House-Help Chronicles ~ Here We Go Again!



“Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself” ~ Oprah Winfrey

 
Sometime mid March, my house help (who was beyond amazing, by the way) told me she wanted to go and visit her people. She said her mother had summoned all her kids, both home and abroad, for family prayers. Now, if you know how “busy” and “creative” these “people from the village” can be, you’ll understand the need for these family prayers every once in a while. After all, we really do not wrestle against flesh and blood!

Normally, I would feel my poor heart thumping away in panic as soon as I hear “Mummy, I want to travel and see my people”. These things can soooooo destabilize one, especially if your working hours ain’t flexible. For some reason tho, her's just made me smile that quiet I-was-not-born-yesterday type smile. This move I’ve sorta been expecting because lately, she's been less that her usual cheerful self...and to be fair, she hasn't been to see her people in the one year she has stayed with me. Maybe a change of environ will do her...and ultimately me...a world of good.

The panic began to creep in ever so stealthily when, after her approved week long holiday I was yet to see or hear from my trusted help. Hunting and breaking in new domestic staff, especially house helps is one chore I absolutely dread.

I sent out feelers to all and sundry. The search was on! After I interviewed the first couple of helps sent my way, I began to despair. The first could not string together a sentence in English to save her life; the other was referred to me by my neighbour’s house help....story for another day.

My joy when I got the BBM chat that said, “Olee gi? Found someone for you o. She took care of these kids I know. She may sha want like 30k or so” was immeasurable. When I called the someone found for me, I didn't even bother with interviewing her. I went from "Hey, how are you?" to "Pack your things and start coming to my house." What was I interviewing her for? My friend would never steer me wrong. More so, I know this help’s sister and in my opinion, Ghana house helps no too dey suffer from local weyrey like their Nigerian counterparts.

I was beyond relieved when Naomi* {the help} called to say she was in my house. Thank God for friends that always look out for you! I got home that evening to finally meet the voice I've been speaking to on the phone. Matured, respectful, pleasant and playful with the kids, what more could a girl ask for? I mouthed a quick thanks heavenwards and subtly pulled my sister to the corner!


"How far? She any good?" I inquired.

"Sis ehn, you hammered with this one. Very attentive to the kids. Very pleasant. Even if you paid the 30k she's asking for, it would be totally worth it!"
Signed! Sealed! HIRED! This was Tuesday evening.

When I spoke to her just before bedtime, it was just to lay down the house rules and feel where her head space was at:

· Feed my kids.
· Allow me discipline them.
· Do not take stuff without clearing with me first. Also know as “Don’t steal”.
· And tell me no lies.
I need to have some level of trust on the person I’m leaving my kids with all day.

I did ask where she worked last, how long she stayed and why she left. She said somewhere in Lekki, for a year and a half and that she wanted to start a business. Commendable. As long as she gave me enough notice before she decides to re-commit to her business venture, I was good. I said good night and went to bed...

...Until the rat cum rabbit cum unknown creature bared its fangs and came at me in the dream! I woke up with a start. It took awhile before I eventually nodded off to sleep again...and ended up with some more disturbing series of dreams. Now, I'm not overly spiritual {even tho I should totally be} but I do know that when I dream and remember it, there's usually cause for alarm. However, since nobody died in the dream or had an accident, I chucked it up to product of an overly imaginative mind and left it at that.

During the course of the day tho, I was restless. Something kept niggling at me. I got the sense that something was wrong somewhere, somehow but yet, I couldn't put a finger to it.
When I got home that evening, my sister pulled me aside and said,

“You need to watch this one. I think she’s possessed!”

Hian, I thought.

“Have you ever heard that a Nokia fone crashed? Ever?” she continued. “Since morning, my phone hasn't come on. It's like I went to bed and my phone literally died!! I don't know whether my midnight phone calls deterred her from her planned operation at night and she decided to silence the phone.”

“Hian”, I exclaimed!

“Sis, I telling you o, that chic is possessed. She was so restless last night, asking me repeatedly whether I don’t want to go to bed. What's her own with when I want to sleep, biko? And today, she’s been moody. Very moody. She hasn’t even gone near the kids!”

I remembered my dream. I recalled my misgivings throughout the day. Watch ke? I no dey watch anything o. This one has to go! But how to sack her became the problem. I decided to go the salary route. I told her I cannot pay 30K as salary o. 25K is what I can afford. For someone vehemently refusing to accept any kobo less 30k, it was somewhat alarming how she quickly agreed to collect the 25k I offered.

Dilemma.

I need a house help. My instincts said as good as this one smells, she might not be entirely good for me and mine. But I needed a help. Before I went to bed that night, I sorta knew letting her go would be the best line of action. This was Wednesday.

I woke up the next morning and rushed off for an early morning meeting. Excuses. Excuses. God knew I didn't know how to tell that woman to pack and go. Throughout the day, I tried to justify why I should not send that her away. My instincts would not let me rest. Sack her, it says. My head returned with, What if you don't get another help? Time was running out!

It was on my fifth trip to the office restroom (weight loss can be a bitch on the bladder really) that it occurred to me that I know Naomi’s last employer’s name. Don't ask me how I did it but I got this woman’s number and called her. Best decision I ever made.

“Naomi was a good help, very good with my kids...” Yesssssss? Both my head and my heart couldn't wait to hear the rest of it.

