Right off the bat it’s fair to say that Maltese people still referring to their house-keepers or office janitorial staff as ‘maids’ is one of Malta’s many Maltesisms. But moving past that, it’s so hard to find a person you trust who’s also good at what they do, most people outright refuse to give you their numbers just in case you poach them.
Here are just a few of the excuses that are always used:
1. “But she doesn’t…
…clean the silver”
… have a car”
Many of these are deal-breakers for those looking to hire a new cleaner, so your supposed-friends will be quick to play into your qualms to avoid you requesting their number again.
2. “I don’t even know her number ta, mummy arranges everything”
Yeah right! I’m onto you Sarah – I know you know her number; I know you whatsapp her to tell her to pick up milk on her way in.
3. “Give me your number and I’ll pass it on to her – I’ll tell her we’re friends don’t worry”
You know that sheet of paper with your number scrawled on it is going straight in the bin. Maria won’t even have the chance to call you back.
4. “Imma, she’s really busy lately. She doesn’t even come once a week anymore!”
Translation: last week Grace was sick and couldn’t make it, and there’s no way I’m risking that happening again.
5. “She’s a bit expensive ta. I only get her cause she’s of the family”
Thanks for that wonderful piece of advice, but I think I’m willing to pay €1 extra an hour for good work.
6. “But you’re in a flat aye? She doesn’t really like stairs”
Firstly, screw you Sarah, it’s an apartment not a flat. Secondly – it’s fine I’m sure she can make it up one flight of stairs.
7. “I don’t have one anymore. She stopped coming”
Six months maternity leave means six months of having a sub-par level of cleanliness (and folded clothes, depending on how lucky you are with your maid). But it also means six months worth of valid excuses to deflect these questions.
8. “Just to warn you, she likes to take a lot of cigarette breaks ta”
As long as the butts don’t end up on the floor of my terrace, we’re cool.
9. “I’ll give it to you as soon as I’m home, but have you asked Bettina? She has a really good one”
Classic deflection, I’m onto you Sarah… but in the meantime: can I have Bettina’s number please?