Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bibik-less in Shah Alam - Part 1

It’s day 4 today, the house is quiet and less buzzing. Reason to this is, WE now have no Bibik fussing over the dirty laundry or pacing up down in the kitchen to prepare our daily meals. Thus, stamping us with the bibik-less status.

Last Wednesday, we sent Bibik off at the airport for her slightly more than a month leave, her much needed tour of duty leave. That was also the reason why we had to rush all the relevant papers to get her work permit done. Without the renewed passport and work permit, she wouldn’t be able to go and come back to work after her leave.

If my memory serves me well, Bibik Kasmiatun is our 12th maid. She first came to work with us when Nissa was about a year old. After a series of lousy and nerve wrecking maids, she was like heaven sent to us. I was apprehensive when she first walked into our home. The previous one before her stayed for only a little longer than a month. One day back from work, I found a letter in the mail box, with these words written on the envelope – “Adinda ku……”

I was furious upon seeing the mail, all sealed in floral envelope. I could have sworn that the letter was written on scented writing tablets. (Cheh…pandai je maid ni nak main cinta, dia tak tau majikan dia ni DUA tahun dok menulis surat chenta., segala cards and scented writing paper kita tau…so tak payah lah nak cover line!!)

I know it’s bad to read letters which are not ours. But in this case I just had to do it, for the best interest of my family. True enough my guess wasn’t wrong, it was a letter sent by her husband who was in Indonesia. In that letter, he had told her that he was coming to Malacca to work in a farm and she was run away when he gave her the cue to do so. I shivered upon reading the last line. Just imagine, if I had passed the letter to her and she would have been able to plan for her escape!!! And what was to happen to my children? Left home alone to fend for themselves. Ohh…tidak…no way you are going to get to do this!! Over my dead body, woman!!

In just two days I sent her packing, cancelled all her papers and put her in a boat back to Dumai. I called the maid agent there and told him to collect her at the Dumai ferry terminal. And that was the end of maid number 11.

Since number 11 didn’t serve the two years contract, I demanded that my agent give me a replacement. He told me I had to wait a little while as he didn’t have any candidates at that time. Okay…but you’d better have one coming my way soon, and that was an order.

We chose this old lady from the rest of the candidates showed to us. In her passport, her age was written as 39 years old. Nahh..I knew it wasn’t her real age. These agents can be unscrupulous at times and the age they put in the form is usually not the “asli” one.

When Bibik Kasmiaton first started work, I had to teach her a lot of things. She didn’t have much working experience as previously she was only a farmer back home in Lampung, Sumatera. She told us that her ladang was destroyed when the crickets ate all her cash crop. It wasn’t easy for her to switch from a farmer to a domestic maid. I had to show her how to mop the house, clean the bathroom, use the washing machine, and the other electrical appliances. It was a trying time for me too. At times I’d call up my Mom and tell her how slow my maid is. But Mom said to just be patient, InshaAllah, this woman will work out for me.

And there I was, a very patient maid trainer. At one point I almost gave up, the Bibik just wasn’t learning as fast as I had wanted her to. She still missed that one spot that needed extra scrubbing in the bathroom. Even after telling her many times, she still didn’t get my message.

Fuhh….apalagi hangat lah Ibuk ni. I remember one morning when I told her off.

I said, “Kalau Bibik tak boleh kerja ikut cara saya, hah boleh balik Indon. Siapa majikan sini? Saya atau Bibik? Kalau saya majikan, saya mau pembantu rumah ikut yang saya cakap!!”

And I did raise my voice at her that time, iyer lah…dah hangat kan.

I thought that was it, I’d soon see her packing her bags and wailing to have us send her home. I observed her in the following days. Very much to my surprise, she changed!!! She began to do things the way I asked her to and she even apologized for what all her kesilapan. What a relief it was for me. And Moi, the garang majikan, learned a few good lessons myself, one of it was that I am to be less fussy, and definitely to be more patient – lots and loads of the honorable trait.

And that was the new beginning of Bibik Kasmiatun's long tenure with us.


Madam Tai Tai said...

Hi Kay,

Sorry to hear about you guys going to be Bibik-less for a month. Peritnya...but I'm sure everyone will cope well.

Have fun nagging everyone to do his/her chores!

ummi365 said...

Kak Kay,

Bukan senang nak dapat bibik yang baik hati dan pandai kerja. Alhamdulillah I got a chance to meet her old employer whom she has been working for 7 years before they migrate to australia. at least that give me some assurance and I am still keeping in touch with her old employer.

