Sayem arrived in the US in 2005 from Bangladesh. Tasked with supporting his family to pay the bills (his father is disabled and his mom can only work part-time due to injuries), he took a full-time job at a Subway restaurant for 4 years. But this wasn’t enough to earn a living, so he took a second full-time job at another fast food establishment. The pace was unsustainable and he was forced to quit one of the jobs. The worst part of having two jobs, he says, besides having a meager income, was that he had no time to see his beloved family, who mean the world to him.
“I didn’t have the time to spend with them. When I went to work they were sleeping. When I came home, they were sleeping. I never got a chance to talk to them.”
So, Sayem started looking around for another way to make money. Ever since coming to the US, he had wanted to work in housekeeping. When Well-Paid Maids hired him, his whole life changed.
“Once Aaron [Aaron Seyedian, owner of Well-Paid Maids] offered me the job and told me how much they paid – with vacation, and sick leave – I said, this is the perfect job for me.”
But for Sayem, it’s not just about the money. “I’m getting a good salary but it’s also about the time that I get so I can live a good life. And I can give some time to my family. Now I work 8 hours a day and then spend time with them on weekends.”
Since being hired by Well-Paid Maids, he’s been able to support his family and afford a weekend IT class so that he can someday move into a more lucrative career. He considers Well-Paid Maids a dream come true, especially because of the benefits it offers.
“I’m much happier than before. Before, I worked, came home, went to sleep, went back to work, and thought, this is not the life I want. Now I can take care of my parents because the salary allows me to provide for the family.”
Sayem firmly believes that all companies would do well to give their workers full benefits [benefits are part of the MIT living wage calculation] because at the end of the day, it “makes a better employee. Without benefits, they’re very stressed.”
He hopes to stay with Well-Paid Maids as long as he can.