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Cocky Maid

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poodlek
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Postby poodlek » Sat, 13 Aug 2011 7:29 pm

What got me about this post was the employer's apparent desire for retribution or punishment against the maid beyond just firing her. Perhaps some other posters made some assumptions about the employer's character based on this remark:

My question is since she started all this by quitting, and I now have the expense of a new maid/insurance etc, are there any consequences for her?

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Sure, but..

Postby Sonar » Sat, 13 Aug 2011 7:42 pm

I guess that she is just annoyed and frustrated. Where I work, if employees don't give proper notice, there are penalties. There are also bonding periods which have to be completed, or there is a financial penalty. (Not that I agree with this system, it's completely counterproductive).

Of course if your maid wants to leave, it would be pointless to force her to stay. Who would want to live like that? But it is annoying, particularly if it creates incredible stress when your plans fall apart. In a normal workplace, someone leaves and it's business as usual. In many ways, a maid has a huge element of unspoken power over the employer. Particularly if they know that the employer needs them for childcare or old age care.

They certainly have the power to reduce a household to misery if they decide that they are unhappy.

There are plenty of people out there who are happy to hold an employer to emotional ransom.

There are terrible maids and great maids, and terrible employers and great employers. Most fall somewhere in between.

But to vent is human, to be annoyed and frustrated is normal.

Should I use the line "Employers are human too, you know!"

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Re: Yep

Postby BillyB » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 12:06 am

Sonar wrote:My point exactly.

Employers seem to have to constantly defend themselves, as the assumptions run rampant that any problems are caused by their inhuman exploitative ways.

The fact that the OP mentioned that she supplied the Philippino channel indicates to me that she has had consideration for her maid's comfort and happiness. But she is then sarcastically attacked because it costs a mere $30 a month. Maybe that's true, but I bet its not in the contract. Just like it is also not in the contract "The employee may break the contract and then lounge around for 5 weeks on full wages".

Who is being exploited here?


Ask yourself this question - why do families suddenly lose all ability to look after THEIR OWN KIDS when they come to / live in Asia? I know plenty of very wealthy and large English, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Japanese, Malaysian families who live in Europe and none of them have any form of domestic help for their kids.

I'll tell you why it happens here - because maids are cheap. Yes, it's a mutual contract but only because the maid has limited options to earn to provide for their families back home.

You set the wages at the same level as the home Country and I'll guarantee you that 75-80% of families would do without a maid.

That's exploitation.....

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Re: Yep

Postby sensei_ » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 8:03 am

BillyB wrote:Ask yourself this question - why do families suddenly lose all ability to look after THEIR OWN KIDS when they come to / live in Asia? I know plenty of very wealthy and large English, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Japanese, Malaysian families who live in Europe and none of them have any form of domestic help for their kids.

I'll tell you why it happens here - because maids are cheap. Yes, it's a mutual contract but only because the maid has limited options to earn to provide for their families back home.

You set the wages at the same level as the home Country and I'll guarantee you that 75-80% of families would do without a maid.

That's exploitation.....


why would you set the wage at the same as the home country? singapore is the host country here ;). hardly exploitation when they agree and accept the terms and conditions of their employments.

also its not that families lose the ability to look after their own kids, but its highly convenient to have a maid help out around the place, the fact that it is affordable is an added bonus. i know that if i was residing in singapore; id have one, maybe not a live in maid, but an away from home helper.

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Re: Yep

Postby x9200 » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 8:56 am

BillyB wrote:Ask yourself this question - why do families suddenly lose all ability to look after THEIR OWN KIDS when they come to / live in Asia? I know plenty of very wealthy and large English, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Japanese, Malaysian families who live in Europe and none of them have any form of domestic help for their kids.

I'll tell you why it happens here - because maids are cheap. Yes, it's a mutual contract but only because the maid has limited options to earn to provide for their families back home.

You set the wages at the same level as the home Country and I'll guarantee you that 75-80% of families would do without a maid.

That's exploitation.....

You would be surprised how limited the options are if you have a kid and don't want a living-in maid. The market for quality nannies and baby sitters is practically non-existent. They are rare as gems and expensive. Same for the child care places of decent quality for very young children. More importantly, many educational and child care institution have their business / care hours that do not coincide with the typical working hours - everybody has a maid here who can send over or pick up the child. Foreigners also have typically no option to leave their kids with their grand parents. There are foreigners as you described where one parent stays at home and does NOTHING just because they can afford a maid but I am not that sure if this is a significant fraction.

