When it comes to domestic staff, it takes a whole lot of will power and self control to stop yourself from hitting your head on the wall continuously. They know how to frustrate patience out of you.
It was about ten thirty in the evening, and mum made me drive out with her to drop off a house help that's been with us for a couple of years.
She came with barely nothing, not even an understanding of English...
I remember coming home for a few days and meeting her for the first time, i drove her out that weekend and she was scared, she wondered how we were going to get back home... i was amused.
I guess i should have involved myself and told mum to calm down and give the girl a chance. I always thought mum complained a lot over nothing, and exaggerated her woes... that's till i came home and i understood.
I tried to talk to her on the side, put your head down, you're going to a good school, wearing nice clothes, eating whatever you want as opposed to being in the village. It's a good life, don't mess it up. But maybe i spoke too soft, maybe my sisters joked too much... or maybe we over did the clothes? Cos all of a sudden, the skirts were shorter, there were boys, phones and attitude. Oh well, she's gone, i miss her, but i guess there is a wisdom in all this.
And they advise the men to marry a woman from the village? Good luck good Sir.
I was on my way to the bank with the driver. We stopped for about one minute at a T junction, a traffic warden was directing the traffic. There were two cars in front of us, my head was bent, reading a book when i heard cars honking and the warden staring menacingly at our car, the cars in front had moved and the driver was sleeping... not dozing, sleeping. I was too shocked to say anything, then i screamed his name and he woke up, confused for a few seconds before moving. He proceeded to explain himself, apparently he wasn't sleeping, he saw his friend at the other side of the road and he was waving at him, thus he didn't know when the cars in front moved. I couldn't believe the lie, and the fact that he was smiling at how good his excuse was made me mad... i was too mad to be mad at him. It was a hot and tiring day, i couldn't afford to dwell on that or call him out on his lie.
This driver, is a far cry from the previous who stayed with us from my primary school days to my final year in uni. He isn't as smart as the last and sometimes i think it's only favor that has kept him on this long, i wonder how mum copes with him.
I remember sashaying out of Hilton in Abuja, all i wanted was a quick trip to the salon and back. He brought the car to the entrance to pick me up, and just as i had my precious 'joy girl' moment, you know like in the joy soap ad where everybody stirred, i got into the car and i noticed him trying to reverse, i couldn't figure why he had to as the front was clear and he could just drive off, but i guessed he was smart enough to know another car had pulled up behind him... my bad, he wasn't. He ended up bashing the car. It was embarrassing as i had to get down from the car to access the damage, luckily the concierge of the hotel knew i was a guest and sorted it out for me, the Oga wasn't in the car, thus i ended up giving the near frantic driver the money for repairs.... instead of the driver apologizing he kept mumbling, i should have left him to sort the issue out.
We came home early the other day, mum and i, and i noticed one of the house helps run from the security post when she saw mum was with me in the car. Mum was mad... she asked the security man what he was doing with her? "have you now married and kept a wife in my house?" I wish he just said sorry and ended it there... but he denied having anything to do with her, apologised and said he was lonely and asked her to come and keep him company. That killed me. I let mom do all the raging for both of us.
There was another house help who gave me one of the dirtiest slaps of my life... he saw a mosquito sucking on my fresh mosquito haven skin and couldn't bear to let my precious blood violated. That slap gave me sparkles... the good thing is he killed the mosquito. I know of people who harm themselves all in the name of killing mosquitoes only to end up with an empty palm.
And one of my classic domestic staff moments; I was about fourteen i think. I slept with my sister on this night, and in the middle of the night she woke up to a sight that still makes me cringe when i think about it. The house boy(best imagined as Ugwu in half of a yellow sun) sneaked into her room and was all cuddled up with me in bed. I don't know how he made it to the room, i don't know what he was thinking... all i know is that he climbed into the bed and held me and we both slept, a deep peaceful lovers sleep :|
It hurts me to think that i didn't notice anything weird or wake up to notice the atrocity before she did...Yuck!
There are others... with Ripley's believe it or not sort of stories. I just can't!!!!
It takes a whole lot of patience and grace to deal with domestic staff.