Getting a trustworthy cleaner is a tricky task. The CairoScene team discuss the true price of a tidy home...
After a long day at work, the last thing Egyptians want to do is the tedious task of cleaning their homes. With nadafas(home cleaners) offering their service for low prices, many Egyptians exploit the option in attempt to battle the ongoing dust crisis that encompasses all home surfaces.
The only problem with nadafas, is the fact that it is very difficult to establish trust. We all know someone in our families that have been robbed by a nadafa. Sometimes things are stolen in a discreet and subtle fashion, requiring the home owner to act like an Egyptian Sherlock Holmes. Other times the nadafa can be shameless actually wearing items they stole.
Some of the people on the CairoScene team have become accustomed to losing clothing, shoes, accessories, and silverware almost on a weekly basis. Knowing that this isn't isolated incident, we launched an investigation, collecting stories from people in our office in an attempt to find any criminal patterns. Here are some of the best personal stories:
“If a maid is only stealing minor unimportant things in your home, don’t make a big deal out of it. We used to live abroad and every time we came to Egypt to spend the vacation, we’d buy chocolate for our loved ones (you know the tradition). There was a year where the chocolate we bought kept decreasing, when we haven’t even given them out to family and friends. We soon discovered that the maid was stealing it, so instead of firing her we bought her chocolate, but apparently she kept stealing from our chocolate because it’s mostawrada. Long story short, we’re not allowed to have chocolate at home because, according to my mum, a maid who steals chocolate is better than a one who steals el fadda”. – Yahia ElSady, Account Manager.
“My grandparents had the creepiest maid/robbing experience. Being the healthy people they are, they always have salad for supper. Later, they locked the corridor doorway and went to bed. The next morning my mom kept calling, but no one was picking up. Being the early risers they are, we all got very weary and decided to pay them a visit. We then learnt that the maid had actually put some kind of sedative in their feta salad, which knocked them out, making it easy for her to rob them of every single piece of furniture.” – Yassmina Yasser, Account Manager.
“Always trust your instincts. I felt a certain sense of trepidation with this cleaner; he always looked at me funny and asked me obscure and uncomfortable questions about my life. As time went on, certain items from my bedroom were going missing. On the day I was about to confront Mahmoud, my peculiar little cleaning boy, he bent over to dust off my drawer and there I saw it: the renowned CK waistband. Yes, he was wearing a pair of my missing Calvin Klein boxers... Needless to say I was rather shocked, and a little queasy to say the least.” – Waleed Mowafi, Managing Partner at MO4 Network.
“A couple of years back, I had a nadafa who wouldn't steal my clothes, chocolates, or possessions. However, he would always, without hesitation, steal my hash. It happened so often that it started feeling like I was in some unwanted rehab clinic in my own home. Since my whole family used the same cleaner, I was in a bit of a conundrum. I couldn't tell my mum that the nadafa keeps stealing my hash, so instead I told my mother that he kept showing me porn on his Nokia phone. It wasn't a total lie, but it definitely got the job done.” -Timmy Mowafi, Managing Partner at MO4 Network.
These are but a few of the stories that were shared in the office. After collecting as many as we could, we can conclude a few points. First off, imported chocolates, or drugs that look like chocolates, are never safe at home with a nadafa around. Secondly, you should never eat anything a nadafa prepares for you, as it could be drugged. Finally, your clothes will always be vulnerable so the least you can do is make sure your cleaner isn't wearing your underwear.
At the end of the day, it's best to just clean your own home, but if you ain't got the time for that, then we recommend heeding our advice. If you think that you have found a trustworthy candidate, then it is better to treat them as family than as a worker. It may make it harder for them to steal from you if they consider you as such.