Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Houseboy - Still No Papers

I started a much longer post this morning - but it isn't done. It will be up later. I hope... In the meantime, I'm busy doing my own housework...

The houseboy I want to rehire - HB13 - remains in his "room" with no papers to be able to move about this part of the world freely. If he is caught outside on the street without his iqama [the papers that say he has a sponsor and is allowed to work here], then he will immediately be sent to jail. That is how it works. He likely would be fined some ridiculously massive amount - money which he will have no way to accumulate as he is unable to work - and money for which his family and friends will be unable to raise in order to pay his fine and get him out of jail.

His name is Inam, I did not know how it was spelled until his uncle, Appuk, my gardener, spelled it for me. I called him Inom the whole time he worked for me.
He answered to it and never corrected me. Inam has no money and for almost two months now, as his papers were not done, he has had no ability to earn any money by sitting in his room 24/7. His family at home, which counts on his measly monthly remittances, has had nothing from him in over two months. Appuk, his uncle, and Hadar, his brother, have been supporting him to the best of their ability. Appuk and Hadar do not make oodles of money. They are all here in order to make money as they are unable to do so in India. Your conditions have got to be pretty destitute to want to come here and work for next to nothing in fairly extreme conditions.

I spoke with Inam, HB13, earlier today. He has been told day after day after day that he will get his papers in two days. Today he said, "We are all waiting for them, Madam." I did not ask how many are involved in "we are all waiting." If the shoes were on the other feet, all hell would be breaking loose! But because "we all" are just imported workers virtually nothing is being done to rectify the situation for them. Honestly, I feel sorry for Inam and the "we all" who are in the same boat. It just is not right. And, today, when I spoke to Inam, he told me that he wants to work for me, and will work for me first [I suspect he has lost positions with other families as they have hired someone else in the interim - it is one thing to wait a week or three - or even through the entire month of Ramadan - but even I am tempted to find someone else to come work here as I am getting frustrated waiting]. I asked him if he was available for four days a week for four hours a day. Perhaps five days a week for four hours a day. 7A to 11A. I want this house to shine. If I am going to pay someone for that many hours, I want to be able to see my reflection in every piece of furniture, the tile floors and the carpet! I want this place to be so clean and sanitary that it smells like a hospital!!!

The poor guy, Inam, said that he will come work here first and that he is not going on vacation this year. I told him that I did understand that NONE of THIS is HIS fault and that he didn't need to cancel his vacation just to come and work for me. Heck, I've gotten by without him this long - I can get by a little longer. He responded, "Oh no, Madam. I must make some money. I must cancel my vacation for this year. Maybe I will go on vacation next year." Maybe??? How pathetic is that?!?

Ohh... As we were talking and I made it clear that we had things to discuss before he would be able to work for me again [and the most important thing we need to discuss is how he will interact with my Kids], he asked me, "How is The Baby, Madam, and how is The Baby's Brother?" How sweet was that?!? I realize that at this point I am probably his only prospect for any income whatsoever, so he is going to want to kiss my butt. I'm okay with that. Mostly I just want him to be able to "tolerate" my Kids, and do a good job cleaning - which he did do in the past - but at a pace just slightly faster than his former slower than a snail's pace. I believe we can make it work. If the poor "little" guy is ever able to get his f^k'ng papers!!!

Just why is this happening??? Because it would involve someone in some office somewhere actually doing some work instead of playing on his company's computer surfing the internet or talking on his mobile. These little guys - I know, I refer to them as the "little" workers, "little" guys - but I mean "little" in the sense of "the Underdog" - they have no recourse. They cannot just start screaming and shouting at someone to get the papers done. I am soooo thankful that I am an American and that our "status" [for lack of a better term] here enables us to make things happen. The "status" of these "little" guys is so far below that of everyone else they are not even on a "ladder," but instead have been buried and are using a teaspoon to shovel the sand off themselves one granule at a time just to get out of their ruts and be able to get out and make a living!!!

And what is even worse is that there is absolutely NOTHING that I can do about it to help Inam in order to help me - to get my house cleaned. Nope. Absolutely NOTHING at ALL!


  1. that sucks, both for the poor man and for you......I thought it would have settled by now......


  2. HA! Gill, my Dear, you are living in the Real World. Unfortunately, I am NOT!


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