Maids. We cannot live with them or without them. It is a fact that our modern lives and raising young children demand the assistance of strangers to look after our needs and interests while we go about making a living— honest or otherwise.
We open our doors to total strangers who invade our space and privacy in the name of safeguarding those and what we love. Sounds like a fascinating give and take scenario where they offer services and we pay. Isn’t life supposed to be that straightforward?
Well, if it were, why then does there seem to be a silent war between master and servant most times? I have seen mean bosses who make sure that the maid feels like the outsider that she is by offering food of lesser value than the rest of the family; sleep on the floor even when there are spare beds; use the bush to relieve herself and not the master’s toilet; sit on the floor not chairs; use inferior utensils; cannot watch television and the list of demands goes on.
Other households will care less about what their workers eat; how they interact or conduct business around the home so long as their interests are taken care of resulting in smooth transactions. We all are at liberty to govern our household as we choose, I guess.
One thing for sure is that given a choice we would not bring strangers into our fold and these strangers would not agree to live and work for people they have never interacted with before. At the end of the day, the agreement remains a mere transaction just like any other. No matter how good or the length of service, the aspect of unfamiliarity still ploughs at the back of both sides and has a way of manifesting itself.
Ever wondered why these maids hold neighbourhood conferences analysing their bosses in terms of spousal relationships; the manner that the man of the house chews; how the madam dumps hers and hubby’s underwear in the basket for her to wash?
Are you aware of the barter between these maids in exchange for foodstuffs or goods they prefer in between households? Do you know how much they analyse visitors, know the frequent ones, the ones who won’t leave on time and those demanding ones who are always shouting their names as if they were the employers? Do we even know the countless items we have not yet discovered missing? Simply put, they gossip and will not stop. Why should they protect our secrets as if we are related? After all, it is our children we want cared for. What happens to anything else around the home is not their business— that is what most believe and we should count ourselves lucky that we find our children safe and alive. Maids are mere invaders.
I am sure most of us are aware, but are surviving on those silent truces to carry on. We are aware of the gamble of employing a woman we fear may snatch our husband or ill treat those innocent souls, but what can we really do about it? We only hope and pray. Trust me; even those so-called ill-treated maids know how to make it up to themselves once we walk out those doors. Their misery is only they are within our sight. Everything within our reach is within their own reach.
At the end of it all, we all win and we all lose. That is the reality of the maid situation. It is all about the price of allowing strangers in. n