In the perfect world, househelps and their employers co-exist in harmony. Both agree on a pay package that is not exploitative to either party. They treat each other with respect, each keeping their end of the bargain enough to enable them to stick together for a long time, without aggravating each other in the process. That is the perfect househelp – employee world.
We however know that our world is far from perfect. Our world, as far as househelps are concerned, is wrought with so much unprofessionalism it makes you cringe. So while some househelps come into our lives and leave a good impression, others give us experiences that leave bad taste in the mouth.
Employing a househelp in Kenya is not cheap anymore. What with their salaries being regulated to ksh.10,000 per month in July this year? A little professionalism from househelps would therefore go a long way in ensuring the longevity of the working relationship with their employers. Employers would also get their money’s worth and in turn take the househelps more seriously.
These habits kill professionalism in househelps and need to be put to an end:
1. Watching too much television:
Not to deny anyone the chance for some entertainment, but when Afrosinema and Mexican soaps form the centre stage in a househelp’s life, when watching television becomes a constant routine to the extent that she is not able to perform her duties as expected, it becomes a problem. A big problem.
2. Leaving employment without giving notice:
I’ll bet you have come across this scenario or know someone who has: It’s Monday morning. You are about to leave for work. All dressed up and fed on breakfast. Just as you make to pick your bag and leave the house for the office, she comes to stand before you and says “Naenda nyumbani leo” – I am going home today. She had weeks, months or even a few days to tell you this but she chose to tell you seconds before you walked out of the door. Now that is cold. That is really cold. It is quite unprofessional too.
3. Gossiping with the other househelps, the watchman, gardener etc
Gossiping, contrary to popular belief, does not come with the profession. It does not help when the dishes sit in the sink, or the laundry remain in the hamper for most of the day because you would rather hold gossip sessions instead of doing your chores.
Just because your profession affords you access to your employer’s valuables and because you happen to know every corner of your employer’s house, does not give you the mandate to pinch some of those valuables for yourself. We understand that your job gives you the privilege of being privy to very private information in the household you work for. It will help to be professional about how you handle that private information.
5. Talking for hours, loudly on the phone
If anything kills professionalism in househelps, it is the incessant ringing of the phone – a phone that has a ringtone that is loud enough to rouse the dead. What however murders and buries the little professionalism that might have been salvaged is the answering of that phone in a loud voice, the coquettish laughter elicited from the phone call and the continued long hours of giggling and cooing as food burns in the kitchen!
Can you think of other unprofessional habits. Let’s hear them in the comments section.