Posts Tagged ‘housemaid’
There was a story in Gulf News today about how the UAE’s domestic workers are to get more protection from exploitative employers. Great news, blah blah, but, while it was an interesting story, there were two things I took away from it.
First was the fact that domestic workers outnumber family members in 22 per cent of Emirati families – that’s a lot of staff. How does that work, I wondered? Housemaid, cook, driver… assistant housemaid, emergency driver, Chinese cook, omelette chef, saloon-car driver, helicopter pilot, racehorse trainer?
Then I got to the second thing of interest in the story: The categories of domestic worker. And it all fell into place.
The categories covered for households are: Housemaid, Imam, private sailor (I kid you not), watchman, security guard, household shepherd (yes, shepherd), family chauffeur, household horse-groomer, household falcon-carer and trainer, domestic labourer, housekeeper, private coach, private teacher, babysitter, household farmer, private nurse, private PRO and private agricultural engineer (that’s a gardener to you and me).
The one thing that was missing, though, is the one member of staff I increasingly feel that I need. And that’s a techno butler; someone who can sort out a website for me, jazz up the blog, sort out the fact that my printer doesn’t recognise Windows 8, fix me up on Skype and help me synch my iPad with the right computer without deleting all that’s on it.
Gerlie’s great and everything, but, really, unless these domestic agencies start offering technology training, I think the days of the lone housemaid slaving away with a mop are seriously numbered.
Yesterday I received an email from a friend in Dubai asking if I knew of any good housemaids looking for a job. One of her helpers was caught stealing the beer.
I have to admit, I was surprised. My friend is very discerning; I’m sure she has a well-stocked wine cellar in her beautiful house.
Certainly she would at least have a wine fridge with a few bottles I wouldn’t mind snaffling myself, not to mention a large collection of vintage pink champagne that she uses only for bathing in. But no. Beer was the snifter of choice.
Still, it seems her home-help is not the only one with a penchant for the sauce.
Another of my friends recently sacked her helper after she was caught stealing brandy. After the husband and wife had weeks of conversation about who was using up the brandy (‘Darling, are you cooking with it?’ ‘No. Are you drinking it?’ ‘No.’ ‘Are you sure? Maybe in your sleep?’ [they have baby twins]) they finally marked the bottle, stayed away from it themselves, and watched the level deplete.
On confronting the housemaid (it was either the housemaid or their five-year-old son), the housemaid admitted she liked a little tipple of an evening , ‘but never when I’m with the children’.
Housemaid was duly sacked. That friend then held interviews for a replacement. My friend liked one candidate very much – the job was in the bag. Then she asked the candidate why she left her old job.
‘Oh,’ said the lady, shrugging. ‘My boss caught me stealing…’
Just hopefully not the champers.