Employer refuses with spare bed

Mai Chisamba —
I hope I find you well, I enjoy reading your column every Sunday. Amai I am a maid with a difference. I have six O-Levels and I am now privately doing my A-Level. I am more educated than the people who employ me.

I am more enlightened and this is the truth, I am not badmouthing them. I am in this predicament because of my background but I do not want to whine about it. Why is it that most employers look down upon maids and why are we generally called ana sisi as if we do not have other names? When you cook they want to know if you had washed your hands.

I am speaking for myself and others. You are given a cup, a plate a spoon to always use as if one suffers from leprosy. Madam vandinoshandira vakada kupinda mu comma vaona ndichinwira tea mucup mavo.

She was genuinely shocked. I have never seen her drink from that cup ever since that day. My question is why do people employ maids if they detest them that much? I look after their kids, household goods, everything generally during their absence but the treatment is so unfair.

I sleep in a spare bedroom that has a bed but I am not allowed to use it. So I sleep on the floor. Last month when I got my salary I bought two beautiful blankets dzavasina ivo and this did not go down well with amai vacho.

She looked at me sarcastically and reminded me that buying a set of two in one blankets does not mean that you will sleep on the bed. If I peep from the kitchen through an open door to look at the television the door is banged in my face kuti zivai zvamakafambira. Amai is a maid not a human being as well? This segregation is too much.

Response
This is terrible and for people to treat others living in the same house as them like this since slavery was long abolished is very unfortunate. I echo your sentiments that you are indeed a maid with a difference.

Well done keep on going and you will be a university graduate soon. Education is your life and no one can take it away from you. When you do good do not let it get to your head. Yes, they may be less educated than you but they are still your bosses.

I see the treatment they are giving you is very bad but never be tempted to sink to their level. I do not understand them either because if you look after their kids and take care of their house they owe you. They should be grateful instead.

Do not read negatively into some of the good things amai says like when she reminds you to wash hands. Its hygiene we all need to observe that. If you are not comfortable about being called sisi let them know they can use your name.

As an African mother I think ‘sisi’ is a term of endearment – it is just for respect. I am not sure why they will not let you sleep on the bed but if the bed is ok then that is extremely mean.

A maid is a human being so I do not know why and how you have your own set of crockery, after all you are the one who does the dishes. Ko kana vachikusema vanodya sei zvaunobata? It seems there is some bad blood between the two of you.

It is good to work on your relationship because you need each other. The television issue is tricky because when you are busy it can be disruptive. The law states bvumiranai zvakanyorwa pasi zvamunosainirana before you start work.

If you do not like the terms then do not pin yourself down. If it is not working for you maybe the best would be to tender your resignation but give them proper notice and quit. Praying for your employers and for yourself will help solve a lot of problems – there is power in prayer. I wish you all the best.

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