Sunday 3 April 2011

Do you have staff?

I had a cleaner in the UK, 3 hrs once a week, she cleaned bathrooms, dusted and hoovered, the things I struggled with, but I was working full time, with 3 active teenagers at home.

Now I'm here in South Africa I am expected to have a maid, I'm not working and there are now only 2 kids at home.

We have a gardener, he was sort of forced on us....he mows the lawn when I tell him to do so and sweeps up afterwards. He also uses the hose pipe to chase the leaves around the garden. He works from 7.30am til 2.30pm for R150 per day (about £12) He demanded I feed him and what at set times during the day and is constantly on his phone...after I've paid him and he goes home I spend at least an hour tidying up after him. He is constantly knocking on the door or window needing things. During the day I have to ask him to do or not to do certain things and personally I see it all as a waste of time..I enjoy gardening, but it's not the done thing to do it yourself.

Same with the pool guy he comes twice a week for R250 per week and he keeps telling me off as there are leaves in the filter...I explain it's autumn and I can't do anything about it, he mutters some more at me and I end up apologising.

I don't want a maid, I don't want someone in my house all day. I like things done a certain way, I'm not OCD, but don't see the point of redoing it afterwards. I also don't want to have to 'train' the maid and I don't want to have to tell her what to do.

I've heard and seen some funny/sad things with domestic staff.

Maid stood outside with brolley over washing in rain as she was told to put it out, but not bringing it in if it rained.

Gardener laying the paper out to dry, as it got wet in the rain and the maid ironing it.

Gardeners working in temps of high 30's and being told to drink from the hose pipe and not being allowed to use the outside toilet.

Maids being late by 5 minutes and without any come back, being sacked and gardeners not turning up for work as their grandmother has died (again) they seem to come from large families.

I think I'd rather just pay someone R150 per day to sit in the garden, out of my way while I just get on with the work.....I will end up employing someone to support the local economy

...but right now it's not my culture to have staff.