Kwentong Kasambahay: Yaya Blues, So long, farewell!

Monday, October 07, 2013

I feel so drained. (I wrote this last night - and finished it just a while ago, pardon the grammatical errors, will edit this later)

This morning, I had a Kwentong Kasambahay episode.  I'm assigning the title as 'So long, farewell!  And why is this so?  Because simply the fact that Yaya D. has left.

I'm sure you've read about her in one way or another here in this blog.  I'm sure the post was a positive one as I loved her dearly.

So let's start from the beginning (WARNING - emotional post ahead!)

I'm sorry but I need to get this out - and this is my outlet.  I'm apologizing for the LONG long post.

I got Yaya D by chance.  She was supposed to be (reserved) for my friend Kath, but at that time, I was already in dire need of a yaya for Kailee (she was a month old) and I asked Kath's permission, and Kath willingly said yes.  I got Yaya D from an unofficial agency (no contracts just a written note) we didn't interview her anymore.  What we asked was her previous employer - and as if it was a stroke of luck - she used to work for one of our suppliers.  So my mom called our supplier to ask about her.  Our supplier said that Yaya D worked with them for almost 9 years.  Yaya D was good to them and took care of their kids (they had 3 kids) and apparently for our supplier the reason why she left was because 'lumaki na ang ulo'.  I guess for us - it was the norm and what was more important to us during that time was that if she could take care of a newborn.  Her former employer said that she could.  And so we hired her on the word of her former employer.  True enough, she was a breath of fresh air for me.  She knew EVERYTHING, what needed to be done and I mean everything.  Since I was a first time mom - I trusted her and followed her every whim.  Of course, there were some things that I wanted to be followed and she did.  Our relationship was so smooth sailing, and I thank her for that.  I also thanked my lucky stars too for getting her.  I was so lucky because she was hardworking and she wasn't mabilang with her work.  When I didn't have an all around helper, she would gladly do the cooking and washing of the dishes.  I felt I was so lucky to have found her.  And with this sheer delight - I have to admit, I spoiled her.  I provided for snacks - biscuits to be exact, I would bring her to the supermarket and let her pick her fill.  I would also buy her her Bear Brand milk (she uses this as her creamer) and coffee.  Whenever we went out for meals, I would always ask her what she wanted.  And when I saw that she was unhappy with her food, I would replace it with something that she would like.  I included her in the household's kitchen department's decision making.  I would ask her to make a list of veggies and fishes that she prefers to eat.  I really spoiled her rotten maybe because I felt the sincerity in her actions towards me.  Little did I know that I was being taken for a long long ride.  I was unaware of certain things.  I honestly found it quite difficult to hire an all around helper (technically a cook slash cleaner - since my laundry is being done by my mom's laundry woman) these helpers would stay with me for a month or two or max three months and then leave.  I found it really odd, I questioned myself - I mean how come the yaya I had has been with me YET the all around helpers (I call them such) would only last me at least 2 months.  Then when I was looking for a yaya for Connor (about this time last year) the 'agency' sent some my way - but they were incompetent, so I got mad at the agency lady named Leah, because she was sending me shitty recruits!  Then one day, I got a call from Leah warning me about Yaya D. saying that I won't have any helper last long because Yaya D was the problem.  All of her recruits kept on complaining of her being so bossy, in their own words 'mas daig pa nila ang amo'.  I instantly dismissed this accusation, I even fought with Leah defending Yaya D's honor.  I told Leah that she was ungrateful because Yaya D. was the reason I refer her agency to friends - because I got a good yaya from her.  I did not believe Leah at that time.

It was a momentous January 2013 incident that changed everything.  She was going on a day off and I was merely asking her if Kailee had bathed, and she was so irritated when I asked.  She turned her back on me and walked towards the kid's room.  I followed her a few seconds later and found her bathing Kailee!  I told her then that I would take over so that she could leave for her day off.  Her face was all angry and she shouted at me that she's had enough!  Why couldn't I let her leave for her day off!  Being a first time parent experiencing this kind of situation - I was SHOCKED and dumbfounded.  I never implied that she bathe Kailee, I was merely asking IF Kailee had finished bathing.  And yet, she exploded, she told me that she's had enough and that she wanted to leave right there and then.  She also complained that her Christmas Bonus was too small!  Of course the neophyte in me - tried to reason with her, but I foot my foot down regarding the Christmas Bonus - I told her that there isn't any law that said that I needed to give her one - and that bonus was just a simple TY for her work.  Yet she told me that with her previous employers she got a 13th month - to which I retorted that I wasn't her old employer.  Of course, I didn't want her to leave because I needed her.  Who would look after Kailee?  Was what ran through my head. I tried to reason with her,but then she was dead set on leaving.  So in the end, I gave in - I told her that if she wanted to leave, she could do so.  After a few seconds - she said 'Mommy, Sorry na, sorry sa mga sinabi ko'.  I admired her for apologizing, and since she said sorry - I accepted her back.  I told her that after that drama, I didn't want anymore of it.  After that fight, I felt so drained.  I felt like I broke up with a boyfriend!  I was so hurt and I think I felt the hurt for a week.  I eventually got over it - but then I was scarred.  I got to know her other side - the 'pera pera mabilang' side.  It was a sad realization, a good but sad truth for me, that all helpers are the same.  After that incident, I had second thoughts on her already - I mean, if she could suddenly blow up like that?  Demand and decry that I gave her a low bonus?  Then anything can happen.  I knew that this relationship would end - I didn't know how soon, but I knew it was coming.  And it came - this morning.

