Monday, November 22, 2010

RANTS: I am not a "maid" person

I don't hate people who have maids. I really don't. My SIL's do. My mother does. I grew up with what people in Oman call a houseboy. I just was the kid who hid all my dirty laundry from him because I didn't want other people to do my dirty work for me.And I have never gotten over a group of girls [of my social strata one could snobbily say in the "local" UAE lingo] in the UAE talking about choosing a maid like buying an animal. "Make sure their nails are clipped" "never let them go out on their own or have a cell phone or wear make up or dress themselves". And get this, the poor non-muslim maid did not want to wear a headscarf.
Well, you know what, in Islam, unless she IS a Muslim, SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in the religion. You can make her, but you are an idiot to do so. Ask her. Present her with options. She is more likely to do so then, and know what, maybe even CONVERT if you treat this non-muslim entity in your employ with ALL her rights in YOUR religion. Duh. And besides focussing on the hair covering part (which denotes that you ARE a believing Muslim woman, obedient to God, not your employer or husband or any fashion whim), why not simply try for more modest clothing. Which to me is a great alternative, and if you let the maid have a say, you'll both be happy. I GUARANTEE you, your male relatives and inlaws are waaaaaaaaaaay more likely to check out her body shape than her hair, so if you're really worried about that, ask her to be respectful in THAT regard. Your religion might not MEAN anything to her. Hijab is hot and if you aren't doing it for God, don't bother. Try a breezy hat instead as a compromise maybe?
I once asked a maid why she didn't become a Muslim since she believes in Islam. Her answer: "I've worked for people who pray five times a day and are the most evil souls alive."And you don't own a maid, even if you sponsored their visa. It is a job, just like anywhere else. Which means you can't yell at them, abuse them, tell them what to wear and where to go on the hours they are NOT working. And fulltime in Oman, DOES NOT mean, NEVER HAS A BREAK OR DAY OFF. It means so many hours a week, not to exceed such and such a time without compensation in extra salary.

"but if you spoil them they'll get lazy!"
Treating them like people ISN'T spoiling them. Letting them form their own lives and be a human being is not going to make them a crappy worker. I know. People in our employ ALWAYS went out of their way for myself and my family.
My SIL just tried to talk me into getting my husband to get me a maid. He already offered. I was like, "Don't I make the house nice?" He's like, "Beautiful Habiti." And I am like , "And don't you love my cooking [of course, when we don't dine out]?" He's like "mmmmm." So honestly, I don't really want another woman taking care of my children if I can make time for them, or serving my husband food or drinks, or washing his car, when those are thing HE CAN LOVE ME more for. I'd make an exception if I was a super important business woman/or dignatARY WHO HAD TO ENTERTAIN alot, and leave the home, so the children were alone for five hours at a time (I don't want kids if I have to leave them alone longer than THAT). But I am not. So. For now the answer is "NO".
I don't need a housemaid.
I also don't need to hear from bored housewives (who do nothing for their children OR their house or their husband but SHOP) who want to complain about their maids. Serriously. One more complaint about a decent human being who works harder than you ever will, and I will kill myself, or pay your maid's salary to live in Philipines and take care of her OWN children and family.
Really. And I could afford it, so friends and relatives of mine, watch out.
OPNO is stubborn beyond reason, as you already know, and to make a point she does some pretty drastic things.


♥ααℓiα♥ said...

Alhamdulillah my maids and me have a good relationship :-)

Prophet Muhammad (sallahu `alayhi wa salam) stressed the importance of finding a middle ground in *everything* from religion to daily affairs in a hadith.

Both extremes are harsh and can lead to disasterous results (I can speak from personal experience) but alhamdulillah things are good now :-)

Noor said...

Asalam Alaykum WOW those are the exact things the Saudis say here about maids.. Great post and I do not have a maid as well but my mil will allow me to borrow hers but I never do :)

Boxie said...

Oh my, I remember those conversation. I was going over one the other day in my head. Its was a "where in the world is Islam in all this" moment. :( ahhh. dont do anything to drastic lol. :P

Andrew Brown said...

Well said!
And as a man deeply in love with an incredible woman (now my wife!) who happened to be a maid when we met, your words and thoughts are appreciated! :-)

Mona Z said...

I agree 100%, I'd be cool with someone coming once a week but live in, no way. Great pictures too.

asubjectivity said...

Hi. I really agree with this post. I work for a women's rights organisation (don't worry not one that automatically assumes all Muslim women or hijabi's are oppressed) and one of our key issues is domestic workers. People don't seem to get that domestic work is WORK, that maids are HUMAN BEINGS and that they don't owe you anything other than to do their jobs.

So many really horrific things happen to domestic workers but all you really here about is how you have to be strict with them or they take advantage of you. In my experience it is the employers who take advantage almost always.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Aalia: Al7amduliah, I am glad. The situation was difficult there. I am also glad you arrived safely. I tried to text you but had difficulty.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Noor: wa alaykom e salaam, I think they say those things throughout the Gulf. But it annoys me when lazy useless people are complaining, and the maid is quite sweet and decent and hardworking. Than I am all riled and gggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrr lol.