Anonymous said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Jiran saya, pernah ada bibik, kata Pak Malim yg lembik. Dia pernah marah bibik, sebab kerja tak sempurna, kata Pak Malim yg merana. Lepas tu bibik bubuh air kencing dia kat dlm botol air dlm peti sejuk, kata Pak Malim sambil memakai baju sejuk. Jiran saya minum air tu, dan kata 'it tastes funny', kata Pak Malim sambil memegang fanny. (Sori! kata Pak Malim sambil naik lori). Bila bibik disoal siasat, akhirnya bibik ngaku dia bubuh air kencing dlm botol tu, kata Pak Malim sambil menggaru kutu.

tireless mom said...

Dear Kay

When I saw you just now, I thought you are doing very good bibik-less and with Faris in the hospital. If I were you sure dah selebet, temperamental and no mood nak jumpa any visitors. Scary dengar pak Malim punya rendition of bibiks. Anyway, now dah tak boleh complain complain and should be appreciative of bibik Tun cos sendiri yang jadi bibik yah! Sabar yah mem!

Kama At-Tarawis said...

I am glad the current bibik finally does it, for you. Kadang2 Allah tu nak uji kita aja. Someone close to me, panas baran punya type, campak her maid punya clothing dlm tong sampah one day before ending her back to sumatra. The clothes were duly carted away, leaving the poor woman with nothing. I was livid with anger at her. lepas tu she menyesal tak sudah.. went to medan to cari the woman to make amends, nak bagi duit lah, apalah. tak jumpa. sampai today masih menyesal.. what's the point? I can feel my anger rising masa tulis ni. Geram betul..

Kak Teh said...

I dont have any experience with bibiks. Forever bibiless me.
But the ones that my siblings have have been gems. And i tumpang manja.
The last one that my brithe rhad, went home to get married and for days my mother was wandering aroung searching for Kak Tin.

kay_leeda said...

Tai Tai,

I'm counting the days, even siap put a strike on the calendar after 1 day is gone. Fuuh...never thought I'd be so relying on Bibik. Zaman muda-muda dulu, all house chores buat sendiri, baru one day of cleaning the house, adoiii..sakit pinggang.

kay_leeda said...


I so very much agree with you. The good ones are difficult to come by. There will be even fewer maids wanting to come and work in Malaysia. Most of them now are heading towards Hong Kong, Singapore or the Middle east. Higher pay then Malaysia mahh..

kay_leeda said...

Dear Pak Malim kucing ray yang alim,

Dahsyat sungguh perbuatan maid, kata Kay sambil memegang lampu suluh. Tak baik buat gitu, walaupun fikiran dah buntu. Tapi majikan pun jangan lah strict sangat, kata Kay yang idamkan Bibik's pengat (iyer lah..dah tiga hari tea tak dak!!) Patience is virtue, advice Kay yang cerita maidnya boleh dibuat buku.

kay_leeda said...

Kak Puteri,

Of course there were trying times, nak-nak kalu dapat maid yang know, no need to elaborate lah. At the end of it, it's us yang susah juga. No maid, nak kerja pun hay wire jadik nya. Kalu nak fire maid pun, just send them home lah. Avoid the gaduh part. Some of these people have all sorts of ilmu up their sleeves. They cam MMS from afar. You'll never know kan, kita marah we bising-bising je, they marah...hah..macam-macam bayangan hitam they send pulak.

kay_leeda said...

Dear TM,

Thanks for dropping by at the hospital yesterday. It definitely cheered Faris when seeing all the adik-adik!!

You should have seen me earlier, I was SELEBET!! At least when Bibik does the house work, she did it in style. I was in my kaftan dok cuci longkang depan tu..ha boleh? My front neighbour didn't dare tegur me. Not because of anything, but I figured he must have been confused. Hai..that woman..nampak like Bibik...but rupa Mem pun ader gak.

kay_leeda said...

Kak Teh,

The good ones are really hard to come by these days. As for me, after several trials and errors, and lots of prayers, I diketemukan with Bibik. Alhamdulillah...perhaps it's the rezeki of my children.

Mean time till Bibik returns, my elder girl has put on the apron, and helping out with the chores in the house. I must say she's getting the hang of it.

Ezza Aziz said...

masa tulis komen ni akak baru jer goreng cucur bawang,cicah dengan asam pedas semalam...baca pasal maid ni...kekadang tu nasib kita bila dapat maid ni..ada yang mmg tak tau langsung buat kerja,tak tau la apa tujuan dia datang sini.ada yang betul2 susah dan kerja rumah ni di dah biasa..(cara dia la)

kekadang tu ada majikan yang manja kan sangat maid ni,sampai dah tak tau batas batas antara majikan dan pekerja...salah majikan laa

ada yang garang sangat nauzibillah..macam maid ni robot di buat nya..sampai anak dara tak tau nak basuh spender sendiri. Saya tulis ni dari pengamatan saya terhadap adik beradik saya ni...

anak2 dara saya cakap mereka ni dah jadi bibik . Melayan mak dia sajer...hehehehe

kay_leeda said...

Kak Ezza,

Saya pun baru selesai mop, vacuum, cuci bathroom ni..adoi..semput dibuat nyer. Semasa pegang mop tu, client pulak call asking for this and that. Rasa nak short circuit otak dibuatnyer.

Saya ni akan jadi case multitasking yang kaw-kaw this time. Dengan kerja nyer, dengan tak berbibik nyer, dengan anak still in hospital nyer. Last night tidor tak gerak sampai pagi..punyer lah so out of touch.

mamasita said...

Hai K.L.I too have had good and lousy maids.The lousy ones are those who are lazy and refuse to learn, and include those yang sibuk nak main boyfriends.
The good ones are those who are willing to learn even though slow nak absorb our instructions.Once they get the hang of things,they are very handy and boleh diharap sangat..perfect sangat tak tapi good enough.And diaorang hormat kat kita pulak tu.Mujurlah.Maids macam ni yang kita sedih kena letgo bila kontrak dah expire.

kay_leeda said...

Dear Mamasita,

I'd like to quote Forest Gump when describing these maids - "it's like a box of chocolates, you'll never know what you gonna get".

I don't really mind the slow ones, as long as in the end, they get what we ajar them and tak pandai menyeleweng ke benda-benda lain. But dugaan punya lah banyak with these people. Kat my housing area, so many of them have run away, being promised that they'll get better pay elsewhere. Some betol, some obviously kena tipu.

U.Lee said...

Hi Kay, From what I have read or noticed, practically everyone has a maid in Malaysia.

Sini none of us or our friends have one. Only the rich boleh have a maid.

Thats why when Malaysians first migrate here, they go kelang kabote as used to have a maid.

Some even have domestic problems at home as previously the maid did all the cooking and hubby had enjoyed the cooking.
Datang sini, the wife's cooking tada standard, da la ada hiccups, ha ha.

But its funny, my wife never like to have a maid before, she prefers do everything herself and she was working too.

But I had 4 maids to look after my house in the different towns I lived when I started working, all matured women, two were Chinese, two Malays.
More so to feed my dog and keep house.

I never had problems with any of them, they very happy to work for me too, mana ada kerjah? I was away out of town 3 weeks of the month, only home sometimes weekdays.

So they had everything to themselves, TV, the house and lots of freedom to go out as I had given the okay, otherwise kesian they home alone.

I prefered Malay maids as I love Malay food, ha ha.
Bila da kawain, no maids....but ahemm, a permenant all in one, ha ha.
You have a nice day Kay, Lee.

kay_leeda said...

Dear Uncle Lee,

Wahhh...u had FOUR maids??!!! Like Raja lah u..heh..heh.

Yar lorr these days how not to have maids to help us with the chores. My schedule is an ultimate chaos, if I didn't have anyone to help, the loh-kong will complain lorr :)

At times my maids have become my PA too. She helps to answer phone calls at home and when I'm not in the mood to pick up calls, she'd apologize to the callers on my behalf..terror tak? Got to lah...if not I go C-R-A-Z-Y lorr :)

You take care Uncle Lee. Have a good week.

ms hart said...

Kak oh Kay!!! I ketaaaaawa baca your skrip drama - Siapa majikan? ha ha ha...I thought I was reading my old diary ke!!!! Hhhaaahhh legaaaaa...I thought I was the only drama ibu'!!!

Anyway, breathe in, breathe out, ok!! he he

kay_leeda said...

Ms Hart,

We both drama Queen lah!! I guess that's how it goes with the maids kan. Have to set the record straight with them. Serba salah at times, kita baik they pijak kepala kita. Kita tak baik, they say we abuse them. But with Bibik, alhamdulillah, that was only in the begining. Apa orang kata tu..."getting to know you" period!!