So what came about on the so long, farewell episode? 

Two Sundays ago, I went to Divisoria to buy prizes for Connor's party, I knew she wanted to tag along and so I asked her to come with me.  While in Anding's Toy shop, my mom bought a small battery operated piano for Kailee.  I saw the piano alright, but I wasn't aware that my mom also got extra batteries.  And so when the batteries ran out - my mom asked for the batteries, I told her that I didn't see any.  Yaya D then said that she saw it and it was INSIDE the box that the piano was kept.  So we told her to look for it.  It was beginning to bother my mom that after two days, the batteries were still nowhere to be found.  And so I reminded Yaya D, and true enough - she did her official search last Friday morning.  She searched for it, going up and down the house, entering bedrooms noisily as if to let me know what she was looking for the batteries.  A half an hour (or so) later, she was still empty handed.  She then looked very much irritated and sweaty.  She then said that she couldn't find it, that she was blaming my all around and Connor's yaya for the loss.  My all around and Connor's yaya were unaware of her accusation.  So in the end, I just told everyone - to next time put back the items in their proper boxes to avoid situations like this.  I didn't ask for any payment for the lost batteries,  I didn't reprimand anyone.  I wasn't angry - I was so very calm.  That whole day - Yaya D had this frown in her face.  I knew she wasn't happy - and that it was one of those 'topak' days, and when that happens, I just let her be.  As much as I wanted to confront her, I've always practiced self control - I always tell myself 'not worth it, not worth it'  There were so many times that I wanted to confront her, but all of those times - my cool head prevailed.  So I just let her be.

This morning, I went to buy the kids an ointment.  When I got home, I went inside their room to mix it with petroleum jelly.  But before I could mix it, I needed a spoon for the petroleum jelly.  So as I was looking for spoons in the kids drawer, I suddenly saw this battery cardboard, I was curious and I got it, when I turned it around- BOOM!  The batteries!  I was so happy that we found it, I showed it to Yaya D. and Connor's yaya - Imagine me pretending to be a magician - I was honestly delighted that I found the lost batteries!  The look on Yaya D's face was priceless - you know the look of when you get found out?  Bistado! That's what she had on her face.  So I asked Yaya D to call my all around helper in.  When the 3 of them were there, I asked them if I reprimanded them or scolded them for not finding the batteries.  The 3 of them said no, so I just told them that next time - they should be more careful and put those batteries in the boxes so nothing will get lost.  After my happy demeanor - Yaya D was still frowning, so I told the two other helpers to leave so I could talk to her alone.  And when we were alone, I asked her why she was frowning since Friday - I never raised my voice at her nor did I reprimand her for not finding the batteries.  She said that i was more than the reprimanding, I was always asking her whenever I was looking for things.  'Sa akin lahat hinahanap kapag nawawala' I then told her, what was wrong with that?  Did I ever get angry when she couldn't find something?  She said no, but then she was so angry.  She told me that I didn't need her anymore because I already had Connor's Yaya, verbatim with matching shout 'Hindi mo na ako kelangan Mommy!  May Belen ka na kasi!'  Gosh - so it wasn't that she was the go-to person - it was that she was selos JEALOUS!  She then proceeded to tell me that I never reprimanded Connor's Yaya, that Connor's yaya was perfect in my eyes.  She even said 'Tanggap ko na mas gusto mo si Belen kesa sa akin!'  So it was clear - she was envious of Connor's yaya.  She then proceeded to tell me to that she will end things, to give her until January 2014 to look for work.  This made me think - why wait until January?  What for?  Then it hit me like a thunder bolt - the reason why she wanted to wait until January was that she would still be able to receive gifts and bonuses in December!  My my, but even if I knew her plan - I agreed, I felt that I would still have use for her - but then she started shouting at me, accusing me of being the meanest person ever, that I never cared for them at all!  I was so mad when I heard that and so I told her if I didn't care for them why the do I always ask them what they want to eat and include her (in particular) in the decision making in the kitchen department?  Whatever she asked for, I gave!  She wanted Bear Brand milk as her creamer, I willingly obliged.  She wanted a particular noodle variant, I bought what she wanted.  I gave in to her every whim.  She wanted sandwich spread, star margarine, blend 45, new uniforms, a particular laundry detergent - all of those I gave and much more!  I freaking took her to Tokyo this year!  I reminded her of all these things but they fell on deaf ears.  Anyway, I have been preparing myself for this.  I've decided that if and when she challenges me on leaving, I will bite the bait and take it. So I told her, if she was going to be like this, then I don't think its healthy for the house, and she agreed and said she will leave at that moment in an instant she began packing her bags.  While she was packing, she was banging her things on the floor  and she was still blabbing away saying that in my mom's household her whole staff thinks ill of me even went as far as saying 'Demonyo ka na nagkatawang tao'.  I will never forget that word because gosh, what did I do so mean to her for her to label me that!  So I called my mom - you see, my mom's helpers have been with her for more than 10 years, I grew up with these people and for them to say that of me?  What the hell right?  So I called my mom to tell her - and my mom got mad, and brought the two helpers to me so we can all talk face to face to see who was telling the truth.  So when we were all there, my mom asked Yaya D to tell which person said that I was a demonyo - she said she couldn't name names!  My mom then asked our two helpers and they denied saying anything - Yaya D then admitted that she was the one who said it and not those two helpers of my mom.  See?  She was willing to go as far as disrupting my mom's household.  I think she didn't expect me to call them to come - since it was just a matter of my household.  You see, Yaya D knows that my mom likes her - and would want to paint a picture that she is angelic when my mom is around.  So when my mom was there - she couldn't say anything.  She was stumped!  She tried to weasel her way out but really couldn't.  BUSTED.

She then declared that she won't be leaving unless she gets her separation pay.  I immediately retorted that there will not be one because she said she was leaving, she then shouted that she asked to leave in January and that it was my idea to make it today.  I never said for her to leave, it was she that packed her own bags.  My mom interrupted that if she wants her separation pay, I should just give it!  Yaya D was demanding a full month's salary for every year of servitude.  My mom laughed so hard at her because it was not right!  For regular employers, it was half a month's salary for every year of servitude, my mom went even as far as saying what kind of KB Law did she read or hear from?  She then mocked us telling us that if we knew the law, then it should be right.  This angered my mom even more and she told Yaya D to go to our lawyer's office the following day if she wanted to get her separation pay if there were any and sign a waiver at the lawyer's office.  After a while, she still insisted to get the separation pay before leaving.  I then decided to give her her salary's worth till yesterday, it was just then that we learned that she owed my mom's helpers some money.  We gave part of the salary to my mom's helper, with Yaya D's consent and the balance, we gave to her.  I made sure to let her sign a payroll sheet as proof the received the money.  Since Yaya D was still refusing to leave without the separation pay.  My mom had a brilliant idea - bring her to the Barangay Hall to settle this dispute, for a fact I know that there should be some sort of Kasambahay desk in the Barangay Hall for matters like this (since the law was passed)  So when she was about to go down, Yaya D attempted to say goodbye to Kailee, of course I did not permit it!  I knew what Yaya D was after - she wanted Kailee to cry after her.  Crazy person - why subject a child to that??!!  Isn't she supposed to shield the child from any pain and or trauma?  She wanted to make a scene and I stopped her before she could start.

So at the Barangay Hall - gosh, you wouldn't believe how inept the people are in there.  No one knew what to do.  No one had a copy of the law.  No one knew ANYTHING.  So we just settled on a written agreement that the Barangay would verify if there is such a thing as separation pay for Kasambahays. And if there was - that I was willing to pay for it, and if there was none - there will be no exchange of money.  It was also stated there that I had already given her her salary due for October 6, 2013.  Before signing the agreement, she looked at me and asked me if I had given her her salary - DUH?!  I had to show her the payroll sheet that she signed together with my mom's helper!  And then she signed.  I pitied her you know, so I still gave her P100.00 for trasnportation.  Before leaving, I told her sincerely - Thank you for taking care of Kailee.

