Thursday, August 30, 2012
My yaya bible
Well, you know I've had some yaya woes but finally, finally, finally, I think I've hired two women who are good.
A big chunk of my problem with my yayas before was I hired out of desperation. So when they turned out to be less than ideal, well, I really shouldn't blame anyone else but myself. I haven't lived with household help for over 20 years so I seriously did not know what to look for in yayas and how to manage them. This was a huge headache. As in iniiyakan ko ito. Ask Vince. He's been witness to my crying fits all because I have no idea how to make utos! He'd say, "Just manage them." And I'd sob, "I. Don't. Know. How!!!"
So thank goodness for Good Housekeeping's The Maid Manual. This is not a press release, a sponsored post, or a favor to my company. I picked up this book in desperation and read read read it. I even took down notes! See above photo!
The book details everything from how to hire yayas, what to look for and what to look out for, what questions to ask during the interview and what salary and benefits to give them. Then it told me what chores should be done (who knew light switches need a regular wiping down?) and how to schedule these chores. Then it lists down what to do if yayas want to ask for a loan, get sick, want to resign, fight each other, etc!
I also learned how to treat household help—I'm the employer, not the slave master, the mother, the bank or their friend. So keep it professional! This seemed like common sense but part of why I had a hard time managing them is I didn't know how to treat them. Since they lived in my house, I figured I'd be a mommy to them. You know, we're all one big family here. So I spoil my yayas. Bakasyon ng 5 days? Ok! Salary advance? Ok! Uwi sa Friday, balik sa Monday morning, every weekend, but buo ang sweldo? Ok! Hindi mo kaya bayaran ang utang mo? Ok! Gusto mo ng flatscreen TV, makeup, moisturizer at perfume? Ok!
Hindi joke yung TV.
Now, after reading The Maid Manual, I am not stupid anymore. By being armed with knowledge and a shift in attitude, my relationship with my help is professional and therefore simpler, easier, happier. Thank heavens! So to Good Housekeeping and Tisha Bautista, thanks!
P.S. Sa mga nawindang na namimigay ako ng TV, it was a 2-year-old TV I won sa raffle. We have a big TV sa living room and that small one sa bedroom. Yaya said hindi naman namin ginagamit yung TV sa kwarto so hiningi niya. Binigay ko. True story.
UPDATE: Just asked Summit Books. The Good Housekeeping's Maid Manual and Smart Parenting's Yaya Manual are available at National Bookstore and Fully Booked. You can also check out Summit Media's booth at the Manila Book Fair, Sept 12-16, at the SMX Center.