“...She worked for me for a year and a half...” I told you, my head said. Her story checks out. Good helps are hard to find.

“...but...” Head and heart froze.

“...She didn't leave because she wanted to start a business...”

“...She stole! And not just the odds and bits s that always went missing from the house and I chose to ignore because she was quite good with my kids. No, she broke my heart. She STOLE from a supermarket. She was caught and disgraced publicly...”
The story was long! I had goosebumps by the time i finished that call.
Signed. Sealed. SACKED! This was Thursday evening.

It wasn't just the fact that she stole. She looked me in the eyes and lied, going as far as to condemn househelps that stole from their employers. How was I gonna trust a thief and a liar (...you forgot possessed, my sister reminded me) to take care of my kids, when I’m usually gone the whole day?

When I woke her up by 5am on Friday morning and asked her again why she left her former employment, she knew the game was up! That early in the morning with both the AC and the fan at full blast, Naomi* was sweating profusely! She said she was sorry she lied, that she never stole in her life, that something must’ve possessed her, that she had gone to her church for deliverance...

My sister was right. Her Nokia phone crashing was not normal. Neither were the claw marks I saw on Chets as I was giving him a bath that morning. I’m just glad I listened to my intuition. Grateful even. More so to this woman that told a stranger the truth. But mostly to God who just watches out for His people.

XOXO...

18 comments:

HoneyDame said...

Omg!!! Oh my God! I am hyperventilating! Claw marks on Chets?! Oh MY GoDDdddD!!

moshalewa's world said...

Omg thanks God she's gone... always follow your intuition dear it never lies

Demi Oyewo said...

Thank God u let her go, i remember telling you the other day too, dat follow ur instincts. God pls help us find good care for these Kids. Demi

Dressed said...

Thank God you let her go very early, one can get very dependent on them when they stay for long, thanks to hectic lifestyles.

Have you noticed how their reasons for leaving their previous employer is that they relocated abroad and how their previous of place of work is most times Lekki lol! very funny
bunch.
dressed2dnines.blogspot.com

Toinlicious said...

Ah! This one is scary o

Chuwechuwe said...

My word! There is nothing as powerful as our instincts. Rather no househelp than one who leaves you feeling unsettled. Peace of mind is golden. Good riddance to bad rubbish and here's to finding someone you can trust.

Jemima said...

This is so disturbing...claws on Chet's back?? ha Thank God she is gone....

Bola Essien-Nelson a.k.a Salt said...

Apart from the 'former employer has gone abroad' line, there is the 'my mother/father died, went home to bury, my former employer could not wait for me to come back and voila! that's why I am now looking for a job' line that always 'trips' me. It's like the whole village is dying off!

Thanks for sharing this. I could write a whole book about my experiences but I won't. I will however share a number for an agency 'Whitebells Maids'. I will not swear by them yet cos only just started using them but the lady they brought is (so far) a gem. Good english, the right kind of initiative and good with my last born son. PLUS I prayed over it well before closing the deal.

However, please note that it is not cheap and you pay direct to the agency not to the girl .....I had never used this kind of 'agency' before so I was a tad wary but I would give them a try in a pinch. I was in a pinch and so far no cause for alarm.

Maria operates like a 'domestic' PA and I just pray to God she stays the same for the one year we have contracted with ourselves.

But like Demi says, sistas please let us always follow our instincts. Human beings are the only 'animal' who second guess their instincts. When a deer 'thinks' a lion is close by, it does not wait to check a second time, it takes off. May God help us all in Jesus name. Amen!

Sorry for my long comment. It is sort of my trademark. Lol!

Bola Essien-Nelson a.k.a Salt said...

Sorry the number for Whitebells is 0812 9124 913 and the business owner name is Ifeyinwa.

You can check out their website:
http://kimbec.me/whitebell/

Daughter of Her King said...

WOW.... this is real???

kia..wonders shall never end oo.

Ema Leecious said...

I'm so glad you decided to follow your instincts...that's why we have them you know. (hugs)

Abiola said...


All is well...I have a friend whose help was possessed enough to leave her 2 kids (2yr old & 9months) alone in the house for God knows how long. She came back from work in the evening to meet them playing outside. The girl never returned.

Pray very well before sealing the next deal.

OgochukwuAgu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hazel said...

Hey @Honey. I know right? Scary stuff.

@Moshalewa Never gonna ignore my intuition again. Thing saved my ass.

@Demi Amen o. God will surely see us through.

Hazel said...

@Dressed Tell me abt it. Without these helps, i dunno how i'll cope but their lies are out of this world. Thanks for stopping by.

@Toin The heart of man ehn...

@Chuwechuwe Amen! I'm so on the edge.

@Jemima I've bound and casted. Thank you love.

Hazel said...

@Bola Mehn, you is a lifeline is all i can say. Thank you so much. Gonna give them a call. And thanks for stopping by. Been to ypur blogs and back.

@DHK @Emaleecious i mean! i'm just thanful.

@Abiola You are kidding right? Thank God she didnt even leave with the kids.

Fluffycutething said...

*hugs* God will continue to lead us in the right direction!!! I tire I for all these help matters oh

eyesoftruth said...

this househelp issue eh! I just got into the biz and i'm in my second. My first help followed every guy in my area. my current one is trying sha, May God protect out kids.