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When Help Steals

Is your maid stealing from you? Have you noticed little things missing, but have failed to take any action? Be safe, rather than sorry.

Every once in a while we make mistakes and hire help that may steal from us. Although it is not our faults, remember that we are responsible for the safekeeping of our homes.

Here's how to ensure few things go missing.

Don't ever hire a maid unless she comes recommended from someone reliable. When Deepa was on the lookout for a maid, she spoke to everyone to find her help, including the neighbourhood 'dhobi'. He brought a maid to her the very next day, who she hired. Within a week the maid had disappeared, taking with her Deepa's solitaire earrings. Deepa contacted the police and they questioned the 'dhobi', who started weeping saying he didn't know the woman at all. He had gotten talking to her and mentioned the job, and she said she would be interested.


Before hiring someone through another person, find out how well the other person knows your maid. Does he know where she lives? Does he know her family? Make it very clear that should something go wrong, the person recommending her will be questioned. Is the recommender willing to take on this responsibility?


Make sure you take a photograph of both the person recommending someone to you, and of the maid. This way your maid will think twice before stealing something and disappearing, as she knows you have her photograph and it may be easier to trace her with the help of such photograph. Similarly, if the person recommending her is in connivance with her, he two will think twice before being willing to try and disappear with her.


Where does she live? Make it a point to drop your part-time maid home at intervals. Remember that she may change her residence frequently as her home may be rented, and very low-cost housing is often rented for short durations.


One of the best ways to make sure you can trace your maid should anything go wrong, is to find out which school her children go to. Does she pick up her children after school from work? If so, go with her at least once so you know where to school is.


Keep your eyes open, and if something is missing, don't hesitate to ask her where it is. Most maids try and get away with nicking little things every now and again. If she has a daughter, she may swipe a few artificial earrings. You may find your husband's shirt or belt missing, and so on. The only way you can keep track is if you are on top of things. Always lock all cupboards, not just the cupboard holding valuables. Also, lock your bedroom before leaving your house.


We tend to trust too easily. If someone has been working for us for a few months and we feel she may be reliable, we may leave a few expensive items lying around. When we see those items still at home, our trust tends to grow. It is very possible that your maid doesn't want to get into trouble as yet as she needs a job too. She may steal from you when she has decided to quit work, and if she has found another job. It is up to you to always be careful.

Share your tips, ideas and thoughts here.

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