*Warning - ranting Yaya Blues post.. So, be warned!!
When I gave birth to Connor last year - I still hadn't found help yet. So, for the first week or so - Connor slept with me. It was such an enjoyable experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. After that time - I was able to find a Yaya for him. When I interviewed Yaya Mae on the phone, she seemed eager to work. She said she had experience because she has five kids (yes, you read it right - 5!) So I believed her and hired her. I honestly don't believe so much in interviews because some are good with interviews but are really bad when it comes to performance. I told her I'd give her a try.
*Warning - Loooong detailed post ahead!!
On her first day - I saw that she wasn't quite 'ready' in being a Yaya. It took her a while to understand instructions and was a bit stiff on what should and should not be done. When Connor was crying - I immediately asked her if she checked Connor's nappies, to which she replies 'Kapapalit ko palang, po' (I just changed his nappies) - I ask the question again, to which she replies the same - I then gave her instructions to go check while I was supervising - and true enough, his nappy was filled with poop. The next morning - I expected her to bathe Connor, and she didn't - reasoning that she wasn't comfortable in bathing that young of an infant. Yaya D had to show her the ropes. After a few days she complained on her health - saying that she felt dizzy. I then asked a doctor friend for advise and was told to give her a certain medicine - and I did, I told her that I wasn't charging her for that. I gave her medicines good for three days - and I was so irritated when I learned that she forgot to take them. I had to remind her to take them. She told me, she felt better after taking it. After a few days, she complained that her right arm was numbing. When I heard this - I told her to be honest to me, if she didn't want the work - she could just tell me that she can't handle it. I don't like hearing excuses just so I can let them go. I'm the type of employer who doesn't make pilit - if they want to leave, I let them go. I find that there's no use to force them if they don't want to work for you - it will rather fill the house with resentment - and I like my house to remain happy. She said right there and then - that she might not be able to fulfill her duties - so I better find a replacement. My condition was that, I can let her go when I find a replacement - and she was agreeable to that. So I contacted her recruiter and told her that Yaya Mae was leaving. After a week, there was still no replacement - and when I told Yaya Mae that there's no replacement still - she told me that she'll just continue working for me since all of those ills that she felt were now gone. I was thankful.
She was not the best and she wasn't the worst Yaya. She was just average - my only complaint with her is that - she makes simangot whenever I tell to to do things. She's also a cellphone addict - as Yaya D said 'Nakadikit na ang cellphone sa katawan' (Her cellphone is attached to her body!) Also when it comes to salary giving time - my gosh. It seems like an eternity of discussion with a full simangot face! Okay - here's the deal with salaries - when she came in, I told her that I usually give salaries on the same day of the month when they started working - like for her - she started November 2 - so I'll give her first month's salary on December 2 - she agreed. I told her that for Yaya D - her arrangement is different, she wanted it every 15th and 30th of the month - I asked her if she wanted this - she said no. So there, we agreed that her salary is once a month - and on what day every month. About her day off - she asked to have a once a month day off that is overnight (because her relatives are in Batangas) - I asked what she meant by it - she told me that she will leave at a certain time and come back the next day on that exact time. I then told her that she can take a day off when she reaches her month's end with me. She agreed - and so everything was clear. Or so I thought.
When the 15th of the month came, she pulled me aside and asked if she can change her mind about her salary. She asked if she can make it 15th and 30th. I am very flexible, thus I told her - sure. But then I mentioned to her that on the 15th of every month, her salary will be a little less than half - I think she was blinded by the fact that she would be getting her partial salary, that she said it was okay. So I gave her, her salary due. When her day off came - I think she was expecting a bit more money - I don't know why - but when I was giving her, her salary - she was frowning - asking me why the amount was just that. I explained everything to her - that I had to deduct the transportation fee that I advanced for her (this she told me to do when I hired her - Ibawas nalang po sa sweldo ko) and showed her the calendar and together we counted the number of working days - I do this to let them see that I am very transparent when it comes to their salaries. She finally understood, but the frown was still there on her face. I asked her then what time she'll be back the following day - she just gave me a vague answer, I then reminded her of what she told me when we first me - and I got a reply of 'Alam ko naman po kung ano yung sinabi ko eh' (I am aware of what we talked about) I then told her to text me if she will come back late, because were attending a birthday party the next day. She left at 8am.
So, the following day - at 8am, I was expecting to see her at home. The guard said she hasn't come back yet. I thought, maybe she was just running late - so I let it go. I didn't notice the time, and it was already 10am - she still hasn't come back. I sent her a text message asking her where she was - she replied saying that she was on her way back. I then asked her what time she rode the bus - her reply was '8am'. Fine, she was running late - but I also had obligations, right? So I asked my mom's helper to look after Connor and we left. We came back at a little past 2pm and she still wasn't there! Then thirty minutes later, I heard hard thumping on the stairs - it was her. She came back, but was late. I met her on the stairs and asked her what time it was, I was at first prepared to reprimand her - but then I thought, what for? I just said this calmy - 'Anong, oras na ba? Sa susunod - kapag sinabing 8am, hindi ibig sabihin 8am sasakay ng bus, ang ibig sabihin - 8am andito na. Sa susunod, please lang ha?' (Do you know that time it is? Next time, when you say 8am, mean that you'll be back by 8 and not leave for the bus by 8am) She just said 'Pasensya na po'
After a few days - she then told me that she changed her mind and that she wanted to get her salary once a month. So, I again - agreed, I'm a flexible employer after all. And then after two weeks - here she comes again, asking to change the set-up, '15-30 nalang po ulit!' (Let's do 15-30 again) After a week or so, she comes to me and asks for a day-off because its the birthday of her grandson. Of course, I allow her - and in fairness, she came back on time.
After a few weeks - she presented her dilemma to me, she needed to go home to claim her welfare allowance (apparently there's a DSWD program called 4P's). She asked to leave on a Tuesday, claim her allowance on a Wednesday and be back by Thursday. I had to agree because she would be getting a hefty sum. But on Monday night, she pulled me aside with her nakakaawa face and asked if she could leave that same night. Again, I'm a very good employer - I couldn't say no - so I said yes. I wasn't prepared therefore, I just gave her what I had in my wallet. She didn't complain - she just needed the money to pay for her bus fare going to their province. Since she promised to be back that Thursday - I trusted her. In the meantime, I had my mom's helper - to semi take care of Connor while she was away. Wednesday came and Yaya D relayed to me that they were able to speak to Yaya Mae on the phone - she told them that it will take longer than expected, Yaya D told Yaya Mae to text me. I was semi expecting this to happen already - and so I waited for a text. Thursday came, Friday came, and Saturday came - but I never received any text message from her. She came back on Monday - when I saw her - I then asked, why she didn't send me a text telling me of the delay? She said that she didn't have enough load - I told her that this reason was baloney because of all the helpers I've known - she never failed to have load on the cellphone because she frequently texts and calls! I then calmly told her - 'Sana sa susunod, maisipan mong magtext. Para lang di kami naghihintay sa wala' (I hope next time you'd text me, so that we won't waste our time waiting) She then apologized - with a frown on her face.
Three weeks after - she again came to me and said 'Ma'am kasi may usapan kaming magkakapatid na uuwi ng Cebu ng isang linggo. Kung hindi niyo ako papayagan, maghanap nalang kayo ng kapalit' (My siblings and I have agreed to all go home to Cebu, if you won't allow me to go, then please look for a replacement) When I heard this I got semi angry I retoreted 'Sa lahat ng pakiusap mo, pinagbigyan kita diba? Please lang, makuisap ng mabuti and huwag manghamon na maghanap ng kapalit' (I've given in to all of your requests, and all you needed to do was ask nicely. There's no need to challenge me to find a replacement if I won't allow you to go) She then refused to look at me, because she knew I was right, right? She asked to leave on the first Friday of April.
So the Tuesday of that week, I already asked her (I know you'll say - why I need to ask her?!) what time she will be leaving on Friday. She then gave me the most nakaka-awa look and said 'Yun nga po, baka po pwede Thursday ng hapon po ako lumabas, kasi bibili pa po ako ng ticket' (Thing is, can you allow me to leave on Thursday afternoon because I still need to buy my ticket) This baffled me, you see she told me that the reason why she was going home was partially because one of her sibling was able to find them a promo fare via Cebu Pacific. I then asked her to clarify - I also reminded her that her original reason was because of a promo fare - and now, she needs to buy a ticket? She then explained that the plane ticket was named to one of the siblings, but they couldn't change it to her name - thus she needed to buy one for herself. Her answer to me was I'm sure already made up - but nevertheless, I trusted her and of course, said Yes! What choice did I have but to say yes, yet again!
So Thursday came - and while she was cleaning the house in the morning - she was frowning. I thought to myself - she's be leaving that afternoon, so I thought that she's somehow be happy right? Well, I was wrong! So after lunch, I saw that she was just watching TV. I asked her nicely to replace the bedsheets while she was still there - but I got a frown. I then left and did errands. I was already running late and I knew it - I hurriedly did the things that I needed as fast as I could. And then I heard my phone - I received a text message. It was from Yaya Mae:
And then I see in my log - that I got THREE (3) missed calls from her.. I felt really angry, I mean the gall right? It was as if I had nothing to do that afternoon.
The following Thursday morning, I received this text message:
I think it was already planned. When I told Yaya D, she just said that she was already expecting it because she was hearing Yaya Mae talk to her former employer - apparently (according to what Yaya D understood) this former employer was the one who financed her boat trip to Cebu. I think they have an arrangement that she will just go work for her former employer instead of working here with me.
I am very sympathetic to helpers, but then I realized this - why should I be sympathetic to them, when they don't even sympathize with me. I mean yes, I pay them and all - and I think my care for them goes beyond money - but these helpers, they don't care about me. I treat them very well, give them most of the things they like (like food and etc) I am very flexible towards their needs and even think of them - but for them they just see me as the person who gives them their salary, no more and no less.
Are all help like this, these days??