Well apparently I was reading those novels when I was hiring staff prior to our arrival here. In a facebook conversation awhile back I said that it is a good idea to consider hiring staff prior to arriving at post, especially if you are heading to a third world or developing country where having help is the norm rather than the exception. I still think it is a good idea. When we arrived in Jakarta, at the very end of transfer season, it took a long time to find a maid. Most of the ones who had experience with Americans and spoke some English had long since been snapped up. So yes it is a good idea to consider hiring household help before arrival.
On the other hand it is probably a good idea not to get too carried away hiring people before you get to post. I got carried away. Big time. Drat those historical romances with all those footmen and handmaids. Now I have to deal with it. Someone, or a couple of someones, will have to go. There are too many people in this house and in the yard all the freaking time and it is driving me nuts. Plus they are costing us money, quite a bit of money actually. So how many people did I hire? Four. Yes, I am nuts, thanks for asking. At the moment I am really thinking that EF'M is on to something with his refusal to hire help.
So how do I fix this? This is one of the poorest countries in Africa. The level of poverty here is shocking. I am thinking if I was given a choice of being a trash picker in Jakarta or living in a village here, I am going with the trash picker's compound, hands down. Yes, it is that bad. So how can I fire someone for my mistakes? They haven't done anything wrong, there are just too many of them. Two of these people live-in so if I fire them I am not only costing them money but a safe place to live. The other two are gardeners. While my yard may look like a tropical paradise, I assure you the other side of those brick walls is a whole other story, a story of red dust, stunted hacked off trees and not much green, so what does a gardener do besides work for an expat with a big yard? This is truly a case of be careful what you wish for, you might get it, and then what?
So has anyone out there had to deal with this situation? Please tell me I am not the only crazy one. What would you do?