I don’t like to generalize… but in general, some domestic staff come to the middle east with a bigger prize in mind. They use the jobs here as a stepping stone to get to Europe or American as they would probably never be issued a visa in their home countries in fear of them moving there and living and working illegally. Which is where we come in.
The rule is this; in order for the UK embassy to issue any domestic employees a visa they must have worked for you for at least a year (In the case of the US 2 years) they must attend an interview and somehow prove that they are happy, not mistreated and not planning to stay in the country when they get there. Having passed this test all they have to do is hitch a ride, find the community that they fit into there (usually a network of the same nationality of illegal workers) who will set them up with a place to stay. Then they leave.
The problem is in how they leave. They do not go to their employer and say “I found a better job” or “I have a better chance of making more money for my family” or simply “I want to stay here”. I would totally respect that. Because God knows they have so many people depending on them in their countries and they work like hell to provide for them and make enough money to put their kids through school and university so they can have a better life. But why not just say they are leaving? No. They tend to run away either late at night, in the middle of a shopping trip or just as you are setting off for the airport to go home. I know people whos children were left in the park on their own and another couple whose son was left on his own in the hotel room while they were out to dinner.
My stories (Thank God) were not as dramatic otherwise I would have had to kill someone had they endangered my child. I had traveled for the first 2 years of S’s life without incident. The summer after that we went to London. I had a woman called Victoria with me on this trip. Now this was 6 years ago so I do not remember all the details but I certainly know we did not have any issues or any problems and all was honky dory.
The day before we were due to fly back I got a nagging feeling. I told Victoria to take her time packing and go do some last-minute shopping if she wanted to before we head home and I would keep S with me all day. When 7 pm came around and I was heading back for bedtime I walked in to a completely empty apartment. All Victoria’s stuff was gone (Except a pair of dirty underwear which she left in the cupboard). All S’s stuff was everywhere and there was a note on the table saying “Madam, your abaya is in the washing machine”… yeah… thanks.
S cried all night looking for Victoria while I cursed her under my breath. I spent the night with him at my sister’s house where we all said a silent prayer every time S looked for her and we were certain that she probably had such bad Karma coming her way that she would get deported the next day.
The flight back was ok. Although at one point I fell asleep and woke up to a cold feeling running down my neck only to see that S had stuck a kleenex in a glass of water and was squishing it on my neck.
That was my first experience with being left… dumped… unceremoniously… without even a thank you or sorry.
Stay tuned for more in part 2.