About two weeks ago, I wrote an article that was featured on a larger platform, and like I would always do after some time, I went back to read the comments. I love reading the comments because it gives me a peek into what my readers understood from the article, what they feel might have been omitted and sometimes I learn valuable lessons from them also.
This particular article was on the factors responsible for the bad character traits many maids act out. I listed factors such as ignorance, fear and greed, but to my surprise quite a number of people felt I left out something important. These people all mentioned one thing- The amount of money paid as salary to maids. Their reasoning was in the line of maids do a lot of work for their employers and if the salary is not encouraging, they are justified to start misbehaving.
So, let me first state where I might agree with them. I discovered from the few agents that I work with that when you want to hire a maid, they ask for your budget. The agents I work with are genuine and don’t outsource below certain amounts. Even though I have not asked directly, it seems to me that there are certain “kinds” of maids that many agents hire out based on the very little amount the employer is willing to pay. I found it very surprising this week when I heard people ask for maids for 7k (Seven thousand Naira) or 10k(Ten thousand Naira). So my guess is that your agent won’t turn you down if you offer small money. Just be assured you are going to be getting a maid with a whole lot of baggage. No background checks, no history, nothing! Those are the ones that might end up stealing millions.
With this being said, I however do not think that a good salary is an assurance of great behavior. Certain bad behaviors that maid employers encounter cannot be cured even with a good salary. How does a good salary cure rudeness or greed? Does it automatically remove the obsessive lying behavior of some maids? Will an increase in salary serve as an alarm clock to a maid who her employer has been urging to wake up early everyday, yet still waits for her employer to wake her up? Does it stop her from bringing her boyfriend to the house to play dress up with her boss’s clothes?
You would not even have to look too far before you see certain people who seem to be earning so much yet steal what belongs to others. I am holding back from mentioning a particular set of people in Nigeria.
I do not believe there is a justification for a maid to misbehave because she is paid a certain amount except her employer is going against what was agreed upon as at the time of employment. If she agreed and signed the employment contract, then there’ll be no explanation. If she thinks the work is too much in relation to what she is being paid, what happened to resignation? Some maids would not leave until they have caused so much damage, then would say it is because they were paid little.
I think a maid’s job, if done right is one of the most promising blue collar careers out there. Because she is being fed, sometimes clothed, sometimes sent to school, afforded medical care and is still being salary. There would certainly be some downside to being a maid as there is with every other profession. Some employers are simply not pleasant to work with, but so it is everywhere. She has a choice to leave. Being a housekeeper is not slavery.
I am careful about maid employers falling for this trap, thinking that if they increase the salary, the bad behavior will be a thing of the past. No it wouldn’t. For how long will you have to increase before you realize that you may just be a victim of your maid’s manipulation. If you want to give her a raise based on the good work she does, by all means do. But please, do not fall for the trap that money can change anyone’s behavior. If increasing the money will do anything, it will only expose her true colors.
Good behavior is taught and learned. It is not dependent on any amount of money. Understanding the real factors responsible for the bad behavior is what would bring about the needed solution.
What do you think about my views? Kindly drop a comment to express your views on this myth.
About the Writer
Oreoluwa Sonola is a self described Maid Whisperer. She runs MAIDforME, an outfit where she creates resources that provide solutions to the everyday issues maid employers face. Her resources are also guaranteed to improve employer-maid relationships and train maids till they are transformed and they thrive. Her resources can be found on her website www.maidformee.com and on Instagram and twitter @maidformee. She can be reached by email on firstname.lastname@example.org