What do you do when your helper has an emergency? Well, I asses the situation – but most of the time – I allow them to leave. I feel that I have no choice since its an *emergency* but I do take note of the number of *namatayan* reasons that they have. Most if not all helpers, have this idea on their minds on *Emergency Leaves* a) You allow them to leave immediately b) Allow them an *indefinite* number of days off c) You will give them *extra* money as help d) You will still pay for the days they are on leave Fair? I think not. You see – when you say *emergency* to most people it simply means that there is an urgency for you to stop doing what you’re doing to tend to a certain situation. But for helpers, an emergency simply means that they *need* to go on a day off or go home or leave for home. Sometimes is true, but most of the time its an excuse to leave where they are employed. Situation #1 Helper: Ma’am, kelangan ko po umuwi – emergency po kasi Me: Anong emergency? (sounding concerned) Helper: Yung ate ko po, sinasaktan ng asawa niya, kelagan ko po ihatid sa amin Me: Hindi ba niya kaya umuwi mag-isa? Helper: Hindi po kasi may baby po siya at mga gamit pa niya Me: Okay, sige pero mga 3 days lang ha Helper: Ma’am pwede po 1 week? Me: Anong emergency ang 1 week? Helper: Para sulit narin po ang uwi ko This helper of mine has been with me for 6 months. Technically she doesn’t have the benefit of a *leave/bakasyon* but since it’s an emergency – I thought a few days will be fine, but apparently for her it’s an emergency slash vacation. For the past 6 months she has been just okay. Not the best but just okay. I have been giving in to her requests of 2 days day-off and sudden going out because she needs to send money home. I have been very patient with her. I always allow my helpers to go whenever they tell me there’s an emergency (because I believe them). The conversation went on that I won’t allow her to leave for a week. I told her that it’s 4 days maximum and that’s it. I reminded her of all the 2 days day off that she got for the past months and she accepted. A few days later, she comes to me and tells me *Ma’am can I go out? Just in the morning, I need to buy a bag and slippers for my brother* I allowed her, but then her plans changed. As she was saying goodbye she suddenly said *Ma’am, pupuntahan ko na pala yung kapatid ko para kausapin ng personal na kung pwede siya nalang ang umuwi magisa* When I asked her what time she would be back she said *Pagka tapos po namin magusap* I asked what time that was and she just stared at me and repeated *Pagkatapos po* I don’t like vague answers so I pressed her to give me a time and she couldn’t! I was getting irritated, I reminded her that it was supposed to be a short off to buy things and not a whole day of day off already (since she was already going home) I knew she would just make an excuse so I just let her go. And true enough at 5PM, she wasn’t back yet. 7PM still no sign from her. I thought, maybe she thought it was an overnight day off. Then at 9:30pm, I get a know on a the door – she came in apologizing for the lateness because she had a hard time looking for public transport. I simply asked her why she didn’t even bother to text me? Then she remained silent. I give helpers those P10.00 card loads, so that in case of emergencies, they can text or give me a call. So I asked her where the P10.00 load that I gave her. She was just silent – I knew that those loads that I give them, they just use it for their personal texts and not to me. I was getting very angry. So anyway, she was back – at least she’s safe right? Then, she tells me that she needs to leave at 4AM the following morning because that’s the meeting time with her sister. I told her no, that she can leave by 9am and no earlier than that. She even told me that her sister has planned to *escape* from the husband and meet her at the bus terminal. I said to her *Sigurado ka bang makakatakas ang ate mo?* She said yes. So the next morning, my Panget tells me that this helper is already dressed and ready to go. That she’s all made up and prepared just waiting for the clock to hit 9AM. I took my time and when the clock hit 9AM, she was nowhere in the house. A few minutes later – she emerges and then tells me that she won’t be pushing through – as her sister wasn’t able to escape. She looked irritated and I asked why – she said that her sister was just wasting her time, it seemed that her sister was undecided *Gustong magpapigil* was the word she used. She said she wasted her whole day and P600.00 worth of her salary. She then tells me that it was her mother that called her asking her to help the sister and to take her home. I then asked how much the bus fee was and it was P800.00 one way! Imagine, if there were 2 adults – she would have spent P1,600.00 for them one way. And then she needs to come back – and that’s another P800! That’s P2,400.00 not including the miscellaneous expensed pa! Yikes! Situation #2 This morning, Yaya Belen was telling me a story or another Yaya that was not happy in her place of work now. The reason was that this Yaya had an emergency, her sibling died – so for 2 weeks – she was on leave. The yaya was ranting to Yaya Belen that her employer didn’t give her a month’s worth of salary because she was on leave. In her understanding – an emergency leave entails the employer will still pay for the days that she’s on leave. In short – she was complaining of the money, it’s always about the money. I even told Yaya Belen that in a standard worker’s case – it’s still no work no pay, unless you use up the allowed leaves of the company. Yaya Belen is a very sensible person if you ask me, she’s a very good person with a huge heart – she then told this yaya that of course the employers won’t pay for your salary when you’re on leave because there is no work! She knew this even without me telling her. I then told Yaya Belen that I knew this yaya was even lent money (or given money). Yaya Belen was even shocked and said why that yaya was complaining if she was given extra money when she went home?! I told Yaya Belen, that I’m sure the yaya left that particular information out to get the sympathy of the other yayas. Silly right? Now this yaya’s work is affected – she’s not very happy anymore where she’s working. So slowly she’s slacking off her duties as a yaya. Yaya Belen finds it really unfair, she said that it doesn’t mean that their duties stop at that. I agree Yaya Belen, but not everyone is like you – they felt slighted and the only way they can exact their revenge or show their unhappiness is in their work so that maybe, just maybe their employers will notice. As far as I know with regards to the Kasambahay Law – there is no inclusion of leaves with pay – unless you’ve been with your employers for at least one (1) year. I find it really stupid though, that if helpers want to get a raise, they make a whole drama out of it. They will make a scene, or make paalam or they will tell you how unhappy they are and frown all the time until you notice them. For me, if you want a raise – aba, magpakitang tao ka! Show me you deserve a raise! Show me that you work very hard and listen to my instructions. For short – IMPRESS ME! But these helpers, well most of them – do the reverse psychology thing. And that doesn’t work for me and I’m sure it doesn’t work most of the time. I’ve learned in the past how manipulative some helpers can get to get what they want but now that I know better – I’m sorry, if you don’t impress me nor make me believe you’re worthy – then the status quo will remain. How about you? How do you handle helper emergencies?