Our new Filipina helper was fired on her first day on the job. We had previously committed to hiring a Pinay whose mother-in-law was reportedly an aswang. But that new domestic assistant never showed up for work.
(“You’re fired!” graphic source: Meme Generator)
We then hired a new employee. A neighbor who in the first place had introduced us to the lady with the aswang mother-in-law.
Problem is, the neighbor showed up for work three hours late on her first day on the job.
“LET KILLER LOOSE”
If you’re going to work in our household, you need to be responsible, dependable and on time, especially your first day on the job. I might have to tolerate “Filipino Time” outside of our abode, but I won’t stand for it in our own home.
I worked for telecommunications giant AT&T back in the States. One co-worker, standing by his desk, was not logged in to his computer at his designated starting time. Realizing his error, the employee tried to sign in but was 20 seconds late in doing so.
The worker was written up by our boss but the union eventually got the “smudge” on his record removed. I was late twice in my almost 30 years with the company. I went 11 straight years without one sick day.
“Let ‘Killer’ loose!” I exclaimed to my asawa, “The Sainted Patient Wife.”
“Killer” is our 1 1/2 year old Belgian Shepard. The canine has dispatched at least 20 chickens that have ventured over our fence onto our property. The police dog pooch has also bitten three people and killed one goat. He’s not to be trifled with. I was confident the “new help” wouldn’t dare enter our property with our guard dog on the loose.
“Killer” on patrol
THREE HOURS PASS
Three hours after our new domestic helper was supposed to show up for work, I heard “Killer” furiously barking at someone outside our main gate.
I instructed my wife to inform the lady that she need not report for work. She was fired before she even started.
Now you might think I am being too strict. The woman told my spouse that she had to go to the local hospital to obtain some x-rays for her husband who was recently injured in a motorcycle accident.
My wife politely explained that she could have stopped by to inform us of that fact and that she was going to be late.
I had my reservations anyway. The lady, though friendly, would sometimes stop by to sell vegetables and spend hours talking to my wife. I feared the woman would spend more time talking than working.
OUR NEW HELPER IS A GODSEND
We sorely needed a new domestic helper, however, and my wife contacted as many relatives and friends as possible to get the word out. The monthly salary we have paid past household help is 3,500 pesos, 70 US Dollars. We have been told by relatives on our island province of Guimaras that the going rate for domestic helpers is from 1,500 to 2,000 a month, considerably less than what we pay.
But we believe in paying good wages for quality help. Our live-in helpers have worked six days a week with every Sunday off. They are provided with room and board in addition to their monthly salary.
At the first of this month, my asawa informed me that the oldest sister of a relative who formerly was employed by us, was coming to work for us. The woman is in her 30’s and worked overseas in Lebanon. Our new helper, LenLen, is a godsend.
She cleans and dusts everything without being told. In addition to her cleaning duties she is responsible for caring for my 85-year-old father-in-law who has dementia. Our new employee also helps out in the care and feeding of our eight puppies.
“Killer,”‘ however, hasn’t warmed up to her yet.