BTW, I don't think the maids are that cheap. They are cheaply paid. It's a difference. From the employer's point of view the level of related expenses is not that unique in Singapore. I bet there are more people in Singapore i.e. in food industry paid 700-1500 than the local population of the maids (~150k). And the maids are much higher risk employees comparing to the SC and PRs.

Of course talking about the exploitation of the employers is a bit ridiculous.

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But

Postby Sonar » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 1:37 pm

Maids are not on great money. But the reason that so many work overseas in "low paying" jobs is that this money, when sent back to their own country, suddenly becomes pretty good money.

Leaving out of the equation all the ridiculous things that happen, such as no days off and holding passports, and just taking into account normal average employers, then the deal is not that bad. After all, the maids needs are all supposed to be supplied, so the whole salary is savings.

I know that when I pay my maid at the end of the month, she has more money than an average front-line worker in my company would have left at the end of the month. No rent, no food costs, no utilities, in fact, no expenses at all.

And really, I do believe that it is possible for a maid to exploit an employer.

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Re: Yep

Postby BillyB » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 9:34 pm

sensei_ wrote:
BillyB wrote:Ask yourself this question - why do families suddenly lose all ability to look after THEIR OWN KIDS when they come to / live in Asia? I know plenty of very wealthy and large English, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Japanese, Malaysian families who live in Europe and none of them have any form of domestic help for their kids.

I'll tell you why it happens here - because maids are cheap. Yes, it's a mutual contract but only because the maid has limited options to earn to provide for their families back home.

You set the wages at the same level as the home Country and I'll guarantee you that 75-80% of families would do without a maid.

That's exploitation.....


why would you set the wage at the same as the home country? singapore is the host country here ;). hardly exploitation when they agree and accept the terms and conditions of their employments.

also its not that families lose the ability to look after their own kids, but its highly convenient to have a maid help out around the place, the fact that it is affordable is an added bonus. i know that if i was residing in singapore; id have one, maybe not a live in maid, but an away from home helper.


That was my point. Families find a way to look after their own kids if it's more expensive.

I just find the mindset strange that you're exposing your kids to someone who will have considerable impact on the kids lives as they are developing and learning yet will look for the cheapest option available for that.

I guess we'll be going round in circles on this one, so I'll agree to disagree.

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Re: Yep

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 10:34 pm

sensei_ wrote:
BillyB wrote:Ask yourself this question - why do families suddenly lose all ability to look after THEIR OWN KIDS when they come to / live in Asia? I know plenty of very wealthy and large English, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Japanese, Malaysian families who live in Europe and none of them have any form of domestic help for their kids.

I'll tell you why it happens here - because maids are cheap. Yes, it's a mutual contract but only because the maid has limited options to earn to provide for their families back home.

You set the wages at the same level as the home Country and I'll guarantee you that 75-80% of families would do without a maid.

That's exploitation.....


why would you set the wage at the same as the home country? singapore is the host country here ;). hardly exploitation when they agree and accept the terms and conditions of their employments.

also its not that families lose the ability to look after their own kids, but its highly convenient to have a maid help out around the place, the fact that it is affordable is an added bonus. i know that if i was residing in singapore; id have one, maybe not a live in maid, but an away from home helper.


Therein lies the problem. What they are told and what the reality is, once they have signed the papers in the philippines or indonesia with the local agents there, they are stuck. When they get here, they find the mediocre wages are accompanied with substandard working conditions, e.g., long 12~18 hour days and 30/31 days working without a day off. It's exploitation in the worst kind of way, as they are indebted to the home country agent for huge amounts of money (by their standards - the equivalent of 6~9 months salary) and nothing they can do about it.

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Re: Yep

Postby x9200 » Tue, 16 Aug 2011 3:03 am

BillyB wrote:I just find the mindset strange that you're exposing your kids to someone who will have considerable impact on the kids lives as they are developing and learning yet will look for the cheapest option available for that.

A very valid concern, but please, propose an acceptable alternative.

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Re: Yep

Postby BillyB » Tue, 16 Aug 2011 10:55 am

x9200 wrote:
BillyB wrote:I just find the mindset strange that you're exposing your kids to someone who will have considerable impact on the kids lives as they are developing and learning yet will look for the cheapest option available for that.

A very valid concern, but please, propose an acceptable alternative.


