Oh gosh, have been through a stressful time, actually don't even know where to begin.
Last week Celia didn't come to work because she was sick. High blood pressure, bronchitis, dizziness, tremors.
This week, on Tuesday, Celia and her daughter Salamina came here, so that they could talk to me and so that Salamina could do some cleaning, laundry, help look after Mia, etc.
They told me Celia is too sick to work. The high blood pressure affects her eye sight and memory, apparently... not too sure about these symptoms! But she looks bad, very ill, and sometimes couldn't even talk to me and would mumble to Salamina and then she would talk to me...
Salamina offered to work in Celia's place. I'm unsure about this, as she's not used to working, and Celia has told me on numerous occasions that Salamina doesn't like to work... But, Mia is comfortable and happy to stay with Salamina, which is a big advantage, so I have decided to give her one month's trial period for the duration of September, and we can see how it goes.
Now, the biggest stressor comes in with the "retirement package" I offered Celia. I didn't really know what to call it, as it's not really retirement as such, Celia is only 53. I didn't retrench her, and she didn't resign. So it's a tricky situation.
We offered her the following:
- We will continue to pay off her outstanding electricity account, which we started doing for her a few months ago. It's a total of R150 per month, and there's still about R2500 outstanding.
- R1000 cash, either at once, or R500 over two months or R250 over four months.
- I will continue to put airtime on her cell phone occasionally.
She was unhappy with this. She says, "after six years, this is all I get?" So I ask her what did she want, and she didn't specify, just talks about UIF and policies and crap.
Now unfortunately I am in the wrong because I never registered her for UIF. I tried a while ago, but I needed to supply MY UIF number in order to get one for her, and I don't have a UIF number, so I just left it...
I personally feel that it's a good deal we're offering her... Especially as giving her more cash, but not paying her electricity bill wouldn't be beneficial for her, as she won't use the cash to pay her electricity.
She told me she's going to go to the labour department.
I am so distressed, shocked and infuriated, that this is the route she wants to take.
I told her to think carefully about what she wants to do, as no lawyer can tell us we have to pay her electricity bill, so I'm sure whatever other deal they suggest, it's going to be less than what we're offering her in total.
So now we wait. I think Wyn will have to handle it all, I just get too emotional.
I feel sorry for her, and wish I could give her more, but we literally can't pay her more than that, and besides, if Salamina is going to work for us in her place, there will still be that income for their household, whereas if she's going to go the nasty route, I'll rather cut clean and not have Salamina work here...
I've been really upset the last couple of days, but then a friend gave me a good comparison just now. "Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere." So true. What will be will be.
And this way we learn the lesson the hard way, to make sure with any future employees that we do all the correct registrations, paperwork, etc...