Dishonest Dominican workers?????

whirleybird

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Feb 27, 2006
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Tomorrow is the 30th but we decided to pay our workers a day early this month as one has to visit her brother who was involved in a bad moto accident in SFM.

We joked as we were left with only RD$ 600 after allocating their wages today.... but, within 30 minutes our farm worker came back to us to say I had miscounted and we had overpaid him by RD$ 500.... his partner who plans to visit SFM tomorrow to see her badly injured brother also sent back RD$ 300 for fly spray and menthol we got for her over the past week or so.

Are we just priviliged or are we doing something right which some others are not?
 

waytogo

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Apr 3, 2009
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My young housekeeper approached me yesterday with a 1 Mil note saying it was on the floor in the bathroom. She didn't have to do this, for I never would have known. I treat her with respect and pay her well, and apparently she is an honest person.
It sounds like your workers respect you and appreciate the jobs you have given them.
It's always a good feeling when you have a good repore with your employees.
 
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thurston

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Hi, Whirleybird & Waytogo

Whatever you do, do not let them go......good employees are hard to find.

Great post

Happy Days
 

El Tigre

El Tigre de DR1 - Moderator
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Whirleybird & Waytogo quick question:

Do you share intimate details of your life with your workers? Or share anything outside of their work? I'm really curious how you or any other person that has workers interacts with their workers. Some of my family members can afford live-in maids...I don't approve of how they treat them. It's like do your job and here is your money type of deal. They barely associate with the workers. When the workers finish whatever they are doing they go to their room. IT'S WEIRD. And I have seen this at a couple of my family's places.
 

Anastacio

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It seems a reasonably normal reaction for any person who is wrongly overpaid to return the money. Most employers will know within a short time how much they have overpaid and to whom, if they are on the ball with the finances of the company. I think most employees worth employing will be aware of this and so know the best thing to do is bring it to your attention and be on your good side, rather than have you bring it to thier attention and be on your bad side.
 

whirleybird

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Feb 27, 2006
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Whirleybird & Waytogo quick question:

Do you share intimate details of your life with your workers? Or share anything outside of their work? I'm really curious how you or any other person that has workers interacts with their workers. Some of my family members can afford live-in maids...I don't approve of how they treat them. It's like do your job and here is your money type of deal. They barely associate with the workers. When the workers finish whatever they are doing they go to their room. IT'S WEIRD. And I have seen this at a couple of my family's places.
The particular workers to whom I am referring made my life more than bearable when I found myself in this foreign country when Mr. WB had to be back in the UK for cancer treatment and I was here alone for 6 months.... I could not have survived it without their help and commitment.

We always treated them to one night with us once a month where we entertained them with just drinks or a little food as well - it was our way of learning to live with the locals.
 

whirleybird

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It seems a reasonably normal reaction for any person who is wrongly overpaid to return the money. Most employers will know within a short time how much they have overpaid and to whom, if they are on the ball with the finances of the company. I think most employees worth employing will be aware of this and so know the best thing to do is bring it to your attention and be on your good side, rather than have you bring it to thier attention and be on your bad side.
I understand what you are saying but, to be honest, I would never have known.. and I have never met anyone before who would have come to me within minutes to tell me that they have been overpaid.... not anywhere!

We are not a 'company' with lots of employees but just a simple finca with some Dominican help and, no, I am not stupid (perhaps not on the ball as you suggest) but I just miscounted the notes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I posted the experience as a plus for Dominican employees... why try to turn it into something different????
 
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LindseyKaufman

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Aug 21, 2007
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I have had similar, good experiences with both my Dominican maid and my Haitian gardener.....$$$ found in pockets when doing wash is returned.....wrong amount handed over for salary, returned....money left on the counter, being there as much as a month later, never touched....bills paid from money in an envelope left in the house for that purpose and an authentic receipt in its place.

I believe it is a trust relationship that is very carefully built over time. I also believe it has to do with the type of person we hire and how we treat our employees on a day to day basis.

Not to say I don't come down hard on my help when they slack off. However, when I do so, I never demean them and they know they have it coming.....

Thanks, Whirleybird, for bringing this to the forefront.

Lindsey
 

Lambada

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Do you share intimate details of your life with your workers?
Only as much as I want them to know ;). Health issues, obviously, that's fairly neutral. Like whirley & waytogo's staff, our Mercedes is absolutely honest - I've posted elsewhere that I gave her double concho fare in advance of a day when neither of us were sure if normal or double rates applied. She came bearing the change the next day when we both discovered it was normal rate ( & no I didn't take it).

I listen a lot to her health issues & slowly over 15 years she is getting slightly better at not believing everything the doctors here tell her, she does come to me first to check on a medical internet site, we get the page up & if there isn't a Spanish version for me to print off for her, I'll do a quick translation from the English page. When her sister-in-law died an early death she received the news in my home, so it was me hugging her & wiping away the tears and then sending her home to be with her brother. I listen to the marital problems she tells me about her eldest daughter who is married to a schizophrenic, but other than listening to Mercedes I don't go wading into the mental health field of her relatives, even though I have some professional qualifications & experience.

But I always retain that slight distance in how much of our personal info I share with her, because at the end of the day, she expects me to be the boss. And I am trying to adjust to her culture, not expect her to adjust to mine.
 

Chip

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Many Dominicans consider it a privelage to work with foreigners because they believe they will be treated better and receive more pay.

That being said our first housekeeper we had here stole from RD20k to 30k over a course of 2 years and claimed she was my wife's best friend.

Then we hired another one and the very fisrt day she made too much food and had it all packaged up to take home. After a few days we told her no more please. She was ok but always wanted more money and liked to ask for loans. We let her go because we could no longer afford her.
 

2ndVida

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Nice thread

It's nice to see a positive thread about Dominicans. I have been having a positive experience with my housekeeper as well. She always asks before eating anything, gets me better prices for things, brings money left in my pockets when she washes clothes, etc. Very honest, always on time and a strong work ethic.
 
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whirleybird

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But I always retain that slight distance in how much of our personal info I share with her, because at the end of the day, she expects me to be the boss. And I am trying to adjust to her culture, not expect her to adjust to mine.
So right Lambada.
 

J D Sauser

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Kewl! A happy thread!

Kewl! A happy thread.
Yes, stealing or "taking" is not well seen among many if not most Dominicans... even many which like to use a fair portion of tigueraje.
Even some who "steal" electricity -they don't think of it as "stealing", the wires were there... so...?-can often surprise one with honor and solid moral values.

My home maker constantly leaves me coins and bills she finds in my cloths on my night stand. I sometimes wonder how much it would take for her to think twice about it... but I have come to suspect that it actually could be much more than it would take for some non Dominicans to put honor and opportunity on the balance.

... J-D.
 

Fiesta Mama

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I am so glad to hear that many of you have had very positive experiences with your domestic help. It's brings to front a question I have always had with respect to why or why not expats decide to hire help in the DR? In Whirleybird's situation, for example, it seems necessary as a finca is very hard to operate without assistance, especially if one partner is absent as was unfortunately the situation in Whirleybird's case last year. However, I am assuming most that have domestic help probably did not in their country of origin.

I know that domestic help from Dominicans or Haitians is very cheap in the DR but I'm sure much thought goes into hiring help or not? I for one would have a very hard time with the decision of whether to hire help or not if I lived there full-time. I love to cook and garden and if I do say so myself, I am a great cook so I would have a hard time handing over the reins.

Just curious how one decides to hire help or not.
 

Chip

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Our house is way too big, something the wife talked me into. :) Since it's so big she needed a person to help with the chores. It was an easy choice as I was guaranteed to get out of the doghouse. However, we had to get rid of the housekeeper recently, woof woof.
 

Lambada

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Just curious how one decides to hire help or not.
I don't ask Mercedes to cook at all. We eat European-style so it would be expecting a bit much......I do all the cooking, with the exception of spaghetti which is cooked by the resident in-house spaghetti wizard. ;)

I didn't have domestic help at all in UK, decided to here because it was the norm. If you are a house owner of a certain level of wealth, living in a Dominican community, you would be perceived as 'different' if you didn't have help (could be different for those living in gringo communities, but I have no experience of that). In the early days, you are trying to reduce those differences..........until you get to the point where you're confident enough to celebrate them.

As far as work is concerned, Mercedes does the things I perceive as chores like cleaning. When we first lived here, both of us were working, so not much time left for chores. Now we're retired & getting older, bending & stretching gets more difficult so cleaning and gardening are done by Mercedes & Ramon.

It's an individual choice of course, but you are providing a small amount of employment. I'd pick out all the jobs you hate doing, Fiesta Mama, & pass those over. If you like to cook & garden, you cook & garden!
 

El Tigre

El Tigre de DR1 - Moderator
Jan 23, 2003
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Thanks Whirleybird & Lambada for your response.

If I had liv-in maids I would treat them the same way as you do.
 

whirleybird

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Hired help...

We actually acquired our staff with the finca... they are as loyal, honest, hard-working and faithful to us as they were to their previous German bosses. We have 'mutual respect' in that they do a job for us and we appreciate what they do and they get paid for it - isn't that fairly normal?

As Lambada says, get the jobs done you don't enjoy - Margo only cooks if we ask her to prepare something typically Dominican for visitors but she does do all the jobs I hate!! If Mr WB tries to do jobs outside, he is soon redundant as the workers take over........ a good relationship for sure!
 

sabra

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good people

It's nice to see a positive thread about Dominicans. I have been having a positive experience with my housekeeper as well. She always asks before eating anything, gets me better prices for things, brings money left in my pockets when she washes clothes, etc. Very honest, always on time and a strong work ethic.
I agree, nice that the positive experiences are published. We as well have good luck with our "good soul" in the house, a honest dominican man, doing perfect work, creative as well, and really nice with the doggies.for sure we pay good and are helping him when needed. good company. It is such a good feeling to leave the house and to know there is a people looking for all, whom you can trust.saludas, Sabra
:bunny: