clash of civilizations - the maid issue

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 14 Apr 2006 2:34 pm

rudiruessel,

I am glad you comany is able to give you such a nice income without you having to pay taxes (especially as a PR and not an EP holder). I HAVE to assume your company hires NO foreign workers (labourers) at all for surely you would have railed against the unfairness to them as well.
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I am not sure the christianity things is valid either and that it why I didn't state the same. I was just curious. I do believe that christianity does put more emphasis on respect for one another however. (just like in Ireland :wink: ).

So I guess that just leaves you with your preceived cultural clash or the fact that you didn't really get to know your wife prior to marrying her. You just got bowled over with the "Asian mystic" and couldn't help yourself. :-|

Is this your first marriage? Again, just curious - for your information as most already know here, this is my third so I tend to think from a 1st person perspective and not from a theoritical perspective.

sms
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by dot dot dot » Fri, 14 Apr 2006 3:02 pm

Last edited by dot dot dot on Thu, 25 May 2006 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by rudiruessel » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 1:45 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:rudiruessel,

I am glad you comany is able to give you such a nice income without you having to pay taxes (especially as a PR and not an EP holder). I HAVE to assume your company hires NO foreign workers (labourers) at all for surely you would have railed against the unfairness to them as well.
Image

I am not sure the christianity things is valid either and that it why I didn't state the same. I was just curious. I do believe that christianity does put more emphasis on respect for one another however. (just like in Ireland :wink: ).

So I guess that just leaves you with your preceived cultural clash or the fact that you didn't really get to know your wife prior to marrying her. You just got bowled over with the "Asian mystic" and couldn't help yourself. :-|

Is this your first marriage? Again, just curious - for your information as most already know here, this is my third so I tend to think from a 1st person perspective and not from a theoritical perspective.

sms
my company employs 50% local,50% PR (malaysian,indian and european pr's) and salaries are comparable for all of us - i have no experience whith companies relying on low cost labour

i do pay taxes on my income just like any singaporean, its not covered by the company, the average tax rate is about 10% i.e. 16k , from my 160k gross - my maid is making about SGD 5k a year net, while another SGD 3600 is withheld by MOM ... so, is this double standards or not? ... you agree it sucks? shouldnt she have a 0-10% tax rate as well???

not sure if i got blown by any mystic here, in have known my wife for 5 years b4 getting married ... yes, its my first marriage

perceived cultural clash - i suppose growning up in singapore is different from growing up in europe, so its no surprise we are not "same same" ;-)

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Re: clash of civilizations - the maid issue

Post by Wham » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 9:20 am

rudiruessel wrote: After 6months, our maid has asked to have 1 off day per month, and my wife has reacted very fierce by telling her that if she has a problem with her contract, she can go back to her home country.
rudiruessel
Rudi, here is your wake up call - THE ABOVE QUOTE MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH - you are 100% pu$$y whipped by a slave master Bit$h of a wife. I don't know what slimy rock your wife crawled out from under, but she obviously is completely lacking in any human compassion and those few days at Sunday school did nothing for her. You need to get a $ucking backbone and tell your wife to remove the broom stick from her A$$.
"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." Samuel Johnson

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 9:30 am

Good morning rudiruessel,

Yes, I do agree it is somewhat a double standard. I am defending the right of the Government here to impose a levy employers of 3rd country nationals doing menial labour here in an Island state with not much land per capita. This is their right as is the right of any 3rd country national to refuse to work here because of same. Nobody is forcing them to work here. (Afraid I'll have to take the opposing viewpoint here - contrary to my normal position - well not exactly, but......)

I would ask you, as a European before the EU passport, did your country allow all and sundry to just come in and work without any restraints? That is what you are basically advocating here (some - nay, the majority of the maids have very little education and are from outlying provinces where there isn't even power & water). That said, I don't agree on the disposable income factor. I do believe in a fair wage for work & hours performed.

I am not sure if you are railing about the "amount" or the perceive ratio of levy vrs income plus allowances in kind that you haven't mentioned like room, board, medical coverage etc as SE mentioned. That is between the Employer and Employee. If you are so concerned about the ratio then there is nothing stopping you from paying your Domestic Worker a higher wage more inline with western practices instead of adopting the asian cheap charlie rates as are paid here.

At the end of the day, if you want a maid (which you probably didn't have in your home country) then you have to abide by the rules however unfair they may seem to be. Nobody is forcing you to have a maid or forcing you to pay her a pittance.

sms
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by dot dot dot » Sat, 15 Apr 2006 1:52 pm

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Post by rudiruessel » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 2:27 am

eric,

skin of funny that the consensus on singapore expat forum is that expats are overpaid

i do know who is making how much in my company, and i can assure you that all my singaporean/pr colleagues are getting a very good deal, some make more, some make less - the colour of skin is not a factor - we have 2 senior executives who are europeans and are on full expat terms, simply because they have earned the trust of head office over many years, and went through the trouble of relocating with their families ...

i am on local terms because i choose to live here, nobody asked me to come

in europe, it would be the other way around, a low income earner would pay 10% or zip, and i would pay 30 - 40% - obviously, i do prefer 10%, but would it be so wrong to charge high income earners a bit more and stop ripping off low cost foreign workers?

have been here for 1 year and i do like it most of the time ... except for the usual complaints about general kiasuism, crowded shopping centers, crazy cab drivers and mediacorp/st telling me day in day out that father & son MM are god's gift to this small island ;-) - give me another year and i will get used to that as well

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Post by Wham » Sun, 16 Apr 2006 3:17 pm

Rudirussel,

I think you wrote to this forum because you KNOW that there something inherently wrong about having a maid work with no days off. In fact, it is been said that people ask for advice when the KNOW what the answer is, but just want someone else to confirm it for them. I don't care what kind of contract you enterered into, and i don't care how poorly others may treat their domestic workers, you obviously have some sort of sense of right and wrong, and now all that is lacking is your desire and ability to do what you know is right - and at least give her several days off per month OR pay her for those Sundays when you insist on her working.

Our current maid is very good, but with her previous employer she used her Sundays off to work for another family (she is a mature lady with several children at home and taking days off is generally not on her agenda). We did not want her doing this as it is illegal, so we pay her extra for working Sundays, and she still takes a day off once in a while to see a relative working near by.

I think you need to listen to your conscience and decide what is the right thing to do. I am not particularly religious, but when i see someone less fortunate than myself suffering at the hands of fate, i remind myself that "but for the grace of God, there go I."

Good luck, Wham
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Post by sweet_longan » Thu, 04 May 2006 8:40 pm

Hello Rudirussel,

We have a mixed family, my partner is European and I am Chinese Singaporean. As a Chinese Singaporean I must say that I do not see any excuse in treating a maid differently from any one of the number of people I have working for me in the office.

As a matter of policy, you should always insist that the maid has some time for herself, amounting cumulatively to, at the very least, a day per week. If you cannot manage a day off on sunday every week, try to give her an hour or two to herself each afternoon. Compensating her for the sundays she cannot take off is a given. People need rest. They need time to themselves, they need to have a life. I view this as an inherent part of taking care of my staff. Because sufficient rest directly impacts the mental health and thereby, the productivity of the domestic worker, you cannot compromise on this issue or it will be your children that will suffer. Tell that to your wife.

Remember that your maid is an adult, and that you cannot keep her a prisoner in your home. Neither, for that matter, can you dictate to her how to think, or whether or not she is to speak to other maids or anybody else. I have told my maid what I expect of her and I know that I have to trust her or there really is no point in hiring a maid.

If you have a maid that is underperforming or is unreliable, then you really need to re-examine your working relationship and perhaps call for a termination. Since this is an employer/employee issue, why is there a need to send her back to her home country? I really never understand people who take things with their maids so personally. If she cannot cope, she is just an underperforming employee, and if the best and most earnest performance management has not worked, then terminate her services and let her find employment elsewhere. You look for another maid.

As regards correcting or scolding your wife in front of a maid or anybody else for that matter - thats a big no-no. For me its a huge loss of face if my partner were to tick me off in front of others because it undermines my position in the house and my authority. So for us, just as we would never contradict each other in front of the children, or other people, we never contradict each other in front of the maid. Its an effective "United Front" policy all the way. If one party is making what the other feels is a mistake - call for a time out - take it up privately and return with the united policy statement. Give clear, unshackled and unequivocal instructions.

If your wife says that you treat the maid better than you treat her - there may be some relationship issues that you may need to attend to. But keep these issues clearly separate from the maid issue. The maid does not deserve to be dragged into your marital problems, otherwise, she will inevitably become the target of any fall-out.

One way out of this may be to explain that you have raised certain issues as to what benefits and treatment the maid should have precisely because she is not family, but an employee, and you are concerned that she does not get any grounds to complain that you or your wife are not treating her well. In short, completely re-set the agenda for the working relationship of the maid within the family by creating a professional wall between the maid and family. This wall cuts both ways.

By the way, one way out of this whole fiasco is to employ a maid only through Philippine govt accredited agencies which have govt sanctioned contracts - which provide for 1 off-day per week.

Good luck!

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Post by Global Citizen » Fri, 05 May 2006 9:34 am

Excellent post sweet longan. I found myself agreeing with you entirely.
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Post by Vaucluse » Fri, 05 May 2006 10:32 am

Global Citizen wrote:Excellent post sweet longan. I found myself agreeing with you entirely.


Ditto, but:
By the way, one way out of this whole fiasco is to employ a maid only through Philippine govt accredited agencies which have govt sanctioned contracts - which provide for 1 off-day per week.


probably wouldn't work as the OP's wife would get all frustrated at this perceived ;azyness of actually needing time off.
......................................................

'nuff said Image

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Post by Wham » Sat, 06 May 2006 11:20 pm

I am sorry VC, GC annd SL, but IMHO you are all too kind. Rudirussel appears to me to be a spineless twat. He KNOWs what is the right thing to do, but does not have the strenght to stand up to the shrew that he married. As a result, he will either die a misserabe hen pecked shadow of a man or get divorced and have a shot at eternal happiness. My guess is that his inquiry on this forum is a plea for help.

RUDI - DUMP THE SLAVE DRIVEN WH$$$ YOU MARRIED AND FIND A REAL WOMAN WHO UNDERSTAND HUMAN RIGHTS!!! You might even get some decent $ex and possibly even some HEA$ in the process. God help you...
"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." Samuel Johnson

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Post by earthfriendly » Sun, 07 May 2006 1:52 am

:o :o :o

Wham, I think Rudirussel need some TLC to help him along with his decision and not this kind of rough talk. But then again, there is some truth to your post though :wink: .

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Post by Matney » Sun, 07 May 2006 5:48 am

Let's just say, Rudirussel, has more than one problem: A maid and a wife, both women. :o We can all tell him what to do, but it all boils down to he must decide for himself what needs to be done. And all I can say to that is good luck, mate. :wink:

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Post by rudiruessel » Mon, 08 May 2006 12:28 am

Wham wrote:Rudirussel,

I think you wrote to this forum because you KNOW that there something inherently wrong about having a maid work with no days off. In fact, it is been said that people ask for advice when the KNOW what the answer is, but just want someone else to confirm it for them. I don't care what kind of contract you enterered into, and i don't care how poorly others may treat their domestic workers, you obviously have some sort of sense of right and wrong, and now all that is lacking is your desire and ability to do what you know is right - and at least give her several days off per month OR pay her for those Sundays when you insist on her working.

Our current maid is very good, but with her previous employer she used her Sundays off to work for another family (she is a mature lady with several children at home and taking days off is generally not on her agenda). We did not want her doing this as it is illegal, so we pay her extra for working Sundays, and she still takes a day off once in a while to see a relative working near by.

I think you need to listen to your conscience and decide what is the right thing to do. I am not particularly religious, but when i see someone less fortunate than myself suffering at the hands of fate, i remind myself that "but for the grace of God, there go I."

Good luck, Wham
agreed, i was asking for a reality check ... and thanks for acknowleding my sense of right and wrong ...

brief update on what is the final arrangement ( note that the contract stipulates no day off so your remark about paying OR giving a day of doesnt really appy in this case - the argument was never about what the contract says but if the contract itself is a disgrace):

- one sunday a month is an off day
- a second sunday is an off day if requested, and the salary will be reduced by a small amount as stipulated in the contract

understand from our maid that she is agreeable to this ... we are starting the new arrangement in may ... as for me, not the perfect solution but all of us should be able to live with it ...

@ sweet logan: thanks for your remarks, i agree, it should be viewed as employer-employee relationship ... and frankly, if i had to face my boss day in day out, i would definitely go nuts ...regarding the breaks during the week, my daughter is going to half day daycare, so there is time for the maid to relax ... regarding relationship issues - yep, very dangerous to mix with maid issues, I believe we have sorted it out in the meantime ...

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