Testing Honesty

Many times when one hires a household helper, if they don’t focus on the honesty of the person, they may wind up being robbed. And robbed in such a way, they keep it to themselves to hide the embarrassment of being such a fool.

Jamaicans are masters of ‘Playing the Fool to Catch the Wise’.

A helper, a low level employee, a tradesman, anyone brought into any home or business is going to test the person who hires them. This is because Jamaica has a large class of people who think they are ‘better’ than others. Skin colour isn’t the measure, it is a sense of superiority.

The persons who think they are ‘better’ hire ‘underlings’ and behave as a despot and his subjects. The subjects test to see how stupid the employer is. They test how many corners they can cut, how much time they can waste, how much they can steal.

When you know Your Culture -2 I described a set of painters who learned that the hostel they were painting had residents who had NOT be advised until the Last Minute that painting would take place.


As soon as the Painters found this out they knew, instantly that

a) the person who hired them was a discombobulated idiot

b) that all they had to do was be nice to the residents, smiles and sweet words

c) and they could take five days to do a room, being paid a daily salary.

In Jamaica, “when you find a fool, you ride him bare back”.

Persons who know their Culture, know how to deal with employees. They set tests, and show certain knowledge.

For example, Mrs. Miller would count the petty cash in the presence of her secretary each morning and each evening. Obviously, the secretary couldn’t pocket a stray $10.


Ms. Linton would say things to her helper like; “How many tins of sardines do I have?”  knowing that there were four tins.   Mr. Gavin said to a worker;  “I can’t find my gold cuff links and don’t have time to look for them… when you do my room, find them for me…”  (he was sure the worker had taken them) so they were ‘found’.

One can never be ‘hands off’ when employing anyone.  One has to show a sense of knowledge and presence. In this way, the Jamaican worker respects the employer.

What do you think?

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Written by jaylar

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