Saturday, November 21, 2009
When I pick up the girls from gradinita in the afternoon, Ava always wants to know which housekeeper is on duty. So Thursday afternoon I told Ava and Audrey that Viki should be there. The girls eagerly run into the apartment foyer but are not met by Viki. Instead there is Cornelia, the apartment manager, along with another woman. Ava asks "where's Viki?" and Cornelia responds that Viki no longer works here, and introduces us to Petruta, her replacement. Shocked, Audrey starts to cry and prostrates herself on the floor. This isn't just the cleaning lady we're talking about, this is bunica (grandma) Viki.
The next day I ask the other housekeeper, Elena, where Viki is. "Viki nu mai vine." (Viki is not coming anymore.) "De ce?" (why?) "Nu stui." (I don't know). Something doesn't smell right here. There is no way bunica Viki would have left us without saying goodbye.
Luckily, Elena knew Viki's telephone number, so I called with the help of Ava's teacher Catalina, to get the scoop (this story was going to be beyond my Romanian comprehension!).
Apparently, the apartment manager just showed up and fired Viki--for no reason and without notice. There are strict laws regarding the termination of employment here; there has to be a significant cause and then a notice period is required. Viki wanted to come see us, but was told that she couldn't, she just had to leave.
Outrageous. So now I'm stewing about what, if anything, I can do. Viki is looking into getting an attorney. In the meantime, we're not taking it out on the new cleaning lady. We gave her bon bons today.