My cook of 12 months left earlier this week. Without any notice!
She wanted a raise of 30%. I offered a 15% hike as per my budget. She said “Fine, then get someone else to do your work” Not in the exact same words but she meant this. And the attitude that came along was nothing to die for.
At first, I felt so relieved that at least for some time now I can cook at my own pace. I wouldn’t have to run to the corner wala vegetable vendor before the cook came. Or wake up every morning and rack my brains to plan what has to be made that day before the cook came. Or try to arrange replacements for missing veggies or spices.
But then came the feelings of betrayal and hurt! WARNING: For those of who have never had a maid/cook or have not had one who left without any notice – this will be difficult to understand. You might label me as melodramatic or plain crazy. But ask those who have faced this situation and they’ll agree to some degree of grief!
For almost a day I kept thinking “Why did this happen to me?” “Why did she do this to me and not to any of her other employers?” [Maybe she has done the same to others but I don’t know of it]. I felt [for a fraction of the day], maybe its my fault. I should have agreed to the amount she asked for. But then that’s not fair – its like emotional blackmail. Work for someone for a year, when they get used to your style and are all comfortable and in their happy place then you drop the bombshell – pay up more or I will shatter your dream world inside the crystal ball. And I did agree to pay more just not the astronomical raise she asked me for.
What happened next upset me even more. A day or 2 after the incident N and I were going down the elevator when my ex-cook entered in on another floor. N was very happy to see her and shouted her name out. Then he says “I miss u didi”, “N miss kiya didi ko”. He didn’t express that at home anytime but I guess as soon as he saw her he felt like sharing his feelings. It made me almost teary eyed. A kid could become so attached to your maid/day-help/cook but the other person could be least bothered. All they would care about is how much money they could make out of it.
After this incident I vowed not to get attached to any of my helps. Lets keep this all professional. No strings attached. Reading what has been written so far, I realize I sound like a jilted lover who has been betrayed. Well I have been, just that it’s by my cook. None the less this has made me a wiser person.