September 11, 2012

It never is enough!

Since I went on my maternity leave almost 3 months ago, I have had the privilege of a first-hand encounter of seeing our Nanny at work day-in, day out. 
She has been a lot of help, our Nanny. She works hard, and truthfully, I have actually been quite impressed with how she has helped me take care of our two kids as well as managing the household chores at the same time whilst I was recovering from my C-sect. She did what she was asked to without any complains. There were even several occasions when she offered to cook. 
For all of that, I was thankful.  Thankful and grateful that we have ourselves a good nanny. To show my gratitude, I went out of my way to buy her a little gift not too long ago and telling her how much I appreciated what she has done.  I just wanted to make her feel appreciated and happy. 
I have been away from home quite a bit in the recent days and leaving Squirt in her care as a practice session for when I go back to work. She has, so far, been able to cope with the occasional madness when I am not around. She was nothing but rather impressive, and having seen what she is capable of, I am now more confident that she can handle it when I am back at work.
I told Silver Bullet what I thought and suggested that we may want to consider increasing her salary as a gesture of our appreciation and to keep her happy.  We then agreed that we can afford to increase her salary to x+1 .
It was good news for her, and we felt really happy to be able to give her that little bit more. We decided that we’ll tell her about it first thing Monday morning. As soon as we informed her of our decision, the first thing that came out of her mouth was, “Why don’t you increase it to x+2 instead? The Nanny agency pays x+2 and maid is x+3.”
You should have seen the look on our faces! She has the cheek to barrel through with a request that made her sound like a royal ingrate! What happened to just being grateful for the small things in life?
We naturally said No, and I then told her that we ain’t any nanny/maid agency. As soon as I said that, she then tried to renegotiate by asking us to ALSO increase her BTS transportation allowance by another 42%! (For the record, we just increased her BTS transportation allowance by 40% just the week before, due to the increased in fares;  and granted, this was not the initial agreement – rather the transport allowance was more of a goodwill gesture from our part as this was what we granted our previous Nanny who had to travel quite a distance in the morning. Technically, whatever we offered her on top of what she already has, she always, always asks for more!).
We were riled up. She had the cheek! I immediately gave Silver Bullet ‘the look”.  In one of his rare moments, Silver Bullet actually got mad and right in her face, told her off by saying, “It will never be enough for you, is it?”
We maintained our firm NO. Honestly, I almost wanted to take back what we said about increasing her salary altogether! We heard a lot of stories on how employers tend to manipulate or abuse their Nanny/Maid. In our case, we think we have been a pretty decent employer. We have been nothing but nice to her – we pay her on time, we buy her stuff, we give her day-offs without docking her pay, we pay for her visa, we lend  her some money, we gave her food and most importantly, I think we treat her well. Yet, each time we give her a finger, she wants the arm!
Perhaps she was just trying to push her luck, but whatever it was, we felt that it just was not the right place or time to be countering at us.
It makes me feel that sometimes, it just doesn’t pay to be nice. The proverb “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” comes to mind.
My gut feel somehow says that she is probably looking around. At this point, I won’t be surprised if one of these days, she throws in the towel.

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