Saturday, June 07, 2008

Crazy Domestic Help

We just never had any luck with our domestic help for the guesthouses that can provide a peace of mind.

The domestic helper in Algeria has a tendency to do something that drives me up the wall. They do stupid things to my stuff like stealing (food, washing powder!!!), mess up the order of the house, using a single piece of cloth to clean the toilet as well as my dining table!

My favorite story, and this was witnessed by an ex-colleague, the domestic helper was caught using his room-mate's toothbrush to clean the sink! Yew!!!

This current domestic helper at the Palm Beach guesthouse is recently scaling new heights in her stupidity! Just two days ago, she threw away my half pot of soup that was sitting on the stove, lid enclosed. My dinner just went down the drain that evening.

If you think I'm picking on her? I now have pictures to prove it. Today I discovered that she has decided to put my shoes on a side table, near my stove, that is used by me to place food!!! On the bottom left of the picture, you can see that she had place my tea bags together with my shoes!!!

Who puts shoes with food?!?!

The point that this was after moving day with most of the food gone is irrelevant. I have occupied this apartment for more than six month. Since she cleans everyday, I assume she will have a good grasp of the layout and organization. Why she acted upon a sudden whim to reorganize with such scant regard to hygiene and basic common sense is beyond me!


Anonymous said...


I am used to read your blog which I find very interessting.
I just would like to mention that the Mediteranean is not an ocean :)

Thank you for the good stories


Sencha said...


Thanks for the compliments. The pleasure's mine.

According to wikipedia:
The Mediterranean is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean...

So you are definitely right.

And I had the cheeks to flaunt my scuba diver license.... but at least I learnt something! =)

Lee Jek Suen (on facebook) said...

Hi Alan. Jek from Bejaia here. I no longer get domestic help. Pradeep still intends to but I'll rather clean the toilet on my own. The helper takes too many things and I have a limited stock of precious canned food and chinese food from Singapore. Also, check your bath towels. After one cleaning session, my towel had a strange odour....i started the washing machine straight away.

Sencha said...

Hi Jek.

Other than bad domesitc help, how is the rest of Bejaia treating you?

Although I still have domestic help, I have for a long time insisted on washing my own clothes, including my bath towels.

I'm not going to suggest complaining to the cleaning company that the helper is stealing your stuff because I'm sure they are going to shrug it off.

Also, I know the cleaners don't care whether the food is halah or not.

Perhaps, you can indicate to her that you are keeping track of your stuff, like for example, number your cans with a marker.

Pack your precious stuff in a sealed carton and take the trouble to reseal it everytime. She'll know that you are taking preventive measures.

Sometimes, you could do a spot check by coming back to the apartment when she is supposed to be working. I guarantee you will find her watching TV. But at least, you will keep her on her toes and her duties for a while.

It takes some effort to deal with the domestic help. But to survive Algeria, it is necessary.

Still, from time to time, they still manage drive me up the wall.

Lee Jek Suen said...

i've always been doing my own laundry. But what you have to watch out for is the domestic helper using your towel to clean herself after a hard day's work....

anyway, now that Pradeep's family is here with him, his wife has offered to supervise the domestic helper. (I live 1 floor below Pradeep). That should stop anymore pilferage....

Anonymous said...

i,dont understand one thing my friend , you like algeria or not , i am algerian i knew there are a lot prob lol domestic help..but there are very nice things algeria is big & nice country but some people are crazy & dangerous
take care friend mehdi from algiers ( who like your blog )
your blog is special &é i am enjoyed to see singapourian in algiers , i hope the embassy will open i hope to see singapor :d

Anonymous said...

mehdi again :d

please say me , how can i go to singapor , but there is no embassy here ?