Anybody who hires a domestic helper a.k.a maid, for whatever reason, surely has a story or two to tell. The stories are endless. Good ones, bad ones and horrifying ones! I have four maids so far in the span of 7 years. Let me tell you my stories.
Maid 1 : A spinster who hailed from East Java. She looked more like a man and spoke with a rough voice. She's very hardworking in her own way. She followed her work routine pretty well but if the routine was disrupted, everything else went haywire. Most of the time it was disrupted, thus a lot of work was often unfinished. If I scolded her or even told her nicely of her mistakes, she'd get really angry. Either she would talk back defending herself or say "Allahuakbar, Allahuakbar" then went off to have her wudhuk and sometimes even perform solat sunat to cool herself. The good thing was, the kids like her because they like to play with her. After two years, I terminated her contract because her "talk back" was getting too unbearable!
Maid 2 : A very soft spoken and pretty little thing who seemed to be godsent after the rough Javanese. Came from Bandung and a Sunda. Sunda is known for their softspoken and good heart. She can cook and clean pretty well. Kids love her. She seemed to be perfect for the first year. We really fell for her that we treat her real good. Things started to go wrong when we gave her a handphone. She claimed she has a "paman" living in Malaysia. During this time, my hubby was away working. So there were only me, kids and her. I truly depended on her on many things, and she was often reliable. And perhaps because of this I overlooked many things. Since I was working and needed her help badly, I tolerate all the little things I noticed. Until one day I went home unannounced in the mid day. My heart almost stopped beating when I went into a messy house and nobody in it. Including my two little kids. I was almost histerical. I called her handphone and asked her where she was. Not knowing I was at home, she sweetly told me she's cleaning my room upstairs. I told her off telling her I was at home. I was already screaming then, thinking of my kids with her. After a few on and off the phone because she was scared of my screaming.. she told me she was in Shah Alam in a taxi with my kids! She even let the taxi driver spoke to me. He reassured me that my kids were OK and they were returning home. He claimed that my maid called him to take her to the clinic. But why so far away (about 20km away)? Why not tell me? I could take her myself. We (me and my neighbor) waited for 20 minutes before the taxi arrived in front of my house. That was the longest 20 minutes of my life!! I blew off my top when she reached home but at the same time so grateful that my kids are safe with me again. She claimed she was having stomach pain. She confessed she was pregnant. Since I did not allow her any weekend breaks, I gathered she brought home men (not just one man) while I was not at home or at night when I was sleeping. I also suspected she went to the clinic to have an abortion (with the kids along!!) but the doctor was not in. I sent her back to the agent half an hour after that. Took one week off from work before I found a babysitter near my house.
Maid 3: This one came 3 months after the horrifying experience of Maid 2. I still have the phobia, but I need a helper badly since my hubby was going away again.She lasted for 3 months only since she already showed bad signs since day 1. She claimed my house was haunted. She was very weird in many ways. Her mom was working in another state. She was 30 yrs old and her mom was abt 45. She begged to see her mom almost every weekend. One day I found her ready with her bag to go see her mom. I sent her back to the agent instead before she ran off while I was at work.
Maid 4: The most efficient, longest serving and almost too good to be true. This is my current maid. I took her in after she's being sacked from a millionaire's house. They accused her of stealing an expensive jewelery. My agent believed she didn't take it. I decided to take her anyway because I was desperate, because I believed my agent and because I tawakkal to Allah. Also, at that time I believed they were all the same, either way I will get a bad one! I have lost hope. I don't have any expensive jewelery for her to steal anyway! Still, I was cautious for the first few months. I was very strict on her as well and watched her like a hawk. She turned out the most OK. She knows of her roles and responsibilities, she does her work diligently. I don't have to ask, she will do it. Almost perfect. It's been two years now. I renewed her permit last November for her third year here. I gave her 5 weeks off (way too long) for her to see her family last Hari Raya. Her husband is working here in a restaurant. I brought her see her hubby once in a while. Last few weeks we allowed the husband to stay overnight at our house. I guess we are the most "understanding" employer. Understanding the human needs! Right! And now, serves us right for being so understanding. She is now a few weeks pregnant! She is pregnant!!
My almost perfect maid, pregnant! I know it is her right. It was with her legal hubby. But she has a contract with me.. she's not supposed to get pregnant while working. But who am I to question Allah's plan for me. I can only pray for her health before I send her home. And I can only pray for the best for myself to handle the four brats and a house, and the never ending laundry. I shall brace it all!
Maid oh maid.. to have or not to have! Since I'm not working anymore, the need is not so great, but since the four are growing, there are too much to be done in the house and I need to concentrate more on the kids, I do appreciate some help!