The aristocrats have always had household helps at their beck and call. As a matter of fact, they classified their “army” of servants as footmen, maid, maid in waiting, butlers, cooks and others. However, as incomes of more people have gone up, the trend of hiring of household helps has gone up. Home owners do not have adequate time to devote to keeping their homes clean and kitchens stocked, which is why they employ household helps.
Essentially maid and housekeepers perform similar kinds of jobs and differentiations between them are purely geographical and evolutionary. Maids are usually termed as low pay female workers who cleaned the house every day. They were categorised under the head of household help. Nowadays, most people refrain from calling such staff maids or household helps and those who work in these scopes also feel offended by the term. Housekeepers are a wider connotation, as they not only clean the house but also take care of keeping it well-stocked. Housekeepers usually do all the tasks that maids are expected to-laundry, sweeping and moping the floors, dusting and cleaning the dishes. The additional responsibilities that housekeepers have are shopping for groceries, cleaning liquids and other articles. Housekeepers are usually entrusted with a copy of the keys of homes so that they can come in to clean the house even when the owner is not there. It is quite helpful to have a housekeeper as you can be assured your home will be kept neat and clean when you are on tour.
In some European culture, maids denote those people who stay on every day, shop for supplies and are available at the beck and call of home owners. Housekeepers on the other hand only come in to clean the home when needed while maids stay round the clock to take care of the family’s needs. They also cook meals for the family that normal housekeepers do not. In some cultures, housekeepers do just what maids are required to do. In the US, housekeepers do not stay round the clock but they perform cooking, cleaning and shopping duties. The term is used more in the US as housekeepers have a connotation of respect associated with them that maids do not.
Another important difference between maids and housekeepers is that housekeepers are paid more than maids as their job duties entail more work. The pay could be as different as a couple of thousand rupees. The work for a maid is strictly cut out- she comes with her cleaning supplies or uses the ones you have at home to sweep the floor and mop it. There are several maid services which have strict outlines of the services they are to perform. For instance, they may not dust the house, make up the bed, rearrange the containers on the kitchen shelf or water the plants. Because the job profile of a housekeeper is expected to perform these duties, she is paid more. Certain families also entrust their housekeepers with the task of taking care of their kids, when they do not want to hire additional helps such as nannies. They leave their children with the housekeeper to be taken to school, brought back, bathed and fed. In some case, housekeepers also escort kids to classes for extra-curricular activities.
In India, the terms housekeepers and maids are used interchangeably. Most cases however, entail maids for the purpose of cleaning solely while housekeepers perform additional duties. NRIs who have properties in the country, often engage housekeepers to take care of their well-furnished home. They are expected to pay bills, keep it clean and hygienic, shop for groceries and even perform repair jobs as required. For monthly expenses, the family transfers an amount to the housekeeper that includes his/her salary for the month as well. In case an emergency arises, for example something breaks or leaks, then owners have to pay additional amounts to get the tasks done.
Even though the practice of engaging housekeepers is on the rise, one should ascertain their background before hiring them. For instance, home owners have often found things missing or broken in a house after returning home from a stint abroad. You should contract housekeepers through centres that offer to connect you to such professionals solely in order to be sure of their background. You can come by the contact information of these centres through online classifieds. Special tabs have been dedicated to these services and you can select your city and locality to find good centres in your vicinity. The amount that you pay for the services is usually determined by the numbers of hours or days they spend. A part of it is paid to the centre as commission for getting you in touch with these professionals.
If you require a maid, who will clean your home, including doing the dishes, you can get them from these services. Both housemaids and housekeepers whose services you hire from thee centres are trained and experienced and you can expect the best from them. Most families that have two earning members hire the services of these professionals. Several retired couples who are infirm also hire them for performing the tasks that they are unable to. They are reliable and careful with their jobs. In case of any discrepancy of leaves, work timings, quality of work or payment, you can contact the centre for redress.
Prior to hiring maids or housekeepers, you should make an inventory list of all the possessions you have around your home to keep an account in case anything goes missing or is damaged. You should also maintain a log book of the services rendered by your housekeeper or maid, such as entering the time and date, the days she takes leaves and if she has borrowed any money from you that has to be adjusted with her pay. You can also get her to sign the record when she receives her pay so that you are both on the same page about the system.