‘Work-it-Out’ -with Vivian: A Tale of Undies

I wanted to start my business year with a bang, and so I started early to arrange for a strong supportive house help to aid me – make no mistakes, good house helps are a blessing to every career woman, businesswoman or even stay-at-home moms. 

My cousin was trying to convince me late last year to take one particular girl from the village as a house help. But because I had bad experiences with the two house helps I ever got from the village, I was very much skeptical and even scared (more of myself, lest I disappoint the family, and by extension, the village) of that option. There were two compensation proposals for her- either we pay her monthly salaries, or we agree to train her in higher institution after some years. I chose the first option – I no fit shout!

But even with the option of paying salaries, I was still extremely skeptical. I prefer hiring professional house helps (if there is anything like that) and keeping things strictly business – no emotional obligations or burdens, no getting in each other’s business, I just needed to provide the care of a guardian and the timely salaries and that would be all.

Nevertheless, I asked my cousin to visit the family and try to get personal with the girl and her parents. I was curious to know the very personal aspirations of the girl in question and the hopes of her parents for her. I wanted to discover why it appears there is always a huge gap between what the treatment the house helps and their families expect, and what the madams of the homes are always ready to offer. “Why would I be scared of having problems with the girl?”, I thought to myself. Really, what is it that they could possibly want that I cannot give?

Then I remembered that several of the house helps I have had over the years, wanted some impossible things from me e.g. husband, home, etc.

In fact, I have had so many interesting experiences with house helps in my 15 years of marriage. I wonder the experiences you may have had too…

I remember Victoria who would invest in pushup, cleavage enhancement bras and very low-neck dresses and tops, with very tight pants to go with the tops. Was it my paranoia? Or did she always come to clean up the furniture in the sitting room with her low-neck tops and bulging cleavages, each time Oga was watching TV? Well, she was very happy doing the work, and she made sure to play to the gallery each time Oga was around. She would cook, clean, take care of the kids and the whole house, would feel terribly sad when Oga did not eat her food or would be so childishly excited when Oga complimented her work.

You may not believe it when I say I was very happy. That was one of my best years since I started having house helps. Who ultimately benefitted from all the housework, care and even ‘love’ she was putting in? – me. Whose home was she keeping? – mine. Did I suspect or even think Oga had anything with her? – no. Was I upset or ever insecure? – never. So, nothing else mattered. It was a ball.

I went to tell her something in her room one day after I paid her salary the previous day. I saw she had gone out to buy more bras – those ones that have bulges underneath to push up the breasts and reveal the cleavage, and more low-neck tops. I admired them and left – I did not even know before she came to work for me that that was how those bras were made. I only figured things out myself!

By December of that year, she was already very heartbroken as her efforts did not yield anything, and so she became very grumpy, easily upset and would cry at the slightest provocation. I felt for her- she is a woman and had every right to her feelings.

More on the ‘tale of undies’ to come next week. 

* Share your experiences and views with us. Also tell us what you would like to read in the coming week as you stay tuned for the next episode. 

corporate women, Women & Work, work life

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