The After-Eid Phenomenon: Setback Or Advancement?


There is a new phenomenon in the life of the people of Jakarta. Not just a phenomenon of the massive arrival of the villagers after Eid every year. Recently became one of the cities with the fastest economic growth, Jakarta is a magnet for anyone who wants a more prosperous life. All the little things, in Jakarta, can be honed into gold. It’s a city where, regardless to mention how the way to get, making money is easy.

As a young mother, a resident of the city who works from 8 to 5, with the task of taking care of the daughter after returning from office coupled with the tremendous traffic congestion in Jakarta, making the presence of household assistant (maid) or baby sitter (nanny) is a mandatory thing. Mandatory, when the option to not work and be a full-time mother becomes hesitancy in the demands of a housing, car and the decent life of the family. No exception, to buy the urban lifestyle, where coffee drinking in Starbucks and the iPhone are inevitable to purchase.

Unfortunately, today, we find there is no longer a domestic worker who is ready to work serving wholeheartedly as it did in a generation ago. Those who’ve worked up to a dozen or dozens of years without considering their salary increment from year to year, as long as they feel comfortable with the employer. They work in Jakarta while their husbands and children, living separated in the village. Even their children, once they grow as an adult, tend to work at the same employer. It became hereditary. But not anymore.

The modern maid have at least one mobile phone (should we blame or thank the Chinese?). In fact, not infrequently are entering the realm of Facebook and Twitter. Communication between them is all that easy, like we have. So do not be surprised, if the job information in one place or the other could be flowing profusely to them. Instant era makes them instantly will look for a higher paying job (or facility, or location) in the other, making them likely to survive on a single employer over a year is almost impossible.

“My friend works as Inval (temporary work during Eid holidays), do you need her to take care of your child during my return home?”, My nanny offered me one day. The salary for Inval is 150 thousand rupiahs per day, with minimum hire period of 10 days. It’s very high for the standard of a nanny. Suddenly I remember, my nanny once told that her friend was working elsewhere. “It’s common, that they pretended to go home but the truth is they are in Jakarta to offer services to employers who need Inval,” she continued, as I could only stunned.

My nanny who told so, did not even return home after Eid despite promises at the beginning is not so. While much work in the office waiting to be done after the long Eid holidays, I still had to deal with the supplier, plus, digging extra money from pockets because I ought to pay up more than a million rupiahs again.

Apparently, a high turnover not only occurred in the level of multinational corporations or international organizations. Is this a setback, because even elementary or junior high school graduates can now choose where to work in accordance with their wishes? Or this phenomenon simply reflects the maid’s demand and supply curves no longer balanced. One thing for sure, I am not among those who benefited.


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