I went home drained and exhausted.  My whole morning was wasted on this unnecessary drama.  Totally unnecessary and trivial and it was all rooted in jealousy.  Stupid jealousy.  You know for a fact, Yaya D always told me NOT to compare her to new yayas, because she is different with the rest - they have other capabilities.  And I believed her - but she ate her words and was so bitter that I didn't compare Connor's yaya to her.  And because I wasn't scolding Connor's yaya - she felt threatened.  I mean if you feel threatened, do not rage on and fight impulsively.  Think and plan your attack to get into my good graces right?  She did the exact opposite.

So there - it was an exhausting Sunday.  I was surprised that I didn't cry at all during the whole fiasco.  It was only when I heard Mass later that day that I cried all those hurt away.  I was praying and thanking the Lord for blessing me with a yaya that despite her animosity towards me was able to take care and look after Kailee without hurting her physically.  It wasn't all bad you know, there were a lot of good episodes too and but those bad ones, I chose to keep a blind eye.  I guess my mistake was that I spoiled her.  But even if I spoiled her, I don't think I deserved to be called a Demonyo na nagkatawang-tao because I was so good to her.  I honestly didn't know where the anger was stemming from.  She knew I loved her and she took advantage, but that was too much.  Had she asked nicely or ended things without being , I would have given it to her willingly - but she was so hostile and was honestly too arrogant.  Ask my friends on how I treat yaya, ask my mom's helpers.  Simply ask anyone who knows me on how much I loved Yaya D.  In the end, it was all about the money.  I guess I learned the hard way - I put my heart on my sleeve and she broke it.  That was how I felt yesterday - I was heartbroken.  I am still reeling from the break up.  I'm slowly picking up the pieces.

Last March  wrote about Kasamabahay Politics, I think it was about Yaya D. but I guess I was in denial that she was doing that.  The following month, I wrote about Yaya Mae, they're actually best of friends and have been regularly texting and communicating.  I don't know whats to like about Yaya Mae - but Yaya D does.


  1. So sad! And this Kasambahay Law is such a pain for us employers, especially if we hired one horrible helper/yaya. Biruin mo, she asked for a separation pay pa!

  2. @Badet I asked DOLE and according to them, Kasambahays are NOT entitled to any separation pay.

  3. Hay naku sister - i so feel for you. I have had bouts of similar experiences. And it is a proven fact that inspite of how good you are to your kasambahays, they will still have something to say. And what's worst, they might look ok and reliable on the outside but on the inside (check their work) hay, everything is under the bed, so to speak. look at what she did with the batteries - you knew you won't check & you'll just rely with what she said - but it was intentional that she kept it. I don't think it's jealousy - it's more of a threat! She is now scared that every move she makes would reach you as there is someone else besides her. I was even conned several times by maids - who's been with you for years, have given them benefits like free roundtrip fare going home to their provinces plus permission to advance a month's salary, then they'll end up not returning. But despite all these misgivings, I still consider them part of my family. But after my experiences, my rule of thumb is:
    1. I give instructions up to 3x and if not done, I show them that I can do it myself - without really talking.
    2. If at the first instance I heard hush-hush that she's leaving, I ask them blatantly - so when are you leaving. And if they tell me 2 weeks, end of month, next month, I tell them - no, you can leave tomorrow or now if you like.
    3. I don't ask for referrals from them - I look for my own from other people and sometimes worst from agency (they collect from you an arm and a leg but what can I do - I need it and i need it fast)
    And yes, after several years with you - they really act as if they're the master of the house. I remember I had one maid who, when we transferred houses took it upon her to sell some of my things (well, I intend to sell them anyway via garage sale) - but she should at least have informed me, right?
    I don't know how we can train these maids to act professionally - since they are very adamant, insistent on giving them the provisions of that Kasambahay Law. The government ask for the sentiments of the "kasamabahays" but did they ask the sentiments of the employers? If they really want their "industry" to be as professional as they want it to be - then let the "kasambahays" be professional.
    Sorry for the rant - I just got affected too much. Hehehehehehehe.

    1. Hi Sarie! Thank you for taking time to read and comment! Hay, grabe - these helpers talaga. I really don't understand them at all! I took it upon myself na baka if I treat them like family, they'll be different - apparently NOT! I learned now that I need to keep them at arms length - and that the relationship is really employee/employer. No emotional investment whatsoever talaga. I'm glad though that I learned this, its just unfortunate that it happened. I'll follow your advice, thank you so much for sharing!! I really appreciate it!!

      As with the Kasambahay Law, I am all for it - but then since this happened parang nagdouble take ako.

      Thanks sis!! :)