Singapore Expats Forum

What's with the live-in maids?!

Discuss everything about domestic helper and babysitter issues here
User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34263
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 8:19 am

As I said before. Keeping up with the Lees comes into play. ;-)

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9164
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 9:00 am

This I can believe but I keep reading it is because of daily chores that prevents Singaporeans to work full time.

User avatar
martincymru
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 438
Joined: Thu, 16 Oct 2008
Location: out & about

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby martincymru » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 9:22 am

We have all conveniently avoided race/class/culture etc. (he...he...he..).

Inviting a person into your home is intimate. Western women especially want a cleaner/maid that shares similar ideals/philosophy/habits. Hence why often it's a Filipina doing the part time cleaning work.

Locals here don't care, they just want cheap. I heard recently that cleaners from mainland China are charging only 50$ day !

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9164
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 10:42 am

martincymru wrote:We have all conveniently avoided race/class/culture etc. (he...he...he..).

Inviting a person into your home is intimate. Western women especially want a cleaner/maid that shares similar ideals/philosophy/habits. Hence why often it's a Filipina doing the part time cleaning work.

From my rather unfortunately extensive experience with the part time ones it all boils down more to personality rather than a race, country of origin, religion or any tangible skills or work ethics - the later ones are pretty much the same and unimpressive.

For example, the person we employ to take care of our 4yo son is a Malay lady. She is with us already for 3y and only to take care of him when we are at work so no cleaning, ironing etc. but she used to work as a typical part time maid. She is a jewel comparing to any other one we had over 10y or so and they were Filipina, Chinese, Indian. Needles to say we are not exactly Muslims or immersed in the Malay culture but neither we have any problems with her nor she with us being non-Muslim.

earthfriendly
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1834
Joined: Sat, 20 Aug 2005

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 10:44 am

x9200 wrote:
earthfriendly wrote:However, the configuration of the racks are not useful for Asian dishes (big bowls?) and cutlery. If dishwasher manufacturers do a bit market research, there may be a market there and they can always customized to local needs. Chicken and egg ..... Such a huge untapped markets. Japan, China, Korea, south Asia..... Ka-ching.........ka-ching

I am very sure they must have done market research (they always do) and likely they found there was no sufficient demand for such products.



I would not be surprised with major "oversights" by big businesses. Altho I would not know if there is a good demand within Asia for dishwashers.

Although there is a large Asian propensity that needs glasses for visual aids, it is very hard to find a western manufacturer that offers Asian fit (lower nose bridge). In USA, I only found one and they only started doing it a few years ago with hardly any selection. Many of these well known brands have presence in SG too. And that is the opportunity for local enterprises to step in to fill the niche. Which they already did. Same thing with motor bike helmets. It is only recently that the manufacturer redesign it for Chinese heads, lol, when they realize the existing design does not fit properly and hence not offering proper protection.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9164
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 10:53 am

EF, I used to work for one of the world largest domestic appliance related companies with manufacturing facilities and R&D in Singapore and I can tell you that this is hard to believe any big, international MNC could have overlooked such issues. We even considered things like color variation of the products to fit to the likings of local ethnic groups (e.g. Chinese gold-red preferences). If such issues are not addressed there must be some market related or other reasons, not a simple home-work failure.

earthfriendly
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1834
Joined: Sat, 20 Aug 2005

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:54 am

I don't see any problem with getting paid domestic help if it is readily available and within one's means.

In SG, it becomes problematic in cases where they outsource too many responsibilites, become too dependent and not having learn and practice life skills e.g. cooking and cleaning. The problem only arises because of not being able to find that balance. Growing up as a girl in SG, we were fed the notion that we can have it all when we grow up, career + family. In reality, it is quite a juggling act loaded with stress and rushing here and there. Having additional help would be like having a breath of fresh air.

And also, it takes a village. I find the modern lifestyle + nucleaur family unit + suburb living + stay-home-mom combo to be quite an isolationistic way of life, you know. I had those wonderful notions of how fulfilling it would be to be a stay-home-mom, until I experience it myself. My family life today is so different from the family life of my mom (more fulfilling with the support system including part-time helpers and non-paid help from family and friends). Well, such is life. My kids having grown up in a very nice (materially speaking huh!) suburb neighborhood where privacy is #1 probably like it just fine as that's how they have come to know about life. It is a bit different for me as I have lived in several environments / lifestyles with extended time.

earthfriendly
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1834
Joined: Sat, 20 Aug 2005

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:02 pm

x9200 wrote:Once again, in US/Europe/other countries both parents work full time and have no maids. Why it is not possible in SG?


Also a bit of mindset right? Someone who values his independence dabbles more with DIY thingy vs another person who prefers to pay another to do the job so he has more time for himself and other activities.

