I once heard someone say, “All of you wey dey get mind treat house girl so, una no dey fear say na she dey give you and your children food chop?” This got me thinking for weeks. I imagined all sorts that could go wrong between my staff and my children, though in my case, my domestic staff is my friend!
By friend here and according to the Online Cambridge Dictionary I mean someone who is not my enemy and whom I can trust.
I’ve come across all types of domestic staff, heard all sorts of conversations titled “Domestic Staff”, and experienced firsthand “The Domestic Staff”. And in all, I’ve been able to conclude that I’d rather send someone’s child back to where I got him or her from than maltreat.
Maybe because of my upbringing, but I try to treat my staff like I would my child. That was what I saw while growing up. What are you permitting your child to see?
The Holiday Season being over, many “help” didn’t, of course, return (its normal) because that usually is the plan though it’s never let out of the bag. How do you presently feel without him/her around? Sure you can’t wait for the next terms to be agreed on. How was the Holiday Season without him/her? Knowing your response, would you rather treat in a manner as to have her back whenever she takes a break? Do you appreciate the hours she spends at home even if it’s spent slowly trying to accomplish one task?
These are pertinent questions that if truthfully answered, would enable us treat such humans with some form of dignity.
My staff travelled on the 23rd of December, 2017. From that departure date, life changed. Though for me, I had already prepared my mind towards what I was going to have to deal with considering the fact that this lady was just “it”. Someone I have never seen sit idle in the five months of her working with me. She would always create a job for herself. A friend calls her “Nan the sweeper” because she just has to clean up. The kids are so comfortable with her and missed her so much that on one of the days when she was absent, my three year old screamed “Aunty Nan is back!” you should’ve seen how the girls ran to receive Nan who obviously was somewhere in her village probably sleeping.
So because I had planned the days of her absence, life was a little easier. The days she was gone made me reflect on how much of the chore load she had taken from me and I appreciated her more hoping she’ll return after the holidays.
Nan is my staff and my friend! Though I cook family meals, there are times when I’m not home and she has to serve the children “mum’s cooked meal”. At such a time, she could choose to do “just anything”. Whenever I remember this fact, fear engulfs my inner being, but I continue to remember what my dad always says “Kwubaa aka gi otoo” (keep your hands clean). My father believes that if you do no evil to someone, whatever evil the person thinks of you won’t materialize because your hands are clean. I have tried to imbibe this belief in my relationships with people, my domestic staff, too!
Of course, there are exceptional cases but then again, instead of manhandling, it’s better to bundle the chap back home in one peace!
Nan has applied to a University and she has my full backing. Whether or not she is admitted to study the course of her choice, I will take care of Nan!