One of the things I REALLY REALLY dislike is poor listening skills. I was taught to listen carefully, all throughout my schooling life and life on this earth – I was taught to LISTEN. And so when people around me don’t listen – well, I get a bit irritated. I get more agitated when it is I that is giving instructions and I have to repeat it more than two times. It really gets to me, as in really gets to me. Last week, I found myself with just one helper in the house – Yaya B. By some sort of grace, I was sent one by a recruiter. Yes, it was a risk – but I was desperate, so I took her in. There have been red flags while I was interviewing her – but as you know, when one is desperate – one is willing to forego those red flags. Red Flag #1 When I asked the helper, how many employers she has had in her lifetime of work. One would immediately answer, because I feel that you will remember all of them, right? Well, she fell silent, and it was an awkward silence – and so the recruiter answered for her. I told the recruiter not to asnwer because the question was directed to the helper. And guess what, she couldn’t answer. She answered me with *Yung huling pinasukan ko, 1 year po ako doon*. Since I was desperate, well, I let it go and just shook my head. Red Flag #2 – She doesn’t smile nor talk. Most of us dislike talkative helpers, right? Well – it’s quite obvious that we don’t like talkative ones for fear of divulging sensitive information to strangers in the future. I remember hearing stories that their helpers would volunteer information to other helpers. I do understand that they may do that innocently, but some do it as a form of boasting what they have to others. But this helper, well – I was glad that she’s the quiet type – it’s just that she doesn’t smile. It seems like it’s so hard for her to smile. When her recruiter told her to always greet me with *Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening* I told them both that I didn’t need to hear any of those. What is important to me is to SMILE or just a pleasant expression. But you see for next few days – her expression is always blank, and she will either just stare at you or look far away from you. I didn’t mind this. Yaya B observed that the new helper is just well – serious. Yaya B said she works well naman daw. But honestly, it’s really too early to tell. My Panget found it strange – he said that there might be something off with this new helper, I just told him – we need to wait and see, give her a chance. Red Flag #3 When she moves a bit slower than the usual. I am very particular with mabilis kumilos. I am big myself, but that doesn’t give me the right to move slower than others. Whenever I get home and have stuff in the trunk of the car, I would honk the car’s horn to signify that there are things that needed to be brought down from the car. So I told the new helper this. For the next day or two, it was still Yaya B who would come out of the house to get the stuff. I told her that she needed to stop as the responsibility is now the new helper’s. I would notice that Yaya B would always repeat the same instruction to the new helper and I would also remind the new helper of this. On more than three occasions, I would sit and wait in the car to see how long it would take her to come out. It took her more than 3 minutes to come out. And reluctantly come out she did with a frown on her face. I was already getting impatient, but what was I to do right? So, I reminded her again on this. She seemed to be irritated to come out and get the stuff. I would think that after reminding her, she would improve right? Well, it’s still the same. Slow and with a frown (naka kunot yung noo) and if I am lucky, just a blank stare. Red Flag #4 Poor listening skills. One thing I really really REALLY dislike is poor listening skills. So yesterday, she was filling the pitcher for cold water. I saw that she was using the very slow water dispenser to fill up 2 liters of water. I then suggested to use the pump in the helper’s area instead – it’s faster (and it’s what I do). As she was walking to the room, I suddenly asked *Twing kelan mo ba nililinisan yung pichel?* She just proceeded to walk, not hearing me – I had to call her attention and asked again. And do you know what her reply was? *Eh malinis pa naman eh* Damn, I wasn’t asking if it was clean, I was asking WHEN she cleans it. So I asked her again telling her *Makinig ka sa tanong ha, twing kelan mo nililinisan yang pichel?* She doesn’t answer but proceeds to walk towards the sink with the intention of washing the pitcher. I had to stop her and then said *Hindi ko naman pinapahugas sayo, tinatanong ko lang TWING KELAN MO NILILINISAN YUNG PICHEL?* She then replied with *ISANG BESES, ISANG ARAW – TWING UMAGA AT GABI* I almost fell on the floor with her answer. In English, her reply was *I wash it once a day, every morning and evening* That’s NOT once a day, that’s TWICE a day! I then told her, to listen to my question and to answer correctly. I don’t like it when they answer basta lang may masagot, I need them to listen and answer correctly – diba? I think there are incidents that happen every day, but I choose to just let them go. My Panget said to ask the recruiter for a replacement already, since it’s not worth the stress I am feeling. On my part, well – I am hoping that she will somehow improve as the days pass. But I swear, it’s really getting to my nerves. A week before I gave birth, when I got home – I noticed that when I entered the house, she was hurriedly walking towards the dirty kitchen. She looked disheveled and in a rush, so I wondered why. As I was walking towards the dining room, she was in a hurry taking out plates and utensils. And when I reached the dining area, I only saw that it was my Panget’s plate that was set, I was confused. She then entered behind me uttering *Akala ko po kasi si Sir lang ang kakain dito* I then uttered *Wag mo sabihin na walang pananghalian* It was Yaya B who answered that she cooked everything and left word to re-heat it for lunch. So that meant, either this new helper FORGOT or didn’t notice the time. Everyday, Connor and I eat lunch at home, with the exception of Thursday – but that was it, every Thursdays – but that day it was – Monday. I swear, I was at a loss for words and reasoning why she did what she did. As much as I wanted to ask more questions and pry, I chose not to anymore. To be honest, I was really irritated – but I had to keep my cool. My Panget was just smiling and laughing. Today she’s been with us for a month and 19 days. The past 50 days have been a test of patience, there were days that I chose to keep silent. My other helpers and my mom have kept their silence since I
was am still recovering. BTW, this helper’s name is Faustina M. Aloro. She’s from Northern Samar. She has an old FB account and she smiles in her profile picture. Go figure.
There is a Part 2 to this story, because I just let her go. Abangan!