If you give in each time, you're perceived as a "soft touch". If you don't, you're a hard-nosed bitch. That's the thing about money and maids.
But what do you do when the new domestic help asks for a loan? And then quickly terms it an "advance" on her next salary?
That's what my cook did today. She's been with us for less than five weeks now. In which time, she has been erratic and turns up at various times. She has also not been totally honest--when she started, she had promised to be home by 11.30 am. So that my little boy can have his lunch by 1 pm. (Before we hired her, I was doing the housework and cooking and running to pick him up from school/ferrying him to fitness classes. Basically, I barely had time for my freelance assignments or even, to sit down and catch my breath).
But our cook actually turns up now between 1 p.m and 1.30 pm. Because she never told me she had a prior commitment. When she's fell ill this month, I insisted that she take time off to fully recover. And no, I do not intend to dock her pay for the days she missed.
Yet now, she wants a loan/advance. For me, hiring domestic help has become a necessity--I have aged parents who live in another state. In an emergency, if I have to be by their side, my husband will not be able to manage home, child and job (he works full-time, unlike me). So we work really hard. And we value hard work. Also, we value honesty. For us, the domestic help is worthy of respect if she/they do their job well, are professional, and turn up on time.
So anyway, I said no to my cook. And felt really bad about saying so.
What would you do in such a situation?