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Willful Wrong or Sheer Ignorance of Nigerian Maids?

“The worst mistake of first contact, made throughout history by individuals on both sides of every new encounter, has been the unfortunate habit of making assumptions. It often proved fatal”. David Brin
Except you specifically made mention of it during the interview, or have taken deliberate and strategic actions towards teaching her, then it will be unjustifiable as an employer, to assume that your maid knows a particular thing. I often hear phrases like “But I expect an adult to know this thing”. Unfortunately, there are so many things I expect that adults should know that I have been proven wrong about over and over again. An example that quickly comes to mind is- Minding one’s business or not insulting a child. 
In fact, if your maid knew everything you wished or hoped she knew, she probably would not be working as your maid. Maybe she”ll be your colleague at work. LOL. Don’t get  angry at your maid for actions she takes out of ignorance. The cure for ignorance is not anger, neither is it shouting or punishment. Ignorance can only be cured by information.
Unfortunately, many maid tragedies are a by product of unhealthy assumptions on the part of the employer and ignorance on the part of the maids. I hear some very bizarre stories and it almost seems like the maid in question is having fun at the employer’s expense. For example, an employer was narrating to me how she discovered her maid peed inside her son’s potty. Such things should only be imagined. My advice was that she should apply a constructive punishment, because she said her maid knew she shouldn’t have done that. But what if the maid just thought any body could use the potty if the bathroom was occupied by someone else?
The questions I’ll leave you with are:

  • What steps have you taken/are you taking to make sure that everything is as you think/hope it is?
  • How are you making sure that she is constantly learning?
  • Do you think your maid is comfortable enough to approach you to ask questions?

(These are excepts from my training course coming out soon…Wait for it. 😉 )
Picture Credit: Getty Images

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