Wednesday, October 01, 2008

No Houseboy

Just a "housegirl." And that would be me. Unfortunately. Perhaps I was a little hasty in letting Houseboy 15 go. At least he was doing the work I didn't want to even if I didn't think he was doing a particularly good job. Houseboy 14 HAD to go. No way I could have kept him. And, Houseboy 13 I let go because he was so damn slow and dumber than a box of rocks. But, now I want Houseboy 13 back because if nothing else he did do EXACTLY what I wanted him to do and he did a good job doing it. HB13 is Appuk's nephew. Appuk is my gardener and man-oh-man does he do a fabulous job!!! I'll have to figure out when he started working for us - I think sometime in April or May - because I will want to give him a raise when he's been here a year.

Back to HB13. HB13 knows that I want to talk to him about working for us, again. We need to have a "chat" first because I have decided not to pay him hourly, but to pay him a salary, instead. I think that it will motivate him to work just a little faster if I am not paying him hourly. And, more importantly, will be how he treats my Kids. I am well aware of the fact that not everyone is a four-legged Kid lover like I am. But, since we DO have two Kids, here, if you are going to work for me you MUST be able to tolerate my Kids. It is not an option.

HB13 has been very good about calling me to tell me what the hold-up is - and it is NOT his fault. It is the fault of officials, here. The poor [literally] man has been sitting in a room downtown for a month now because his Iqama has not been reissued. An Iqama is the document that allows you to work here and it is needed, along with a Visa. Does any other country in the world require both? I don't know. Regardless, it is a simple little document that could easily have been issued in a matter of a couple of days - but it hasn't been reissued to him because it has been Ramadan and government workers were only working part-time. And, because he is an "imported worker from a third world country," well who cares about him, right?

Without the proper papers - namely, the Iqama - this poor man is not allowed to leave his room. If he were caught on the street and didn't have his Iqama with him - on his person - he would be deemed an illegal and immediately carted off to jail. No Iqama means not being able to go out and work and earn a living. So, through no fault of his own, he has been unable to make any money for a month or so now. The little guys who are imported are not paid when they don't work. And, yes, I know I'm considering putting him on a salary, but my paying him a salary does not mean that if he is forced to sit in his room for a month that he will be paid. He won't be. Is the man who is his sponsor - a Saudi - paying him while he sits in his room? I doubt it very, very much. I strongly suspect it is his uncle - my gardener - who is taking care of his needs insofar as food and basic living necessities. And perhaps his brother.

I did not know until a week or so ago that HB13's younger brother had been here working as a Houseboy for almost twenty years. The brother came to see me - he was willing to work for me - but I would have had to train him and I don't want to train someone that was only going to work here until HB13 could get his papers sorted out. HB13 believes he will be able to get his Iqama taken care of in the next week or so - now that Ramadan is over - and after Eid. I hope so. I really, really need want some household help.

It does piss me off, though, that the authorities here care so little about the workers they import. You can believe that if the shoe were on the other foot they would be screaming and rioting about their mistreatment. Oh, yeah, they would. But the little imported workers have NO voice here, whatsoever, and no recourse. They just have to suck it up and go with the flow, and if that means no working for a month or so, and NO income, then that is just too bad. The system is not fair. But then, no one ever said life was going to be fair... And, in the meantime, I will just have to vacuum and clean my own bathrooms... If I don't get a houseboy pretty soon, though, I'm not going to be able to see out our windows. I'm willing to do a lot, but I draw the line there. I don't do windows!


  1. mop + bucket of sopay water. use on any surface that self dries in less than 30 minutes. thats what i do. i dont do toilets. i hose them down and mop everything up. LOL

  2. Interesting cleaning method, 3anooda. In order for that to work I'd need drains in every room [which we don't have] and a mop [which I do not own]. I don't mind cleaning. Really I don't. I just have so many more things I would MUCH RATHER be doing and a houseboy allows me to have that time to do those things. Soon. I hope...

  3. Is there nothing you can do, like marching down to where ever and rounding them up?

    I could do with HB13 coming over here and cleaning my windows as well, if he has a moment!!!


  4. Totally out of my hands, Gill. Truly there is nothing I can do. Trust me, if I could, I would!

  5. ...and i came here to specifically ask you the number to the agency you use. i want to see if they have rent - a - maids. i feel like you do about my help tolerating my kids. i have a live in now and she does a great job but unforunately she is very mean to my kids (humans). today she called my dughter a name. my kids treat her very well and she does not have to help me with them. she only cleans. the name calling was the last straw. she must go!

    i think we are neighbors. not the same compound but close.

  6. Intisar - I had a houseboy and a gardener from an agency - I can see if I can find the number for you, of that company. I'm sure I have it somewhere. Whether they have maids or not, I have no idea. I know the "gardener" they sent me wasn't a gardener - didn't have a clue about gardening or yard work. The houseboy tolerated the Kids - never did anything that I saw that was abusive - he'd be a dead man, if I would have seen him abusing either of them... He just didn't do that good of a job cleaning and I just don't see the sense of paying for something that I have to redo.

  7. Please do. The maid called my daughter 'shithead' in arabic. It actually has several meanings. Zero (meaning you are nothing) being the lesser evil, shithead being the worse! Either way it goes. I'm not having that. She would never have called a Saudi kid that...the kid, the mom and everybody else would have slapped her in the face!

  8. hi hey sabra i can do household durties so well i am 25 good boy form pakistan my id is

  9. i assure you would please to see me will wait your email


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