Isabella keeps house for a busy family in the Valley. With the parents and their two children, there's always a lot going on.
"I saw how Mr. and Mrs. B used the family-plan Universal Office," says Isabella, "but I never thought that it would work for me. I was very wrong about that."
The incident that made Isabella realize that she needed a Genie number of her own happened about 6 months ago. "My mother back in El Salvador was sick, and Papa was trying to call me and let me know. I was out when he called, and the call from El Salvador to this country was very expensive, and Papa couldn't talk long. But Papa speaks almost no English and the family here speaks almost no Spanish, and they couldn't take a message. When I came back, Mrs. B told me that she thought it was my father who called and that he sounded very upset, but nothing more. I spent almost an hour trying to call him back, and it was all in a panic.
"It turned out OK, because Mama wasn't as sick as Papa made it sound - she got well very quickly. But it really might have been terrible. The next day, when Mr. B heard about what happened, he told me that he was getting me my own Genie number, so that anytime Mama or Pap needed they could call and either talk to me or leave me a message, and I would KNOW the message would get to me right.
"Mr. B also told me about the GenieCard that came with my Genie Number. I knew that he had gotten those cards for his daughters, but I thought it was just something for a rich Anglo. Not anymore. Now I get my pay straight to the GenieCard, so I don't have to find someplace to cash a check anymore. I also got a second card which I sent down to Mama and Papa in El Salvador, so I can send them money too. Every payday, I can send them a little bit to help them get by, and it doesn't cost anything like what it used to cost me to wire money to them."