The househelps exchange season aka the househelps transfer season in other quarters happens every year between the months of December and January. In the ideal instances, the good domestic manager will have a candid conversation with her employer and tell her that she does not plan on coming the following year.
Some of the common reasons given for not coming back the next year include deciding to settle down with long-term or short-term boyfriend, going to college (after saving for some time), finding greener pastures in terms of a new job, the desire to do something different and so on.
In other instances, however, she will just disappear on you as you wait for her to bring the items needed for breakfast. In such cases, someone would have married her after careful planning between the two or some rogue neighbor who masquerades as mother Teresa will have stolen her for a sister or friend from another estate.
In extreme cases, the rogue neighbor will poach the domestic manager from you and keep her for herself. Sadly, apart from exchanging a few choice words, there is nothing much you can do in such a situation.
Then there are those who travel upcountry for Christmas and get jobs from visiting families or those that cheat that they are going home but never reach their destinations. Another employer will be waiting for them at the corner of your court or someone might convince them as they are traveling.
All of the above scenarios may render you helpless come January when you really need to go back to work. This means that you should start preparations to prevent unwanted surprises. Here are some helpful tips,
- Prepare psychologically
Some househelps are just God-sent and generally do a good job. You get so used to them and never entertain the thought of them ever leaving your house. However, it is important to know that they can leave anytime and this exchange period might see them leave your house as well. Once you are prepared psychologically you will be prepared for the worst when or if it happens.
- Have a candid talk
It is also good to talk freely with the househelp and ask them to tell, you if they will be coming back after the holidays. Be frank and tell them that you need to know so that you can make arrangements and will harbor no hard feelings against them. The discussion will you give you the necessary information that will help you take the next step.
- Get the contacts of the best bureaus
Some bureaus are doing a really good job of training their househelps and you should try and get their contacts because they will get in handy when the time comes. It is also important to conduct due diligence on the bureaus to establish if they are the best in the business.
One way of getting a good househelp is through referrals and you can get them from your current househelp who wishes to leave on good terms. You can get them from relatives who live in the rural areas or from friends who may now ho to easily get one. If you have been given a month’s notice by your househelp you can start early and get the best referrals.
- Get the contacts of the best daycare centers
Despite our best-laid plans, things may not always go the way we want and you may not have a replacement in January. In such instances, daycare centers will be of help to you if your children have not attained the school –going age. Ensure that you get the best, compare cost and services offered then keep the number of the one that outshines the rest.
- Post Online
The internet is a very important tool for a person looking for another househelp. This is because there are platforms that are solely for that purpose. There are also many women groups online and occasionally a woman will post about having found two househelps when they actually needed one. You can keep following these groups for help in case offline options are unreliable to you.
- Keep some money
You may need to part with some money when your househelp is leaving. The agreement you signed and our laws on domestic help will guide you on this. Remember that you may incur extra expenses when trying to get a new househelps. Such expenses include the fee required by the bureau; fare for her is she is coming from upcountry, and so on.
If caught by surprise, small amounts of money can look like huge amounts and discourage you. You may also have to go on a begging spree from your friends and relatives to get the money and no one likes a debt hanging over their head. Preparing yourself financially is highly advisable because you will also have other Christmas and school expenses to deal with during those months.