It is a bit like, why do some households hire gardeners to mow their lawns and uses housekeeping services whereas the other households in the same neighborhood do it all themselves.
Last edited by earthfriendly on Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Barnsley
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2066
Joined: Tue, 10 Jun 2008
Location: Pasir Ris
Contact:

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby Barnsley » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:04 pm

earthfriendly wrote:
x9200 wrote:Once again, in US/Europe/other countries both parents work full time and have no maids. Why it is not possible in SG?


Also a bit of mindset right? Someone who values his independence dabbles more with DIY thingy vs another person who prefers to pay another to do the job so he has more time for himself.


What are the other things?

Watch TV or look at mobile phone :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Life is short, paddle harder!!

User avatar
Barnsley
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2066
Joined: Tue, 10 Jun 2008
Location: Pasir Ris
Contact:

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby Barnsley » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:06 pm

x9200 wrote:There are obviously cases when a help is needed but these are not just based on the simple fact that two parents are working. Must be something more than this and while in many other countries the whole school and service infrastructure supports the working parents in Singapore the same type of infrastructure happily relies on the fact that majority of working people have maids.


Never thought of it like this , I think you are right though , the schoolday here seems to be based upon having a maid / home help to take and collect kids from school.
Life is short, paddle harder!!

earthfriendly
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1834
Joined: Sat, 20 Aug 2005

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:11 pm

Watch soap operas all day and eat bons bons. That was almost the reply I gave to a very competitive mom when she "interogated" me what am I going to do with my time when I made the mistake of telling her that I would be sending my kids for part-time daycare . Mr. EF said I should have told her I may spend my extra time taking up golf

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9164
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Tue, 28 Jul 2015 8:00 am

earthfriendly wrote:I don't see any problem with getting paid domestic help if it is readily available and within one's means.

I believe nobody said it was a problem. Also no problem in hiring someone for our own convenience. I only have a problem not calling a spade a spade with stories about the chores piling up to that extent that hiring of FDWs was needed, this in a nation-wide context.

earthfriendly wrote:In SG, it becomes problematic in cases where they outsource too many responsibilites, become too dependent and not having learn and practice life skills e.g. cooking and cleaning. The problem only arises because of not being able to find that balance. Growing up as a girl in SG, we were fed the notion that we can have it all when we grow up, career + family. In reality, it is quite a juggling act loaded with stress and rushing here and there. Having additional help would be like having a breath of fresh air.

For some reason you assume in other countries people have less chores so they are less stressed and don't run here and there. I don't know, maybe it is true, but when I see a very common sight of a teenager going to school and a tiny maid carrying his backpack behind him I somehow don't buy the story about chores relief for the sheer necessity. As you mentioned in the other post, it's a mentality thing, at least too large extent.

The problem of not learning practical skills is a huge problem in SG but I am not that sure again if this has anything to do with the maids. I may be wrong, but I see it rather as a problem of the knowledge that is too academic, too specialized and deprived of critical thinking. The later contribute a lot to everyday reliance.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9164
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby x9200 » Tue, 28 Jul 2015 8:18 am

earthfriendly wrote:
x9200 wrote:Once again, in US/Europe/other countries both parents work full time and have no maids. Why it is not possible in SG?


Also a bit of mindset right? Someone who values his independence dabbles more with DIY thingy vs another person who prefers to pay another to do the job so he has more time for himself and other activities.

Definitely not an independence. For critical issues (e.g. children care) the dependence is similar. Privacy is the word. These are two different things.

Still there are other factors. Unless people have some good reasons they typically clean after themselves because they were brought up this way. It feels sort of like you don't expect the maid to go with you to a toilet to help. And there is again the cost factor, that is incomparably more significant (if understood as based on a ratio of the employee to the employer salaries) for any EU country.

User avatar
martincymru
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 438
Joined: Thu, 16 Oct 2008
Location: out & about

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby martincymru » Tue, 28 Jul 2015 9:20 am

Neil Young "a man needs a maid".
One of my favourite songs.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10413
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Re: What's with the live-in maids?!

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 28 Jul 2015 9:25 am

Really... the questions are easy. Do you want someone else to do the chores that you do not want to do or cannot do for whatever reason? If yes, you obtain a maid. I pay/paid for someone else's labor because to do the bathrooms, to mop the floors, to dust the furniture, to vacuum the rugs because traveled too much to be home to do them all, and, I could afford it.

I also hired a man to cut my grass and trim my bushes. They were compensated above average for the jobs they performed.

The second question is one of privacy and intimacy. For half the time we were in Singapore, we had a live in maid. It's quite a strange situation. On the one hand, you'll celebrate your maid's birthday, Christmas and other important events. On the other hand, she doesn't eat at the dinner table each night with us or with guests. She's an excellent cook. The hard part is finding that dividing line for appreciating a human being that lives in your house, and the employee that looks after you.

If was a principle reason we did not get a live in maid in our new place... privacy and no complications. A part time maid handled the cleaning. I washed my own clothes washing and she did the ironing. Wife and I did all the cooking. It was all good.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Domestic Helper & Babysitter Issues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests