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mild irritation

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outandbound
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mild irritation

Postby outandbound » Sat, 17 May 2014 3:03 pm

Hi my helper is driving me nuts.

I'm fussy and sensitive I know but she is driving me nuts.

We have had her for 9 months and she's been great apart from a few issues. We have 2 young children and she has been great with the 1st one less so with the second but no real issues.

She cooks in a very traditional way she likes, oily/salty/sugary/chocolaty, I have banned these in the house now as the kids were screaming for chocolate.

She's requested an advance nearly each month, which I usually accept, but this month she wanted another double her salary which I refused, due to the fact she has no money and sends everything home, oh and I find her irritating, ie no effort to speak English.

My concern is that she is now talking quite badly to my wifes mother and family about us, thinking she is a friend rather than a meddling gossip. I feel she has stepped too far over the mark, twice now.


we give her time off when she requests, ie 2 evenings a week for a few hours then sunday. She eats better than we do, she has a large spare room with AC, she chats on the phone to her friends when we are around. All of which I don't really care about but I feel they are privileges I should retract for discussing personal aspects of our lives? or give a final warning and continue as we are after we sit down with her?

We clearly trust her in many ways to keep her alone with our children, worth its weight in gold.

Opinions welcome,

Thanks

beppi
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Postby beppi » Sat, 17 May 2014 3:39 pm

You cannot expect a maid to have high intelligence and/or cultural sensitivity.
Your expectations of her are clearly too high. Explain simple rules in plain language and stick to them - that's all you can expect.
(And keep in mind that you, being of higher education, more world-wise and more flexible, can change your way much easier than she can. So why don't you change instead of her?)

Beeroclock
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Postby Beeroclock » Sat, 17 May 2014 5:15 pm

I sympathize, we've had similar issues. You might choose to tolerate mild irritations provided the main things are in order, ie childcare, safety, hygiene. I think parents and helpers are generally a troublesome combination too. Ultimately beppi is right, you have to keep simple expectations and clear rules. While i understand the sentiment, I would not retract other privileges as a punishment for the privacy/gossip matter. The maid might not understand it, see it as unfair, etc. You're better off just to give a specific warning and tell her you don't want it to happen again. Request for advances is common but I also would not go beyond one month, or if you really don't like it just give her a fair warning that there will be no advances in future and she has to plan her money more carefully. It may seem cruel but ultimately in her best interest to encourage her to learn to budget and control her money, that is afterall the reason she is here!

Hannieroo
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Postby Hannieroo » Sat, 17 May 2014 7:02 pm

I make it very clear that talking about or commenting on how I run my home/family is not tolerated and no advances ever.

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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 18 May 2014 8:37 am

Mild irritations when summed up and accumulated over time can become a volcano waiting to erupt. Added to that, you have to face her and deal with these issues daily, unlike workplace where you can switch off after 5 pm and on weekends. Out of those listed, maybe you can think which ones are affecting you most adversely and then convey your concerns to her.

Gossips, poor nutrition and giving salary advances are not healthy for the family dynamics. But then again, you have to pick your battles.

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Postby PNGMK » Sun, 18 May 2014 10:46 am

Hannieroo wrote:I make it very clear that talking about or commenting on how I run my home/family is not tolerated and no advances ever.


+1 but I also gave the same warning to my mother when she visited. She and our helper/maid IMMEDIATELY bonded like long lost friends and I had to pull m my mother aside and warn her again! However on the other hand, my helper is the only one willing to drag my mother around the endless malls she likes to visit.

As for Chocolate/Sugar/MSG/Salt (the four essentials of a healthy helpers diet) we've made it clear this is why our helper has rotten teeth, a lousy complexion and poor health and while she is welcome to eat like that, our family and children will not. Our helper now has learn to scoff down her sweeties, whatever when we or our kids are not around.

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ecureilx
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Postby ecureilx » Sun, 18 May 2014 11:17 am

fyi, some gossips I saw on a facebook site supposedly promoting maid rights ... how irritation can get bad ... compared to yours .....

1) my employer is getting 1,000 $ as maid Allowance but he is only paying me 750 $ .. I know he pays levy but shouldn't the levy from his pocket and give me the full 1,000 ?

2) my employer doesn't like me eating in the same table when they have visitors ... it is demeaning ...

3) my employer rarely takes me out for dinner when they eat out. why they treat my like this?

4) my employer never takes me on holiday. isn't this bad?

5) when i told my employer that I don't have savings after 3 years here, because I send all the money to my family, she didn't seem interested. is this normal?

6) my employer is paying me 1,000 $. recently sir got a promotion but didn't increase my salary

.... bottom line, in today's connected world you never know what your maid is gossiping online .... either live with it or ask her to find another employer

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Postby Beeroclock » Sun, 18 May 2014 11:42 am

ecureilx wrote:fyi, some gossips I saw on a facebook site supposedly promoting maid rights ... how irritation can get bad ... compared to yours .....

1) my employer is getting 1,000 $ as maid Allowance but he is only paying me 750 $ .. I know he pays levy but shouldn't the levy from his pocket and give me the full 1,000 ?

2) my employer doesn't like me eating in the same table when they have visitors ... it is demeaning ...

3) my employer rarely takes me out for dinner when they eat out. why they treat my like this?

4) my employer never takes me on holiday. isn't this bad?

5) when i told my employer that I don't have savings after 3 years here, because I send all the money to my family, she didn't seem interested. is this normal?

6) my employer is paying me 1,000 $. recently sir got a promotion but didn't increase my salary

.... bottom line, in today's connected world you never know what your maid is gossiping online .... either live with it or ask her to find another employer
surprising such comments are on Facebook if revealing their identity.... Will be a good chance to get back to their employer I would've thought. But if it's anonymous venting, then not much different to this post here.

Privacy is a key issue for most maid employers upon bringing someone into your house, it is part of the trust equation and needs to be respected by both sides.

For our own case, what got us irritated was the attitude, which we found calculative and continually pushing boundaries to minimize work and cut corners. This can be very tiresome and annoying especially when you know you are treating the maid much much better than average, but it's not being reciprocated. So we also had similar discussions about revoking privileges, etc, but decided not to go down that path. Again, as was said earlier you either need to change yourself (eg be more flexible, tolerant etc) , or change the maid (preferable her attitude/behavior, but failing that then in the literal sense).

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ecureilx
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Postby ecureilx » Sun, 18 May 2014 12:08 pm

Beeroclock wrote:
Privacy is a key issue for most maid employers upon bringing someone into your house, it is part of the trust equation and needs to be respected by both sides..


as a matter of fact, a former nanny of our friend used to post stuff about the employers, so much so the friend decided terminating the maid was the only thing left to do,than to teach the maid about the perils of the net.

a lot of maids have English but have no net smartness

I will pm you the Facebook group ...don't get amazed at the stuff being discussed there ... contraceptives .. rights to have bf ...

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Postby PNGMK » Sun, 18 May 2014 9:45 pm

ecureilx wrote:fyi, some gossips I saw on a facebook site supposedly promoting maid rights ... how irritation can get bad ... compared to yours .....

1) my employer is getting 1,000 $ as maid Allowance but he is only paying me 750 $ .. I know he pays levy but shouldn't the levy from his pocket and give me the full 1,000 ?

2) my employer doesn't like me eating in the same table when they have visitors ... it is demeaning ...

3) my employer rarely takes me out for dinner when they eat out. why they treat my like this?

4) my employer never takes me on holiday. isn't this bad?

5) when i told my employer that I don't have savings after 3 years here, because I send all the money to my family, she didn't seem interested. is this normal?

6) my employer is paying me 1,000 $. recently sir got a promotion but didn't increase my salary

.... bottom line, in today's connected world you never know what your maid is gossiping online .... either live with it or ask her to find another employer


I'm guilty of 3,4,5,6.

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ecureilx
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Postby ecureilx » Mon, 19 May 2014 1:54 pm

PNGMK wrote:I'm guilty of 3,4,5,6.


if your maid has internet connection and is a member of that forum, ... you will have though time getting the next maid

you are left with Cambodia maids I guess ;) ;) :p

movingtospore
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Postby movingtospore » Wed, 21 May 2014 10:59 am

Have a maid living in your house is irritating, period. Mine drives me crazy. But she drives me less crazy than the last one so I suck it up and put up with it until we either leave Singapore or the kids are old enough to sort themselves out after school for an hour or two.

The facebook comments are hilarious...really it illustrates that the problem is in how Singapore treats the maids...like children...hence the maids they attract here are children. And expect to be treated as such.

I do think, culturally, the privacy that "western" families expect from the maids is a bit hard for them (ie, never taking them out for dinner with the family etc.).


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