Good for you!

and you know what? I bet your husband appreciates you and loves you even more for that:)

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Noor: wa alaykom e salaam, I think they say those things throughout the Gulf. But it annoys me when lazy useless people are complaining, and the maid is quite sweet and decent and hardworking. Than I am all riled and gggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrr lol.

Good for you!

and you know what? I bet your husband appreciates you and loves you even more for that:)

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Boxie: I think you have a photo on FB of my expression a half an hour later after the convo. I was still seething. I had to restrain myself from bursting into flames while we sat there, biting my tongue. You were white with shock, and then yellowish with disgust lol.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Andy: MashaAllah, I am so glad you and she complete eachother and look so happy together, may God keep it that way always, ameen.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Mona Z: Yeah, once a week is fine, or babysitters for no more than five ours a day, but anything more is really not required unless one is an entertaining diplomat or something.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

asubjectivity: I agree 100%. I have had a maid I spoiled by telling her to watch tv when she was done all her work tv and was waiting for her ride, and you know what? She STILL did all her work, and never skimped on it. Though she did, lol, yell at me for leaving food out on the floor all night because it is wasteful, like my grandmother would, but in way, it was kind of endearing. And afterall, she was right.

He he he, Boxie, remember hiding in the bathroom so she couldn't yell at us for leaving the mess on the floor?

She'd be fine if we left the mess on the table or the counter, but the floor she thought was wasteful and unhygenic.

But she still was a good maid. she cleaned the floors, did the laundry, dishes, ect...

I mean, if you want something done even better, do it yourself, as the odl adage goes.

Umm Ibrahim said...

salaams, dont EVEN get me STARTED on maids. Just to say I 100% am with you on this and in Saudi I really, really, really started to feel soooo disgusted anytime I saw maids out with the family. Okay rarely-rarely you'd see the maid being treated as part of the family, they would sit with the family and eat or they would all walk together, or whatever but generally they are treated like kr@p from the street that dont deserve any respect and who are barely-if even that-human! My husband after we came back to the USA was socializiung with some younger Saudi guys he worked with before we left for Saudi and they were all sititng around in Starbucks, joking with the one guy whose brother just called and said they got a new, young maid in from Indonesia. The guy actually ON HIS CELL PHONE infront of his "shabab" and my husband actually asked his brother if he had "tasted her yet" and then they joked about deflowering the young Indonesian maids and how some of their maids were forced to do "things" with all the men in the family. REALLY REALLY disgusting, nasty, barbaric, inhuman things. DH can understand Arabic pretty well and was shocked, he got really really angry and left and came home and told me. Frankly does NOT surprise me.

I remember in Saudi seeing such incredible things with my own eyes that I got so angry often when out, and sometimes I would tell Saudi's off about their stupid behavior. Even many expats are no better. On our compound many of the Leb and Pali expats employed maids meanwhile the villas are NOT that big, so how the heck do they fit a live-in maid too? The Pali woman below me who was a general piece of kr@p and a PITA in my own butt alla the time was perpetually screaming, i'm saying SCREAMING at their young Filipina maid who actually ended up eventually running off with some Egyptian man who worked on the compound, as found and then deported. LOL. Then that lazy, annoying, screaming woman had to actually clean her own house with her own hands. Oh no!

No wonder a lot of the non-Muslim maids dont convert...they see such trash and take it as Islam!

God help them and en'shallah God punishes those who treat their maids like this! ya rabb!

wow, see im so worked up. heh

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Umm Ibrahim: I would have smacked that brother in the side of the head and said, what if your family loses all their money and your sister has to go to work as a maid to PAY for your UNI, and some crap ass guy tries to sleep with her? Ain't so funny now is it.

Disgusting, disgusting.

I ALSO hate lazy no good whining B**********ing women. Sorry for expletives. That is as close as I'll ever get to swearing but in those cases, really, I would pay the girls to go back and live a decent life in their country.

This is not what islam is OR allows.

Anonymous said...

Dear OPNO, we seems to have a lot of things in common...glad to read your blogs (FYI, I'm from Malaysia and muslim women...) I'm also in love with my Omani boyfriend & I'm dying to be with him there...anyway, wish us luck & I wish u happy life forever with your 'MOP'...

Insya Allah, someday when my dreams come true, we'll meet there in the country of the man we love...


minty omania said...

Actually it had been scienticfically proven that the more you cover up the cooler your body gets, therefore wearing a hijab does not make you "hotter". I am not at all implying that you should force muslims or non-muslims to wear one, I am merely pointing out a fact.
I don't believe that presenting anything with force will achieve a good outcome but I would make it a rule or a job subscription for them to dress modestly after work hours (when they are not in their given uniforms).
I love your posts by the way!