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new maid - teething issues

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rukiddingme
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new maid - teething issues

Postby rukiddingme » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 7:02 pm

Hi,

I just have a few comments from our first week with a (transfer) Filipino maid, would welcome comments/opinions from those with more experience than myself:

She keeps wearing my shoes... only flip-flops, but all the same. Isn't that a bit weird? I keep them by the back door, and if she goes out that way she puts them on. I have said "those are my shoes?", but she's wearing them right now.

She eats with me and my husband, even if he's working late, and dinner is at 9:30. I don't really want to discuss my/his day with the maid. Also, I sometimes like to watch tv at the same time, I know, I'm a vegetating slob. Right now, we're all gussied up at the dining table every night.

She told me that my kids are spoiled, because they are sometimes loud and yes, they do talk back. I pointed out to her that we've lived in 3 different countries, in the last 12 months, which is not normal, and they have not exactly enjoyed having their world/school/friends torn apart.

She is a good cleaner and seems to have a good work ethic, it's just the opinions and boundaries that I'm struggling with. Only mistake this week was accidentally dying the white wash. She was previously with Singaporeans for 2 years, and HK Brits before that.

Like I said, any (helpful) comments and advice welcomed! Cheers

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nakatago
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Postby nakatago » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 7:13 pm

Just take some time and candidly but nicely have a talk about boundaries--define them and tell her you're not comfortable when they're crossed.

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Postby Sonar » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 8:13 pm

Be careful that if she thinks your children are spoiled, and doesn't mind saying that to you, that she doesn't start to try to "unspoil" them in ways that you might not want.

The shoe thing - yes, I would consider that common. But after having it pointed out, she should stop. I assume that she has a pair of shoes of her own that she could leave at the door.

I guess a laundry mishap is not that big a deal.

I would only really be annoyed that she criticized my kids like that, but I would see that as being rude coming from anyone, not just someone who worked for me.

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Postby intime0 » Sat, 27 Aug 2011 7:08 pm

I just find these little things difficult to deal with. I hate confrontation and I find myself having to discuss/boss around someone besides my kids.

I'd say, make sure she has a pair of shoes by the back door...by A) buying her a pair of cheap plastic flops or B) telling her to buy herself an extra pair.

Personally, I would just pick up a pair and tell her it was for her.

It's a little annoying, in a way you wouldnt expect, to have someone use your stuff without asking. Ours has worn my daughters flops without asking. Oops. I never say anything.

The eating thing is odd. We actually invited our maid to eat with us but she doesnt. Some of my kids are super slow eaters and she'll have the whole kitchen cleaned and still waiting in the wet kitchen for them to finish. I'll call her in and tell her she can eat, but she'll usually just go out and tell me she's cleaning. Especially if my husband is home.

Anyway, it shouldnt be hard to tell her to eat without you. To eat first, or whatever. Our maid would never eat before us. She ALWAYS waits until we've eaten. But making your preference known should fix that. She was probably used to her old employer.

As for the kids, to me that is the trickiest part. Our maid told the kids they could do something the other day, and she told them not to tell me. They were saying..."Miss P, if we do that our mom will spank us." LOL. And she said, "Shhh! It's okay." My older daughter had to exert her authority to get her to stop. Bizarre. (And she has NO AUTHORITY with my kids...she does not do ANY child care.)

I have to talk to her about that! She's on vacation and I figured it was just a fluke because she was so excited about vacation.

That being said, if I were you I would write her a note. :oops: Seriously.

I would just tell her that she can't say negative stuff in front of my children about them. That you understand that currently they are hard to deal with as they've had a lot of transition. But she can help by XYZ. That will help them too.

I actually did that a while back when she was giving them snacks at all hours and places. I just wrote her a note letting her know that usually we do designated eating times and places (the table!) and that moving has been kind of hard on them, etc etc etc. Now she only does it with the baby. Who we promptly pick up and place in the high chair. :wink:

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Sun, 28 Aug 2011 4:43 am

Simply show her this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verruca and explain why she should not use other peoples shoes.

It is quite common that maids will just slip on a pair of flip flops, in fact most Asians do it.

Explain to the maid you would like her to eat at certain times so that you can share private time with your husband, that is easy to understand and most maids have been informed by the agency too to, that they should not eat with their employer as this breeds contempt, so you can probably thank the previous employers for her bad habits.

You will normally find that a lack of respect, is due to the familiarity of being too close. So you need to start out on the right foot and lay down the law, otherwise she will end up manipulating you, to her ways.

Be nice but firm and explain a list of do's and dont's that she must follow to the book, if she find the rules to hard to accept, replace her but give her a chance, as she has been spoiled too it appears.

You need feedback from her, if the children disrespect her, many children do get the wrong impression of maids and treat them like slaves and are cheeky too, this is unacceptable to many parents.

It is give and take, but treat her with respect and firmness, show her who is the boss and do not give her jobs that she is not supposed to do like, if she volunteers that is different.

Be cautious as most maids are not qualified to look after children either, so speak to your children too about respect for each other, she is not a slave and must be valued as a human employee for what she is doing and that is a maids position not a qualified nanny child minder.

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Sun, 28 Aug 2011 4:43 am

Sorry double post!

You can call into an agency and ask to be briefed on what is expected of a hired maid.

movingtospore
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Postby movingtospore » Mon, 29 Aug 2011 9:52 am

I would sit down and talk with her, and then, put it all in writing, nicely but very clearly, in a letter. I think as expats we can feel guilty about setting these boundaries as it's weird to have a live-in maid to start with. I made that mistake with our ex-maid, who we had many boundary issues with. I waited too long and when we tried to crack down a number of serious problems we had an even bigger problem.

Anyhoo, if you put it in writing, she can't later pretend that she didn't understand you. And you can use that as grounds for replacing her if she doesn't respect you and your home. :)

rukiddingme
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Postby rukiddingme » Tue, 30 Aug 2011 10:25 am

Great advice. Thanks! We have had live-in help before (au pairs), so that is why I'm so sensitive to getting off on the right foot. Will have a sit down with her, and write up some basic do's and don'ts. More like house rules, I suppose given that I'm not about to tell her that I want the floor swept in a particular way. It's a fine line to tread, particularly as the area of employment is also your home. She does have experience with kids, and my older 2 are fine, it's just my youngest who is prone to the odd tantrum.


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