Questions about new helper

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Dorian
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Questions about new helper

Post by Dorian » Tue, 22 Jan 2008 8:05 pm

Hi

Firstly want to say our new helper, our first ever, has just started. She seems lovely and all is going well. I am totally new to it so would really appreciate some help.

I have a few questions:

1. I gave her $150 for groceries just for her for one month. I also gave her $50 for toiletries for her. Is this reasonable? I gave her $10 for a taxi to go shopping.

2. How much work in the house does an employer usually do? I am quite hands on and can't walk past washing up or laundry to be brought down etc. I get the feeling she is used to employers who have mucked in in the past. I am unused to having help and feel lazy if not helping her out in some way if I am in. Should I be helping?

3. It feels strange to me that a young girl stays in with me all week and works so hard. I feel guilty. What can I do to be a fair employer? What time should she finish at night? Is it fair for someone to take care of small children as well as do chores?

4. She works a lot on her own initiative reaorganising rooms etc, moving large equipment around. This is good but should she be asking me first?

Thanks.

sprite
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Post by sprite » Tue, 22 Jan 2008 9:37 pm

We don't give our helper a separate food allowance, but she is welcome to whatever is in the house and can ask me to buy anything at the store (she never does this though so then we have to guess, I know she loves salmon so every so often I'll bring home a few nice pieces.) Your amount sounds generous enough, but that gets into the whole: this is your food, this is my food thing which can be tedious.

We do lots of work around our house. The kids do, and I do. There's a lot of work to go around and I sweep, cook, clean up, pull the vacuum out, whatever. The kids set the table, clear the table after dinner, walk the dogs, clean up after themselves, some laundry. Our last maid always thought it was a failing on her part if she caught me sweeping -- no matter how many times I explained it to her. Our current maid knows us well and takes it all in stride. Be clear with your helper and let her know you are used to doing things on your own, it is not a bad refection on her if you occasionally do some cleaning.

Posts about maids always bring up a huge variety of opinions. I tend to pay our maid a lot and frankly ask very little of her except: honesty, compassion, competence. Truth be told, she is worth her weight in gold so I give her: a 13th month bonus, all of Sunday off & holidays, any night off she wants to go out and have dinner with friends (about twice a month and our children do not need a babysitter anymore), siesta time from 1:00pm - 3:00pm, generous gifts at Christmas and her birthday, etc...

I have never had a maid who was good at organizing and I wouldn't want someone moving large items around. If this bothers you too, then find a nice way to tell her. Or do it on Sunday, I 'fix' a lot on Sundays. :wink:

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Jan 2008 11:01 pm

Hey sprite,

Why don't you just pin a target on your back. With that post you are probably gonna get all the "you'll ruin it for the market" naysayers taking potshots at you. :P

For once though you and I are on the same page. :shock: :wink:

We only had a domestic helper for about a year when our first child was born and she was treated similarly. We actually didn't want a domestic but in those days my wife was still singing professionally and I was still working out on the oil rigs so it was more or less a necessity.
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 durain » Wed, 23 Jan 2008 1:14 am

you know, it is nice to hear some people are very good with their helper. the reason why they are doing what they are doing is to earn a living as life is harder from where they come from. good on you :D

just make sure you dont ask your helper to clean the windows without a safety harness :P

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ksl
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Post by ksl » Wed, 23 Jan 2008 3:59 am

Its nice to see people look after their maids, especially financially, they tend to be neglected in most cases, I believe, it's good for your karma, keep it up!

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Post by keepitreal » Wed, 23 Jan 2008 4:40 pm

We also look after ours quite well. She is coming on holiday with us to Thailand in a few weeks where there will be other people cleaning up for her!

Not too sure about the $200 a month for food and toiletries though, seems a bit excessive considering it's probably an additional 50% on top of what she is paid anyway.

One day off a week I think is very fair and this should be enforced. We find that it's quite nice having one day on the weekend to ourselves as a family so it benefits everyone all round really. We have also promised 13 month bonus too.

Unfortunatley though, you hear so many horror stories of mis-treatment, majority of whom I'm afraid are locals...that's why maids are falling voer each other for an expat employee.

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durain
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Post by durain » Wed, 23 Jan 2008 9:28 pm

keepitreal wrote:Unfortunatley though, you hear so many horror stories of mis-treatment, majority of whom I'm afraid are locals...that's why maids are falling voer each other for an expat employee.
hmmmm...

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 23 Jan 2008 9:35 pm

Go get'em WIMH! :P
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 ksl » Thu, 24 Jan 2008 12:34 am

keepitreal wrote:We also look after ours quite well. She is coming on holiday with us to Thailand in a few weeks where there will be other people cleaning up for her!

Not too sure about the $200 a month for food and toiletries though, seems a bit excessive considering it's probably an additional 50% on top of what she is paid anyway.

One day off a week I think is very fair and this should be enforced. We find that it's quite nice having one day on the weekend to ourselves as a family so it benefits everyone all round really. We have also promised 13 month bonus too.

Unfortunatley though, you hear so many horror stories of mis-treatment, majority of whom I'm afraid are locals...that's why maids are falling voer each other for an expat employee.
Unfortunatley though, you hear so many horror stories of mis-treatment, majority of whom I'm afraid are locals...that's why maids are falling voer each other for an expat employee
I don't think one should be so judgemental, I was reading about the expat, who rented her maid out, she was fined by the courts. People are people and there are good and bad on both sides, so one must really keep tongue in cheek...its a sad and sensitive area of discussion....the main thing is to show respect for the maids, and treat them fairly.....

There are also bad maids, by the way, too! I know of two, that have been dismissed for dishonesty...its a shame...but that's life!

One knows the rules, between right & wrong! Although some want to work them to the bone too! Finding the balance is a good thing, and giving what one feels is okay, is okay! It really bugs me to see anyone exploited, and with limited laws to protect them, they will get exploited.

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Post by sprite » Thu, 24 Jan 2008 9:53 am

durain wrote:
keepitreal wrote:Unfortunatley though, you hear so many horror stories of mis-treatment, majority of whom I'm afraid are locals...that's why maids are falling voer each other for an expat employee.
hmmmm...
This statement is 100% true in that the stories you hear about maid abuse in Singapore is almost always at the hands of a local employer. That doesn't mean expats don't abuse their maids -- just that the stories that circulate and are publiished are almost always about local employers.

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Post by durain » Thu, 24 Jan 2008 6:13 pm

sprite wrote:
durain wrote:
keepitreal wrote:Unfortunatley though, you hear so many horror stories of mis-treatment, majority of whom I'm afraid are locals...that's why maids are falling voer each other for an expat employee.
hmmmm...
This statement is 100% true in that the stories you hear about maid abuse in Singapore is almost always at the hands of a local employer. That doesn't mean expats don't abuse their maids -- just that the stories that circulate and are publiished are almost always about local employers.
ah ha...

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