1. Get off your lazy arse and look after them yourselves (If you aren't working)
2. Pay for a more experienced maid/tutor (If money is the issue - make the sacrifices to make it happen, and also ask yourself if Singapore is the right environment to give the kids the best upbringing you can)
3. Don't have kids if you are on a shoestring budget and can't provide properly for them (Return to your home Country)

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Re: Yep

Postby x9200 » Tue, 16 Aug 2011 11:47 am

BillyB wrote:
x9200 wrote:
BillyB wrote:I just find the mindset strange that you're exposing your kids to someone who will have considerable impact on the kids lives as they are developing and learning yet will look for the cheapest option available for that.

A very valid concern, but please, propose an acceptable alternative.


1. Get off your lazy arse and look after them yourselves (If you aren't working)
NA - both working.

2. Pay for a more experienced maid/tutor (If money is the issue - make the sacrifices to
It is not a problem to pay more (up to certain limits). It is a problem to find a good one for a reasonable price. People are bringing the nannies from the UK paying them probably 5k or more. Where would you draw the line? And this does not necessarily guaranty any significant increase in quality. Probability of finding a good local nanny/maid seems the same as finding a good living-in FDW nanny/maid. Just because their are underpaid (as per Singapore standards) does not mean they are bad. Moreover, they are very likely less spoiled than the Singaporeans so they should provide better care.

make it happen, and also ask yourself if Singapore is the right environment to give the kids the best upbringing you can)
Every living place is a compromise. You can go back and probably solve the problem of quality care but the financial situation and many other things may be worse so the quality of life, safety etc. of the kid will also be affected. The real life is not that simple BB.

3. Don't have kids if you are on a shoestring budget and can't provide properly for them (Return to your home Country)

So frankly, what would you personally do in such situation? Not on a shoestring budget but not that well off to pay an excess of 5k for the childcare?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 16 Aug 2011 12:28 pm

Send 'em to a boarding school. Problem solved. :cool:

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Re: Yep

Postby BillyB » Tue, 16 Aug 2011 2:58 pm

x9200 wrote:
BillyB wrote:
x9200 wrote:
BillyB wrote:I just find the mindset strange that you're exposing your kids to someone who will have considerable impact on the kids lives as they are developing and learning yet will look for the cheapest option available for that.

A very valid concern, but please, propose an acceptable alternative.


1. Get off your lazy arse and look after them yourselves (If you aren't working)
NA - both working.

2. Pay for a more experienced maid/tutor (If money is the issue - make the sacrifices to
It is not a problem to pay more (up to certain limits). It is a problem to find a good one for a reasonable price. People are bringing the nannies from the UK paying them probably 5k or more. Where would you draw the line? And this does not necessarily guaranty any significant increase in quality. Probability of finding a good local nanny/maid seems the same as finding a good living-in FDW nanny/maid. Just because their are underpaid (as per Singapore standards) does not mean they are bad. Moreover, they are very likely less spoiled than the Singaporeans so they should provide better care.

make it happen, and also ask yourself if Singapore is the right environment to give the kids the best upbringing you can)
Every living place is a compromise. You can go back and probably solve the problem of quality care but the financial situation and many other things may be worse so the quality of life, safety etc. of the kid will also be affected. The real life is not that simple BB.

3. Don't have kids if you are on a shoestring budget and can't provide properly for them (Return to your home Country)

So frankly, what would you personally do in such situation? Not on a shoestring budget but not that well off to pay an excess of 5k for the childcare?


Personally, I'd only have kids when as a couple we're completely financially stable and emotionally (in the sense there is no longer the 'we, we, we, we' attitude to going out, travelling etc) ready so that we can devote ourselves completely to them. I certainly wouldn't subject them to moving every few years to chase a little more dollar, neither would I palm them off with a foreigner / maid before they are at least 4/5 and started school.

I'm not saying it's the right way, but it's a view that I strobgly believe in. The first 4/5 years are crucial in the development of a child so i believe they should be with at least one of the parents for the majority of that time. It's not feasible for everyone to do this, but you asked for my personal view.

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Silly B

Postby Sonar » Tue, 16 Aug 2011 9:05 pm

Why is it assumed that anyone with a maid is too lazy to look after then own children?

What a narrow minded, idiotic statement.

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Re: Silly B

Postby BillyB » Tue, 16 Aug 2011 10:20 pm

Sonar wrote:Why is it assumed that anyone with a maid is too lazy to look after then own children?

What a narrow minded, idiotic statement.


It's a free forum so deal with it. Just because our views differ doesn't make either of us wrong or right. So watch your RE: Subject Post - if you want to get personal, I'll join in too.

So far your 7 posts have been moaning about something to do with foreign domestic workers or related to that context - why don't you try and add something positive or help people out who are looking for answers to questions before you start getting all obnoxious and above your station.


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