Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Maid Saga...

If you are living in an Indian metro, one of the most important elements of your day-to-day life is your maid.

It really does not matter whether you are a student or a working professional or are retired
It really does not matter if you are living alone or with others
It really does not matter if you live in an apartment or a villa
It really does not matter…..
Your life is at the mercy of your domestic help...

Someone told me recently "It's probably easier to get a good spouse than a good maid".. I laughed at it then, but in hindsight realize that it's true..

Hmm... Am wondering why is it so hard..

Let’s take the view of the average household. What do we expect?
1) Reliability - Essentially, come regularly and at a fixed time; and consistently be reliable over a period of time. A slight variation is manageable, but not a huge range. And in case he / she is on leave for whatever reason, basic communication that they will be absent from work. And most importantly, to notify you in case he / she wants to discontinue work. Just imagine, one fine sunny day he / she announces that they have found other employment and will be discontinuing services from tomorrow. Your entire life is in a compete disarray :(
2) Quality - Over a period of time, most households are satisfied with average quality of work. If the work is done, that itself is sometime a huge relief!
3) Integrity - Some level of honesty that they will not steal valuable objects. Now value is again subjective, so what's valuable to you is not necessarily valuable to your maid! Nevertheless, all expect some level of safety of personal belongings.

And then of course, a cheerful & pleasant disposition and a positive attitude towards work is a big boon.

Of course, all of us have other requirements based on our personal preferences in terms of age, sex, personal hygiene, amount of banter, asking questions, languages they speak, speed with which they wok, how pro-active they are, etc. etc...

I wonder how hard it is to be reliable, deliver average quality output and have basic integrity. From my personal experience, it is REALLY TOUGH!

And why? Simply because after a point, your maid realizes how dependant you are on him / her and how much in demand his / her services are for you to run your household. So just when you think everything is OK, there will be a new request – either a salary hike, or some additional perks at work, or some liberties they can take at work, or holidays,…. The list is endless!!!

Being dependant on others is not something which I usually advocate...
But then for something's ...Do you really have a choice?
Especially if you are working...
Or are a working couple...
Or a working couple with kids...
So in conclusion, my parting words of wisdom
If you find a good maid, do a little extra to keep her / him happy – Your small (& many times seemingly insignificant) investments will reap large dividends in the long run

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