5 October 2009, Monday (16 Syawal)
Today, I decided to do spring cleaning of my family hall on the upper floor of my house. I've been meaning to do this since I retired but never got the chance to do it due to other commitments.
It's interesting to discover the things you and your family members keep, and when it's time for spring cleaning, there would be bound to be things that you would want to throw away without hesitation (even though you had decided to keep that during the last spring cleaning); and things that you think, ponder, muse, mull over, and contemplate numerous times before you come to a conclusion on what to be thrown away; and there would also be things where, try as you might, you just cannot bear to part with.
I was in the same dilemma today, but looking at the mountains of rubbish I had thrown away, I think I've made inroads in terms of what I've thrown away and what I've decided to keep, i.e throw 70%, keep 30%, until the next spring cleaning.....
STARK-RAVING CANTANKEROUS MAID
And it was while I was doing the spring cleaning on the upper floor of my house, that I heard a commotion coming from downstairs. And as I tried to listen more carefully, I heard my maid's increasingly loud voice scolding and disparaging my father-in-law.
This is actually not the first time she has been doing this. But what is amazing about this maid is the fact that she would put on her best behaviour when she's dealing with my father-in-law whenever my husband and I are downstairs, and whenever we are within earshots. But whenever she thinks I'm in my room and when my husband is at work, all hell would break loose. When she spent Raya with my sister-in-law in Bangi, she also stifled her true colours. She was on her best behaviour without "a hair out of place".
And after I retired, I could hear her screaming and disparaging the poor soul incessantly. In fact she had complained to my sister-in-law that she did not get any scolding from me when I was still working, but now that I'm at home, she gets a fair scolding from me. What a lame complaint!!!
And I had posed this question to my sister-in-law, "Can you imagine how she had been treating bapak in my absence?" "Can you imagine how bapak had suffered in my absence when I was working?" "Imagine, even when I'm at home, she has the audacity and the nerve to abuse him, right under my nose!!"
And this verbal and sometimes physical abuses usually happened when she's giving him his bath. Old folks being old folks would have their own set ways of doing things.
And this maid who's just an employee would try to impose her style on my father-in-law. Of course, there are bound to be clashes. And today, was no different.
She had assumed that I was cooped up in my bedroom , so she hadn't realised that I was listening to her tirade, and I could hear banging and shouting in the bathroom. And a short while later, my father-in-law's cry for help, "Help!! Help!!!. And still not satisfied with her tirade and physical abuse (God knows what she did), she further roared when she came out of the bathroom. "Stupid!!! Stupid old man!!" And, at that time, I snapped!!!
I rushed down and asked her what was happening and queried her why she had verbally and physically abused my father-in-law and why she was so rude calling him stupid!. And you'd not believe her reaction. Instead of being remorseful and apologetic, she had scolded me and continued screaming at my father-in-law. Can you imagine how belligerent she is!!! Urghhh....
While still seething with anger and trying to control and contain my temper, I had sent an sms to both my sister-in-law and my husband relating to them what had just taken place.
When I was sending that sms, I could hear her still muttering and scolding my poor father-in-law. And a short while later, I could hear her rising loud-mouthed and irritating voice again. And I was wondering if she had gone berserk again. But when I listened closely, I realised she was talking to my sister-in-law. And of course, her version of it had been twisted to suit her side of the story. And she even had the audacity to dramatize the whole situation by crying pitifully.
After my sister-in-law had spoken to my crazy maid, she called me. She related what I had partly heard and deduced. I had just told her to weigh it for herself and posed these questions to her, "Would a man, despite suffering from dementia relate an action that the maid had whacked him on the head if she hadn't done that? " "And would a man cry out in pain and screamed for help if the maid has not been hurting him?"
I've had a maid since I was carrying my first child in 1984. At that time I was 4 months pregnant, but was a very naive mother-to-be. Despite working, I hadn't even thought about who would look after my son after he was born. It was my late mum who had posed this question to me and was the one who actually looked into finding a maid for me so that someone could take care of my son when I was at work. How very naive I was at that time!!
And she found a local girl by the name of Rasmah. Rasmah came from Gurun and was 29 years old when she first came to work for my family. She stopped working for us at the age of 47 years old.
You may be wondering whether I've made a mistake in the age. No, I've not!! She had served us for 18 long solid years. If I've not been a good and reasonable employer, would my maid have stayed with my family for 18 long years? She was good and we treated her like a family. And she gets expensive presents during her birthdays and special occasions. And Rasmah loved all my four kids to a fault, like her own (She was married once before but never had children). My kids get far more expensive presents from her for their birthdays compared to the ones we gave them. She doted on each and everyone of them, especially my youngest son.
She only left us when someone came to ask for her hand in marriage and she accepted the proposal and settled down with him. God bless her and her new life!.
And my second maid Tuti stayed for 3 years. She left after my mum passed away. And the third maid lasted six long years. This maid was given gold for every birthday and she even went on vacation with us.
But this current maid.... my..oh my..... She tests my patience to the limit. And today was the last straw. At the earliest opportunity we are packing her off to where she belongs.
I've never had a maid who is so belligerent, so recaltricant, so bad-mannered, so vulgar and so boorish!! I will rejoice and have better peace of mind the day she leaves as she has caused havoc and upheaval in my family life. It has distressed me to discover my father-in-law who needs assistance to move around being at her mercy on a daily basis. The poor soul!!!
Whenever she's dealing with my father-in-law during his baths, she takes on a different personality (I wish I know the reasons/explanation to this). She's like a woman possessed. It was like as though a satan or devil took over her body during such times. She would be screaming her head off, very aggressive and would even kick and slammed the toilet door.
And I, for one, do not want my father-in-law to be a further victim of this crude, uncouthed, uneducated, and ungrateful maid. She has been downright rude and shows no respect to an employer and to an old person.
I'm counting the days when she disappears from my life, my family life and most important of all, from my father-in-law's life!!