Sunday, December 30, 2007

Love and they will not leave you..

Do not pray that people change, rather pray that you may learn to accept and love people as they are.. Ive heard this many times and again quite recently in my retreat... i thought this is a helpful solution to frequent staff turnover problems in many households. LOVE is a result of knowing.. you can't love something you don't know about..

We can't put up with a lousy cook, or a laundry staff who ruins our new blouse.. But most of all none of us would want a help who is difficult to get along with, who does not seem to be happy to care for us.. Among the many households i worked in, primary reasons why helpers resign are unhealthy relationship with fellow helpers or with employer, attitude problems and unmet needs of both parties. And you will agree with me, many times the root of all these is poor communication.. salary is not always the matter..Very rarely would one find a helper who can easily communicate with her employer, i guess due to their limited education and cultural exposure.. and you will be amazed that many housewives do not know how to talk to her household staff.. i've heard one referring to helpers as aliens.. This is due to the big educational, cultural, economic gap between the housewife and the helpers.. Behind excuses of i need to go home to the province, my husband/ family needs me back home, i am sick.. are a lot of important and uncommunicated needs..
How do you get to know them better? Apart from the initial interview, I always advise housewives to find time to meet staff at least once a week, to talk about things other than whats cooking? When helpers notice your interest and concern for their person, then they let you know the uniform you gave them is too warm and uncomfortable at work that is why they don't wear them, you discover that the budget you give for shopping seem never enough because they buy everything (even staff meals) in the supermarket, that they would prefer to have their own set of menu rather than just eating from your leftovers.. and many more

My job as home manager inevitably turns me into a go between housewife and helper, and i must win the confidence of both. In the few years ive been working as one, i have rarely encountered ill intention in either camp.. its all a matter of exerting a bit of effort to know deeper.. background, needs, aches (hahaha even that matters, yes!) which colors every action, every decision one takes in every situation. And when we know why people act the way they do, then we understand them better.. then we learn to excuse and accept .. and then perhaps we learn to love these "aliens". When there is love, there is a lot of understanding and excusing and loyalties.. and less of unhealthy relationship and less turnovers.

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