“Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.Gloom, despair, and agony on me”[i]
“Dengue Fever Fells New Maid.” That classic refrain from “Hee Haw” says it all.
(Photo Credit: Mohawk Nation News)
Pinky Punks Out
It began one shadowy, gloomy night in September 2017. Rain was hammering against our windows harder than five-day-old pan de sal. I was watching “Street Outlaws” on the Discovery Channel when my asawa informed me that our niece, “Pinky,” was going back to Manila.
“Pinky” was handling the domestic helper chores for us but had purchased a ticket to Manila earlier in the day. Our niece had bought a one-way ticket from Cebu Pacific and would be leaving the end of December.
I couldn’t fault our niece for wanting to go back home, she had left behind two young daughters. Though “Pinky” had only been with us a week, she was already homesick.
Although December was a few months away, I knew the search for a new domestic helper in the Philippines had to begin immediately.
Though our first domestic assistant, a relative, had stayed with us two years before going back to school, we have found it difficult to find help on our tiny island province of Guimaras.
The New Lead
My sister-in-law in Guimaras runs a pre-school. She has a lot more contacts on our island than my wife and I do. I asked my sister-in-law, Alida, if she could ask around and see if anyone could work for us.
“Pinky” left in December without any leads on a domestic helper. Our niece and nephew that live with us had a two-week Christmas break and helped out with all the chores. Two weeks ago, we received word from Alida that a new helper was available. The new assistant was to begin work last Monday.
New Help Calls Out Sick the First Day
Monday came and went. A message from our niece informed us that our new Filipina helper “had the flu and rushes.” I assumed our niece, who works at my sister-in-law’s preschool, meant “rashes” but at least her English is much better than my Ilonggo, the local language.
We waited a week for the new employee to recover and was told last weekend that she would begin work on February 1, the beginning of the new month.
However, my asawa received a message a couple of days ago that made me think of the old Roy Clark and Buck Owens song from their “Hee Haw” years.
The new domestic helper was in a hospital in Iloilo City and had dengue fever.
Cue the song.
Wife Working Overtime
My better half was working overtime. In addition to taking care of her father, who lived in a nipa hut behind us, she also cleans, cooks, does laundry, takes care of her garden and eight puppies, not to mention me.
I’ve been helping with the laundry chores in addition to my sexy pool boy duties and do the breakfast dishes. We really need a new helper.
New Domestic Helper?
So when we went to a new poultry store in Guimaras to buy some dog food for our pups, the saleslady mentioned to my wife that she knew me. It seem that my wife and I had met her and her young son on a pump boat ride from Iloilo City to Guimaras one day.
Honestly, I didn’t remember her until she reminded me that I told her I have some German blood on my Father’s side of the family (one of her relatives had a German uncle.)
I decided to ask her if she knew of anyone that we could hire as a domestic helper. She did! Her niece!
So my wife met with the lady’s niece later in the day and hired her. We had to wait, however, until the young woman, gave notice to her current employer. The Filipina, however, said she would be available to work soon.
Nonetheless, after two days, we didn’t receive any text message confirming the new helper’s start date. I sent a text to her aunt, since my wife didn’t obtain the young woman’s phone number, asking if she knew when her niece would start work.
After three attempts to call the aunt, all going unanswered, and a couple of more text messages that didn’t receive any replies, I was getting concerned. I wondered if the woman’s niece really wanted to work for us or not?
To be continued
[i] GLOOM, DESPAIR AND AGONY ON ME
From the TV Show “Hee-Haw
Buck Owens & Roy Clark
International Lyrics Playground http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/g/gloomdespairandagonyonme.shtml