The Howling Maid
Today morning while having breakfast, I heard a maid shout at the top of her voice at the woman behind closed doors of her house, to pay her for the last month’s work. The woman, apparently, seemed not to care. The caretaker of our apartment came to resolve this issue and tried to talk this maid into leaving. The maid said that she had worked very hard and deserved every rupee that was being denied to her. She then added that the woman was accusing her of theft and hence wasn’t paying her and had even threatened to call the police. Nonetheless, the maid was determined to stay put until she was paid in full.
The maid left after about ten minutes, for reasons I’m not aware of. But it made me realize something important, what if the maid was telling the truth and the woman was lying just to get back at the maid for something else she had done to her, or perhaps the maid didn’t do anything and the woman’s attitude was unsympathetic. I am not sure whether the allegation of theft was true but based on her voice and tone it seemed that the maid badly needs the money she had earned and deserved.
What I don’t understand at all is, why give someone a chance to steal anything from your place? Why keep precious valuables lying around in the house? I’ve seen the tendency to carelessly keep one’s important at some place and over time forgetting about it, in almost every household I have visited or know of. We seem to get too comfortable in our own home but forget that we are inviting an outsider who is probably less wealthy than we are, and may therefore have a tendency to steal things. Would we not have taken care against predators had we lived in a cave in a jungle? Then why consider some outsider to be a saint, when (and I am sure of it) everybody has heard of stories of maids stealing from their master’s homes sometime or the other. Instead of enticing her to steal by keeping things in the open and then accusing her of stealing when things go missing (even if it may be your 10 year old who misplaced it), why not keep our valuables safe?
You may argue that, can’t one live the way one wants in one’s own home. Sure you can, but it is your home only because you occupy it at the moment. Moreover, its like saying, can’t I eat the way I like because its my body. And you know where such thinking leads to.
Stop blaming others. Instead organize your life such that you minimize such incidents. That will not only help you retain a maid for longer time without any bitter feelings that is so rare these days, it will also provide you with some peace of mind, which I dare say, is rarer still.