Even before the break of dawn, she is already up. It is part of her routine. Never mind the fact that she always goes to bed only hours to dawn. Before the Madame (Master) of home is up, she (the former), must have everything done and dusted. Awaiting the master of the house, his Madame and their offspring to ruin. So that she can have more work to do. This is her job. She must oblige herself. But once the boss lady’s car is out of the gate, the storyline changes. It is a different world all together. This is the story of many maids. When the master is out of sight, is she out of heart too? If the story of Jolly Tumuhirwe, the maid who infamously groped her way to limelight, through a video that circulated in social media where she was captured battering a toddler is still freshly ground in your mind, then you already have a side to my tales.
Phewwwwwww! She takes a deep sigh of relief as the gate is shut behind the boss lady’s car. She punctuates her sigh with a gracious fall from her duties (read burdens) into the boss lady’s favorite sofa. This is also part of her routine. To her, it is a deserved rest. When she gets enough of assuming the Madame’s position, she collapses into the couch however, not as graciously as in Madame’s preferred seat but rather as a sack of potatoes. With the TV remote in hand, she kick starts her day of “work” as Madame who just left to go to work assumes. This is only but a side to the whole story. It may be unbelievable until you witness it for yourself but the moment the Madame is away, many a maid drop all they are doing that moment to take a breather for they have been living on pins and needles. The breather lasts as long as the maid wishes before resuming their housekeeping duties.
In an another incident, a maid has a toddler they tend. When the Madame of the house is present, the toddler lives a fallacy unknown to its mother. The maid gives the toddler all the tender love and care the Madame believes her money should be paying for. Unknown to the mother, the maid literally lives off the toddler. It is one of those homes where drinking milk is a preserve for the baby most especially. But the maid having spent the better part of her life drinking black tea or “dry tea” as we say in Ug-lish will have none of that. She consumes nearly all the milk meant for the baby. She has always taken her chances when the Madame is out of sight. Whatever is meant for the baby to eat is halved or all eaten by the maid if it is extremely yummy.
Those are not even the worst of all. In another situation, the Madame of the house is a really classy lady. She exudes the elegance that could well be envied by those who claim to be fashion gurus. And on the other hand, is her maid who was once a village belle with dreams of making it big in the city. Her time in the city has not gone to waste. She has got the best education to help her achieve her dream. She has invested handsomely in watching soaps on the telly and music videos on that only Luganda programs TV station. The Madame is fond of her maid. Once her majesty, the Madame is away, the maid who is now familiar with fashion thanks to the televised education she now has tries on the Madame’s clothes and shoes which is of course unknown to her boss. Because she meticulously puts back everything in its stead when she is finished with hitting the runway. I guess what has been said is true, familiarity indeed breeds contempt.
The situation only gets worse when the maid has a partner in crime -a gateman in the home. When he is done shutting the gate behind you the boss, he turns your home into lodging facilities. In your presence, the maid and gateman have a casual relationship as would be expected of any persons sharing a workplace however that relationship in many a case blossoms into sexual relations when you are out of sight. Just like you do have fantasies, your workers make hay as the sun shines in your absence in places around your home that you cannot fathom. Well, the saying goes, while the cats are way, the mice shall play (excuse the pun).
Lastly, which I have found most infuriating about maids, is they resign and leave work while the boss is away. When the home is left to only them. Nothing is mentioned about resignation. Many people leave for work in the morning and of course leave orders behind only to return to a home in mess that is void of any housekeeper. I have not heard of a maid who has honestly left her job. If they do not “run away” in your absentia, they make excuses in your presence hoodwinking you into giving them a few days off. Never to return.