Posted by: Amasi | 2013-01-14

What makes a good Helper and Boss

The Helper issue is a little thorny sometmes and can be needed these time  lets talk about it,I admit, the beauty issue is a holy cow.

Over the holidays I was visiting families where there are quite a few who works as helpers. When talking to them about working environment (I am on the other side " Boss and a man" ) I heard lots of stories like " hey, abantu abamnyama ababhadali, futhi akushayiswa especially if u sleep there  and others." 

So what makes you think a good boss should do or a bad boss does?
What are the working hours? I know some who makes breakfast and lunchbox at 5:30 (we want our breakfast fresh, duh) and last chore is supper dishes at 7:30 or later.

What duties should not be left for the helper? Make up your bed thus cleaning your sex towels was part of someone.

What else should you think about in your relationship with helper?


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Posted by: Amasi | 2013-01-18

The department of labour has a contract for domestic workers in their website. It has different kinds of duties inlcuding but not limited to packing grocery (ma lady thinks I cant pack grocery) to washing vehicles and paiting. Amazingly, it also includes child minding (nanny).

In that contract, they have clubbed everything to make sure that any kind of domestic worker''s duties are mentioned which can be cleaner, gardener, handy man (guy who fixes everything in the house that your husband doesn''t have time to due to being busy {aka lazy or cant}), nanny etc.


Reply to Amasi
Posted by: Amasi | 2013-01-16

What was your definition of helper, maybe I am expecting too little from helper. I may be missing an important point in my rumbling.


Reply to Amasi
Posted by: Amasi | 2013-01-16

I am not sure of legal definition, but when you hire someone to be a nanny it only refers to looking after the kid, when you hire someone to be a helper it normarly refers to cleaning the house and washing. It does happen that a helper is asked to look after the kid which I consider it to be additional duty. It does happen that a nanny is tasked to also cleaning and ironing which is something extra.

Here is the impact of the difference, what are the duties when she was hired and how much change has taken place now as compared to the salary.


Reply to Amasi
Posted by: ANON | 2013-01-16

Amasi, can you define the word HELPER not NANNYfor me, may be im missing a point here.

Reply to ANON
Posted by: Zion | 2013-01-15

Yo! Amasi I m shocked about youre story and its very sad treating another human being like a dog tjo!!

Reply to Zion
Posted by: Amasi | 2013-01-15

I wish I could say the things I stated above, including the story of a relative, were my imaginations. Unfortunately it is something I saw with my two eyeses.

I only hope these stories have reminded someone to review how their helper is being treated. You can be anon and confess if you have been guilty of any of these  including underpayment.

You can call yourself Anon1, Anon2, Anon3 .....


Reply to Amasi
Posted by: T | 2013-01-15

That''s a sad story Amasi, and one that many of our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc., are all too familiar with.
Being a live-in nanny does open one up to all sorts of abuse.

Reply to T
Posted by: Bella | 2013-01-15

Yhooo Amasi ja neh....unbelievable

Reply to Bella
Posted by: Amasi | 2013-01-14

Few years back, I took someone (relative) who was sick from work due to athiritis (sp) and pneumonia (numonia) and others to hospital. Yes it wasn''t HIV related and she was late 50s.

The boss did not believe needed a washing machine (it damages clothes) for a washing of 2 parents, 2 grand parents who are still working part time, three kids and a neice who is always there than not.

The boss believe she needs to polish/shine the floor regular (more than twice a week) on her knees.

Her duties also included washing the cars. Yep the vehicles.

She did not have time to go to school meetings for her kids. Township schools has only 1 meeting a year btw. One of things stated by her kids for resenting her employers.

Her only time off was Sunday morning to go to church, then afternoon she has to prepare supper. I dont remember seeing her on Christmas holidays either, but she would come to drop grocery and go back to the madam.

There are many issues that I dont want to count but makes me cry.

The worst was when we were picking her up for hospital (Yes they could not even call ambulance for her) the boss said that they dont want her back unless she comes with a medical certificate that she is fit for work. This is after more than 25yrs service, I knew her working there when I was a kid.

After all of that service, the bosses could not even contribute a R2000 for a coffin as she died three weeks later.


Reply to Amasi
Posted by: Amasi | 2013-01-14

I know other instances as well. They all started with the statement that " she is part of the family" , thus became that ugly stepsister whom you want to enslave in exchange for food and old clothes.

Going with your helper to your inlaws so that she can do your bridal duties (kotiza,) like waking early to sweep the floor.

Going with her to inlaws/family to do your duties of peeling so that you entertain guests. Okay I remember another family where all four sisters brought their helpers to do that during funeral and they were busy with guests.

Did I talk about the one who makes up the bed and clean your sex towels?

When having visitors after hours, she must make them tea. Ugly step sister. When is her knock off time.

Going with her to church so that when the baby cries, it is thrown on the helper. Madam needs to hear the sermon.

Forgetting that she has family thus giving her Leave to the abolute minimum.

Forgetting to pay her the year end bonus and deduct days when she was off.

Hired to be the nanny but now is a helper (like Lolo''s friend)

Being accused of telephone bill when you know very well that it is your big kid who is CallA Lot

As you need her to be away from family, building her a decaplicated wendy house in which wind blows like no body''s business. Okay a wendy which is smaller than your bathroom as only a single bed can fit.

After years of service you still forgot to register her for UIF.

Not allowing her to meet friends. Oh these girls will make her evil/clever. Of course she cant entertain her visitors in my house as it is workplace.

Oh, the list goes on.


Reply to Amasi
Posted by: Amasi | 2013-01-14

Expanding work without expanding pay!

Oh, that is now below minimum wage by the way.


Reply to Amasi
Posted by: lolo | 2013-01-14

on my side i really think that people who have helpers are not paying them enough, i have a friend who wanted a nanny to take care of her small baby and she''s paying her R1500 a month, but now the nanny is suppose to clean the house do the laundry, take care of the other old child and then cook ,with the same salary, i personaly think its not fair! they are called nanny for a reason.

Reply to lolo
Posted by: Amasi | 2013-01-14

I purposefully ignored the part of bad helpers as that has been discussed a lot. You know when you were in a social, you discussed it with your friends didn''t you?

So, when chilling with your friends what are the things you heard of or saw being done to helpers which you thought were not right?


Reply to Amasi
Posted by: T | 2013-01-14

Hi Amasi, and everyone on the forum. Good to see some of you in 1 piece.
Firstly, I wish to distance myself from comments made by my " namesake" , ''T'', on this matter - lolling at my comrade talk. Creche really is much cheaper &  the way to go, especially with older kids.
Fact: Helpers take advantage when working for a Black person.
To be honest, I''d prefer to talk about what makes a bad helper than vice versa, ''cos I recently had a run-in with a bad 1 - a wolf in sheep''s clothing - who messed with my faith in humanity, I don''t know how I''m gonna handle the next recruitment round.
As for your question: what makes a bad boss?
- Underpaying
- Long, unremunerated hours
- Not setting boundaries such that helper is part of the family - it backfires.
- Tolerating unprofessional behaviour (e.g. going AWOL) - you''re setting a precedent.
Etc, etc.

Reply to T

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