoruba

HoneyDame said...

Blood of Jesus!!!!!
Hazel, maybe you really should start this chronicles you speak about o!
Housemaid's breast, in my child's mouth? Walai, I will kill someborri!

Hazel said...

Summer? Seriously? OMG! These helps dream lofty these days!

Hazel said...

This one even came with fixed nails. When I called her attention to it, she asked whether I thought her coming to my house informed her fixing her nails! I just weak!

@Honeydame @Jemima Maybe we'll kick off the Househelp Chronicles series. Contributors are most welcome. What do y'all think?

HoneyDame said...

I say let's do it!!! though I dont have many housemaid stories, I know people who do!

Jemima said...

that sounds incredible.. house helps are something else, i never even thought to blog about them..hehe

Hazel said...

@Jemima The stories are plenty! And sometimes, we have no idea what to be on the look out for! Its only God that keep our children!

bugo said...

you and these your helps!!! i remember that one that stole Cheta's baby clothes sef! ah ah..they no dey tire?

Anonymous said...

Lmao can't stop laughing and I'm thankful you sent her away! I've had my share of these types one said when I call her I had to add please to d sentence! Subsequently if u do any shi shi I go send u comot, the one I have now is another extreme but on d tolerable side! Lol God help us sometimes its we madams that cause it by over doing d niceness but I mean we can't turn to beasts cos of them now!

~Sirius~ said...

Rotflmao......all hands are not the same

SHE said...

LMAO. You employed a receptionist!