I’m starting to feel like I need to create a category for this! How much trouble can one possibly have?!
It is so bad that I am actually starting to lose track of how many we’ve had. Betty who was working for us since December has fallen ill and cannot return to work. Indefinitely. We then used a lady my mother recommended who lasted all of 3 weeks before she said she isn’t willing to travel out to us anymore. No notice. Again stuck without someone with ironing piling up. We then started sharing a domestic with our downstairs neighbour (again). She has also been with us for a few weeks and started while I was on maternity leave so I had an opportunity to suss her out.
After some very suspicious behaviour at the neighbour’s flat they have decided to let her go. Of course, since we share her, they notified me of the events to give me a heads up. This domestic doesn’t have a phone. When our neighbour showed up unexpectedly and found her rifling through drawers and cell phone boxes she claimed she was looking for a cell phone charger. She was then offered the charger which was always plugged in next to the bed to charge the phone while she worked, but she claimed she left the phone at home. The phone she said she had is the same brand that the neighbour has laying in a drawer, unused (because they are broken, but the domestic didn’t know that). Question being, was she planning on taking one of the phones? Even if she wasn’t planning on swiping a phone, was she planning to swipe the charger she was apparently looking for? How was she going to use it to charge a phone she didn’t have with her? Something doesn’t add up. The neighbours also noted that money left in one of their pant’s pockets had disappeared. After the cell phone incident they decided not to have her back. No cell phone went missing, but the assumption was that she was caught in the act and therefore decided not to take a phone. They requested she contact them when she got home after working for me yesterday. Apparently she went off when she was told she didn’t need to come back. My neighbour said she was shouting and screaming. When she was questioned about the money, she pointed out she had put it in the cupboard underneath some clothes. When questioned about why the money was hidden from plain sight she apparently started saying she isn’t paid enough and can get paid better elsewhere. Here the assumption is that she hid the money to see if she was questioned about it and if not she would take it at a later date. She has also left work unfinished at my neighbour’s house. Note, my neighbours haven’t actually spent any time with her. They both work so she has always been alone in the house.
I am very conflicted about what to do. I have a completely different view of her, having gotten to know her. The only thing I find strange about her is that she is extremely paranoid about personal safety. She has made various comments about feeling unsafe. Including feeling unsafe walking to our place from where the taxi drops her off. I understand that as there are quite a few men standing around at the drop off point waiting for work. I feel uncomfortable around there too. I’ve tried to reassure her that our complex is very safe. We’ve never heard of an incident while staying there and we do have patrolling security guards and electric fencing, but she remains quite paranoid. There is also a certain taxi that will take her well beyond the point where all the men are standing, if she manages to catch that one. Did she hide the money from plain sight because she is paranoid someone else would take it? She does her work very well and even without me there to supervise yesterday her work was completed. I cannot find fault with the way she works at all. We have never had any problems with her.
All the things that happened with my neighbour are circumstantial and based on speculation. Would it be unfair of me to let her go because of trust issues someone else has with her? I tend to think so. I know there was an incident with the neighbour that offended her. Perhaps she didn’t want to work there anymore. I’m not sure that she would of created a situation where her integrity would be questioned though. Another concern is that she told the neighbour she doesn’t get paid enough. We pay her the same and admittedly there is more work at our house with the two small kids and rampant cat hair than there is downstairs with the childless couple (well, his kids don’t live there). Now I am worried about potential theft. I don’t have anywhere in my house where I can lock up valuables. We don’t have a safe or anything that locks. There are pieces of jewellery I have at home that are very sentimental. On the other hand, even if we do let her go and employ someone new (again), we run the same risks. Not only that, I am no longer home to assess and ‘train’ someone new. I would have to leave a perfect stranger in my house.
I have no idea what to do. I’m leaning towards keeping her on and perhaps acquiring a safe just for those few valuable I really don’t want to lose.
What would you do?