Almost everyone has one. I don’t have one. But then, I’m not a “local” and thus am not allowed to have one – non-locals, generally, are not allowed to sponsor “maids.” There are, of course, exceptions. Certain professions of non-locals [i.e., physicians] qualify and may apply to sponsor a maid. For the most part, non-locals must use “houseboys.”
Of the dozen or so households that I have been to where there is a full-time, live-in maid, I’ve not been overly impressed by the work that they do. Perhaps my standards are just that much higher, but I know that I do a better job of cleaning and “keeping house.” I suppose that if my DH’s position here for some reason were to be eliminated then I could become a maid – oh, sure, it is an option that we could fall back on… [Yeah. Right. Not in this lifetime!] If I had not seen so many victims who have been imported as household help and if they were treated with just a modicum of decency and respect – oh – and paid a decent wage… Nahh. I just don’t think I could do it…
The maid’s aren’t really the ones at “fault” as far as the quality of work. A friend put much of this in perspective for me when we were discussing it one morning and she was telling me how their maid had ruined another load of laundry. I suggested that perhaps she shouldn’t have the maid do any more laundry as several “loads” have now been ruined and she explained to me that it was partly her fault as she hadn’t given much consideration to the fact that this maid is from a country where there is NO SUCH THING as a washer and dryer and in that case how could she [the maid] possibly be expected to know how to use such equipment?
Still, in a country where, for the most part, the majority of women don’t work, the fact that 9/10ths of the households here have at least one maid certainly is telling.
The Philippines will soon make available for sending to The Sandbox a “Supermaid.” I kid you not. The “Supermaid” is going to be highly trained and will be given language instruction so that they will speak whatever language the country to where they are going to be employed speaks. These maids, the new and improved version, will of course cost more and there is already some balking that “locals” are not going to want to have to pay the additional 50 or 100 Riyals it will cost for the upgrade.
This seemingly makes the “maid” a “thing” that can be upgraded with newer and better options, rather like leasing a car. You can get the bare-bones, stripped down version of a Hundai or Kia, or for a few Riyals more you can get a Lexus. Hmm... It will be interesting to follow to see how many “locals” are willing to pay the additional cost for the new, improved version – the upgraded model - the "Supermaid."