Where the raindrops as they're falling tell a story...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wanted: Househelp

When we decided to live on our own and purchase a house, I was confident we can keep it clean and orderly with a minimum of help. True to what I professed, we we’re able to keep the house clean and orderly. The help only visited us once a week for a general cleaning, plus heavy lifting stuff I couldn’t do. It worked perfectly for us. That was when there were only two of us.

With the baby on the way, and with me suffering morning sickness throughout the day, a permanent househelp became a need. That was when the hunt (and the headache) began.

Househelp 1 was a taciturn type. Or at least that’s the trait she wanted us to see. She moved rather slower than I’m used to. Ok, so I’m used to doing things fast if I can’t do them any faster. I believe there’s no use dilly-dallying if you can finish it half the time and use the other half resting instead. I am totally OK with her taking an afternoon nap. I even encouraged it. Just show me the floor’s clean and the furniture are dusted. It was until I found out that she hasn’t been cleaning beneath the couches. That I can still tolerate. Then she asked to spend the night at her brother’s but did not come back after about a week. That was just too much, so we let her go. She went alright, with my blue J.Lo watch.

Househelp 2 was an unintentional comic. I forgot what her real name was, but she came by the name of Tagala. I later realize that her neighbors gave her that name as a truncated form of the word taga-lasang. In the vernacular, it means someone who lives in the forest, or any place remote of civilization. I was told that when she was little, she was too afraid of the passing buses that each time she’d hear one coming, she’d climb the coconut tree. It’s an anecdote that up to now still brings laughter in our dinner table. Yet, Tagala was the most hardworking househelp I’ve seen. You always see her doing something everytime. One time when all the chores were done, and all the nooks and crannies were wiped clean, she complained that the chores in the house were too light. I thought I hit the jackpot. Then her jealous husband called demanding her to come home.

Househelp 3 was an angst-y teen. We put her to school for the sole purpose of helping someone get a better education. Her night classes finished at 9 pm. She won’t be home until 11 pm, and the school is a good 5 minutes walk from the house. We later found out that she’s been keeping a boyfriend. She had been neglecting most of her duties because of this. Early on, I discovered she also has a knack of going through my stuff and use my lotions, moisturizers, etc. She also dispensed them in a smaller container and brought these to her room. One day, I left my digicam on video mode. She must have had a very confusing time why she can’t get a decent framed pic whenever she hit the button, because too many attempts were recorded on video. Not contented, she went infront of the mirror and positioned the camera giving the viewer a perfect view of who’s holding the cam while it was recording. The evidence of her kalikutan is just overwhelming. After a year of enduring her antics, and feeling like having a teenage daughter full of angst, off we let her go.

Househelp 4 is the total opposite of H3. She speaks really slow, always smiling but laughs really loud, it’s sometimes disturbing. She’s really polite and eager to do things her way. That’s just her thing. She wants to do things her way without asking first, which of course lead to mistakes, most of the time. Dai, hand me the zester. She’ll give me the can opener. I almost blew my top the other day for piled up mistakes, which lead me to lecture, in a very forceful voice, how asking questions is never wrong and we so encourage it in the household. Avoid mistakes, ask questions, I always tell her. From then on, she’s been asking questions, and I always compliment her for it. Then one morning she told us she’s going back to her previous job. The toddler she was taking cared of isn’t eating and is always looking for her. We were ready to find another replacement yet again when she changed her mind. She’s staying with us. Yes, she’s still with us and is currently our househelp.

Everything’s OK and working, then Xofia’s nanny had to go home.

Right now, Xofia’s under the care of her very generous Auntie Han when Daddy and Mommy are at work. We’re looking into training H4 as nanny since she has had experience there and we think Xofia likes her. Still that leaves us lacking a househelp. If anybody asks, I'm looking for a househelp. If you happen to know one, contact me, PUH-LEASE??? Just look at those eyes. :-P


caffeinated muse June 24, 2008 at 10:25 PM  

awwwww kaCute sa akong inaanak oi! cute as a button and pretty as a daisy. ako nlng bantai ani nia beh!

Purpled Sky June 25, 2008 at 9:30 AM  

oh, shure!!! when man ka kay para ma-schedule nato sa iyang auntie han. :-D

mckhoii June 25, 2008 at 8:06 PM  

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chris June 29, 2008 at 11:40 AM  

That's a tough one. At least there in the Philippines, it is affordable to get a "yaya". Here in the states it will cost you an arm and a leg.

Kat July 3, 2008 at 9:39 AM  

Good luck on #4! I hope she'll be able to last and be ok with your family. My tita has the same problems with the people she hires, so they rarely stay for a long time.

I feel blessed that the people we had helping my parents as my siblings and I were growing up were all honest, hard working and nice people. Most of them were my grandparents' scholars, children of the people who helped in our farm. Many of them have gone on to make great lives for themselves (one is a teacher, another is an engineer, and one is a manager of a restaurant) and raise families of their own. We maintain regular contact with them, and we still have our Ate Dhels with us after 20 years.


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