Our helper fiasco

We are once again yaya-less. We had to terminate our latest yaya we employed for just 11 days. How did this happen? A little backstory: my 19-year old nephew was with us for almost one year before he broke the news recently that he no longer wishes to be my son’s yaya and overall househelp for some personal reasons. We have been looking for a yaya since January but to no avail. And then, my sister found a potential yaya whom we shall call as “Len2x”. She thought Len2x was a sister of their neighbor when she saw her washing clothes (they are neighbors btw) and asked how she was related to her neighbor. Len2x said she’s just a friend who has just left her previous employer because according to her, her presence has brought “marital issues” to her employers; that is, the wife is jealous of her.

Mistake No. 1: Not the one and not being specific with how you want things to run in your household

My sister called me and said that we try Len2x for the meantime, who knows we might like her. My nephew was the one who oriented her with how the things should be in our house. When my sister arrived with Len2x evening of March 7, I delayed the orientation with Len2x so as not to scare her with how things were in our house. I let my nephew do the orientation with Len2x and thought that once my nephew is out, I will just reinforce on the coming weekend. I would also like to add, that just barely minutes since she arrived, Len2x was already talking on her phone with someone. I just dismissed it as I thought she was talking to her family in Zamboanga. I should have confronted her about it rightaway.

Mistake No. 2: Allowing cash advances for newly employed helpers

When my nephew left Friday night, I was surprised when Len2x asked for a cash advance (she was just with us for barely 2 days!) because according to her, her child is sick. She was asking for almost 75% of her monthly salary but I told her we can only give her one third of what she’s asking. She was okay with it. Of course, how can she not be?!

The following week, just barely employed for 8 days, she asked again for another cash advance via text. I told her I will just look into it as we no longer have budget for it. She replied that she will just borrow money from her friend which she’ll pay on March 18 (and calling me if her friend was okay with it). It was March 15, meaning we’ll have to give her money just three days later. I told her that we really cannot give her anything that soon, given she was only with for just a week. When I arrived home that evening, excited for the long weekend, she told me that her friend already sent her family the money. Like, what?! I asked her why she didn’t call me. And she answered with a mere “I forgot to call you”. I asked my sister to confirm if she had indeed borrowed money from her friend. My sister told me that the friend denied such transaction between them. Later on when I spoke with this friend, she told me that Len2x had asked her not to say anything to my sister about her loan. Why would she do that??

Mistake No. 3: Allowing Free Time for new employed helpers

That weekend, as what we were accustomed to do, we had to go out and spend time with our son at the park. And not wanting to think of a stranger left at home while we were out, we let her have the Saturday off and asked her to come back Sunday morning after she was done with the laundry.

Mistake No. 4: Not letting her know the areas which are off limits to her and not locking our cabinet doors

We live in a studio type house, where she has access to everything. Last Sunday, we had a scheduled get-together with some friends from college to celebrate our birthdays which fell on the same month and we had to leave her behind. I was not so bothered leaving her behind as my in-laws’ are just downstairs. Before we left, I asked her to clean the windows and mop the floor. My husband had to go back to the one last time before we left when he realized he left his phone. When he came back, while putting his seatbelt on, he asked me if I had brought all our cash (not knowing he had caught our Len2x looking into our cabinet). I did brought all the cash we have on hand, forgetting the payment from a side business in the pocket of my bag. The bag was safely tucked in the cabinet. Or so I thought.

The next morning, after eating breakfast and washing the dishes, Len2x went up to the rooftop to talk on her phone again. At this time, I remembered the remaining cash in my bag. When I saw that the pack of diapers was placed on top of my bag (which left my bag crumpled!), I was a little upset. I became more upset when I saw that the money was not in the pocket and my organizer’s zipper open. I quietly told my husband about it, and he asked where I placed my bag. He then told me how he caught Len2x the day before looking into our cabinet.

We asked Len2x to go downstairs and I asked her directly if she went through my stuff. As expected, she denied it. We asked her to show us all her stuff. It was the most excruciating thing to do and never in my life did I imagine asking someone to do it in front of me. We did not find the money we were looking for but found my son’s alcohol instead. While I was walking and talking, the money “conveniently” showed up and Len2x told us that my bag fell while she was putting the pack of diapers. I will attach some pictures later and illustrate how my bag couldn’t have fallen from the cabinet.

Long story short, we terminated her right there and then. If she could take and use my son’s personal belongings, how can she not do it with our other things? And after the confrontation, I don’t think she’d be in her best self to care for my son.

Mistake No. 5: Not trusting my instinct

When Len2x arrived, I have always felt off. I mean, have you experienced this with someone? Like you just feel something? We already employed helpers before but it was different with her. I cannot seem to get myself to trust her with my son. In fact, I was still the one who sterilizes my son’s bottles. I also don’t feel comfortable leaving my bag in the open i.e not inside the cabinet. I was used to leaving spare change just lying around but when we employed her, I specifically asked my husband not to leave his spare change on the table and put it in his pocket instead. I think I started to feel off when she first asked for a cash advance. I was thinking, there was an existing need for money.

But thinking about it, I feel like it is more of my fault than hers that the awful thing had to happen. I failed to set up ways on how to prevent such things to happen. I could have told her to stay away from our cabinet and to leave the pack of diapers where it was: on the floor. I failed, as her employer, to set up controls which could not have happened if only we oriented her specifically.

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