Lifestyle · Pakistan Diary

The Housemaid: Comfort or Headache?

Who doesn’t mind having a little help in the household?

In Pakistan it’s normal to have a maid, called Masi here who comes 6 days a week to help out in housekeeping. In Germany we are used to do everything ourselves cleaning, laundry and cooking so naturally it felt like a luxury to have one after moving to Pakistan.

the-housemaid-comfort-or-headache-2

It was great the masi came every morning cleaned the house did the dishes and even did the laundry all you needed to do was cooking and you were done for the day. It was a true blessing but soon I realized that this luxury isn’t so luxurious after all. Turned out having a maid is more of a headache than a comfort.

This is just my personal experience there are a lot of people in Pakistan who have maids and are satisfied with their work. I think this also depends on your location. People in villages and small cities are more satisfied than people in big cities. The reason for that can be that the anonymity factor is bigger in big cities and you don’t know who you are dealing with and in villages or small cities you know who the person is because most of the time they are doing it for generations.

In this Post I want to talk about my own experience and shed some light on the dark side of having a maid most people are not familiar with or at least I wasn’t.

Where did my Lipstick go?

One of the most annoying things about having these cleaning ladies (here called Masi) is that most of them have developed a habit of stealing. There are a few good ones but that’s a rarity. Everyone warned me and told me about it and still I ended up falling for it.

Now this is what happened. So we had this lady and her daughter to come over and clean the house. The mother did most of the work and the daughter (in her teens) would help her in dusting. She was really cute and looked so innocent plus she always complemented which mead me like her even more.

One day I took her upstairs do a little dusting in my room. While she was working she kept talking with me and telling me stories about different kind of stuff. In the evening after they left I went to my dressing table and noticed that one of my lipsticks was missing. My first thought was oky maybe it fell down while she was cleaning. So I looked everywhere around it and under everything around it but couldn’t find it. My second thought was what if she took it?

I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and a chance to make it up if she did it. The next day when she came I told her that I couldn’t find my lipstick and maybe it fell down while she was cleaning and when she finds it she should put it back. I wasn’t accepting the reaction I got. She started to say that I am accusing her of stealing that the lipstick  would be worthless for her why would she take something like that and so on…. Well end of the story she ended up stealing a few times more and we ended up firing them.

Work starts when the Masi wants

I knew that Pakistanis are always late but my masi took that to a new level. On some days I would lose the hope that she will come but miraculously she would show up. We agreed that she will come around 10 am but she would come at 12, 11 and sometimes at 2 pm.

It was really irritating because you can’t leave the house because she can come any minute and end up waiting for hours thinking about how you could have done everything yourself by now. But even worse than that is when she doesn’t show up at all and your whole day is wasted.

The Masi comes whenever SHE wants

The Masi only comes to work when she wants to come to work and it doesn’t matter if you need her that day or not. This thing drove me nuts. I mean what is the point of paying you when you are not there when I need you.

This one time my parents and siblings were visiting me from Germany for the first time after getting married. I told the maid a week in advance that she has to come the day before they arrive to help me with setting up the house. And I told her every day after that. Now you can guess what happened the day before my family was coming. Yes you guessed it right she didn’t come. This made very furious.

The Masi is always in a rush to leave   

First she comes whenever she wants than she comes late but she always has to leave early because she also has a family and need to get back to them as soon as possible. This results in not finishing her work and postponing tasks on to the next day. She always had an excuse for why she needs to leave early. Sometimes the son is ill and needs to be taken to the doctor and sometimes there is a wedding in the family. Now what do you say to that? You obviously let them go wondering if that’s even true or not.

One thing I have learned from that is you can’t be nice to your masi in Pakistan. She will only take advantage of that and do whatever she wants. You have to be strict and tell them what to do.

The Masi is the root of evil

One Masi works in two to three households at the same time and the most favorite activity of a masi is to gossip. She will talk about the first house in the second house and in the third house about the second house. Can you follow me? Anyways this gossiping is not just limited to one house to another she will also talk to one family member about another.

This lady who used to work for us once talked bad about me to my mother-in-law. Thankfully she shut her off and told her to mind her own business. But this got me thinking that these ladies are the main reason for family issues. Because of this behavior they turn family members against each other. And the funny part is you are even paying them for that. This is insane.

 

I am not against having a masi and would hire one anytime I find a good one but the chances of finding a good one are very low sadly. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and won’t make the same mistakes I made.

 

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13 thoughts on “The Housemaid: Comfort or Headache?

  1. I enjoyed reading this post. I’ve had cleaning people for 9 yrs and it is very hard to find good ones. Many just want to be paid a lot and not be thorough. One cleaner scratched my stainless steel stove. They only come for 1.5hrs bi-weekly and clean but after reading your post, that might be better than daily although I wish they could come more. It is too expensive here.
    I also agree that the more you let them get away with, the more they’ll try!
    Btw, your first word in post should be “who” I suspect and not “how”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 yes you are right these people want a lot of money but don’t want to work for that. Where are you located? Here in Pakistan it’s not that expensive that’s why almost everyone has them.
      Ups! Thank you for pointing that out just fixed it 🙂

      Like

  2. I have never had a cleaning lady. My early childhood was in Sri Lanka, and we had three househelpers. A cook/cleaner, a gardener, and a babysitter. I have no idea if they were a headache or not – need to ask my mum.

    Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting. I’ve learned a lot from your post. In my part of the world, the maid usually stays with the family and does what is expected of her at the time the boss says so and not when she feels like it. But after some time, they grow wings and leave. Nice read👍

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t believe the loose lips! :-X I’ve had a few maids. I am such a perfectionist I just spend the rest of the day re-cleaning everything they touched because I”m particular. And my stuff often comes up broken, but no one says anything. I just find my favorite tea cup or exotic wine glasses at the bottom of the trash can later that day.

    Liked by 1 person

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